Photo of Italian beef and lentil slow-cooker stew by WW

Italian beef and lentil slow-cooker stew

Total Time
7 hr 20 min
20 min
7 hr
Slow-simmer soup is a cold-weather comfort food. This one requires just 20 minutes of hands-on time and then your slow cooker handles the rest, producing a flavorful soup with tender pieces of beef. For the lentils, opt for green or brown lentils. They hold their shape better and add more texture than red lentils, which dissolve as they cook (ideal for a smoother soup). Dry lentils don’t need to soak like dried beans do before adding them to the soup, though it is a good idea to rinse them and remove any debris. You can substitute 2 cups of fresh green beans, cut into 2-inch lengths, for the zucchini, and 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley for the basil.


Uncooked onion(s)

1 small, chopped


1 medium clove(s), minced

Uncooked zucchini

1 large, diced

Uncooked lean beef round

16 oz, cut into 1-inch chunks, or 1 pound

Dried oregano

½ tsp, crushed

Canned diced tomatoes

14½ oz, undrained

Canned tomato paste

1 Tbsp

Dry lentils

¾ cup(s)

Canned beef broth

4 cup(s)

Table salt

1 tsp

Black pepper

¼ tsp


¼ cup(s), fresh, slivered


  1. Place all ingredients except basil in 5- to 6-quart slow cooker; stir well. Cook on Low until beef is very tender, 6−7 hours.
  2. Stir in basil and cook 5 minutes longer.
  3. Serving size: 1½ cups