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Slow Cooker Lamb Stew and Rice Recipe


Lamb Stew may seem like a meal that’s only prepared and eaten during special occasions, but it can be a comfort food that will warm you up on a cold day. Using the handy rice cooker, Crock-Pot, Instant Pot, or a standard slow cooker, you’ll be able to easily make this Lamb and Rice Stew even on busy weeknights.

The classic combination of lamb, rice, potatoes, onion, carrots, and other veggies might be simple but the flavor is certainly exceptional.

What is a Stew?

A stew is a combination of ingredients such as vegetables, meat, or fish that are cut into medium or large sizes and barely covered with the cooking liquid. Stews are simmered over low heat for a lengthy period of time.  While a stew cooks, the liquid reduces significantly, giving the dish a thick consistency. A stew is often served as a topping for starchy ingredients such as rice, noodles, or potatoes.

What is the Difference Between a Stew and a Soup?

Soup and stew may seem similar in a lot of ways. They are also often considered a form of delicious comfort food that people seek during colder days. However, there is an important factor that differentiates both delicious meals.

Both soup and stew are a combination of vegetables and meat cooked in liquid. Their difference lies in the amount of liquid used in each. A stew generally contains less liquid than soup. Additionally, a soup can become a stew by determining how long it is simmered and reduced. The thicker a soup becomes, the more likely it becomes a stew.

Slow Cooker Lamb Stew and Rice Recipe Ingredients

All the ingredients for this delicious Slow Cooker Lamb and Rice Stew can be bought at your nearest market. These are all classics that can be bought easily and you don’t have to worry about visiting any specialty grocery for them. In fact, you may already have the vegetables, spices, rice, and other staples in your pantry.

Aside from these ingredients, the one appliance that you will absolutely need is a slow cooker. If you don’t have a standard slow cooker, you don’t have to shell out for a new one! A rice cooker, a Crock-Pot, or an Instant Pot work just as well to make this tasty dish.

  • 2 pounds boneless leg of lamb or lamb shoulder
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 3 1/2  cups beef broth
  • 1 can (6 oz.) tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 fresh button mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 medium carrots (peeled and cut)
  • 1 pound red-skinned or round white potatoes (halved or quartered)
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 2 medium onions
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen peas
  • 2 stalks of sliced celery
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 6 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

How to Make Slow Cooker Lamb Stew and Rice

  1. Slice the lamb into 1.5-inch pieces or into cubes. In a large bowl, toss the lamb with flour, salt, and pepper. Save 2 tablespoons of flour for later.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the olive oil is hot, add the lamb and onions. Stir and cook until the lamb is browned and the onions are starting to soften. This can take about 5 minutes.
  3. Once the onion is cooked and the meat is brown, remove the large skillet from the heat and transfer this mixture into a bowl. Let it cool slightly.
  4. Ensure that the vegetables have been washed and sliced. This step is especially important when it comes to potatoes and carrots. Additionally, make sure that the potatoes and carrots have been peeled and sliced.
  5. In the slow cooker pot, put the brown rice in first so that it sits at the bottom. Next, add the lamb and onions. 
  6. Put the carrots, potatoes, celery, garlic, and mushrooms in the slow cooker pot. 
  7. Pour the 3 1/2 cups of beef broth into the slow cooker pot. Add the bay leaf and thyme. Season with salt and pepper for taste. Cover the pot.
  8. Cook on high for 3 to 4 hours. You may also cook the Rice and Lamb Stew for 6 to 8 hours on low.
  9. In a small bowl or cup, stir in the saved 2 tablespoons of flour earlier with cold water. Whisk until the mixture is smooth with no lumps.
  10. Remove the cover of the slow-cooker pot and stir the flour-water mixture into the Rice and Lamb Stew. Continue cooking for 10 to 15 minutes.
  11. Add the peas during the last hour of cooking.
  12. To ensure that the lamb will cook properly and to prevent it from being under or overcooked, check on it using an instant-read thermometer.
  13. If the lamb finishes cooking before the rice, remove the lamb so that it does not overcook and that its texture remains tender. Return the meat in the slow cooker once the rice is cooked.
  14. Season with a little more salt and pepper until you get your desired taste. 
  15. Sprinkle with freshly chopped parsley.
  16. Serve warm.

Cooking Tips

  • If you don’t have brown rice, you may also use wild rice.
  • It is recommended to brown the meat for this Rice and Lamb Stew to give the dish extra flavor, texture, and color.
  • You may cook this Lamb and Rice Stew recipe in a standard slow cooker, Crock-Pot, or rice cooker.
  • The best cut for a slow-cooker lamb stew is a boneless lamb shoulder or leg. Both meat cuts will work great for this recipe. The meat will turn super tender and moist.
  • Planning to use frozen lamb meat? Thaw it overnight prior to cooking this recipe.
  • Store-bought broth is fine to use in this recipe.
  • If you don’t have beef broth, you may substitute it with chicken broth or chicken stock. You may notice there will be a subtle change in color or flavor but you will still end up with a great dish regardless.
  • You may skip the celery if the taste is not to your liking.
  • Spices such as crushed red pepper and cumin can be added to enhance the taste and flavor of this Rice and Lamb Stew recipe and to give it a slight kick.
  • Feel free to add other veggies to this recipe. Green beans and sweet potatoes work as well.
  • Have leftovers or want to cook in advance for meal prep? Transfer the Rice and Lamb Stew into an airtight container and refrigerate.
  • Aside from rice, you can eat this stew with thick, crusty bread.

Final Note

You don’t need to be frazzled in the kitchen just to cook the perfect meal. This delicious Slow-Cooker Lamb and Rice Stew is one that you can set and forget for a few hours. When you come back, you’ll have a hearty and yummy warm dish. Try it out, even on a busy weeknight! 

Looking for more dishes to make in the kitchen? Have a look at our recipes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I turn this stew recipe into a chicken and rice soup recipe?

The original recipe called for lamb as the main meat ingredient but you can modify it by switching it to chicken and turning it into a yummy slow-cooker chicken and rice soup recipe. To make Chicken and Rice Soup, replace the lamb with tender chicken and replicate the steps indicated in the recipe. 

Season the chicken with salt, pepper, and your preferred seasonings. Cook the chicken in the slow cooker until it shreds easily and the carrots are tender. Since you will be making Slow-Cooker Chicken and Rice Soup, the liquid should be slightly thinner than the stew. Add additional stock until you reach your desired consistency. Sprinkle it with a little more salt, pepper, and fresh thyme at the end.


Hailing from California, USA. Ji-hyun is a Korean American 🇰🇷🇺🇸 with two growing boys who eat their weight in rice each week. After graduating UCLA & becoming a mom she started We Know Rice as a guide for all the students and moms out there looking to cook healthy and filling meals.

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