Return to top
featured in… The Huffington Post CookingLight Reader's Digest Women's Health BuzzFeed Glamour Whole Foods Oprah Winfrey Network CNN Food Network Healthline Shape

Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, author, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Seattle, WA!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!

Anjali Shah

20 Healthy Vegetarian Stew Recipes

This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Please read my disclosure.

When you’re in the mood for something warm, hearty, and healthy, there’s nothing like a good vegetarian stew! Chunky, thick, and flavorful, these 30 stews will keep you full and satisfied!

a collage of vegetarian stew recipes including sweet potato stew, black bean stew, white bean stew, Tuscan Italian Stew, and Indian Stew

When winter arrives I could make a hearty stew every single night! There’s just something so comforting about the warm, thick, chunky texture of a good stew.

It just warms you from the inside out!

Chunks of seasonal vegetables, like carrots, and potatoes, paired with barley, pasta, or even beans, in a thick roux is what gives stews their characteristic flavor and texture.

Stews take a bit more time to make than a soup, since they simmer on the stovetop at a low temperature for a longer period of time.

During that process the liquid in the soup reduces to a gravy like consistency.

Stews often have added wine, or even beer to cook down the vegetables. In order to create that gravy like consistency, some stews also have added flour which create a roux.

There are so many different ways you can enjoy a good vegetarian stew! Be sure to scroll down to the bottom of this post to check out 20 super flavorful, simple, hearty, and healthy stews to keep you warm and cozy all year long!

Tuscan Bean Stew with Whole Wheat Pasta, topped with parmesan cheese and served in a ceramic bowl with spoon

Why Is Stew A Healthy Dinner Option?

High in Vitamins and Minerals: Vegetarian stews are chock full of hearty vegetables. It’s a great way to enjoy a filling meal while packing in lots of veggies. Potatoes are high in vitamin C and B6. Carrots are high in vitamin A and biotin. And numerous other vegetables carry other vitamins and nutrients.

Low in Fat and Calories: Vegetarian soups don’t have added meat which greatly cuts back on the fat and calories that are found in more traditional beef stews. Simply adding more vegetables, beans, and a high fiber grain brings the overall fat and calories down, while still keeping you full and satisfied.

High in Fiber: Vegetarian stews are a great source of fiber with the added vegetables and whole grains. Fiber helps you stay fuller longer, and helps with digestion.

High in Plant Protein: Depending on the stew you are making, you can make it a protein power house! Great high protein additions for your stews include kidney beans, black beans, white beans, quinoa, tempeh, tofu, and seitan.

How Long Does It Take To Cook Vegetarian Stew?

With vegetarian stew recipes, you do not need to consider the time necessary to break down and cook the meat that’s in traditional stew recipes.

However, to develop the depth of flavors, you will still want to give it time to simmer. I recommend a minimum of an hour, whereas if you’re making a meat stew you need at least two hours.

What Does It Mean To Deglaze The Pan When You’re Making A Stew Recipe?

onions and garlic sauteeing in a pot

When you sauté the onions, or other vegetables, you create some browning on the vegetables which sticks to the bottom of the pan. Adding water or broth, and then scraping those brown bits off the pan, creates mega flavor for your stew recipes!

How Can I Make My Stew Flavorful?

dried herbs on small wooden spoons

Add dried herbs and spices at the beginning of the cooking process. Choose your favorite herbs and spices that most compliment the recipe you’re making. Think about whether you’re going for Italian, Asian, or even Indian flavor when creating your stew. Some of my favorites include:

  • Oregano
  • Thyme
  • Basil
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Dill
  • Fennel
  • Marjoram
  • Cardamom
  • Cumin
  • Coriander
  • Turmeric
  • Cinnamon

Be sure to add these dried spices at the beginning of the cooking process. This allows the spices to create a richer depth of flavor.

Once you’ve added your dried spices at the beginning, don’t forget to add some fresh herbs at the end! Unlike dried spices, fresh herbs lose their flavor as they cook. That’s why you want to add them at the very end before you serve your stew.

fresh herbs bundled together in brown garden box

Fresh herbs boost the flavor, and bring a crisp element to the dish. Some of my favorite fresh herbs to add as a garnish, or stir into my stew at the end include:

  • Parsley
  • Cilantro
  • Dill
  • Taragon
  • Rosemary

What Are The Best Vegetables To Add To A Stew?

roasted vegetables including potato, carrots, squash, beets, and onions

So many stews start with something called a mirepoix. This is a combination of chopped carrots, onions, and celery. These vegetables are a delicious basis for a good stew, but don’t feel limited by these ingredients.

