This Vegan Beef Stew Is The Ultimate Comfort Food

Who said you need meat to make a beef stew? This vegan take is sure to impress any guests


2 Minutes Read

A bowl of vegan beef stew made with plant-based ingredients This plant-based stew includes cremini mushrooms - Media Credit: ZardyPlants

It’s now possible to get vegan versions of pretty much any animal product you can think of – from cheese and eggs to eel and foie gras. Not everyone on a plant-based diet eats vegan meat, of course, but it’s perfectly possible to enjoy all the meals you did before without any animal involved. If you’re craving beef stew, here’s how to make it vegan.

Beef stew is eaten all over the world, and is a hugely popular comfort food. It generally consists of bite-sized pieces of beef, which are slow cooked or simmered with a mix of vegetables like carrots, potatoes, and onions. These are all cooked together alongside spices, and often red wine. Traditional beef stew recipes are far from vegan, but it’s possible to make an entirely meat-free version of the dish with just one simple swap. The below recipe comes from ZardyPlants, and uses a vegan version of beef. You can either make this from scratch with seitan (using their vegan seitan recipe here) or you may be able to find a vegan alternative in the supermarket (alternatively you could use tofu, soy curls, or soy chunks – see the recipe notes for more information).

Stock is a key ingredient in a beef stew, as it gives it a richness and depth of flavor. Rather than vegetable stock, this recipe uses vegan beef stock, which can generally be bought online (see the recipe notes). This vegan beef stew uses a wide range of vegetables, including mushrooms, potatoes, and carrots.

Here’s how to make it.

Rich, hearty, and comforting, this Vegan Beef Stew is the perfect cozy dinner. It is packed with vegetables and vegan beef chunks.
A bowl of vegan beef stew made with plant-based ingredients next to some crusty bread
4 from 2 votes
Duration25 mins
Servings10 cups


  • 1 medium yellow or sweet onion
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, minced (more or less to taste)
  • ½ pound carrots, diced
  • 1 ½ pounds potatoes, diced (peel if you wish)
  • 1 pound crimini or white button mushrooms, halved or quartered (omit if you dislike)
  • 2 cups diced or torn vegan "beef"
  • 3-4 cups vegan “beef” broth (see note 2)
  • 1 cup dry red wine (see note 3, can replace with broth)
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp agave, optional
  • 1 cup lentils, optional (if using, add 2 additional cups broth)


Note about seitan

  • f you’re using my instant pot seitan (whether you use a pressure cooker or stovetop, instructions for both are included), make it before you start the soup and let it rest for 10 minutes before cubing as much of it as you’d like to use. I used about half of it for this recipe and kept half for stir-fries.


  • Saute onions: Alright, so first, let’s start by sauteing onions in a large nonstick pot over medium high heat. Stir the onions frequently and cook for about 3-4 minutes or until translucent. If you cook with oil, you’re certainly welcome to start with that (I’d use a neutral flavored oil, not olive or coconut). Personally, I cook with water, so I just add a splash of water (about a tablespoon) whenever the onions start to stick.
  • Add garlic: Next add the garlic and saute for another minute.
  • Add mushrooms: Then add the mushrooms. Saute for another 3 minutes.
  • Add veggies and herbs: Now add the carrots, potatoes, and herbs & spices and stir. 
  • Add seitan: Add the vegan seitan chunks (if using) and red wine (if using) to deglaze the pot. Stir again. Note, if you’re using tofu, I’d add it once the potatoes and carrots are almost cooked through. If adding lentils, add them now (don’t forget the extra broth to compensate; 2 cups broth per 1 cup lentils).
  • Adjust the flavors if needed, and remove from heat. Serve alongside some crusty bread, rice, or grain of your choice!
  • Note 1: If you are gluten-free or otherwise don’t want to make or use seitan, you can use a number of things instead–here are just a few options: Cubed super firm tofu, soy curls or textured soy chunks, beans, lentils, or a store-bought vegan beef substitute.
  • Note 2: I used Better Than Bouillon No Beef Broth Base. It’s delicious and beefy but vegan. If you can’t find it (I buy mine online, that’s the only place I can personally find this flavor), you could try vegan bouillon cubes or prepared vegan beef broth. You can also just use vegetable broth and it will work just fine. To get it a browner color, you could add a little reduced sodium soy sauce.
  • Note 3: Beef and beef stew are often cooked with red wine. It adds an AMAZING depth of flavor and all the alcohol will cook away so it won’t get you drunk. It’s easy to find vegan red wine with the Barnivore website–not all wine is vegan, unfortunately. If you don’t want to use wine, just add a similar amount (about 1 cup) of broth and it will still taste great.

This recipe was republished with permission from Liz and Paul from ZardyPlants. You can find the original recipe here, and check out more of their recipes here.

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