This slow cooker beef curry is easy and healthy, made with store cupboard ingredients and quick to prepare. It’s a delicious fakeaway perfect for the weekend or weekdays!
Spicy and warming, this slow cooker beef curry bubbles away in the slow cooker, the beef softening and flavours gently developing over the hours.
Packed full of vegetables too, the butternut squash thickens the sauce naturally so there is no need to use a thickening agent like cornflour. After a cold day with a nip in the air it is lovely to come home to a steaming bowl of this.
In fact any time of the year when you need a curry, this will be perfect!
In this easy slow cooker beef curry I use diced beef, the same as you might use for a beef stew.
The chunks of beef provide protein and the veggies provide the healthy carbs you need.
I use light coconut milk to reduce the fat, if you prefer you can use the standard coconut milk.
This beef curry is also suitable for WeightWatchers Smartpoints on the Freestyle program, based on serving 4 people with the ingredients stated it works out at 6 Smartpoints per serving (recheck the points if following a newer program).
Being low in fat and packed with vegetables it will also be suitable for Slimming World.
Quantities are in the recipe card below.
Feel free to swap out the veg for veggies you have in the fridge or if you prefer one ingredient to another, replace them. Try to keep the butternut squash as it helps thicken the sauce!
- mange tout
- baby corn
- butternut squash chunks
- tin chopped tomatoes
- tin light coconut milk
- diced beef
- ground coriander
- ground cumin
- medium curry powder
- garam masala
- red chilli
- spring onions
Step by step
If you are busy like me and relying on the slow cooker to get the food prep done earlier in the day before the family is starving hungry then you want something quick to prepare right?
I find that this slow cooker beef curry works just as well if you skip all that frying the onions and spices first, which you might find in other recipes, to release the flavours.
All you need to do is:
- brown off the meat
- add it to the slow cooker dish with the other ingredients, then leave it to cook.
Could it be easier than that?
Tip: If you have extra time and want those flavours to really pop then you can fry the onions and add in the spices for the last minute before following the recipe method given below.
But you can simply follow the steps above for great results!
Topped with freshly sliced red chilli and spring onions, or chopped fresh coriander if you prefer, this beef curry is great with basmati rice.
Or serve with cauliflower rice or courgette noodles/zoodles if you are looking for a lighter, lower carb option.
Great sides are raita (yoghurt with cucumber and garlic), onion bhajis and naan bread.
This dish is very forgiving so you can leave it cooking on low as long as you need to really. I like to save a portion or two and put it in a lunchbox to take to to work as well, I’m all about the easy lunches.
Adjust the spice level for chilli heads by using a hotter chilli powder and adding some chopped red chilli during cooking, or use a mild chilli powder if you are cooking for a family and want it milder, skipping the red chilli on top.
Making the sauce thicken
If you’re anything like me, you want to cook a slow cooker dish and then not have to worry about thickening a runny sauce at the end.
I also prefer not to have to use thickening granules or cornflour (cornstarch) to thicken the sauce too, preferring a natural option.
Although cornflour is useful to thicken when you’re stuck!
When I make my slow cooker vegetable curry too I use vegetables (sweet potato usually) to ensure a thick sauce.
Now I’m trying to be healthier, I tend to want to use a less starchy vegetable instead, and I’ve found that frozen butternut squash chunks work just as well!
So by including that in the dish the curry sauce will be lovely and thick. Try it and see!
I always recommend browning off meat before putting it in the slow cooker because I find that if you don’t then you get a lot of fat which is released from the meat during cooking, and which rises to the top of the sauce. This can make the sauce split which does not look very appetising. By browning the meat off in a frying pan first, this seals the fat into the meat and ensures that it keeps its shape too.
Coconut milk is not the same as dairy such as milk or cream sauces, which can curdle if added too near the start of cooking in a slow cooker. Normally coconut milk works fine in slow cooker recipes, but if you cook for too long or use light coconut milk there is sometimes the risk of the coconut milk splitting. In this case what has happened is that through heating, the coconut milk splits into thicker curds. These can normally be removed by stirring which emulsifies the milk again. It may be tricky to stir a cooked slow cooker dish (if you are out of the house etc) so in that case you can use a cornflour paste, which you add to the dish and then cook through. This will bring it back together.
Curries freeze well but for curries with coconut milk sauce the results can vary. When frozen the coconut milk can separate, which could result in a grainy curry. The best results will be obtained if the curry is not frozen for long periods of time. Always freeze curry in freezer bags or tubs, to avoid freezer burn, and in the portions that will be useful for you later.
More slow cooker curries
You might also like these other slow cooker curry recipes on my blog:
- slow cooker chicken saag curry
- slow cooker coconut fish curry
- slow cooker lamb curry
- slow cooker chicken pasanda
- slow cooker chickpea and paneer curry
- slow cooker turkey curry
Pin for later!
Slow Cooker Beef Curry
- 1 onion
- 40 g broccoli
- 50 g mange tout
- 60 g baby corn
- 200 g butternut squash chunks I used frozen
- 1 tin chopped tomatoes 400 g
- 1 tin light coconut milk 400 g
- 400 g diced beef
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1.5 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp medium curry powder
- 0.5 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1 red chilli sliced
- 3 spring onions
- Dice the onion and place it in the slow cooker with the vegetables, chopped tomatoes and light coconut milk.1 onion, 40 g broccoli, 50 g mange tout, 60 g baby corn, 200 g butternut squash chunks, 1 tin chopped tomatoes, 1 tin light coconut milk
- Add the spices and mix gently.1 tsp ground coriander, 1.5 tsp ground cumin, 1 tsp medium curry powder, 0.5 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp garam masala
- Fry the beef in a hot dry pan until brown all over.400 g diced beef
- Transfer the beef and any juices into the pot and stir well.
- Cook on high for 5 hours or on low for 8 hours.
- Top with slices of red chilli and spring onions and serve, with rice or cauliflower rice.1 red chilli, 3 spring onions