Hearty Vegan Stew Recipe (2024)

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Hearty Vegan Stew Italian style featuring gnocchi dumplings, meaty jackfruit, peas and carrots and a thick red wine gravy. No beef, one pot comforting stew that checks all the boxes. Rich, savory and whole foods plant based recipe.

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Vegan Stew

You’ll find a number of plant based stews on this blog, it’s really hard for me to actually choose a favorite. From the now famous jackfruit stew to my soy curl veggie stew, spiced chickpea stew, and this comforting mushroom bourguignon, they are all equally delicious stews but also unique in the way they deliver their deliciousness.

And if you make a loaf of this crusty bread to dunk into it you are without a doubt the king / queen of your castle!

Recipe Tips + FAQ

  • Which jackfruit should you use in this stew ? Glad you asked as this is very important! The jackfruit has to be young unripe, so before it gets sweet. My favorite for making stews are these organic jackfruit pieces i buy in bulk from amazon. You could also use canned jackfruit packed in water / brine not syrup. Make sure to rinse it well before cooking.
  • How do you thicken the stew ? Before adding the veggie stock to the pot I whisked in some whole wheat pastry flour. This way the stew naturally thickens as it cooks and no lumps are formed. If you prefer a thinner stew or want to make it gluten-free you can omit the flour. The gnocchi will add lots of body and texture too.
  • Can I use potatoes instead of gnocchi ? Sure you can use about 1 pound of diced golden potatoes if you prefer or any homemade dumplings.
  • Storage: The leftovers keep well in the fridge up to 4 days. They can also be frozen in lidded freezer proof containers or mason jars up to 4 months. Take care not to overfill the jars or containers and remember to thaw out in the fridge the night before reheating.
  • How to serve it: Since this is already such a hearty meal, there’s no need for rice or pasta. A thick slice of homemade bread charred under the broiler and rubbed with garlic aka bruschetta is as perfect as it’s gonna get. However you can top it with these olive oil mashed potatoes and turn it into an awesome Italian style Shepherd’s pie.

more hearty stews

Vegan Shepherd’s Pie

Vegan Zuppa Toscana

Mushroom Bourguignon

Red Lentil Stew.

Hearty Vegan Stew Recipe (8)

4.67 from 9 votes

Hearty Vegan Stew

Hearty vegan stew Italian style featuring gnocchi dumplings, meaty jackfruit, peas and carrots and a thick red wine gravy. No beef, one pot comforting stew that checks all the boxes. Rich, savory and whole foods plant based recipe.

Print Recipe

Prep Time:15 minutes mins

Cook Time:1 hour hr

Total Time:1 hour hr 15 minutes mins


  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 2 carrots sliced into rounds
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 lb jackfruit pieces rinsed well
  • 1 lb gnocchi Italian potato dumplings
  • 1 cup fresh tomatoes diced
  • 3/4 cup frozen green peas (thawed out and rinsed)
  • 8 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika you can sub sweet paprika
  • 1/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/3 cup fresh Italian parsley roughly chopped
  • 6 cups vegetable stock low sodium
  • 1/3 cup red wine
  • sea salt + black pepper to taste

US Customary - Metric


  • Preheat a heavy bottom dutch oven over medium low heat and sautee the onion and carrot in a drop of oil or a splash of water until the onion is translucent. (omit oil to be WFPB & Plantricious compliant).

  • Stir in the garlic and cook a few seconds until fragrant.

  • Add the jackfruit pieces, thyme, bay and the red wine. Simmer until the wine is almost evaporated. (It's very important that you allow the wine to evaporate or the stew won't taste right).

  • Meanwhile whisk the flour with the vegetable stock until combined and add it to the pot with the jackfruit. Bring to a simmer and stir in the paprika and cloves.

  • Cook everything together for 45 minutes until the jackfruit is fork tender.

  • Stir in the gnocchi, tomatoes and green peas and cook a few extra minutes until the gnocchi float to the top and the green peas are cooked through to your liking.

  • Discard the thyme sprigs and whole cloves and season the stew to your taste with sea salt and black pepper.

  • Stir in the fresh parsley and serve!

Slow Cooker Method:

  • Saute the onion and carrot with a pinch of salt until translucent. Stir in the garlic and cook 30 seconds longer.

  • Add the cooked onion, carrot and garlic to a slow cooker with the jackfruit, red wine and all the spices.

  • Whisk in the flour and veggie stock and add them to the slow cooker. Cover and cook on slow for 5-6 hours or on hight 2 - 3 hours. Add the gnocchi and green peas and return back to high heat for 20 minutes or so until the gnocchi are cooked through. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.


  • You can use about 1 pound of diced golden potatoes instead of gnocchi or any homemade dumplings.
  • The leftovers keep well in the fridge up to 4 days. They can also be frozen in lidded freezer proof containers or mason jars up to 4 months. Take care not to overfill the jars or containers and remember to thaw out in the fridge the night before reheating.
  • WFPB and Plantricious - for the recipe to be fully compliant you must omit all oil and make sure to use a whole grain gnocchi made with whole wheat, brown rice or corn flour.
  • If using canned jackfruit but would like to give it a brown color, simply rinse it and marinate in 2 tablespoons of soy sauce for 15 minutes before adding it to the stew.


Calories: 508kcal | Carbohydrates: 116g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 458mg | Potassium: 661mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 6992IU | Vitamin C: 32mg | Calcium: 187mg | Iron: 7mg

Course: Main Course

Cuisine: Italian

Keyword: jackfruit, meatless stew, vegan stew

Servings: 4 people

Calories: 508kcal

Author: Florentina


Hearty Vegan Stew Recipe (2024)


What adds richness to a stew? ›

If were talking while it's being made; garlic, onion, various herbs, “horse chester sauce” tomato paste, stone ground mustard, or even a small splash of A1 sauce will all “rich up” the broth. So will sauteing the veggies in butter before adding to the stew.

