This one-pot, hearty Vegan Irish Stew is so flavourful and can be made on the stove, in an Instant Pot, or in a slow cooker. Vegan-friendly Guinness gives an incredibly rich, deep flavour to the gravy that is loaded with chunky, sweet, tender vegetables. Make it with just the veg, or add some optional vegan "meat" or mushrooms to make it even more satisfying and flavourful!
This recipe for Vegan Irish Stew is comfort food at its finest. Loaded with root veggies, optional seared vegan "meat" or mushrooms, and a thick, super-rich and flavourful gravy made from Guinness beer, this vegan stew recipe is amazing.
All of the flavours and ingredients in this recipe work so well together and just like my Vegan Cabbage Soup, it is just perfect for serving up as part of your St Patrick's Day celebrations, or for a tasty weeknight dinner.
What is Irish Stew?
Traditional Irish stew (Stobhach Gaelach in Irish Gaelic) is a very simple recipe made with lamb or mutton, onions, potatoes, carrots, herbs and seasonings. They are cooked long and slow in a thin, completely unthickened broth which gets all of its flavour from the meat and vegetables.
Is Irish Stew Vegan?
Irish stew is not vegan but it's easy to make a great-tasting and hearty vegan stew with an Irish theme. I should note though, that it's really hard to make a "traditional" Irish stew vegan because it is just lamb, potatoes, vegetables, stock and seasoning. If we just used those ingredients replacing the lamb for vegan "meat" it would be really tasteless because vegan "meat" doesn't have the same flavour. So my vegan version needs some extra "flavour" helpers, but I have tried to keep an Irish theme going as you'll notice with the addition of Guinness beer and the vegetables used.
The ingredients in this vegan Irish recipe are simple and other than the beer and optional vegan "meat" (or mushrooms) are all pretty pantry friendly.
Here's what you will be needing:
And some notes about a few of the ingredients:
- Stout beer - This is what gives this stew its incredible, rich, deep flavour and dark gravy. I've used Guinness because it's so widely available and it's vegan, but if you can’t find it, I recommend searching Barnivore for another vegan-friendly dark stout. Dark stout is necessary to get the best rich, full flavour in the gravy.
- Beefless tips or sliced portobello mushrooms - These are optional. The stew is amazing without them, but if you like to include hearty meat substitutes in your meals then I recommend Gardein Beefless Tips or big slices of meaty portobello mushroom. You could also use homemade vegan beef seitan cut it into pieces, or soy curls.
- Sugar - Just a touch. It's important for balance. Stout is quite bitter.
- Soy sauce - For "meaty" flavour. It's my secret weapon in any dish that needs deep, rich, meaty flavour. In combination with the Guinness, it really adds a massive flavour punch which is really important in a vegan recipe like this one which is traditionally made with meat. Use gluten-free soy sauce or tamari to keep the recipe gluten-free.
Success Tip - Use starchy potatoes like Yukon Gold or Russet so they can become meltingly soft in the gravy.
How to Make Vegan Irish Stew
The great thing about a vegan stew that doesn't use lamb/mutton is that it doesn't need to be slow-cooked for hours and hours to be good. This Vegan Irish Stew can be ready and on the table in a little over one hour but if you get caught up and need to delay it, it will happily simmer away gently for hours.
Here's how to make Vegan Irish Stew:
- If using them, sear the vegan meat or mushrooms in a really hot pan, then remove them and set aside for later.
- Saute the onions, carrots, celery and garlic in the same pot, add the flour and let it cook out then add the Guinness, stirring as you go.
- Add everything else, give it a good stir and bring to a simmer.
- Pick out the stalks from the fresh herbs and stir the beefless tips or mushrooms back into the stew and let warm for about 10 minutes before serving.
Success Tip - Don't leave the beefless tips, mushrooms, or seitan in the stew for the entire cooking time as they will get too soft and lose their texture. By searing them then setting aside and adding them back in at the end, you get all the flavour without losing texture.
For Instant Pot and slow cooker instructions see the FAQs.
This hearty one-pot dish is a meal in itself and doesn't need much to accompany it except some vegan soda bread slathered with vegan butter to mop up that tasty gravy.
If you don't have soda bread any crusty bread will be great, and although not in keeping with the Irish theme, my no-knead focaccia would be amazing with it, as would my sweet potato biscuits.
Be sure to make some Vegan Chocolate Guinness Cake for dessert!
Storing, Freezing & Reheating
Leftover vegetarian Irish stew can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. It also freezes well for up to 3 months, just be aware that potatoes can become a little floury once they have been frozen, defrosted and reheated.
Defrost overnight in the fridge then reheat in a pot on the stove until piping hot, or for a few minutes in the microwave. Feel free to add a splash or two of broth or beer to help thin it out if necessary.
Guinness in draught, bottle and canned form has been vegan-friendly since 2018. Read more about it on their website here.
If you don't have Guinness or other dark stout, brown ale or red wine will work well flavour-wise instead. If you don't cook with alcohol at all, replace the beer with more stock, but make sure that it's a really good, flavourful one.
If you are gluten-free, use your favourite gluten-free and vegan beer of choice, cornstarch instead of the flour, gluten-free soy sauce or Tamari and mushrooms instead of beefless tips/seitan.
Guinness is vegan. If you use another brand, most manufacturers are happy to let you know if you shoot them a quick email. Or you can go to Barnivore's website or app and type in the brand name and it will tell you.
I love to use Yukon Gold in soups and stews. They become very soft yet still hold their shape, they don't get floury, and they are naturally sweet when slow-cooked.
