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Low FODMAP Slow Cooker Fennel Beef Stew

5 from 1 vote

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Low FODMAP Slow Cooker Fennel Beef Stew Featured Image

**This post was developed and written by Nancy Gammack, RD when she was a dietetic intern and volunteer for Ignite Nutrition.

If you are following the low FODMAP diet, you may have noticed that so many comforting fall and winter dishes are hard to find low FODMAP. This is usually because the recipes contain onion and garlic.

I am NOT a fan of cold winter days. Coming home from a long day when the sun has already gone to bed at 5 pm is not my favourite time of year.

When I return home to smell this wholesome beef stew with fennel coming from my slow cooker crockpot – the chilling winter day gets a little better!

What is the best onion substitute?

Unlike many beef stews, this low FODMAP beef stew uses fennel. Fennel is a great substitute for yellow onions and garlic. It helps to produce the base aromatic flavours. As a registered dietitian, I know I can hear all of you IBS’ers cheering ‘YAY’. And for those whose guts can bear onions and garlic, I promise you won’t even miss it!

This homemade beef stew cooks in a crockpot. So, simply prepare the ingredients in the morning and let your crock-pot do the rest!

What to do with leftover stew?

When I made this slow cooker beef & fennel stew just for myself, I had lots of leftovers. But, I couldn’t of been happier! By freezing the leftovers into pre-portioned containers – I was set for a week of quick meals!

You NEED to add this recipe to your weekly menu plan. Perhaps with our low FODMAP spanish chicken and rice casserole. Both so comforting and warm for the winter months!

Love this low FODMAP recipe as much as we do? Our collection of low FODMAP recipes were created to help you navigate the low FODMAP diet. Many of our patients have tried implementing the low FODMAP diet on their own. However, this diet should be conducted with the support of a registered dietitian. At Ignite Nutrition we offer one-on-one nutrition counselling to help you start on the low FODMAP diet with guidance.

Can I use fennel in a stew?

You can absolutely use fennel in a stew! One reason we love fennel for stews is because it makes a great substitute for onion and garlic. It is therefore an excellent option for transforming a stew dish into a FODMAP friendly option! Fennel provides an aromatic flavour base for stews and works great with beef stew like this one.

What meat does fennel go with?

Fennel is often paired alongside fish or chicken. But this beef stew proves that fennel also pairs very well with beef too! Fennel provides a delicious savoury flavour that pairs very well with most meats. When cooked, fennel has a similar texture to celery or onion and is a great low FODMAP swap for garlic and onion.

A glass bowl filled with beef stew. It contains large chunks of orange carrots, yellow potatoes, stewed red tomatoes and tender looking beef. The background is wooden.
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5 from 1 vote

Low FODMAP Slow Cooker Fennel Beef Stew

I am not a fan of these cold winter days. However, coming home to the strong smell of homemade slow cooker beef stew definitely helps!
Course: Dinner, Entree, Low FODMAP, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Diet: Gluten Free, Low Lactose
Keyword: crock pot, dairy free, gluten free, low fodmap, no garlic, no onion, one pot, slow cooker
Servings: 6
Author: Andrea Hardy


  • 1.5 cup chopped fresh fennel
  • 2 red peppers, chopped into large pieces
  • 2 cups chopped red potatoes with skins
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • ½ TBSP rosemary
  • ½ TBSP basil
  • ½ TBSP oregano
  • ½ TSP thyme
  • 1 can, 14 fl oz of no-salt added canned diced tomatoes
  • 1.5 cups onion/garlic free beef broth
  • 500 grams chunks of stew beef
  • 2 TBSP cornstarch


  • Chop all vegetables and place in a slow cooker.
  • Add spices, canned tomatoes, and beef broth.
  • On medium heat, fry beef in a frying pan until just brown.
  • Transfer beef to slow cooker.
  • Stir until evenly mixed and cover with a lid.
  • Let cook for 4-6 hours on high, or 10-12 hours on low, until meat is tender and cooked through.
  • minutes before the stew is done, mix cornstarch in a cup with a small amount of cold water until dissolved. Transfer cornstarch mixture to slow cooker and stir evenly.
  • After 30 minutes, serve warm with your favourite bread. (if low FODMAP I like Demspter’s Zero Gluten or Little Northern Bakehouse!)


Looking for a side dish to pair with this beef and fennel stew?
Try it with this low FODMAP tabouleh salad.
Other great mix-in options: a small dollop of sour cream or 1/4 of an avocado would be some other delicious topping options!

**Last reviewed February 2022 for Monash FODMAP portionsSaveSave


Categorized: Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Low FODMAP, Main Dish, Nut-Free

2 responses to “Low FODMAP Slow Cooker Fennel Beef Stew”

  1. 5 stars
    I liked it. I was trying to find some thing low fodmap recopies, that wasn’t the typical low fodmap beef stew and that had some flavor to it. But I did add some red chili flakes to give it a bit of spice, my stomach can handle some spice. Plus it’s a slow cooker recipe, which frees me up to do other things while it cooks. I did add some green beans, more carrots, and extra potatoes just to add to the make it more filling. I might add some collard greens or swiss chard because I like them.

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