Be sure to add chunky potatoes, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, or whatever you have in your fridge!

How Long Does Vegetarian Stew Last?

When kept in an air tight container it can last for 3-5 days in the refrigerator.

You can also choose to freeze your stew. Be sure to allow it to cool completely before transferring it to a freezer safe container. Let all of the air out of the container so that you don’t get any freezer burn.

Store in the freezer for up to 3 months.

When ready to serve, transfer to a large pot, cover, and heat on low until the stew defrosts, warms, and is ready to eat!

How to Make Your Own Vegetarian Stew – Step by Step

one spoonful of vegetarian black bean soup with kale and hominy, topped with sour cream and cilantro

Step 1: Start with your vegetables; Heat olive oil in a large pot. Add your traditional mirepoix mix of onions, carrots, and celery. Allow it to cook until onions are translucent and carrots and celery soften.

Step 2: Add your dried herbs. This is the time to add your favorite dried herbs, as well as some salt and pepper. Stir to combine, and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.

Step 3: Stir in the flour (if using). Then add your broth, or wine (if using). Add the liquid slowly, consistently stirring so you don’t end up with clumps of flour.

Step 4: Add your additional vegetables, such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, green beans, mushrooms, or whatever else you like. This is also a good time to add any beans/proteins, barley, or pasta to your stew if you like.

Step 5: Allow the stew to simmer on low for about 30 more minutes.

Step 6: Choose your favorite way to serve your stew, and top with fresh herbs of your choice.

Best Ways to Serve Stew

vegetarian stew recipe with beans and rice, served on a white plate with a spoon
  • Whole Wheat Baguette: Perhaps my favorite way to serve stew is with a whole wheat baguette! I love scooping and dipping crusty bread, into the warm thick broth, and picking up bits of chunky veggies!
  • Healthy Mashed Potatoes: A delicious way to enjoy your stew is over healthy piping hot mashed potatoes! If you’re stew already has added potatoes, you may not want to opt for this way to serve your stew! But if you have a veggie filled stew, this is a nice compliment
  • Rice: A gluten free option is to serve your stew over brown rice. It adds some fiber and soaks up the flavors nicely.
  • Quinoa: Another gluten-free option with added protein, stew compliments the nuttiness of quinoa nicely.
  • Noodles: A fun and traditional way to serve your favorite stew is over egg noodles! These thick noodles compliment the gravy of the stew in a rustic way.
  • Vegetable Polenta: Think outside the box, and give creamy polenta a try with your stew.

How Do You Thicken Stew?

There are several methods you can use to thicken your stew.

Roux: Perhaps the most common way to thicken a stew is to add flour. You use equal parts butter and flour. Melt the butter in a pot on the stove, when butter is melted, add the flour and whisk together until golden brown. Then add the stock or liquid for your stew, and whisk together until combined into a thick liquid texture.

Add Flour: If you want to skip making a roux, you can simply add flour to the stock. You will need 1-2 tablespoons of flour for every one cup of liquid in your stew.

Other Options: If you’re going for a gluten-free stew, and don’t want to add flour, you can opt for corn starch, or arrowroot flour to thicken your stew. You can also just let your stew simmer, uncovered, for a few hours and it will naturally thicken on its own as the broth evaporates.

Is Vegetarian Stew Gluten-Free?

Not all vegetarian stews are gluten-free. As mentioned above it is possible that flour was added to stew to create a thicker texture.

It is not necessary to add flour, and you can also use gluten-free alternatives.

20 Healthy Vegetarian Stew Recipes

These chunky stews and soups are just what you need to warm you up on cold winter days. These stews are full of a variety of vegetables, beans, grains, herbs and spices.

Stews don’t have to just be about meat and potatoes! You’ll also find recipes inspired by world cuisine such as Asian flavors, Indian inspired stews, Mexican bean soups, and even warm Moroccan spices.

