What is better than a rich and satisfying vegan beef stew on a chilly day? This one is brimming with aromatics and made with my favorite vegan meat alternative, seitan.

You’ll love it for its delicious veggies and wholesome ingredients. This stew freezes beautifully, so make sure you have a batch ready to whip out the freezer.

Vegan "Beef" Stew served in 3 white bowls.

If you love this recipe, try my vegan potato kale soup or my plant-based chili recipe!

Why you’ll love this vegan beef stew

Here’s why I love making this stew:

  • Hearty: This vegan stew is incredibly satisfying. It is perfect for chilly days or whenever you crave a warm, filling dish.
  • Rich flavor: The mushrooms, garlic, onions, and herbs create a rich gravy that is so delicious.
  • Nutrient-dense: Packed with vegetables like carrots, celery, and potatoes, this stew is loaded with essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals, making it a wholesome meal choice.
  • Protein-rich: Seitan provides a substantial amount of plant-based protein – great for vegans and vegetarians.
  • Freezes well: It’s perfect for batch cooking and meal prep since it freezes and reheats beautifully.

This vegan beef stew is a delicious, nutritious, and comforting option that will become a favorite in your home.

Ingredients and substitution notes 

Here’s what you’ll need to make this recipe:

  • Oil: Use a neutral-flavored oil like canola, vegetable, or sunflower.
  • Onion: Yellow onions work well for flavoring the stew base, but you can also use white or red onions.
  • Mushrooms: Cremini or white button mushrooms are great in this stew for their earthy taste and meaty texture. You can also use portobello mushrooms.
  • Garlic cloves: I recommend fresh garlic in this recipe. 
  • Carrots: These add sweetness and color to the stew. Swap them for parsnips if you like.
  • Celery: I love the savory flavor celery adds to the stew. 
  • Seitan: This is the “beef” substitute in this vegan stew. I love it for its chewy texture and protein. Here is my recipe for homemade seitan. You can also buy seitan from the store. 
  • Vegetable stock: Go for a good quality vegetable stock for the best flavor results. You can use store-bought or homemade stock.
  • Potatoes: Use starchy potatoes like Russet or Yukon Gold, as they break down slightly during cooking, helping to thicken the stew.
  • Better-Than-Bouillon: Better-Than-Bouillon is a concentrated paste that enhances the stew’s flavor. I LOVE using this in my savory recipes.
  • Dried thyme and rosemary: You can also use fresh thyme and rosemary. Remember that dried herbs are more potent than fresh, so adjust the amounts accordingly. 
  • Grains-of-paradise: Grains-of-paradise is an optional ingredient. It adds a unique peppery flavor and aroma to the stew. Use sparingly, as it can be pretty potent.
  • Toasted flour: Toasted flour is used as a thickening agent for the stew. It also adds depth and richness to the sauce.

Vegan Beef Stew Recipe variations and add-ins

Want to use this as a base recipe to add to? Here are a few ideas on what to add:

  • Bean medley: Add a variety of beans, such as kidney beans, black beans, or chickpeas, to boost the protein and fiber content of the stew.
  • Leafy greens: Stir in chopped spinach or kale towards the end of cooking for added nutrition and color. Leafy greens wilt quickly and contribute freshness to the stew.
  • Root vegetables: Experiment with different root vegetables like turnips, parsnips, or rutabagas alongside the carrots and potatoes. 
  • Tomato base: Add canned diced tomatoes or paste to create a tangier stew. Tomatoes add acidity and balance to the overall flavor profile.
  • Soy sauce or tamari: Add a splash of soy sauce or tamari for a savory umami flavor. 
Vegan beef stew served with fresh parsley

Top tips for making the best vegan beef stew

Here’s how to make next-level vegan “beef” stew:

  • Sauté ingredients properly: Take the time to properly sauté the onions, garlic, mushrooms, and other vegetables. This helps to develop rich flavors and caramelization.
  • Don’t overcook the vegetables: While it is important to simmer the stew until the vegetables are tender, be careful not to overcook them. Overcooking can result in mushy vegetables and a less appealing texture.
  • Consider umami boosters: Ingredients like soy sauce, nutritional yeast, and dried mushrooms can add depth and richness to your stew, mimicking the savory flavors of traditional beef stew.
  • Let it rest: Allow the stew to rest for a few minutes before serving. This allows the flavors to meld together and the stew to thicken slightly.

Make ahead of instructions and storage

Here is how to save some time through pre-preparation:

You can prepare the vegan beef stew in advance to save time on busy days or for meal prepping. Follow the recipe instructions up to the point of simmering the stew.

Allow the stew to cool to room temperature before transferring it to an airtight container. Once cooled, refrigerate the stew promptly. Make sure the stew is completely cooled before sealing it to prevent condensation.

Store the vegan beef stew in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Make sure to label the container with the date to track its freshness.

Freezing Instructions

If you want to freeze the vegan beef stew for longer-term storage, let it cool completely before transferring it to freezer-safe containers or heavy-duty freezer bags. Leave some room at the top of the container to allow for expansion during freezing.

Frozen vegan beef stew can be stored in the freezer for 2-3 months.

Thaw the frozen stew overnight in the refrigerator before reheating it. Once thawed, reheat the stew following the same instructions as for refrigerated leftovers.

