Best Vegetable Stew (Vegan!)

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This Vegetable Stew is the perfect recipe to make when the weather starts to cool down. It’s jam-packed with veggies, and tastes like my mom’s classic beef stew– only without the meat!

How Do You Make Vegetable Stew from Scratch?

The key to a good vegetable stew is using lots of fresh vegetables, so the hardest part of this recipe is simply chopping up all of the veggies before you get started.

Once the vegetables are chopped, you’ll sauté the aromatic veggies, like onions, carrots, celery, and mushrooms, until they are soft. Then, add in the rest of the veggies and herbs, and sprinkle in a little bit of flour. (I use a gluten-free blend to keep this soup gluten-free, but any type of flour should work.)

How to Thicken Vegan Stew

Adding flour is traditional in stew recipes, as it helps to thicken the broth.

If you’d rather keep this soup grain-free, try using an immersion blender at the end of the cooking cycle, to puree the soup slightly instead. That should offer a similar thickened result, but be careful not to over-blend! A good stew should definitely have lots of texture.

spoon in a bowl of vegetable stew

What are the Best Vegetables to Put in Soup?

Soups are a great way to clean out the veggies from your fridge, so you can add in practically anything you have on hand.

Here’s what I suggest using:

  • Onion
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Mushrooms
  • Garlic
  • Potatoes (Yukon gold or sweet potatoes)
  • Canned jackfruit (optional, but adds a meat-like texture)
  • Plenty of seasonings

If you’re not a huge fan of mushrooms (like me) try chopping them very small, so that their texture won’t be as noticeable. They really blend into this veggie stew, and add extra antioxidants to each bite.

chopped vegetables on board and in pot

Is Vegetable Stew Good for You?

Vegetable stew is a comforting way to eat an entire bowl of vegetables, so you’ll be flooding your body with vitamins and minerals with each bite.

Here’s what I love about the ingredients:

  • Mushrooms. Mushrooms are loaded with antioxidants, which may help protect your brain as you age. (Researchers at Penn State recommend eating 5 button mushrooms each day.) Mushrooms are also rich in B vitamins, which help the body produce red blood cells, and carry oxygen throughout the body.
  • Onion. Onions are also high in antioxidants, including quercetin. In one study, quercetin-rich onion skin extract was shown to significantly reduce systolic blood pressure. Regularly eating onions may also promote heart health by reducing high triglyceride levels and lowering inflammation.
  • Jackfruit. Jackfruit is rich in antioxidants, and and is a good source of fiber. Jackfruit may help to balance blood sugar levels, possibly because of the flavanoids it contains. It’s also high in vitamin C and carotenoids, which may help to lower inflammation.
  • Yukon Gold Potatoes. Did you know one medium Yukon gold potato meets almost half of your daily Vitamin C needs? (According to the USDA database.) This variety of potato is also a good source of potassium, which may help to lower blood pressure.
  • Garlic. In one large study, garlic supplementation was shown to reduce the number of colds by 63% compared to a placebo. (The length of cold symptoms was also reduced by 70% in this study!)

If you have more vegetables to use up, I think bell peppers, zucchini, and even winter squash would be delicious in this soup. And if you don’t like something, feel free to leave it out!

vegetable stew on ladle

vegetable stew in white bowl
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5 from 5 votes

Best Vegetable Stew (Vegan!)

This Vegetable Stew is a comforting way to eat more veggies and clean out your fridge! It has a meat-like texture, thanks to jackfruit, and tastes like a vegetarian version of my mom's classic beef stew.
Course Soup
Cuisine vegan
Keyword vegan stew, vegetable stew
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 196kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion , chopped (1.5 cups)
  • 5 carrots , chopped (2 cups)
  • 3 celery ribs , chopped (1 cup)
  • 8 ounces mushrooms , chopped (3 cups)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme (or 1 tablespoon fresh)
  • 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose gluten-free flour (see notes)
  • 8 ounces Yukon gold or red potatoes , cut into 1/2-inch pieces (2 cups)
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 (14 oz.) can green jackfruit , drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons tamari (gluten-free soy sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar (optional)
  • 1 cup frozen peas

Instructions

  • Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Saute the onion, carrots, celery, and mushrooms until they start to soften, about 8 minutes.
    satueeing veggies in a pan
  • Add in the garlic, thyme, and tomato paste, and stir for 1 minute. Add in the flour, and stir to coat the vegetables.
    flour added to vegetables in pot
  • Add in the potatoes and water, and bring the liquid to a boil. While you wait for the water to boil, shred the jackfruit with your fingers, to create a shredded meat texture. Rinse again, to make sure you remove as much brine as possible, then add it to the pot, along with the salt and tamari. Add the balsamic vinegar if you want more of a "wine" flavor, or leave it out. (You can also add this at the end, if you'd rather taste it without the vinegar, first.)
    jackfruit added to stew
  • Once the soup is boiling, lower the heat and cover. Simmer until the potatoes are very tender, about 25 to 30 minutes. Remove the lid and stir in the frozen peas, which will thaw quickly.
    peas added to stew
  • Adjust the seasonings to taste, adding salt and pepper as needed, then serve warm. Leftover stew can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week, or you can freeze it for up to 3 months.
    ladle lifting up a serving of vegetable stew

Notes

Nutrition is for 1 of 4 servings. This information is automatically calculated, and is just an estimate, not a guarantee.
This soup is very adaptable, so feel free to use what you have on hand!
I tested this recipe with Bob's Red Mill gluten-free flour and King Arthur's cup-for-cup gluten-free flour blend, and both worked well. I imagine it will work with any type of flour (gluten-free or not) so please let me know what you try in the comments below!

