Slow cooked ham in a smoky tomato sauce with beans and vegetables, perfect for those colder days.

10 mins

6 hours

393 kcals

serves 6

campfire stewPin

Slow cooker campfire stew

There is a reason that this slow cooker campfire stew is an absolute Slimming World classic. Because of the rich, smoky flavours and tender, fall-apart ham, it makes a great one-pot family meal, and can provide leftovers for meals throughout the week.

When you don’t have much time on your hands for prep but want to cook something that feels a bit special, this is a great recipe. The reason for this is that it mainly uses storecupboard staples, the slow cooker gently cooks the ham into fall-apart tenderness, and the paprika turns the beans into smoky, cowboy-worthy yumminess! The other great thing about this campfire stew slow cooker recipe is not only is it a great dinner, it’s also fab on top of a jacket potato the next day!

Don’t want to use bought baked beans?  Then try my version using cannellini beans instead: Bonfire Night stew!

If you are following Slimming World then the chances are that you will have heard people talking about this in group- this is because it’s a real syn-free one pot wonder! It’s easy to see why as it’s so easy to make, contains lots of goodness, and it filling and comforting!

What is Campfire stew?

This is a super simple slow cooker campfire stew recipe that’s perfect for those days when you need something a bit warming. The ham is slow cooked with onions, garlic, sweet peppers and baked beans in a tomato and smoky paprika sauce. I also add a red chilli to give the stew a bit of heat but you can leave this out if you don’t like chilli. Once cooked the ham can then be easily pulled apart and mixed through the sauce. This is a very quick dinner that can be prepared in the morning and then slow cooked during the day ready for an evening meal. The perfect healthy campfire stew for slow cooking.

The ingredients you need for this campfire stew

The simplest ingredients!

  • A JOINT OF GAMMON – I usually use a smoked gammon because I like my stew to have a deep smoky flavour. You can use a non-smoked gammon if you prefer.
  • BAKED BEANS – Just a standard tin of baked beans – brand or supermarket. You can also use the reduced salt and sugar varieties if you prefer. If you are the US you can use drained, cooked beans. Navy beans (haricot beans) are the beans used in canned beans, but you can just use your favourite type of beans in this, it’s a very versatile dish which can be easily adapted to suit your personal preferences.
  • ONIONS – For this recipe I use white onions. You can use two smaller onions or 1 large onion one.
  • PEPPERS – Red , yellow or green are fine to use.
  • GARLIC CLOVES – Good sized cloves, peeled and chopped
  • TOMATO PUREE – This will help to give a bit more depth to the sauce.
  • SMOKED PAPRIKA – This is where the majority of the smoky campfire flavour comes from. Be careful not to use the hot variety.
  • RED CHILLI – A small fresh red chilli helps to give this gammon stew a bit of a kick. If you don’t have any fresh chillis you can use a small amount of chilli powder – but use sparingly to not over power the dish.

The equipment you need to make campfire stew

KNIFE – A simple kitchen knife for chopping the vegetables.

CHOPPING BOARD – Plastic or wooden board works well. For hygiene reasons try to use a board that isn’t used for meat.

SLOW COOKER – There are a number of slow cookers available but you really don’t need anything fancy, I use a basic 3.5 litre slow cooker. To make sure it’s suitable for other slow cooker recipes like this Mexican black bean recipe that is cooked on low, just make sure it has a selection of cooking temperature presets.

What to serve with campfire stew?

  • At it’s most simple, this is delicious served with some fresh wholemeal bread (why not try this slow-cooker bread too?!)
  • Spoon over jacket potatoes
  • Mashed potato is a great addition
  • Rice
  • Perfect healthier chip option
  • These quick sweet potato fries work as a great side
  • Fresh green vegetables are a great side for this- broccoli, asparagus, green beans.

How to store campfire stew

This campfire stew recipe makes quite a lot so you may want to store the leftovers for a later date, It will store in the fridge for 3-4 days and you can freeze it for up to 3 months.

FRIDGE – Put the campfire stew into a reusable clean airtight container or a freezer safe bag. Make sure the stew has cooled to room temperature before placing it in the fridge. This can be stored for 3-4 days.

FREEZER – Again the campfire stew can be placed into a reusable airtight container or freezer safe bag and be stored for up to 3 months. It’s a good idea to date the container or bag so you know when three months has passed.

It’s important to make sure that you have a good seal on your bag or container so the flavour stays locked in.

How to reheat campfire stew?

The are a couple of ways that you can reheat campfire stew. Before starting to reheat the stew make sure that if you have removed it from the freezer that it has fully defrosted. This can be done in the fridge overnight or on the defrost setting on your microwave, just make sure to follow the manufacturers instructions.

STOVE – Put the campfire stew into a saucepan and heat on a medium heat until heated through. You will need to stir the stew occasionally to make sure that it cooks through thoroughly. The stirring also helps prevent the stew from sticking and drying out. If the stew looks a bit dry you can add a small amount of water.

MICROWAVE – You can also reheat campfire stew in the microwave. Put the amount you wish to reheat into a microwave safe container and cover with a microwave safe lid or some clingfilm. The stew will need cook for about 3-4 minutes depending on the portion size and the power of the microwave. Halfway through just give the stew a quick stir to make sure that it heats though evenly and prevent it drying out. If the stew is not heated through after 4 minutes then continue to microwave in 30 second intervals until fully heated though.

