Crockpots are beautiful things, aren’t they? My crockpot might be my most used kitchen appliance, next to only my food processor, which I use almost daily. (Although, my new Instant Pot is giving it a run for its money! But that’s a story for another day!)
Blessed be the person who developed the slow cooker because not only does it make everything taste wonderful and makes your house smell heavenly, it also takes the stress out of getting dinner on the table after a long day. Today’s Crockpot Beef Pumpkin Curry is one of those meals where you can literally dump everything in the slow cooker, set it, and forget it!
While this recipe isn’t exactly a traditional curry due to nightshade-free AIP spices, it IS just as warm, comforting, and delicious as an Indian or Thai curry, thanks to turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, and coconut milk. My “pseudo-curry” also features hearty grass-fed ground beef with seasonal pumpkin and butternut squash, making it a perfect hot meal for chilly Fall evenings.
This Crockpot Beef Pumpkin Curry sort of reminds me of a cross between a curry and a chili, since it could be eaten in different ways! Spoon a big helping into a bowl or over a sweet potato like a chili, topped with ripe avocado, or serve it over a bed of cauliflower rice with fresh cilantro or parsley and eat it as a curry, like I have in my photos. You’ll love it whichever way you choose! 🙂
Pull out your crockpot (or if you use it as much as I do, it will always be sitting out on your countertop) and throw in some grass-fed ground beef, or ground meat of choice. You can brown your meat first, if you’d like to eliminate some of the fat that cooks off, but you don’t have to. I skipped that step and was still happy with the result!
After the beef goes in, then add a chopped up onion and butternut squash. I realize that butternut squash can be a pain to peel and cut up, so feel free to take a shortcut like I did and buy already peeled and chopped squash! Trader Joe’s sells it and I’m sure there are other stores that do, too. (You could also substitute sweet potato for the squash if you need to!)
Finally, add in the rest of your curry ingredients – the pumpkin puree, coconut milk, and spices. Now you can set it and forget it! 🙂 I cooked my Crockpot Beef Pumpkin Curry on low for 5-6 hours and it was just perfect. You could probably even get away with 4 hours on low, especially if you brown the meat prior to slow cooking it with everything else.
Voila! A simple, one-pot slow cooker meal that will be waiting for you when you get home from work! One recipe makes a huge batch, so that will allow for plenty of leftovers that you can eat in different ways – whether it’s on rice, over a sweet potato, or all by itself in a big bowl!
To dish up my own plate of Crockpot Beef Pumpkin Curry, I threw together a batch of cauliflower rice. It’s super easy! You can see a visual of how to make cauliflower rice from my Cauliflower Fried Rice Post, but in a nutshell, just chop up a head of cauliflower, toss it in the food processor, and then cook it in a skillet with some coconut oil, garlic, and sea salt for about 10 minutes until it softens.
Once my cauli rice was finished, I spooned my curry over the top, topped it with fresh herbs and a squeeze of lime juice, and dug in to my AIP-friendly entree.
Even though I do miss traditional spicy curry recipes on my AIP diet, this Crockpot Beef Pumpkin Curry is a great substitute! I still got hints of curry inspiration through the aromatic turmeric, ginger, and cinnamon, along with a slight sweetness from the coconut milk, pumpkin, and squash. What a cozy, hearty dish to warm the soul as the weather cools off! I hope you try it this Fall! I know I will be making this again soon after my 2-week GAPS diet comes to an end this weekend! (Happy dance!)
- 2 lbs. grass-fed ground beef
- 2-3 cups peeled and chopped butternut squash (or 1 large squash)
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1-15 ounce can pumpkin puree
- 1-15 ounce can full-fat coconut milk
- 1 cup bone broth (or beef stock)
- 2 tablespoons turmeric
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon minced raw ginger
- 1 tablespoon raw honey
- 1 tablespoon coconut aminos
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons fish sauce
- 1 teaspoon powdered ginger
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
- chopped fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice
- Put ground beef in the bottom of a large crockpot. Break up meat with a spoon.
- Add in the rest of the ingredients except for cilantro and lime juice. Stir to incorporate everything.
- Set crockpot on low heat for 5-6 hours.
- Serve over cauliflower rice, sweet potato, spaghetti squash, or just eat it plain in a bowl!
- Top with fresh cilantro and lime juice.
~Optional first step- brown the meat ahead and drain off the fat before adding it to the crockpot.
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