Slow Cooker Lamb Stew with Pomegranate Molasses

This lamb stew uses the tart complexity of pomegranate molasses and the flavor-enhancing simplicity of the slow cooker to give you a stand-out meal with almost no work.

Slow Cooker Lamb Stew in a bowl with a slow cooker set behind it.
Alison Bickel

Slow Cooker Lamb stew is easy to make and delicious. It’s the perfect meal for the cold and rainy spring days.

Pomegranate molasses, lamb, fresh parsley, basil, onions and garlic do all the heavy lifting here — you don’t even have to cut the potatoes!

Easy is one thing, but what makes this stew really standout is the tangy sweetness of pomegranate molasses — a traditional ingredient used in many Middle Eastern recipes. It adds a subtle tart complexity to this weeknight slow cooker meal.

Where Can You Find Pomegranate Molasses?

My Israeli mother-in-law introduced me to the tangy sweetness of pomegranate molasses and it has become a staple in my house. You can easily make it at home, buy it online, at spice stores, global cuisine markets, but it is increasingly stocked in grocery stores.

Lamb Stew with Pomegranate Molasses in a slow cooker and stirred with a spoon.
Alison Bickel

What’s the Best Lamb for Slow Cooker Stew?

When making this stew I prefer the more inexpensive cuts like the shoulder because it has more marbling. For ease, sometimes I pick up pre-cut stew meat but shank or leg would also work if that’s what you have on hand.

Use whatever cuts are available and in your budget and you’ll have an amazing stew either way.

Keep it Simple, but Adjust as Needed

This stew finds a middle ground between not being too thick but also not having an over-abundance of broth.

  • For thinner stew: Add up to a cup of additional liquid
  • For thicker stew: After the stew has finished cooking, reduce the liquid on the stovetop over high heat and whisk in a bit of flour or cornstarch.
Weekday Lamb Stew in a bowl with a slice of bread.
Alison Bickel

Swaps and Substitutions

This recipe can be adjusted endlessly. I like the way lamb’s gaminess melds with the pomegranate molasses, but you can swap it for beef if that’s your preference. Potatoes are an easy favorite for me, but you can add other vegetables that hold up well in a slow cooker.

  • Swap the lamb for any stew beef. I prefer chuck roast.
  • Add carrots or other root vegetables
  • Mushrooms
  • Hearty squashes like butternut or acorn
  • Beans could easily add their own layers of flavors - use dried beans if you want to add them in from the start or use canned beans, but stir them in right at the end.

The Time is Flexible

This recipe comes together well after 8 hours but if you needed to eat after 6 or you wanted to wait for 10 it would all still be delicious.

I do like to sear the meat at the beginning because that browning step adds a lot of flavor to the end result, but if you don’t have time you will still get a great stew out of this recipe without searing at the start.

Slow Cooker Lamb Stew in a bowl with a spoon next to it.
Alison Bickel

More Slow Cooker Recipes for Busy Weeknights

Slow Cooker Lamb Stew with Pomegranate Molasses

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 8 hrs
Total Time 8 hrs 15 mins
Servings 4 to 6 servings

Salt to taste at the end and you’ll have a stew to get you through cold weather or even make a hearty meal on a brighter day.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 pounds boneless lamb meat, diced into 1 inch or bite size pieces
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate molasses
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 pounds small potatoes
  • 5 cloves of garlic, diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup chopped basil
  • 1 cup pepitas
  • Special equipment:
  • 5 quart slow cooker

Method

  1. Sear the lamb:

    If your slow cooker has a sear or browning setting, turn it on. Otherwise you can sear in a large skillet or Dutch oven set over medium high heat. Depending on the size of your skillet you might need to brown in batches. Add the oil in the hot pan, add the lamb meat and sear for 6 to 8 minutes, taking care not to stir much so that the meat can brown a bit. Once browned transfer to the slow cooker (if you seared it on your stovetop).

    Meat for Lamb Stew with Pomegranate Molasses seared in a pan.
    Alison Bickel
  2. Add in the ingredients:

    Into the slow cooker add the onion, stock, pomegranate molasses, salt, potatoes, garlic, parsley and basil. Stir together and then cook on a low heat for 8 to 10 hours.

    Ingredients for Weekday Lamb Stew inside a slow cooker.
    Alison Bickel
  3. Add the pepitas and serve:

    Taste the stew to see if you need additional salt (I like another teaspoon personally but adjust according to your tastes).

    You can either add the pepitas to the slow cooker and stir it all together or you can dish up the stew, and top individual servings with the pepitas. It’s up to you! 

    Leftovers! This stew is great refrigerated for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 3 months.