Vegan white bean chili topped with avocado, jalapeno slices and lime in a white bowl with a spoon.
Vegan White Bean Chili
This hearty vegan white bean chili is jam-packed with plant-based protein, creamy potatoes, warm spices, and a little bit of heat! It's easy to make, easy to freeze, and kid-friendly. Naturally dairy-free, vegan, and gluten-free.
View this recipe
moroccan stew with chickpeas and quinoa couscous served on a white plate
Moroccan Stew with Chickpeas and Quinoa Couscous
There is nothing more comforting than warming up to a bowl of this homemade Moroccan Stew. This hearty dish has sweet dried apricots, quinoa, zucchini, carrots, sweet potatoes, and chickpeas in a spiced broth. It’s perfect for a cool weather days when you want something healthy and satisfying.
View this recipe
Tuscan Bean Stew with Whole Wheat Pasta, topped with parmesan cheese and served in a ceramic bowl
Tuscan Bean Stew with Whole Wheat Pasta
This Tuscan Bean Stew is hearty, spicy, healthy and satisfying. Full of veggies, beans, and whole wheat pasta it's a high protein, high fiber, delicious meal that's done in 30 minutes.
View this recipe
vegetarian stew recipe with beans and rice, served on a white plate with a spoon
Vegetarian Stew Recipe with Beans and Rice
This Vegetarian Stew recipe with beans and rice is healthy and hearty. It's a budget-friendly, family-friendly, plant-based meal that the whole family will enjoy!
View this recipe
Vegan Pozole with Pinto Beans
This easy Vegan Pozole is a delicious Mexican stew that is packed full of flavor. Ready in just 30 minutes, with rich spices, crunchy veggies, and chewy hominy – this healthy soup is perfect for a quick one-pot meal.
View this recipe
instant pot dal in a stainless steel bowl with a dollop of yogurt on top
Instant Pot Dal
A simple instant pot dal is an easy, healthy and delicious weeknight dinner! Made with cauliflower, diced tomatoes, carrots, bell pepper, moong dal, and Indian spices, its a nutritious meal with only 25 minutes of hands on time. Family-friendly and a one pot meal!
View this recipe
chickpea and potato curry served in a grey bowl, with brown rice on the side.
Chickpea and Potato Curry
This chickpea and potato curry has the delicious flavors of Chana Masala with some veggies for a thicker-stew-like consistency. Made with onion, new potatoes, chickpeas, tomatoes, and cilantro this is a well rounded healthy one pot meal.
View this recipe
roasted cauliflower curry with sweet potatoes topped with cilantro, served on a white plate with a fork
Sweet Potato Cauliflower Curry
This Sweet Potato Cauliflower Curry is perfectly seasoned with Indian spices. It makes for a wonderful main dish served over rice, or as a side dish paired with a hearty stew or salad. It's healthy, vegan and gluten-free too!
View this recipe
sweet potato dahl with kale, served in a white bowl
Sweet Potato Dahl with Kale
Comforting and delicious, this Sweet Potato Dahl is a fast and easy meal. Perfect for lunch or dinner, this dahl is filled with warm Indian spices, kale, sweet potatoes, and yellow split peas. It’s vegan, gluten-free, hearty, healthy, and nutrient rich!
View this recipe
Authentic Lebanese lentil soup served in a white bowl, garnished with parsley.
Lebanese Lentil Soup
Rich, flavorful, easy Lebanese lentil soup (shorbet adas) is warming and hearty, perfect for a family-friendly weeknight meal. Made with red lentils, vegetables, spices, and lemon juice, this easy dish is healthy, vegan, and naturally gluten free too!
View this recipe
thai sweet potato soup with poblano peppers served in a white bowl, top view
Poblano Soup with Sweet Potatoes
This spicy Poblano Soup with Sweet Potatoes combines the flavors of a traditional curry with some unconventional spices and seasoning for a rich and healthy soup with a real depth of flavor.
View this recipe
Mexican bean soup served in a bowl topped with avocado and tortilla chips.
Mexican Bean Soup
This delicious, comforting Mexican Bean Soup topped with avocado and tortilla chips is full of authentic Mexican flavors. Easy, healthy, and versatile, this soup can be made vegan and is naturally gluten free!
View this recipe
white bean and kale soup, served in a white bowl, topped with parmesan cheese - top view
White Bean and Kale Soup with Parmesan Cheese
This hearty and delicious White Bean and Kale Soup with Parmesan Cheese is perfect for a an easy dinner. Great for a side, but filling enough to be a healthy main dish as well. Vegetarian, gluten-free and can easily be made vegan!
View this recipe
Chunky and Hearty Pinto Bean Soup in a white bowl, topped with parmesan cheese and pasta shells top view
Chunky and Hearty Pinto Bean Soup
This chunky and hearty pinto bean soup is made with loads of veggies and pasta shells making it a nutritious and filling one-pot meal.
View this recipe
potato corn chowder - spicy, dairy-free, served in a blue bowl with fresh corn, tomatoes, and a corn chip as garnishes
Spicy, Creamy Mexican Corn Soup
This Mexican Corn Soup is packed full of fresh ingredients and a blend of delicious spices. Dairy-free, low in calories, and ready in 30 minutes, it's a satisfying soup the whole family will love!
View this recipe
vegetarian black bean soup with kale and hominy, topped with sour cream and cilantro, served in a white bowl, top view
Spicy Black Bean, Hominy and Kale Stew
Hominy is a new way to add corn to your soups and stews. It pairs nicely with black beans and kale in this hearty recipe.
View this recipe
The best Instant Pot vegetarian chili, served in a bowl garnished with green onions, cheese, sour cream and tortilla chips.
The Best Instant Pot Vegetarian Chili
This is the BEST Instant Pot vegetarian chili ever! It’s incredibly rich and hearty, super smoky and slightly spicy. Made with three types of beans, packed with veggies, it's family-friendly, ready in 30 minutes, and will satisfy both meat-eaters and vegetarians alike!
View this recipe
Healthy vegetarian taco soup topped with cilantro and cheese in a white bowl.
Vegetarian Taco Soup Recipe
This creamy vegetarian taco soup is packed full of Mexican flavors and is less than 250 calories per serving. This easy tomato based soup is the perfect guilt-free, healthy, comfort food!
View this recipe
Spicy Indian Lentil Soup with Swiss Chard
This Spicy Indian Lentil Soup is so tasty and so easy to whip up! With chickpeas, swiss chard, curry and Greek yogurt it's got the perfect balance of acidity and coolness. The flavors work incredibly well together, plus it's a one pot meal!
View this recipe
Easy vegan minestrone soup served in a white bowl with a spoon.
Vegan Minestrone Soup
Vegan minestrone soup is comforting, healthy, and full of flavor. It is the kind of soup recipe that you’ll continue to make again and again whenever you crave something cozy and nourishing. The best part? This recipe needs only 15 minutes of prep time and can easily be transformed into a gluten free vegetable soup recipe too!
View this recipe

