Pork Loin and Butternut Squash Stew

If it’s cold where you are this stew is sure to warm you up over the weekend and your house will be filled with amazing smells of this slow cooked meal.  My friend Laura gave me a butternut squash soup recipe which I tweaked a bit and adapted into this satisfying stew.

Pork Stew

Pork Loin and Butternut Squash Stew

2.5 lbs pork loin chops, cubed

2 leeks, trimmed and sliced

4 celery stalks, chopped

2 shallots, diced

7-10 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

4 cups cubed butternut squash

2 teaspoons garam masala

2 teaspoons sea salt

1 ½ teaspoons fresh squeezed lemon juice

¼ cup coconut milk

1 cup chicken broth

Place the chopped veggies and cubed pork into your slow cooker.  Cover with the spices and pour in the coconut milk, chicken broth, and lemon juice.  Mix well and cook for either 5 hours on high or 7 hours on low.


[nggallery id=133]


  1. Cindy Fulton says

    Sounds wonderful! I’m only just learning about the Paleo lifestyle, and I’m sure I just haven’t come across it yet- but if you haven’t already, could you maybe come up with a Paleo version of a spaghetti recipe, using spaghetti squash in place of the pasta? I apologize if you have already done this. I was just thinking about it as I was reading your squash recipe tonight! Thabks so much for all of the wonderful recipes!

    • says

      Hey Cindy – Sarah is on vacation for a few days and she left me the keys. So happens that I frequently make a spaghetti squash ‘pasta dish’. Here’s the fast way: Take a spaghetti squash and carefully cut (saw) in half. This can be tricky as they are quite firm. I use a serrated bread knife. Scoop out seeds and nasties. Place the squash cut side down in a Pyrex dish filled with 1/4 inch of water – place in microwave for 8 min on high. When done let it steam a while. Remove without scalding yourself and using a fork, scrape the ‘spaghetti’ out of the shell. Toss this with 2TBS of olive oil and a spaghetti sauce of your choosing. If using premade, watch the sugar content of the sauce. Otherwise you could make your own. If using the full squash you can do the same prep but you’ll bake it in a 375* oven for up to an hour.

      • Michelle says

        This is not exactly the quick way like you said, but I think the easiest way to cook a spaghetti squash is to put the whole thing in the oven (do not cut open or remove the seeds) at 375 for about 45 minutes depending on the size. When it’s done it will give when squeezed with tongs. Let it cool a little then cut open, scrape out seeds and then scrape out the squash.

        • Gloria says

          On the Food Network, I saw someone boil the squash cut in half for 10 to 15 minutes. I tried it and it was easy, fast, great.

      • Kelly says

        I like to spear the squash with a fork a couple times, and microwave for 1 min to begin with. It’s much easier to cut in half that way, then cook as noted above =)

  2. elizabeth carrington says

    this recipe sounds so good!
    as for the spagetti squash, try microwaving it first for a minute to help softened it so it is easier to cut.

    • Sarah says

      Of course! Just prep it the same way and cook on low for a couple of hours. You might want to add more chicken stock as you go. : )

  3. Kent Cowgill says

    Just finished putting everything in the slow cooker. I think you should add a big disclaimer that you’ll need substantially bigger than a 5qt slow cooker. I probably should’ve known, but I crammed all but 1.5 cups of the squash in mine.

    I decided to sear the pork in some bacon fat first, and then used the chicken stock to deglaze the pan and dumped it all in there. Hopefully that’ll make this turn out *more* delicious than it looks like it’ll be.

    • Sarah says

      Great idea Kent, I was going to sear my pork as well but ran out of time. Oh, and shoot, you are so right about needing to make sure you have a big slow cooker. I just get all silly sometimes and assume that everyone has a big slow cooker like mine and is feeding a huge family. Duh! : )

  4. elizabeth carrington says

    I made this for dinner today and it was fantastic!!!!
    I accidently added 3 chives because I thought they could sub for the shallots because I found them dried and decided to just keep them in. My squash was not cooked all the way down so had still some chunks which were very nice!
    hubby loved it!
    will make again thanks for this great recipe!

  5. says

    Yum! Had this dish, modified it with the stuff I had on hand. Got a big thumbs up from my hubby and my 5 year old and 2 year old ate it without complaint 2 nights in a row! Thanks for sharing! =) Can’t wait to try another!

  6. says

    I have never used garam marsala… but it looks like I just might have to invest in it next grocery trip. I love crock pot recipes, they are so conducive for a busy lifestyle!

  7. Jessica says

    I have yet to find garam masala in any of my local groceries. I subbed a good helping of green curry paste in, and though it’s not a similar taste substitution, it did turn out quite tasty!

  8. Jake says

    This was killer. My kids absolutely inhaled it. You should have seen the look of surprise on my wife’s face when my youngest asked for more squash. Priceless!! You are doing a phenomenal job with the site and a great service for all of us. Just wanted to pop in to say thanks.

  9. Diane says

    I just finished prepping everything and put it in the crockpot. I can’t wait to see how it turns out! Thank you for the recipe!

  10. Jennifer says

    Recipe is cooking right now and we can’t wait to sink our teeth into it. Couldn’t find any shallots at two different markets so had to substitute with a yellow onion. Hope it tastes the same. One question??? Do you use unsweetened coconut milk? That’s what I bought and hope it comes out good.

    • Sarah says

      Hi Jennifer, Yes I always use the unsweetened coconut milk! : ) You should be good to go with the onions, how did it turn out?

