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Slow Cooker Fall Harvest Pork Stew

Less than 15 minutes of prep time and plenty of fall ingredients like apples, squash and cider and you’ll have a delicious Slow Cooker Fall Harvest Pork Stew that will change your life!

bowl filled with pork stewIt may sound unusual, but this stew is packed full of delicious flavors that work well together to create a delicious dinner perfect for cozying up at home on a cold evening.

Slow Cooker Fall Harvest Pork Stew is packed full of lean pork tenderloin and lots of veggies like butternut squash and carrots plus it uses two different kinds of apples.

What you need to know about this recipe:

  • It’s hearty and filling and makes enough to feed 6-8 people depending on appetite.
  • It can be cooked on high for 4 hours or low for 8 depending on how much time you have
  • You can adjust the spice level to your preference by adjusting the amount of chipotle chili powder
  • You can make ahead and freeze (see notes below) but leftovers of this recipe don’t freeze well
  • You’ll need a 4 quart or larger slow cooker

step by step of preparing pork stew in slow cookerWhat kind of pork do I need for this stew?

You’ll need to find a pork tenderloin. These are generally sold in vacuum sealed packages and are long and thin and usually found two in a package.

This cut of pork is lean and tender and the best for making this type of stew. You may be able to substitute a pork shoulder in a pinch, but you would need to trim a lot of fat and it would be significantly more work to cut it up into bite sized pieces.

What kind of apples should I use?

Because this recipe has a lot of sweetness I recommend using at least one tart apple, like a Granny Smith, to balance it out. I used one Granny Smith apple and one honeycrisp apple.

slow cooker filled with fall harvest pork stew

Can I freeze pork stew?

You can prepare this recipe ahead of time and freeze before cooking, but you will need to leave the apples out. If you try to freeze them they will likely turn brown and mushy.

To freeze simply add all ingredients (chopped if called for) except apples and broth to a large zippered freezer bag and remove all air before sealing.

When ready to cook you will need to thaw overnight in the fridge and then add to slow cooker along with chopped apples and broth.

I don’t recommend freezing leftovers of this recipe.

Slow Cooker Fall Harvest Pork StewChoose your favorite fresh apple cider (a little for the stew and a nice refreshing glass to enjoy!) and add the herbs and seasonings and let it slow cook all day for your perfect crisp fall evening dinner!

pork stew in slow cooker with ladle

How do I thicken the stew?

I prefer to thicken my stews by adding small tapioca pearls and letting them cook all day along with the rest of the ingredients. This thickens the broth without adding flavor or texture.

If you can’t find tapioca pearls, my suggestion would be to whisk 2 tablespoons of flour with an equal amount of water and whisk it with the broth when adding. Cornstarch could also be used instead of flour.

pork stew in metal bowl

slow cooker filled with fall harvest pork stew

Slow Cooker Fall Harvest Pork Stew

Jennifer Draper
Less than 15 minutes of prep time and plenty of fall ingredients like apples, squash and cider and you'll have a delicious Slow Cooker Fall Harvest Pork Stew that will change your life!
4.67 from 6 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Course Soup
Cuisine American
Servings 6
Calories 312.86 kcal


  • 2 pounds pork tenderloin
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 10 ounces frozen cubed butternut squash
  • 1 honey crisp apple
  • 1 granny smith apple
  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/4 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • 4 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons small tapioca pearls
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (or more to taste)


  • Cut pork tenderloin into bite sized pieces
  • Remove peel and dice apples
  • Add pork, apples and all remaining ingredients to slow cooker
  • Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8


  • adjust the spice level by adjusting the amount of chipotle chili powder
  • if you can find tapioca pearls, you can thicken the stew by whisking 2 tablespoons flour or cornstarch with water and stirring into broth before cooking
  • if making this as a freezer meal, don't add apples until ready to cook
  • I recommend making only what you will eat within 2-3 days.  Leftovers of this recipe do not freezer well.
  • I recommend using at least one tart apple to offset the sweetness in this recipe
  • I recommend using only pork tenderloin in this recipe.  In a pinch you could sub pork shoulder, but it would need to be well trimmed and might not yield as good of results.


Calories: 312.86kcalCarbohydrates: 29.59gProtein: 35.23gFat: 6.44gSaturated Fat: 2.07gCholesterol: 98.28mgSodium: 413.39mgPotassium: 1176.15mgFiber: 3.92gSugar: 14.36gVitamin A: 8970.85IUVitamin C: 18.12mgCalcium: 63.07mgIron: 2.89mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @slowcookergourmet or tag #slowcookergourmet!
Important nutritional disclaimer



  1. 5 stars
    Hi Jennifer, thanks for this recipe it is amazing! I didn’t peel my apples or add the chilli (kiddie in the house) but it turned out just as fab! Quick question you recommend not freezing once cooked, may I ask why and if not freezing, do you know how long it will last in the fridge? Thanks so much, Mary

  2. I have never used tapioca pearls. How much do you add? Do you have to add extra liquid if using the tapioca pearls? I plan on cooking this is the near future. Thanks in advance. Appreciate your site.

    1. Hi Gea! I love them for the way they thicken without the floury texture! In this recipe, you use 2 tablespoons and the 4 cups of liquid as stated in the recipe. If using flour, you would also use 2 tablespoons. So, really no need to adjust the liquid amounts. I hope you enjoy and be sure to let me know how it turns out!

  3. A couple of questions–do you add the flour/water mixture at the end? Are the apples peeled and diced?

    It sounds delicious.


    1. Thanks for the heads up Laura! I fixed those instructions to make it more clear. Peel and dice the apple and add everything including the flour at the beginning 🙂

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