Here’s a selection of globally-inspired, hearty vegan stews that are nourishing and warming. These meals in a bowl pair plenty of vegetables with legumes and other plant-based proteins. Incorporating flavors from around the world, they use familiar ingredients found in most supermarkets.
These vegan stews are basically soups with less liquid and more chunky ingredients. Served up by the ladleful, they can be comforting and invigorating all at once.
These plant-based bowlfuls can easily be centerpieces for meals, completed by fresh bread. Or, for bigger appetites, serve side by side by side with sandwiches, wraps, or salads.
Stews marry an abundance of fresh and nutritious ingredients in one neat package, and, depending on the size of your household, leftovers can stretch over two to three meals. Like many types of soup, these stews benefit from developing flavor as they stand.
Thai Vegetable Stew with Coconut-Peanut Sauce: Broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, and peppers are enveloped in a rich coconut peanut sauce. Served over Asian rice noodles, it’s a delectable one-dish meal.
Coconut Curry Vegetable Stew: Even those who aren’t big on curries might be won over by this colorful vegetable stew. Cauliflower, potatoes, carrots, and more, are enveloped in a flavorful coconut milk base.
Indian-Spiced Cauliflower & Chickpea Stew: Using a readymade Indian simmer sauce and frozen cauliflower, this weeknight main dish will be on the table in 30 minutes.
Easy Chickpea and Eggplant Curry: An easy and warming curry, this stew is a great choice for weeknight meals. This delectable stew is a Westernized mash-up of two Indian favorites, chana masala, a dish that highlights chickpeas, and baingan bharata, which features eggplant.
Greek-Inspired White Bean Stew: An easy, warming dish, this naturally vegan Greek-inspired white bean stew showcases tomato-y and herbal flavors. It makes a quick dinner that takes less time to prep and cook than most soups, filled with plenty of spinach and fresh herbs in a tomato base.
Greek Vegetable Stew with Tofu “Feta”: This interpretation of a classic Greek vegetable stew is enlivened with bites of tofu “feta.” Filled with potatoes, green beans, and tomatoes, it’s delicious with a crusty whole-grain bread.
Italian Vegetable Stew with Gnocchi: Gnocchi are dumplings made mainly of potato flour, with a little added semolina flour (the same as is used to make traditional pastas). They add substance to this flavorful and naturally vegan Italian vegetable stew.
Vegan Moroccan-Style “Chicken” Stew: Using plant-based protein or baked tofu, this stew riffs off a classic dish packed with veggies and fragrant with spice. This fragrant stew is a wonderful way to enjoy the characteristic flavors and ingredients of Moroccan cuisine.
White Bean Stew with Sweet Potatoes & Squash: Here’s a vegan white bean stew that you could possibly call a white bean chili, though you need not call it anything but simple and tasty. It’s a warming cool-weather dish that comes together quickly without tons of simmering, thanks to a couple of shortcuts.
Classic Vegetable Chili with Lots of Variations: Does the world really need another recipe for vegetable chili? Maybe not, but I want to share my version of a classic in the plant-based repertoire — easy, hearty, and inexpensive. Everything gets tossed into the pot once the onion sauté is done, and the result is a generous pot full of warming chili that can be enjoyed just as much the next day. Delicious with fresh cornbread!
Cinnamon-Spiced Chickpea and Lentil Stew: This cinnamon-spiced chickpea and lentil stew is a recipe that I originally devised as a vegan entrée to serve for the Jewish holiday of Purim. Of course, you need not save this dish for any particular special occasion. It’s an easy-to-prepare dish that will warm you up on any chilly fall or winter night.
African-Inspired Peanut Stew with Sweet Potatoes & Okra: A delectable vegetable stew in a rich peanut butter base, this is a westernized version of a typical African recipe. Traditionally, this stew is eaten with a mashed root vegetable or a mushy grain, like cooked millet, but I prefer leaving that out and serving with Vegan Jalapeño Cornbread.
“Beefy” Vegan Seitan Stew: Seitan gives this vegetable-filled stew a hearty texture. It’s a “beefy” vegan seitan stew that proves you can do without actual meat. Or, you can use any kind of beef-style plant protein in place of seitan, such as beef-less tips or vegan steak-style strips. A completely plant-based “meat and potatoes” dish, onions, carrots, and green beans round out the vegetable goodness in this comforting bowlful.
Vegan Cholent (Eastern European “Beefy” Barley Stew): Vegan cholent might seem like a stretch, but why not? With seitan or other plant-based beefy protein standing in for the real thing used in the original, it’s a warming, hearty dish that’s easy to adapt to plant-based. Barley, a classic winter grain, makes it super hearty and comforting.
Turkish Eggplant Stew: A late summer/early fall classic featuring the season’s ripe, juicy tomatoes, this stew starts with oven-roasting the eggplants, which deepens their flavor.
Sweet Potato and Collard Greens Stew with Fresh Corn & Tomatoes: This lively stew of sweet potatoes and collard greens, embellished with fresh corn and tomatoes, is a perfect way to showcase late summer/early fall produce.