Serving suggestions 

Here is what I serve and enjoy this hearty vegan beef stew with:

  • Crusty bread: The most perfect bread for this stew has to be my garlic + rosemary loaf or my vegan garlic knots. Make a batch of warm, crusty bread as a delicious partner to this vegan stew.
  • Mashed potatoes: Serve the vegan beef stew alongside creamy vegan mashed potatoes for the ultimate comfort food.
  • Steamed vegetables: Serve steamed vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, or green beans on the side for added nutrition and texture. 
  • Crackers or crostini: These make great vehicles for scooping up the stew. Try this cassava cracker recipe.
  • Roasted vegetables: Roast seasonal vegetables such as squash, Brussels sprouts, or sweet potatoes and serve them alongside the stew.
Vegan beef stew served with slices of fresh bread

Stew In Norway

In Norway, stew or “lapskaus,” as it is called, is a very common item on the dinner menu. Though it is usually made with meat and vegetables, there is such a thing as a plain vegetable stew as well, but it is not as common as the meat version. We have therefore made this vegan “beef” stew with a meat substitute, and I think it is delicious. For those of you that do not have a meat substitute (seitan), use quartered mushrooms instead. It is the gravy-like consistency that makes this dish so satisfying.

I have a recipe for Vegan Homemade Seitan, which works very well in this recipe. I try to keep a meat substitute (seitan) in my freezer at all times. That way, it is so easy to make quality quick and easy meals. I freeze seitan in recipe size portions; that way, it’s easy to grab when you need it.

This dish requires toasted flour, or as we say in Norway, “browned flour.” It is important for two reasons. It gives the dish a darker and more appealing color, and it provides a unique flavor. It is easy to prepare. 
Add flour to a dry frying pan, and let it toast on low to medium heat until the color changes. Be sure to stir frequently as burned flour would not be a good thing in this dish.

My whole family likes this vegan “beef” stew. The seitan pieces take on the flavor of the gravy and provide a most satisfying meal.


Just skimming though? Here are a few highlights from this article:

Is vegan beef stew the same as traditional beef stew?
No, vegan beef stew is made without any animal products, including beef. Instead, it typically contains plant-based ingredients like seitan, mushrooms, and vegetable broth to mimic the flavor and texture of traditional beef stew.

What is seitan, and can I substitute it with another protein?
Seitan is a meat substitute made from wheat gluten. It has a chewy texture and absorbs flavors well, making it a popular choice for vegan dishes. You can substitute seitan with other plant-based proteins like tofu, or legumes such as beans or lentils. Try this “Basic Vegan Homemade Seitan” Recipe!

Can I make vegan beef stew in a slow cooker or Instant Pot?
Yes, you can adapt vegan beef stew recipes for both slow cookers and Instant Pots. Simply follow the recipe instructions for sautéing the ingredients, then transfer everything to the slow cooker or Instant Pot and cook according to the appliance’s guidelines.

How do I thicken vegan beef stew without using flour?
If you prefer not to use flour as a thickening agent, you can puree a portion of the stew using an immersion blender or food processor and then stir it back into the pot. Alternatively, you can add mashed potatoes, blended cashews, or coconut milk for a creamy consistency.

Can I freeze vegan beef stew?
Yes, vegan beef stew freezes well. Allow the stew to cool completely before transferring it to freezer-safe containers. Remember to leave some room for expansion, and label the containers with the date. Frozen vegan beef stew can be stored for up to 2-3 months.

How can I adjust the seasoning of vegan beef stew to my taste?
Taste the stew as it cooks and adjust the seasoning as needed. You can add more salt, herbs, or spices to suit your taste preferences. Remember that flavors will intensify as the stew simmers, so it’s best to season gradually.

What are some serving suggestions for vegan beef stew?
Vegan beef stew pairs well with crusty bread, rice, quinoa, mashed potatoes, or a side salad. You can also garnish it with fresh herbs, vegan sour cream, or pickled vegetables for added flavor and texture.

Can I make vegan beef stew ahead of time?
Yes, you can make vegan beef stew ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator for 3-4 days or freeze it for longer-term storage. Reheat the stew gently on the stovetop or in the microwave before serving.

Watch My Vegan Beef Stew Recipe Video:

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Three bowls of vegan beef stew

Vegan “Beef” Stew

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 2 reviews
  • Author: Chef Ani


What is better than a rich and satisfying vegan beef stew on a chilly day? This one is brimming with aromatics and made with my favorite vegan meat alternative, seitan.


  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 (8oz) pkg mushrooms, quartered
  • 3 large garlic cloves
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, chopped
  • 1 recipe seitan, cubed
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 3 large potatoes, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons Better-Than-Bouillon
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon grains-of-paradise (optional)
  • 1/4 cup toasted flour
  • Salt to taste


  • In a medium size pot, sauté onions in one tablespoon of oil.
  • Next add quartered mushrooms and garlic, sauté for a couple of minutes.
  • Add carrots, celery sticks, and seitan. Cook for another minute or two.
  • Then add the vegetable stock, potatoes, thyme, rosemary, Better-Than-Bouillon, and grains of paradise.
  • Bring to a boil, let simmer for 25-30 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.

How to toast the flour:

  • While the stew is simmering, brown the flour.
  • Add the flour to a dry frying pan. Let it brown on low to medium heat. Stir frequently to make sure it does not burn, when the color of the flour is slightly brown, the flour is ready.
  • Add a tablespoon of oil to the flour and make a paste.

Finish the Stew:

  • When the vegetables in the stew are tender, add the flour mixture to the stew and stir. Let it simmer for at least 5-10 minutes before serving. Stir frequently.
  • Salt to taste.

Vegan Meatless "Beef" Stew