Nutrition

Calories: 196kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1837mg | Potassium: 941mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 13212IU | Vitamin C: 37mg | Calcium: 71mg | Iron: 3mg

More Vegan Soup Recipes

Need some more cold weather soup ideas? Here are some of my favorites!

If you try this vegetable stew recipe, please leave a comment below letting me know how you like it! And if you make any modifications, I’d love to hear about those, too. We can all benefit from your experience.

Reader Feedback: What’s your favorite cold-weather comfort food?

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Comments

marisa mandler

I’m so excited to try this. Can you use coconut or almond flour? And how long to cook if you use the instant pot? Thanks!

    Megan Gilmore

    I haven’t tested this with almond flour or coconut flour, but my guess is that they won’t thicken well. For grain-free recipes, I usually use arrowroot or tapioca starch to thicken instead. You’d need to mix 1-2 T of the starch with 2 T of cold water first, to make a slurry, then you can add it to the hot soup to thicken it up. Don’t add a thickener to the Instant Pot until after the soup is cooking, or you could trigger a burn error. My guess is 15 minutes at high pressure, with a 10-minute natural release would work.

stephanie

Hi there, I’d like to add beans instead of jackfruit. What do you think would go best?

    Sasha harvey

    Hey Stephanie,

    I’m making this recipe right now and I added in the northern white beans in stead of jackfruit and its amazing!! Happy cooking to you all!

    Thank you Megan for the constant inspiration and support!

      Megan Gilmore

      Thanks for sharing, Sasha! I’m glad to hear it worked well with the white beans, too.

Elizabeth Merian

I made this tonight and thought it was VERY good! My only modification was to use Kettle Fire Beef Bone Broth + 2 teaspoons of Better than Bouillon instead of just “water.” The stew was very good and would serve more than 4 people, I would say more like 7-8.

Jen

Saw this post just this morning and it was perfect to make for a “last dinner before I MUST go to the store” meal! 🙂 I had everything. Except tomato paste… who doesn’t have a can of that? Oh well–I subbed some organic ketchup. The whole family including the just recently picky 8 year old enjoyed it. THANK YOU for the tip on chopping the mushrooms small (he didn’t even notice)

Barbara House

Can you omit the peas from the Vegan Stew?

CheRry

This was so easy and good. Is it just as good without the jackfruit?

Andrea

I made this last night and it taste pretty good but it is almost all stuff and very little liquid. I added the amount in the recipe. Any question what I did wrong? Or more importantly ideas on how to fix it? I know I could just add more water but then that would reduce the flavorings. But I wasn’t sure how much more spices/tomato paste to add per water added. (I don’t cook can you tell)

    Megan Gilmore

    Stews are typically pretty thick, so there’s not a ton of broth like there is with a typically soup recipe. If you need to add more water, the most important thing to add is extra salt, so you don’t lose the flavor. A squeeze of lemon juice can brighten up the flavor, too. Just keep seasoning it to your taste!

Terra

Best vegetable stew indeed! I love how thick and hearty this stew is! Thank you for another outta-the-ballpark recipe, Megan. 🙂 I made two little tweaks:
– Sautéed the onions, carrots, celery, and mushrooms in water instead of oil
– Added a tsp of vegetable Better Than Bouillon with the water (and reduced salt accordingly)
Next time, I think I might stick a bay leaf in there, too!

Question: I loved this soup as-is, but I was thinking it would be fun to add a spicy kick in the next batch. Megan, what kind of spice would you recommend for a recipe like this? The things I can think of feel soundly housed in other types of dishes (chilli flakes in something more Italian, chipotle chilli pepper in Mexican, etc.), but maybe I’m limiting myself! Thank you so much in advance! 🙂

    Lee

    What about East Indian style, adding curry powder (your choice how spicy), with diced apple or chutney, and serving over rice?

Kathleen

This was really tasty! It was a cold, windy, snowy day here, perfect for a hot stew! This recipe did not disappoint! Didn’t have any jackfriut, so added an assortment of beans for protein. Very delish! The broth was really tasty! Thanks!

Dafne

Hi Megan! I made this stew and turned out so delicious!!! I just omitted the jackfruit because didn’t have any but the result was so great! Even my kids enjoyed it. Thanks a lot for these amazing recipes 🙂

Julie

This was amazing!!!!
I didnt’ have the jackfruit and made it once without and then another version with lentils.This is one of my favourite recipes.:)

Beth

Hi!
Any suggestions if we don’t like mushrooms?

Linda

Hi Megan! I have to say that I was quite skeptical about this recipe. I was seriously blown away by the stew. The flavors and textures were perfect. I haven’t had a stew this good since I stopped eating meat eight years ago.

The only subs I used were coconut aminos instead of tamari and rice flour to thicken. Thank you so much for this recipe!!!! It will be in regular rotation.

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