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Vegan Beef Stew

Jennifer Hanes MS, RDN, LD

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Beef stew is one of those recipes that seems fairly ubiquitous in families of varying backgrounds.   Herbs and spices change around the world, but most cultures have some version of a beef stew.

South America has locro, cazuela de vaca, and caldo de res..

Europe has beef stroganoff, rabo de toro, and bacheofe.

Africa has beef tagine, t’fina pkaila, and ayamase.

Asia has bo kho, kare kare, gyusuji nikomi.

And that’s just a small sampling!

This vegan beef stew most resembles an Irish recipe, but it definitely isn’t an authentic or traditional recipe.


Modifications to a Traditional Beef Stew

The components of a beef stew will vary some, depending on the region of the world the recipe is from. 

In general, though, you’ll generally find beef chunks (duh), a seasoned broth, and various veggies, usually including root vegetables such as carrots and potatoes.

The first thing to figure out is how to replace the beef with a vegan option.  There are mock meats, beans, lentils, and pulled jackfruit.  However, I like to use seitan for this.  Seitan has a lot of glutamine, giving it a similar amount of umami as beef.

Then, you’ll have to choose a vegan broth or stock.  For this recipe, I’m using mushroom broth to keep up the warmth and umami associated with beef stew.  However, it can be difficult to find, so use what’s available to you.

Another option would be lentil broth, which will give you a stew consistency without using the thickener described in the final step.

If you already have a beef stew recipe you love, then all you have to do is swap out the seitan for the beef, choose a vegan stock, and you’re good to go!

Ingredients for Vegan Beef Stew

This recipe uses pretty basic ingredients, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to throw together.

  • Onion – I use sweet onions, but a yellow would work as well
  • Garlic – I buy garlic that’s already minced for ease, and so I don’t get that sticky residue on my fingers.
  • Mushrooms – I used white button mushrooms, but cremini mushrooms would work as well. You can buy them whole or pre-sliced. Just make sure you wash them thoroughly.
  • Carrots – I like to buy the baby carrots and cut them down.
  • Frozen or canned peas
  • Potatoes – I used the baby potatoes bought in the mesh bags because they are already washed and require less cutting.  You can use any waxy potato, such as red or Yukon gold potatoes. Cut them into bite-sized chunks.  You can keep them in a bowl of water to prevent them from browning before you use them.
  • Tomato paste – I buy tomato paste in the tube so I don’t waste the rest of the can.
  • Seasonings – for this recipe, I used dried thyme, dried oregano, and a dried Italian blend. I know thyme and oregano are both in most Italian blends, so feel free to omit them. I like the heavier emphasis on thyme and oregano in this dish.
  • Mushroom broth – or any other vegan broth you have available.
  • 2 cups prepare seitan – cut into bite-size pieces. I actually just use my hands to tear the seitan.
  • Dry red wine – I used Malbec, but any (not sweet) red wine would work. You could also use a stout beer instead.
  • Balsamic vinegar and soy sauce – for more flavor and umami
  • cornstarch and cold water – optional, but will thicken the broth up a bit

Making Your Vegan Beef Stew

Start by washing your hands and prepping all your veggies.  

In your soup pot or Dutch oven, heat up some olive oil on medium-high heat, then add your diced onions, salt, and pepper and saute until soft. Add your mushrooms and garlic and cook until the water released by the mushrooms is evaporated.

Add the carrots, potatoes, peas, seitan, tomato paste, and seasonings. Mix well.

Add the red wine to deglaze the pan, making sure to scrape the bottom of the pan with your spoon.

Add your broth, vinegar, and soy sauce and simmer for about 30 minutes.  

In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and water until smooth. Add into your broth and mix well.  Cook for 2 more minutes.

Tips and Tricks

Once the broth is added, the cooking time is largely dependent on the amount of time it takes to cook your carrots and potatoes. You can shorten the cooking time by cutting the vegetables smaller.

However, you still want the flavors to meld together, so I would let the broth simmer for at least 20 minutes or so.

If you use lentil broth instead of mushroom broth, you can get the same stew texture without the slurry, along with a little bit of extra protein.  But you will be trading some flavor for that.

Make sure to give the stew a taste before serving it.  You may need to adjust your seasonings a bit. I needed more salt for the first batch I tested and added a bit more soy sauce to the recipe to correct for that, but you may need more depending on your taste for salt.

Nutritional Benefits

This recipe is full of fiber and protein, along with lots of vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals. The variety of vegetables used gives us a wide range of different nutrients, as well as diverse fibers, which will, in turn, improve the health of your gut.

Compared to traditional beef stew, this stew is low in saturated fat, making it a heart-healthy option.  It is also lower in iron

This recipe is pretty low in fat. Fat tends to keep us full for longer after a meal, helps us absorb some vitamins and minerals, is needed for various metabolic functions, and keeps our skin and hair healthy. 

You may consider drizzling olive oil before serving or topping with some chopped nuts to boost your unsaturated fat intake.

Alterations for Special Dietary Needs

This recipe is free of most of the major allergies, including egg, fish, shellfish, nuts, and dairy.

