Beef Stew with Ghoulish Mashed Potatoes Recipe
Beef Stew with Ghoulish Mashed Potatoes Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Beef Stew with Ghoulish Mashed Potatoes Recipe

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Kids of all ages will be delighted with the seasonal twist on this hearty beef stew, which also features mushrooms and parsnips. Rich mashed potato "ghosts" are piped onto each bowlful. The cook will love the convenient slow cooker preparation. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. Cook: 8 hours
MAKES:6 servings
Test Kitchen Approved
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. Cook: 8 hours
MAKES: 6 servings


  • 2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 pound fresh mushrooms, halved
  • 2 cups fresh baby carrots
  • 2 medium parsnips, peeled, halved lengthwise and sliced
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1-1/2 cups beef broth
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 8 medium potatoes (2-1/3 pounds), peeled and cubed
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 6 tablespoons butter, cubed
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons water


  1. In a 5-qt. slow cooker, combine the first 11 ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 8-9 hours or until beef and vegetables are tender.
  2. About 30 minutes before serving, place potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until tender. Drain. Return potatoes to pan; add the sour cream, butter and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Mash until smooth.
  3. Set aside 12 peas for garnish. Add remaining peas to the slow cooker. Increase heat to high. In a bowl, whisk the flour, water and remaining salt until smooth; stir into stew. Cover and cook for 5 minutes or until thickened.
  4. Divide stew among six bowls. Place mashed potatoes in large resealable plastic bag; cut a 2-in. hole in one corner. Pipe ghost potatoes onto stew; garnish with reserved peas. Yield: 6 servings.
Originally published as Beef Stew with Ghoulish Mashed Potatoes in Halloween Party Favorites 2009 2009, p19

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Reviewed Sep. 6, 2014

"Super tasty on a cold fall evening, especially the mashed potatoes. Plus tons of compliments on how cute the ghosts are. It does take a bit of work, but I would say it is totally worth it."

Reviewed Oct. 16, 2013

"I haven't made this yet, but will. ChandiP, what type of beef stew mix makes it thicken up? I go through a lot of trouble pouring the liquid out at the end, making it thicken on the stove with corn starch and them pouring the gravy back in. Anyone out there know how to make it thicken better in the crock pot? I have never had any luck with pouring in the flour mixture."

Reviewed Jul. 28, 2012

"I loved this stew it was fun to make I did make a few changes though. I browned the beef in some flour and a packet of beef stew mix in a little bit of oil before putting it in the crock pot, So I didn't have to add the thickener at the end it came out perfect. I did however add a little more both at the beginning. I used left over mashed potatoes and just warmed them up in the microwave before making the ghost and I also added a sliced olive for a mouth. Aside from those changes I followed the ingredients exactly. We will be making this stew year round because its just fun and different."

Reviewed Nov. 5, 2011

"So cute! I made this early Halloween morning and it cooked all day. We came home from a night of trick or treating and gobbled it up! YUM!"

Reviewed Oct. 30, 2011

"I haven't made this yet, but I just wanted to comment on the sheer genius of the ghoulish potatoes, really awesome."

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