      • Jennifer says

        It was sooooooooooo good! :) Love your recipes! I also love the fact that my whole family loves them including little boys. :)

  11. David says

    This looks great! How much is 4 cups of butternut squash? Would that be like if I bought a 1lb squash, skinned it, and cut it up?

      • David Hood says

        I made this on Sunday. I got a late start and got everything on at 1:00PM, so I cooked it on high for about 5.5 hours.

        A few notes- one make sure you put the right amount of chicken stock. I overestimated and mine came out more like a soup than a stew.

        Make sure you mix up everthing. I missed that step and my meat kind of cooked on top for about 2.5 hours until I stirred it (which I guess is a no-no in crock pot cooking).

        I had coconut flour “cornbread” with them, and it was a perfect combo! http://www.paleoforfoodies.com/2010/11/paleo-cornbread-muffins.html

  12. Glen says

    Sarah, having never eaten butternut before I was intrigued by this, but I threw in a few twists of my own. Below is what I did:

    I rubbed a baking hen with evoo, sea salt, cracked black pepper, jerk seasoning and basil and placed in my dutch oven. Added about an inch or so of water and sliced some baby carrots until the water would hold no more, covered and baked @ 350 for 1.5 hours.

    While this was going on I peeled and cubed a butternut and put it in a pot to boil. I also diced 2 small yellow onions and added them to the pot along with a tad more sea salt and more cracked pepper. Once softened I used a potato masher to mash the squash, then set on simmer.

    When the chicken was done I picked the meat and added it to the pot with the squash along with the broth and carrots from the dutch oven.

    Phenomenally good, Thanks!

  13. Sarah Q says

    Oh my goodness, this was delicious! I had most of the ingredients and improvised on the rest (added sweet potato to make up for not enough butternut squash, left out the celery and garlic, used a medium onion rather than leeks and shallots and used trimmed pork shoulder). I threw it together before I ran out the door for the day and it was so tender and yummy when I got home. My husband does not eat paleo and “hates” squash and sweet potato and he had seconds! Ok, I didn’t tell him what was in it.

  14. says

    I made this on Sat evening for dinner, and my boyfriend absolutely LOVED IT!! It was so tasty, the flavours were amazing!! I will definately be making this regularly!

  15. says

    My wife and I loved this one. The only weird thing was that my hand that held the squash when peeling dried out afterwords. I read up on this and it happened to other people. Gloves for me from now on.

  16. Kim says

    Hi Sarah,

    I have this recipe cooking right now, smells delicious!!! My only one question is that its been cooking on high for now the past 3 hrs and it the butternut squash doesn’t seem like its cooking down like in your pic, any suggestions??

    • Sarah says

      Give it the rest of the time and I bet it will be fine but every slow cooker is a bit different so it might just take a little longer for yours!

  17. Beth says

    I made this today and made the whole house smell wonderful! We got our first snow up here in Breckenridge yesterday and I think it is my new favorite comfort food.

  18. Christine says

    Made this overnight with what I had on hand (beef and a mixture of broccoli and squash) – delicious! I’d never used garam masala before, but it was fantastic. This recipe is a keeper for sure. Thanks Sarah!

  19. Diana says

    Hey Sarah,
    We aren’t big into pork here. What would be an acceptable chicken or beef alternative? Can I use chicken breast tenders?


  20. Kim says

    I doubled this today. Accidentally put in a whole can of coconut milk! Yikes!! I hope it’s not too coconutty! Smelling delish!!! Can’t wait to try it tonight.

  21. Gina says

    This is a spectacular recipe! Full rich flavor and very satisfying. It will definately become a go to recipe for our house. Thanks and keep the great recipes coming!

  22. Karen says

    I made this last night and while it taste good I will make a few changes. I think browning pork and and leeks first and then deglzing with some of the broth with will increase the richness. I would also suggest adding, apples, carrots and kale for more color.
    Next time I plan to use sage and rosemary instead of garam marsala just to change it up.

    Thanks for the great fall recipe!

  23. Bill says

    This was a big hit last night. Had to improvise a little – couldn’t find garam masala anywhere but combined cumin, paprika, cinnamon, cayenne, bay leaves, black pepper and ground cloves and I swear you can’t tell the difference.

  24. lisa says

    I am confused. I found list that said butternut and acorn squash are high glycemic and not allowed on Paleo. Please clarify.

    • Sarah says

      Some old school paleo books preach high and low glycemic foods. Please focus on food QUALITY and not high or low glycemic. Butternut squash is rich with nutrients and a wonderful carbohydrate source. If you have a severe fat loss goal, you might find faster results following a lower carb paleo diet for a WHILE but not forever and if you are active, most people find that they feel much better eating some nutrient carb sources like winter squash and sweet potatoes. Not all lists that you find on the internet of paleo foods will give you clear information. Hope that helps!

  25. Elizabeth Estrada says

    Just put it all in the crock pot right now……and omg IT SMELLS DELICIOUS!!! I want to eat it all raw……yummy dinner tonight! Thank you sooooooooo much :)

  26. Laura says

    I made this with pork tenderloin last night, it was delicious! The meat was fall apart tender at the end. Yes it will look like not enough liquid at first, but the squash cooking releases a lot, so it will be good, don’t add extra. If it is too runny, turn your crock pot on high and cook with the lid partly open until it cooks off.

  27. CS says

    WONDERFUL recipe. There should be a warning on this though that the smell of it cooking will make you incredibly hungry. Only substitution I did was to use Vidalia onion instead of shallots since my tummy cannot handle shallots. Mine did not come out looking like the picture on here (don’t know why) but no big deal since it is delicious nonetheless. Will definitely be making this again.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *