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This crowd-pleasing Vegan Beef Stew is made with a full-bodied broth, tender vegan “beef” pieces, and hearty potatoes. It’s the perfect cozy recipe to serve with crusty bread and fresh parsley for a pop of freshness. All you need is 12 simple ingredients!
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Once the weather cools down, all we crave are cozy recipes, and vegan soups and stews are the perfect thing! They’re hearty, and filling, can be served as stand-alone meals, and always make the best weekly meal prep. If you love this hearty vegan stew, make sure to try our popular Vegan Broccoli Cheddar Soup and Easy Vegan Chili next!
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Soy curls: The meat substitute of choice in this beefless beef stew, and many of our favorite vegan recipes like Vegan Philly Cheesesteak, Vegan Carne Asada, Vegan Chicken Salad, and Filipino Adobo Inspired Jerky.
- Vegan beef broth: Vegetable broth or mushroom broth will work, but vegan beef broth creates a deeper, more umami-rich flavored broth. We typically use Better than Bouillon Vegetarian No Beef Base, but any vegan beef broth of choice will work.
- Flour: In addition to making the vegan beef more hearty, the all-purpose flour helps thicken the stew without arrowroot powder or cornstarch.
- Aromatics: You’ll need a simple blend of diced onion, carrot, garlic, fresh rosemary, and thyme. Or, if preferred, opt for 1 teaspoon each of dried herbs.
- Balsamic vinegar: Adds a bold, tanginess that contributes acidity and helps balance the richer flavors in the “beef” broth.
- Red wine: A splash of red wine adds a robust, depth of flavor to the beef stew that enhances its richness and complexity of flavors. If you prefer to cook without alcohol, replace the wine with additional broth.
- Tomato paste: Adds a concentrated tomato flavor as well as color to the savory broth. To reduce waste, we like to purchase tomato paste in a tube as opposed to a can.
- Potatoes: Yukon gold potatoes are our favorite potatoes in this soup because they’re extra soft and creamy, but russet potatoes or even red potatoes can work.
The best thing about making a homemade stew is switching up the ingredients to suit your taste buds and fridge. Here are a few of our favorite ways to customize this soup:
- Add hearty mushrooms: If you have leftover portobello mushrooms on hand, chop them into bite-sized pieces and add them to the stew for a boost of umami flavor and hearty texture.
- Add peas: Both frozen peas and canned peas are delicious in vegan beef stew.
- Use sweet potato: Yukon gold potatoes are the typical choice in traditional beef stew, but swap in sweet potato for a fun twist!
- Use soy chunks: Can’t find soy curls or purchase them online? Use another type of soy chunks for a similar hearty texture.
How to Make Vegan Beef Stew
- Rehydrate the soy curls. Place the dry soy curls in a large mixing bowl, then pour the hot vegan “beef” broth over top. Mix to combine, making sure the soy curls are fully submerged. Set aside for 10 minutes, or until the soy curls are fully hydrated.
- Strain the soy curls. Once hydrated, strain the soy curls over a fine mesh sieve or colander and squeeze out as much excess moisture as possible. Place the soy curls back into the large mixing bowl, then toss with flour, salt, and black pepper.
- Brown the soy curls. Heat a large Dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat. Once warm, add 2 tablespoons of oil and heat through. Add the rehydrated soy curls and pan fry, stirring occasionally, until they are golden brown and crispy, about 8 minutes. If the soy curls begin to stick, add more oil as needed. Remove the soy curls from the pot and set them aside on a paper towel-lined plate or wire rack.
- Sauté the onions and carrots. Next, add the chopped onion, carrots, balsamic vinegar, and salt to the pot. Sauté for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent and the carrots are beginning to soften.
- Add fresh herbs. To the same pot, add the garlic, rosemary, and thyme and sauté for another 1-2 minutes, or until fragrant.
- Cook the tomato paste. Add the tomato paste to the aromatic mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until the tomato paste deepens in color. Deglaze the pot with the red wine, scraping up any browned bits.
- Add potatoes, broth, and soy curls. If needed, add additional water so the potatoes are submerged. Bring the vegan beef stew to a boil over medium-high heat, then lower the heat, cover the pot, and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
- Serve. Season the stew with additional salt and black pepper to taste, as needed, then serve immediately while warm with fresh parsley. Enjoy!
This hearty stew is the perfect cozy dinner for fall and winter weeknights. It’s filling enough to enjoy on its own but also pairs well with crusty bread, roasted vegetables or root vegetables, and simple green salads.
Many vegan beef stew recipes are not gluten-free because they’re made with meat substitutes such as vital wheat gluten products like seitan or even some types of tempeh. This hearty vegan beef stew recipe can easily be made gluten-free by using gluten-free to thicken it or cornstarch. The soy curls are a naturally gluten-free plant-based protein that is made from whole soybeans.
The flour and hearty potatoes in this stew help to thicken the stew, but if you prefer an even thicker stew, add a small cornstarch slurry and simmer until the beefless stew is thickened to your liking.
This vegan stew can be frozen, but like pasta, tender potatoes don’t thaw and reheat very nicely. They tend to become overly soft, and sometimes even grainy. For this reason, we would only freeze this vegan beef stew to prevent food waste.
Leftover stew can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Before covering and storing, let the stew cool to room temperature to prevent condensation buildup.
Reheat leftovers in the microwave or in a small pot on the stovetop until warmed through.
Appetizers and Sides