Our thick and hearty vegan stew with dumplings is the perfect dinner that will satisfy the entire family! Packed with colorful veggies, earthy lentils, and aromatic herbs and topped with flavorful dumplings, this 40-minute recipe is a crowd-pleaser that you will want to make again and again!
We love a hearty, veggie-packed stew to fill the belly and warm the soul. If you are looking for other easy and delicious vegan stew recipes to add to your dinner table menu, be sure to check out our jackfruit stew, vegan chicken and dumplings, or vegan pot pie recipes.
What to expect?
This hearty, thick lentil stew is topped with flavorful dumplings to create an aromatic and flavor-packed meal perfect for any day of the week. To deepen the taste and aroma of the stew, we add smoked paprika, a mix of green herbs, and rich dark chocolate.
Unlike other recipes that use flour and water to make dumplings, we use boiled potatoes and season them with thyme to match the flavors of the stew. Its natural and mouthwatering flavors will have the entire family running back for seconds!
Why you will love this recipe:
- It is very flavorful, filling, and easy to make.
- It does not require any fancy equipment or ingredients.
- The entire recipe is prepared in one pot, saving time and dishes.
- You can easily customize it with other vegetables and herbs.
- It freezes well, making batch cooking a breeze!
In this vegan stew with dumplings recipe, we use cooked potatoes flavored with parsley to make the dumplings and numerous colorful vegetables, lentils, and herbs to make and flavor the stew. We provide more ingredient and recipe ideas in the Variations section to further customize your vegan stew!
- Olive oil
- Onion (small)
- Garlic cloves
- Carrots (medium)
- Celery stalk
- Brown lentils (canned and drained)
- Vegetable broth
- Chopped tomatoes
- Potatoes – You will use uncooked potatoes for the stew.
- Fresh parsley (chopped)
- Fresh thyme sprigs
- Bay leaves
- Sweet smoked paprika powder
- Dark chocolate cubes
- Potatoes – You will use cooked potatoes for the dumplings.
- All-purpose flour – You can also use a gluten-free flour blend to make it gluten-free.
- Baking powder
- Thyme (optional)
🛒 You can find detailed measurements for all ingredients in the printable version of the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
This vegan stew with dumplings recipe takes just 20 minutes of prep time and 20 minutes of cook time. Below, we will walk you through all the steps from preparing the ingredients and making the potato dumplings to cooking the vegan dumpling stew.
- Finely peel and chop the onion and garlic cloves.
- Peel and slice the carrot, the potatoes, and the celery.
- Peel, cut, and boil the potatoes for the dumplings in boiling water.
Making vegan dumplings
- In a bowl, mash the cooked potatoes using a fork. If you have one, you can also put the potatoes through a potato ricer, but you must wait until the potatoes have cooled down.
- Add the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, thyme (optional), and salt.
- Mix and knead the dough with your hands for approximately five minutes until it forms a firm ball. The sticky dough will become drier the more you continue to work it.
- Roll approximately two tablespoons of the dough into a small ball using your hands.
- Repeat the previous steps until you finish the remainder of the dough.
- Bring water to a boil in a stockpot. Gently drop it into the boiling water. Cook for approximately 7-8 minutes, increasing the heat as needed to ensure it is constantly boiling.
Making vegan stew
- Preheat your Dutch oven, stockpot (or any other heavy-bottomed casserole dish) over medium heat. Add the olive oil and chopped onion and cook for approximately 2-3 minutes until tender.
- Add the finely chopped garlic. Stir and cook for one minute.
- Add the chopped celery and carrot. Stir and cook for an additional 4-5 minutes.
- Add the chopped parsley, thyme sprigs, bay leaves, smoked sweet paprika, oregano, dark chocolate, salt, and black pepper. Stir well to blend, then cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Add the chopped tomatoes and vegetable broth. Stir and bring the soup to a boil.
- Once boiling, add the potatoes and cook for 7-8 minutes until the potatoes are almost tender.
- Mix the cornstarch with a bit of water in a separate bowl to create a slurry. Add the slurry to the boiling stew and simmer for approximately 2-3 minutes until the stew thickens.
- Add the drained brown lentils and stir well.
- Add the cooked dumplings on top of the stew. Serve and enjoy!
- Cook the dumplings separately – We cooked the dumplings in boiling water and not directly in the stew. The reason was that the stew was quite thick, and there was not enough liquid to cook the dumplings. If they are not submerged, then the top will be dry. All in all, it will be harder to cook. It is a good idea for other reasons as well. If you are making dumplings for the first time and are concerned about timing and consistency or if you are using gluten-free flour, whose starch content can seep into the stew and cause it to be thicker than intended.
- Cut the vegetables evenly – This ensures that they soften at the same time.
- Add the flour or starch as a slurry – To avoid lumps, do not add the four or starch directly to the hot stew. Add them as a slurry, as we recommend in the instructions.
