The England international nodded home Geoff Cameron's cross in the final minute of normal time after Jack Colback had given the hosts the lead
Despite dominating possession, Stoke looked set for defeat at St James' Park when Jack Colback gave Newcastle the lead in the 74th minute.
The midfielder found the net with a low shot beyond Asmir Begovic to put the Magpies on course to leapfrog Stoke and move into the top half of the table.
Mark Hughes' side may have been aggrieved to see Colback still on the field after he was not shown a second caution for a challenge on Victor Moses three minutes earlier.
But the introduction of Crouch proved telling as the substitute struck with a far-post header to earn Stoke the point their performance merited.
Stoke stay 10th in the table, two points ahead of 11th-placed Newcastle.
An unchanged Newcastle side were denied an opening goal by goalkeeping heroics from Begovic in the 10th minute.
The Bosnian reacted brilliantly to tip Remy Cabella's near-post header over the crossbar after the France international had ghosted into the box to meet a left-wing cross from compatriot Moussa Sissoko.
John Carver's side had some joy down the right of the Stoke defence without creating too much in the way of goalscoring opportunities, although Sammy Ameobi drew another save from Begovic with a curling effort from the edge of the area.
The hosts continued to show the greater quality in front of goal in a largely dour first half but were not clinical when they did create chances, Ayoze Perez firing narrowly wide of the left-hand post following a throughball from Cabella.
And Newcastle were almost punished for their lack of a cutting edge in first-half injury time as the agile Tim Krul was forced to spring to his left to turn Mame Biram Diouf's diving header wide.
Stoke's backline - already without the presence of captain Ryan Shawcross - was dealt a blow when Marc Wilson limped off to be replaced by Geoff Cameron.
Newcastle threw on Papiss Cisse - back from the Africa Cup of Nations - in search of the opener, which finally arrived when Colback netted his second of the season.
The former Sunderland man drilled into the bottom-left corner, just moments after his foul on Moses, from just inside the area following good link-up play between Daryl Janmaat and Sissoko.
Jon Walters saw a half-volley drift wide as Stoke attempted to snatch a point and their late pressure paid off as Crouch met Cameron's cross with a fine header to ensure a share of the spoils despite Fabricio Coloccini's attempted goal-line clearance.