Slow-Cooker Winter Breakfast Stew

Winter Breakfast Stew made in the slow-cooker from Carrie on Living |

Baby, it’s cold outside! Cold weather means no more green smoothies for awhile, at least not in the mornings. I was inspired recently by some of the cooked breakfast recipes and try making a breakfast stew instead.

I had a bag of cranberries leftover from Thanksgiving that I used in my recipe, but you could substitute frozen wild blueberries instead. I love that this stew still allows me to get in a serving of vegetables in the morning, but the best part is how the sweetness of the butternut squash and the fruit melds together with the veggies into a gently sweet, filling, and warming meal.


When I was planning what to put into this stew, I gathered up a bunch of options, not all of which I used. You can certainly make adjustments to the recipe based on what’s hiding at the back of your fridge or pantry; these types of stews are great for using up ingredients like I did:

Winter Breakfast Stew made in the slow-cooker from Carrie on Living |

The recipe starts with the butternut squash. I am lazy efficient and buy it cubed, but you could also buy a whole medium squash, peel, and chop it yourself. My recipe uses 1 1/2 cups, or about half of the flesh of a medium squash. I added the squash to the pot, along with the cranberries and one chopped persimmon and one chopped apple:

Winter Breakfast Stew made in the slow-cooker from Carrie on Living |

Chopped apricots and zucchini:

Winter Breakfast Stew made in the slow-cooker from Carrie on Living |

I also added raisins, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, pumpkin pie spice, and some uncooked quinoa for more staying power. Then, the essential ingredient – the green stuff:

Winter Breakfast Stew made in the slow-cooker from Carrie on Living |

I ended up using about six cups of kale total, but I suggest adding as much as you can possibly fit into the pot. As you probably know, the greens shrink down into nothing once they are cooked. The final step was to add some liquid. I poured about three cups of unsweetened almond milk on top, put on the lid, and let the slow-cooker do its job:

Winter Breakfast Stew made in the slow-cooker from Carrie on Living |

I let the pot cook on low overnight, and this is what I woke up to (cinnamon-y, delicious smell not accessible to you, sorry about that!):

Winter Breakfast Stew made in the slow-cooker from Carrie on Living |

I wondered how the quinoa would turn out, and it cooked thoroughly, all the while absorbing the almond milk and creating a thick texture to the stew. I topped my serving with fresh pomegranate arils:

Winter Breakfast Stew made in the slow-cooker from Carrie on Living |

This stew makes a LARGE amount, 8-10 servings, so I ended up freezing about half of it to serve later. On of of my re-heating iterations, I served it with flax meal, pom arils, and cacao nibs which I highly recommend (this version with some cocoa or carob powder might, just might, be appealing to kids, but don’t quote me on that!):

Winter Breakfast Stew made in the slow-cooker from Carrie on Living |

Here’s the recipe:

Winter Breakfast Stew
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 8-10
  • 1 ½ cups butternut squash, cubed (about half of a medium whole squash)
  • 1 medium zucchini (about 2 cups chopped)
  • 1 apple
  • 1 fuyu persimmon
  • 8 ounces cranberries (you can substitute 12 ounces frozen wild blueberries)
  • ⅓ cup chopped walnuts
  • ⅓ cup pumpkin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (or cinnamon)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup chopped dried apricots
  • ¼ cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 5-ounce packages or about half of a 1-pound bag of Earthbound organic baby kale (about 6 cups)
  • 3 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • cacao nibs, shredded coconut, or pomegranate arils, for topping (optional)
  1. Place the cubed butternut squash in a 6-quart slow-cooker.
  2. Chop the zucchini, persimmon, and apple into bite-sized pieces and add to the pot.
  3. Add the cranberries or blueberries, walnuts, and pumpkin seeds to the pot.
  4. Add the pumpkin pie spice, vanilla extract, raisins, chopped apricots, uncooked quinoa, and baby kale to the pot and stir to combine. Pour the almond milk over the contents.
  5. Place the lid on the slow-cooker and cook for 12 hours on low heat or 6 hours on high heat.
  6. Serve hot with a splash of almond milk, non-dairy yogurt, and topped with cacao nibs or fresh pomegranate arils, if desired. Freeze any leftovers.
  7. Note: if you prefer to cook this recipe on the stovetop, I would recommend bringing all of the ingredients to a boil, and simmering for 45 minutes to an hour, or until the butternut squash is tender.

Jeez, after my Pumpkin Breakfast Brownies and Sweet Potato Pudding, I’m getting good at this veggies for breakfast thing, eh? Enjoy!!!

Winter Breakfast Stew made in the slow-cooker from Carrie on Living |

My goal is to provide inspiration for healthy, balanced living. You can find more links on my Recipes and Resources pages.