- Do not make dumplings with hot potatoes – To make kneading easier (and safer to touch), wait for the cooked potatoes to cool down before kneading.
- Cook on the stovetop – We do not recommend making vegan stew with dumplings in the oven as it will dry out the top of the dumplings.
You will love this recipe if this is your first time making vegan stew with dumplings. However, it is super customizable, so next time, you can pack it with the vegetables and seasonings of your choice. Here are a few more ways you can make your vegan dumpling stew:
- With other vegetables: Use other vegetables such as mushrooms, squash, zucchini, green beans, asparagus, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, kale, spinach, or collard greens. You can also try other root vegetables such as turnips, parsnips, sweet potatoes, or swede.
- With other seasonings: Enhance the flavor of your dumplings with other dry herbs such as thyme, basil, oregano, rosemary, sage, or a combination of all of the above!
- With other dumplings: Swap out the dumplings for other delicious alternatives like vegan sweet potato gnocchi. Or, for an Asian-inspired stew, try it with vegan wontons or pot stickers.
One of the best parts of this vegan stew is that it is incredibly filling and delicious as-is. However, to take your vegan stew to the next level, try it with one of these additional serving ideas:
- With sides: Serving your soup with a fresh, crisp salad or slice of sourdough bread. Or, serve it in a bread bowl!
- With toppings: For an additional flavor kick, top your soup with scallion or cilantro, or spice it up with chilies.
- Cast-iron Dutch oven – We used a 3-quart / 2.8-liter enameled oven.
- Stockpot – Or any other heavy-bottomed casserole dish if you do not have a dutch oven.
- Potato ricer – This is another option to break up the cooked potatoes for the dumplings once they have cooled.
If you have leftovers or want to prepare batches of your vegan stew in advance, the good news is that it is very easy to store! However, it is important to note that before storing, you must first let it cool down to room temperature!
- In the refrigerator: Once the stew has cooled to room temperature, move it to an airtight container and store it in the fridge for 3-4 days.
- In the freezer: Once the stew has cooled to room temperature, move it to a freezer-safe container or ziplock bag and freeze for up to six months.
- Reheating: If refrigerated, reheat on the stovetop in a small saucepan over medium heat or the microwave. If frozen, thaw the stew overnight in the refrigerator before reheating it on the stove or microwave. We do not recommend reheating frozen stew as it will cause the dumplings to fall apart.
You can consider your dumplings done when the outside is fork-tender, and the interior is dry. However, the best way to know if dumplings are ready is to remove one and cut it in the center to check. A potato dumpling in the size of 2 Tablespoons is usually ready in 7-8 minutes.
You can do a few things to stop your dumplings from falling apart: 1. Knead the dough well enough to activate the gluten to glue it together. 2. Do not overcrowd the pot, as the dumplings need enough space to expand. 3. Do not cook them longer than necessary. 4. Use a slotted spoon to add the dumplings to the simmering soup gently.
While you can prepare the rest of the stew in advance, we recommend making the dumplings fresh the day you serve it for the best taste and results.
THANK YOU so much for visiting our website. Please comment below if you have tried this recipe. We LOVE hearing from you! If you loved the recipe, please don’t forget to give us a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ RATING. We appreciate all of our readers.
Vegan Stew with Dumplings
- 1 Tbsp Olive oil
- 1 Onion (small)
- 4 cloves Garlic
- 2 Carrots (medium)
- 1 Celery stalk
- 14 oz Brown lentils (canned)
- 10 oz Potatoes
- 2 ½ cup Veggie broth
- ½ cup Chopped tomatoes
- 2 Tbsp Parsley (fresh) chopped
- 6 sprigs Fresh thyme
- 2 Bay leaves
- 2 tsp Sweet smoked paprika powder
- 2 tsp Oregano
- 2 cubes Dark chocolate
- 1 Tbsp Cornstarch
- Salt and Pepper to taste
Preparing the ingredients
- Peel and chop the onion and garlic (finely).
- Peel and slice carrot, potatoes and celery.
- Peel, cut and cook potatoes for the dumplings.
- Prepare the dumpling
- In a bowl, mash cooked potatoes with a fork.
- Add flour, cornstarch, baking powder, thyme (optional), and salt. Mix with your hands. Knead it until you get dough.
- In a stockpot, bring water to a boil. With your hands, form a small ball from the dough (2 Tbsp size) and gently drop it to the boiling water. Continue this until you have no more dough left. Cook for 7-8 minutes. If needed, increase the heat to ensure it’s constantly simmering.
Cooking the stew
- Preheat your Dutch oven or stockpot over medium heat. Add oil and chopped onion. Cook them for approx. 2-3 minutes until they are tender.
- Add finely chopped garlic. Stir and cook for a minute.
- Add chopped celery and carrot. Stir and cook for another 4-5 minutes.
- Add chopped parsley, thyme sprigs, bay leaves, smoked sweet paprika, oregano, chocolate, salt, and black pepper. Stir well. Cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Add chopped tomatoes and vegetable broth. