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Slow Cooker Sunday: Middle Eastern-inspired lamb stew for a cozy meal

We’ve taken your favorite meaty stew and kicked it up a few notches with some seriously tasty spices. This Emirati lamb stew is made with amazing Middle Eastern spices, hearty root vegetables and prime cuts of lamb.

This is hands down one of my new favorite fall recipes. It’s as comforting as your favorite stew but has so much more flavor than the stuff you grew up on (that is, unless you grew up eating this — in that case, lucky!).

Lamb stew

Slow cooker Emirati lamb stew recipe

Adapted from Saveur Magazine

If you can’t find bzar seasoning, which is a Middle Eastern spice, then use your favorite exotic seasoning blend (za’atar works great too).

Serves 4-6

Prep time: 15 minutes | Cook time: 8 hours | Total time: 8 hours 15 minutes


  • 2-1/2 pounds prime-quality lamb shoulder, trimmed and cut into pieces
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 small zucchini, sliced
  • 1/2 head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2-1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons bzar seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 4 cups cooked rice
  • Fresh basil, for garnish


  1. Liberally salt and pepper the lamb. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil. Add the lamb, and cook until just browned on each side, about 3 to 6 minutes.
  2. To the slow cooker, add all the ingredients (except the rice and basil), and mix.
  3. Turn on low, and cook for about 8 hours or until the lamb is fork tender.
  4. To serve, pour the stew over the rice, and garnish with fresh basil.

More lamb recipes

Lightened-up lamb tagine
Lamb and feta chili
Grilled lamb shawarma recipe

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