How do you make stew taste richer? ›

If it tastes off-balance, add some finishing flavors to bring it to the next level. Try adding soy sauce or Worcestershire for extra savory (or umami) flavor, a touch of honey or brown sugar for sweetness, lemon zest or vinegar for brightness or chili powder or smoked paprika for spice and depth.

What vegetables are good in stew? ›

Although I added carrots, little red potatoes, rutabaga and cremini mushrooms, you have plenty of options. Parsnip, turnip, pearl onions, squash and fennel will also work. Stir them in gently and immediately return the pot to the oven for the final hour of cooking.

What is the basic stew formula? ›

The Ideal Stew Ratio: Two Parts Meat, One Part Vegetable

Most meat-based stews call for tough, inexpensive cuts of meat, while vegetarian recipes include the same onions, carrots, and celery typical of a beef stew. Two parts meat to one part vegetables is the perfect ratio for a meaty stew.

What does adding milk to stew do? ›

People add milk to soups for several reasons: To add creaminess: Milk can add a creamy texture to soups, making them feel more luxurious and comforting. To balance flavors: Milk can help to tone down the acidity in soups, making them more palatable.

What is the best thickening agent for stew? ›

The flour helps to thicken a stew as it cooks. Whisk a teaspoon of flour in a little cold water to make a slurry, then stir into the stew as it's cooking. Don't add dry flour directly to the stew as it may clump. After adding the slurry, bring the stew to boil.

How do you fix a tasteless stew? ›

Personally I would add as many aromatics and flavor enhancing substances that I like. If the stew is already finished, then you can sauté onions, garlic peppers, celery and carrots then add them to the stew. I would also add some herbs and finally salt and pepper to taste.

What makes stew more flavorful? ›

Tips To Give Your Beef Stew A Flavour Punch
  • Five Tips To Make Your Beef Stew The Best.
  • Add A Little Heat.
  • Good Quality Stock Goes A Long Way.
  • Add Vegetables For More Flavour.
  • Soup Mixes Are An Ideal Seasoning And Thickening Aid.
  • Serve Your Beef Stew In A New Way.

What can I add to stew to give it flavour? ›

If so here are some tips for making your stews tasty and have your family begging you for more!
  1. Choose your ingredients wisely. ...
  2. Start off with a good flavour base. ...
  3. Add vegetables. ...
  4. Add flavourings to taste. ...
  5. Add Herbs and/or Spices. ...
  6. Spices: (Optional) ...
  7. Add stock or wine/beer. ...
  8. Add thickeners.

Should you saute vegetables for stew? ›

Sautéing Veggies Is A Crucial Step

The high heat unlocks certain flavor compounds in chopped vegetables, releasing different aromas and profiles. One of the best examples is cooking garlic and onions. Raw, these alliums are potent, pungent, and can be overwhelming.

Do you cook vegetables before putting in stew? ›

Whether it's the classic French mirepoix of onions, celery, and carrots cooked in butter, the New Orleans holy trinity of onions, celery, and bell peppers sweated in oil, or perhaps just some leeks and garlic cooked down in olive oil, most stews and soups start the same way: sautéeing veggies.

What is the most flavorful meat for stew? ›

For example, chuck is a lean and tender cut of beef that works well in stew. However, if you would prefer a thicker and more flavorful stew, short ribs or oxtail may be better choices for you. To make a delicious stew, choose good-quality ingredients.

What is the liquid in stew called? ›

Broth is a thin soup made of the water in which flavor-enhancing ingredients like meat, vegetables, and herbs and spices have been simmered. The liquid is strained after cooking to remove the flavoring ingredients. The broth can be served on its own or used as the base for a heartier soup or stew.

Should you simmer stew covered or uncovered? ›

Simmering and Boiling

In the event that your goal is to keep moisture in—like when your pot of soup, stew, or sauce is already at the right consistency, but you want to keep cooking the vegetables and melding the flavors—leave the lid on to keep any more liquid from evaporating.

Should I simmer stew with lid on or off? ›

After you bring your stew to a gentle simmer it's important to cook with the lid on as it helps to trap the liquid inside, cook the ingredients evenly, enhance the combination of flavours and prevent the ingredients from drying out.

How do I make my beef stew richer? ›

My way is to brown the beef which adds flavor, use a flavorful beef broth, and season the stew well. I also like to add a bit of dark roux or dry roux (browned flour) for flavor. My wife's way is to boil water, dry onion soup mix, and the beef for a while and then add the vegetables. Both stews are flavorful.

How to add rich flavor to beef stew? ›

Add the wine and tomato paste to the onions and other aromatics in a pan before slow cooking. Plus, this helps to really deglaze any fond that's left. This ingredient is one that your mum and nan would probably use in their stews. It adds a bit of tang, sweetness and savoury spices that give an extra punch of flavour.

How do you add richness to a dish? ›

Sources: oil, butter, animal fat, avocado, cream, cheese, almonds, pine nuts, etc. Use fat to add body and richness when a dish tastes too thin or weak. Add spices and herbs directly to fat to enhance their flavor.

What adds richness to food? ›

Fat adds richness, seasoning, and/or a smooth textural finish. Acid brightens -- think grilled fish with lemon. Heat brings new possibilities; a sear, bake, or confit all find different ways to alter an ingredient chemically.


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