Let the stew stand for a minute before removing the lid or clingfilm as the internal steam is very hot.

To be totally sure that everything has reheated properly you can check that the internal temperature of the pork is 75°C or 165°F with a cooking thermometer.

How does campfire stew work on Slimming World?

Slimming World campfire stew is notorious in groups, it’s often one of the first things that people cook when they start Slimming World. One of the reasons that Slimming World campfire stew is so popular is that all of the ingredients in it are syn free.

The only thing you need to make sure of is that you remove any visible fat from the gammon before popping it in the slow cooker. Apart from that, the rest of the ingredients in this are syn free, so you can go ahead and enjoy it.

How many calories are in this campfire stew recipe?

This campfire stew recipe has 393 calories so it works really well if you are on a slimming diet plan.

Does this campfire stew recipe have any allergens?

This campfire stew recipe doesn’t contain any allergens.

DISCLAIMER: This information is given as a guide and is by no way definitive. It’s still really important you check all the ingredients you are planning on using to make sure that they don’t contain allergens if this is something that affects you.

This slow cooker campfire stew recipe really is very quick and simple. A hearty warming slow cooked stew that’s perfect for the colder evenings.


Do I need to soak the ham for campfire stew?

Ham that hasn’t been soaked can be extremely salty, and therefore it can make this stew much too strong and salty. The best way to avoid this is to soak your gammon joint in a large bowl of cold water overnight. If you are a little short on time, then just soak it for at least 2 hours (and fully drain before adding it into the slow-cooker)

Can I cook campfire stew in the oven?

Yes! If you’d rather cook this in the oven to speed things up that’s absolutely fine.  I cook it for about 2.5 hours at 180c. After 2 hours, just check it and give it a stir, and you may want to add a little extra water at this point if it’s starting to look dry.

What else can I add to campfire stew?

You can add extra favourite vegetables such as mushrooms, carrots, celery, leek, butternut squash or even throw in extra peppers! You could also stir in some spinach at the end of cooking.

When I’m cooking this for the kids too I will leave out the chilli and just drizzle a bit of chilli sauce on at the end. You can also always throw in some jalapeños if you want to give it a bit of a Tex-Mex twist! You can mix up the types of beans that you use, for example add 1 tin of baked beans and one tin of kidney beans or haricot beans.

How can I make a vegetarian version of slow cooker campfire stew?

You could replace the gammon with jackfruit (although it’s hard to source fresh jackfruit in the UK, canned jackfruit is available in most supermarkets). You can pull the jackfruit in a similar way to the ham so that it can resemble pulled meat. You can also leave out the ham and add in extra vegetables or different types of beans for a vegetarian version.

Should I use smoked or unsmoked gammon?

This really depends on personal taste. If you like that really smoky flavour then opt for a smoked joint, and if you prefer to keep it more subtle, use and unsmoked joint and you will get a mild smoked flavour from the smoked paprika.

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Close up top down shot of a pan of campfire stew

Slow cooker campfire stew

  • Author: Pip Payne
  • Total Time: 6 hours ten minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Diet: Low Calorie


Tender, pull-apart slow-cooked gammon and beans in a rich, smoky sauce- perfect comfort food from your slow-cooker, ideal for feeding the family.



  • 1 gammon joint (approx 750g) (all visible fat removed (pre-soaked overnight ideally, or for at least 2 hours- see the note above about this))
  • 2 onions (diced)
  • 2 sweet peppers (red, yellow or orange) (deseeded and diced)
  • 4 garlic cloves (peeled and finely chopped)
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 x 400g cans of baked beans 
  • 6 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 red chilli (finely chopped (optional- leave out if you’d rather it wasn’t spicy))


  1. Mix together all of the ingredients (apart from the ham) in the slow-cooker bowl.
  2. Move the mixture over to the side of the bowl, place the ham in, and then cover it over completely with the bean mixture.
  3. Place the lid on the slow-cooker and cook on high for 6 hours, or low for 10-12 hours.


When the ingredients are all in the slow-cooker, it does look like quite a dry mixture. You shouldn’t need to add any water as the juices come out of the meat, but if after a couple of hours it still looks very dry you could add a couple of cups of water or passata.

If you would prefer to make this in the oven, preheat the oven to 180c, pop all of the ingredients into a casserole dish, and oven cook for approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes until the ham is tender and pulls apart easily. Have a look at the campfire stew after about 2 hours to check it isn’t drying out too much, and if it is, just add a little extra water.

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 6 hours
  • Category: Main course
  • Method: Easy
  • Cuisine: Comfort food

Keywords: campfire stew

Hi, I’m Pip!

I’m a mum with a young family living in Devon.
My food is all about healthy, well balanced recipes that are made from scratch using whole foods and packed full of flavour.


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4 thoughts on “Campfire stew”

  1. This is one of my all time favourite recipes to cook when everyone comes round for the annual fireworks display. It’s also one of those recipes that that the children will eat as well!

  2. Hi just found this site and would love to try the recipes , are the recipes suitable for ninja foodie 15in 1 slow cooker

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