Slow Cooker Butternut Squash, Bean, and Barley Stew

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A few weeks back, a close friend wasn't feeling so well and I wanted to make her a big pot of soup so she didn't have to worry about making dinner.  I wanted to make something that was hearty and nutritious that would leave her satisfied and since she is vegan, I couldn't turn to any of my tried and true slow cooker soup recipes since many contain meat or animal products. 

Since she loves butternut squash, I knew I wanted to start there.  Then I added dried beans, barley, fire roasted tomatoes, veggies, and some spices to round everything out.  It's turns out a bit like a chili but a less spicy.  If you wanted a true chili, I would up the chili powder and add some jalapenos or chipotle peppers in adobo suace.  If you don't like spice, you could also use Italian seasoning instead.  Both versions are packed with flavor and sure to keep you full. 

The Recipe
Slow Cooker Butternut Squash, Bean, and Barley Stew

Slow Cooker Butternut Squash, Bean, and Barley Stew

COOK TIME: 8 Hours
TOTAL TIME: 8 Hours, 10 Min
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  • 6 cups butternut squash, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup dry kidney beans (or mixed beans)
  • 1/2 cup pearl barley
  • 28 oz. can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 U onion, chopped
  • 1 U green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 U carrots, chopped
  • 2 U celery ribs, chopped
  • 4 U garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder (or Italian seasoning for a non-spicy version)
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin (leave out if using Italian seasoning)
  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • 1 U bay leaf
  • Salt and pepper

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Soak the beans overnight in water. Alternatively you can use boiling vegetable broth when you start the recipe if you forget to soak the beans.


Add everything to the slow cooker and stir. Cook on low for 8 hours or until beans are tender. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

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Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 1.25-1.5 cups
Amount Per Serving
Calories 220
Calories from Fat 7
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 1g
Saturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 895mg
Total Carbohydrate 48g
Dietary Fiber 13g
Sugars 9g
Protein 9g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.

† SmartPoints™ calculated by Slender Kitchen; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc.
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About the author Meet Kristen Mccaffrey
Hi, I’m the cookbook author, recipe developer, and food enthusiast behind Slender Kitchen. I am obsessed with making healthy food that is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. Meal planning is my secret weapon and I hope I can make meal time easier for you with our tired and tested recipes and foolproof meal plans. Learn More
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On Slow Cooker Butternut Squash, Bean, and Barley Stew
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Veronica Beck
January 14, 2019 - 17:25
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I love the flavor, but I would cook the beans for awhile first before adding the other ingredients. I soaked the beans overnight, but they're still not quite done, while everything else is a bit too done. I did the 6 hour setting on the crock pot because I got a late start this morning--not sure if that affected the outcome. I'll definitely try this recipe again, cooking the beans a little first. Thanks!
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December 14, 2015 - 10:21
I haven't tried it yet but I imagine it freezes great.
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