I’d love to have you follow me on my social media accounts, too @carrieonliving: FacebookInstagramPinterest, and Twitter

Winter Breakfast Stew made in the slow-cooker from Carrie on Living |

P.S. I also have a Carrie on Living Amazon affiliate store where I list all of my favorite beauty items, kitchen devices, books, and other cool stuff that supports my lifestyle. Your purchase of any item on Amazon helps support my blog so thank you in advance!


    • says

      Thanks, Kimmy! Do let me know how the stovetop version turns out. I don’t think it will be as mushy as mine turned out, but I liked it that way because then the veggies weren’t so evident. You could always use a hand immersion blender to get a creamy texture once your stove-top version is done cooking. Have a great weekend!!! Is your new pup able to go on runs or hikes with you?

  1. says

    Oh my gosh… this is the coolest, most unique recipe I’ve come across in a long time! I absolutely love this idea. I’ve been big on the slow-cooker oatmeal for a few weeks but now I can’t wait to try breakfast stew 🙂

    • says

      Thanks, Elyse!!! I would love to get any feedback after you try making this recipe. I really wanted to find a way to still get my veggies in without having a cold smoothie, and I think the flavors turned out really well, BUT would love another opinion. 🙂

      • says

        I’ve been missing my smoothies since the cold weather hit but can’t bear to drink them when its -30 C in the morning 🙁 lol I have this pinned and will definitely be making it when I get home from my holidays! I’ll share some feedback for sure 🙂

  2. Gail says

    Had this for breakfast today. Subbed a large sweet potato for the squash, steel cut oats for the quinoa, & some dates for part of the raisins; also added ginger & a hit of cayenne to the spices. Really enjoyed it, but probably ate too much; I too struggle with portion control. Very unique idea & great cold morning breakfast!
    BTW, I liked all the textures; think it would be a shame to use an immersion blender.
    I served mine with chopped kiwi & my own silken tofu faux yogurt.

    • says

      YUM!!! Thanks for the feedback, Gail. I love your substitutions. You served yours cold? I have been re-heating it on the stovetop with some extra almond milk and a spoonful of cocoa. 🙂

      • Gail says

        Nope, served it hot from the pot & usually reheat a serving size 🙂 of porridge in a bowl at low heat(about 200/225F) in the oven while I’m putzing about in the kitchen in the morning. I really love the idea for getting greens into the porridge on non smoothie days.

  3. Shanna says

    I found this on Pinterest and I really want to make it for our Christmas morning. My family of 5 went vegetarian after the holidays last year and we usually have a sausage casserole type breakfast so I needed a substitute for that. Would you say this recipe is more savory, or sweet?

    • says

      Hi Shanna! I think this would make an amazing Christmas morning breakfast. I think because of the fresh fruit and dried fruit, it has more of a sweet flavor than savory. I like to serve mine with extra almond milk and even a little cocoa powder stirred in. But, you can serve it straight out of the slow-cooker, too. I just made another batch last night! 🙂

  4. says

    Brilliant recipe, Carrie! And sounds sooo yummy. I really (really) need to get myself a slow cooker! Thanks so much for sharing at Wellness Weekend, too. 🙂

  5. says

    I just made this for the second time last night (after finishing the batch I made just last week). I LOVE it! The first time I made it, my hubby and I ate it all before we could freeze any so this time I doubled the recipe and am freezing half of it. The first time I had it, I ate it with goji berries and cocoa nibs, but the second time I added cocoa powder/cacao powder and stevia… WOW. I’m obsessed 🙂 Sharing on my Facebook page tomorrow. It is such a creative recipe and incredibly nutrient-dense. I also love that it keeps me full much longer than other breakfasts.

    I noticed that I like it better when it’s thicker so I run the crockpot on high to make it more of a chili-like constancy.

    I subbed what I could find in the stores near me: frozen blueberries instead of cranberries, apple instead of persimmon, dates instead of raisins, and steel cut oats instead of quinoa. Thank you for an awesome recipe!

    • says

      Thanks, Alex!!! I can’t tell you how good it makes me feel for you to say this. Someone left a review on the version I posted on my app and she wasn’t thrilled with the texture. Sometimes I wonder if I am “off” on what I think tastes good, but I’m really glad you liked it. Subbing steel cut oats is brilliant, too! Xoxo. 🙂

  6. Frankie says

    Mine didn’t look anything like yours, was quite runny (maybe need more quinoa?) and very “brown”. But the taste was good. I’m thinking a mixture of quinoa and oats might work better. Or less almond milk? I really like it though and will play around with the recipe.

    • says

      Hmmmm, I’m sorry to hear that Frankie! Yes, more quinoa would probably help soak up the almond milk. You did use uncooked quinoa, right? Someone else used steel-cut oats and commented that it worked out well. Let me know if/when you try it again and what adjustments you make. I’m sorry the first batch didn’t turn out quite right for you, though. 🙁


Leave a Reply

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