To make it soy-free, you’ll need to omit or replace the soy sauce.  Tamari sauce or liquid aminos would work well.

It is not gluten-free, as seitan is made entirely of wheat gluten. You’d have to replace the protein with another option that is allergy-safe for those who are eating it.  Soy crumbles, tofu, beans, lentils, and mock meat could all work. 

Gardein and Beyond Meat both have beef chunk substitutes.

Variations for flavor and preferences

As with any recipe you try, go ahead and make it your own.

You could change out the seasonings you use to better suit your preference.  Consider a Greek seasoning blend, Za’atar, Garam Masala, or Herbs de Provence.   Urban Accents has a variety of seasoning blends.  So does Burlap & Barrel.

You could also change out the vegetables you use. Consider using celery, sweet potato, butternut squash, corn, or peppers in place of, or in addition to, the vegetables used in the recipe.

You could even add some fresh baby spinach in the last 3-4 minutes of cooking, maybe right before you mix your cornstarch slurry.

I like the deeper flavor the red wine or stout beer gives this vegan beef stew. However, if you don’t have any or don’t want to cook with alcohol, just replace the wine with another cup of broth.


Serving Suggestions

After you dish out the stew, add some toppings, such as fresh herbs or even some chopped nuts, to give it some extra texture.

Pepitas or walnuts would be really good on this.

This recipe can really stand on its own, and that’s how we usually eat stews that are this hearty. Just a little garnish and a second bowl if there’s room.  Growing up, I liked a slice of buttered bread with stew, though use vegan butter if needed.

This was how my son ate it.

For a more grown-up bread, consider serving cornbread, yeast rolls, or rosemary focaccia on the side.

Vegan beef stew in a white bowl with a thin slice of rosemary focaccia bread.

Vegan “Beef” Stew

Vegan "Beef" stew that is full of flavor with no animal products in sight!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: dinner
Cuisine: American, Comfort, Easy
Diet: Vegan, Vegetarian
Prep Time: 9 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 9 minutes
Servings: 6
Author: Jenn



  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 sweet onion chopped
  • 4-5 cloves garlic minced
  • 8 oz cremini mushrooms washed and sliced
  • .5 lbs carrots chopped to bite-size
  • ½ cup frozen peas
  • 1 ½ lbs baby potatoes chopped to bite-sized
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 3 tsp dried Italian seasoning blend
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3-4 cups mushroom broth
  • 1 lb prepared seitan
  • 1 cup dry red wine or stout beer
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2-3 Tbsp soy sauce low-sodium
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp water


  • Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in the soup pot. Add in diced onions, season with salt and pepper, and saute until soft.
    1 Tbsp olive oil, 1 sweet onion
  • Add garlic and mushrooms. Saute until water released by mushrooms is evaporated and mushrooms are tender.
    4-5 cloves garlic, 8 oz cremini mushrooms
  • Add carrots, potatoes, peas, seitan, tomato paste, and seasonings
    .5 lbs carrots, 1/2 cup frozen peas, 1 1/2 lbs baby potatoes, 2 Tbsp tomato paste, 2 tsp dried thyme, 2 tsp smoked paprika, 2 tsp dried oregano, salt and pepper, 1 lb prepared seitan, 3 tsp dried Italian seasoning blend
  • Add red wine or beer to deglaze the pan, making sure to scrape the bottom of the pan with your spoon.
    1 cup dry red wine
  • Add broth, vinegar, and soy sauce and cook for 30 minutes, until potatoes and carrots are cooked thoroughly.
    3-4 cups mushroom broth, 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar, 2-3 Tbsp soy sauce
  • Whisk the cornstarch and water into a slurry. Add to the stew, stir well and cook for 1-2 more minutes.
    1 Tbsp cornstarch, 2 Tbsp water


Nutrition Facts are an estimate only. Differences are expected when making substitutions for any ingredient or when different brands are used.


Calories: 310kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 0.4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 796mg | Potassium: 975mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 7084IU | Vitamin C: 31mg | Calcium: 91mg | Iron: 4mg

*Nutrition Facts are an estimate only. Differences are expected when making substitutions for any ingredient or when different brands are used.

*We may earn commissions from qualifying purchases made through links on our site. These commissions help support our work in providing valuable content to our readers. Thank you for your support!

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Can I make Beef Stew Ahead?

Absolutely! In fact, I encourage it.  Stews almost always taste better the second day anyway. 

The flavors have more time to mingle.  

Storing and Reheating Leftovers

I usually store this stew in the pot it was made in, with the lid on. The next day, I just pull it out of the fridge and place it on the stove top, on low heat, until warmed through.

I usually have to add some more broth, as it will thicken overnight.  

I use 3 cups of broth and 1 cup of red wine for this recipe.  When I reheat it, I simply add the remaining 1 cup of broth from the container.

 Have you tried this recipe? Leave a comment below or on my Facebook page!

Or, maybe you’re looking for something a bit lighter?   A former intern shared her recipe for hot and sour soup!

Need help finding more new recipes your multivore family can all agree on? Try my 7-Day Vegetarian Cooking Challenge!

5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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