Check Out These Other Healthy Vegetarian Soup Recipes!

If you have tried any of these vegetarian stew recipes, or any other recipe on my blog, then please rate it and let me know how it turned out in the comments below! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOKTWITTERINSTAGRAM and PINTEREST to see more delicious, healthy, family friendly food!

Posted In…

Plant Based Soups And Stews ·

Plant based soups can be hearty enough for a cozy winter meal, or fresh and light like my summery cucumber gazpacho. All of my vegetarian soup recipes are made with wholesome ingredients, and are hearty enough to be a main meal.

These healthy soup recipes are all packed with veggies, super flavorful, and deliciously filling! Try favorites like this mushroom soup without cream, this 15 bean soup (crock pot recipe), my Italian chickpea soup, this curried cauliflower soup, and my instant pot tomato soup

10 responses to “20 Healthy Vegetarian Stew Recipes”

  1. I can’t believe how many great recipes there are in one post. I will never look for a vegetarian stew recipe ever again! 🙂

  2. A good reminder that you can make a flavorful stew without meat! I love beans as the basis of a hearty and healthy meal.

  3. What a great selection of recipes! We have a veggie stew about once a week so I will definitely be checking these out 🙂

  4. There are so many great stews here but I can’t wait to make the Tuscan bean soup. Looks perfect for the cold weather.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to newsletter

Copyright 2023 The Picky Eater®, LLC. All rights reserved.