Sear the beefless tips/mushrooms in a pan then remove until the end. Saute the onions, carrots and celery in the same pan as per my instructions, and add the garlic for the last 30 seconds. Then transfer them to the slow cooker.
Stir in the flour then add everything else (adding the liquid gradually to work out lumps) and stir really well. Cover and cook on low heat for 6 to 7 hours or high heat for about 3-4 hours or until the potatoes are very tender. Remove the herb stalks and add the beeefless tips/mushrooms back in. Let them heat through for 10 minutes then serve.
Saute the vegan beef, set aside then saute the onions, celery, carrots and garlic. DO NOT add the flour. Turn the Instant Pot off and add everything else except the flour. Give the bottom of the pot a good scrape with a metal spoon to get any burnt-on residue off, close the lid, seal the vent, and cook on manual/pressure cook, high power for 15 mins. NPR for 10 minutes then release what's left. Make a slurry with the flour and water, scoop out the fresh herb stalks and discard. Turn the Instant Pot to "sauté" and pour in the slurry, stirring constantly, then add the vegan beef. Give it a couple of minutes for the gravy to thicken then serve.
If you try this recipe, let me know how you like it by leaving a comment and rating below! And be sure to join my mailing list for more deliciousness!
Vegan Irish StewAuthor:
- 2 tablespoons oil , or use water for oil-free
- 9 oz (255 grams ) OPTIONAL beefless tips or portobello mushrooms , or approx the same amount of seitan pieces (or omit completely - It's still really good with just the veg)
- 1 large onion , diced
- 3 large carrots , cut into ½ inch chunky pieces
- 2 ribs celery , diced
- 5 cloves garlic , minced
- 4 tablespoons all purpose flour , or cornstarch
- 330 mls (11 oz bottle) Guinness , or any dark stout
- 1 medium (about 800 grams / 28 oz) rutabaga/ swede , or turnips, cut into chunky pieces
- 4 large (about 650g / 23 oz) potatoes , cut into large chunks (each potato into about 6 pieces)
- ¼ head green cabbage , shredded
- 4 cups (960 mls) vegetable stock
- ¼ cup (60 mls) soy sauce , or Tamari
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp white or cane sugar
- 2 large bay leaves
- 2 x 4 inch sprigs fresh thyme , or 1 teaspoon dried
- 2 x 4 inch sprigs fresh rosemary , or 1½ teapsoon dried
- In a large Dutch oven or soup pot (that holds at least 6 quarts / 5.7 litres), add the oil and place over high heat.
- When really hot add the beefless tips or mushrooms and sear in the pan until golden on all sides. Scoop them out and put in a bowl or on a plate and set them aside until near the end.
- Turn the heat down to medium, then to the same pot (don't clean it .. we want any stuck-on residue for flavour!), add the onions, carrots and celery. You might also need to add a teeny bit more oil depending on the pan you're using. If you are not using vegan beef, seitan or mushrooms begin with this step, adding the oil and warming the pan first.
- Let them sweat down and just as they are beginning to colour add the garlic.
- After about 30 seconds add the flour. Stir it around so everything gets coated and let it cook out for a minute or two to remove the raw flour flavour. If you use cornstarch instead of the flour it will get a bit gloopy and weird but don't worry, once you add everything else it will be fine.
- Pour in the Guinness/stout slowly, stirring as you go, then once it's all in, give it another really good stir to work out most of the lumps. Don't worry about any small lumps.
- Add the rutabaga/swede, potatoes, cabbage, stock, soy sauce, salt, pepper, sugar and herbs and give it a really good stir.
- Bring slowly to a boil stirring frequently, then immediately turn down to medium-low and let it simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally until the potatoes are soft and the gravy is thick. I like to wait until the potatoes are really soft and just starting to break down before I serve. It will take about 45 to 50 minutes, but you can leave it simmering away much longer if you want to. Just turn it down to low and cover with a lid if it's going to be significantly longer.
- About 10 minutes before you are going to serve, add the beefless tips/mushrooms back in and give it a stir.
- If you used fresh herbs be sure to pick out the stalks before serving.
We really enjoyed this recipe! The only change I made was substituting yams for the rutabaga. Thanks for another recipe to add to our collection of vegan meals we'll make again. I had to laugh at Lorraine's comment about how long it takes to prepare this recipe. I also appreciated your response which clarified why I always take so much longer to prepare ANY recipe than what the recipe says. Now I understand the times suggested and what they mean. I just always thought I was the slowest cook in the world. I am grateful to have a wonderful "sous chef" for my husband who helps with the peeling, chopping, stirring, etc.
How could the prep time be only 10 minutes with that many ingredients that need peeling and chopping? Not to mention all the measuring of other ingredients? I was in the kitchen for over an hour!!!
Have not tasted it yet because I am on my back on the kitchen floor from exhaustion.
Melanie McDonald says
Crying here! 🤣 I'm not sure how you expect to make a delicious stew from scratch without chopping the veg and measuring the ingredients!
The prep time of a recipe is the time you'll spend mixing, mashing, basting, stirring, frying etc. It's calculated with the assumption that the ingredients are ready for assembly when the cook sets to work. i.e mise en place. That's the correct way to write a recipe. So with this recipe for example, all of the vegetables should be peeled and chopped before you start and the other bits and pieces measured. Prep time couldn't possibly include chopping and peeling, measuring and gathering because we all work at different speeds, have different equipment, and have different sized kitchens and layouts.
That's why those details are all included in the ingredients list. So you can have it all ready before you begin. It makes the whole cooking process much easier and more efficient.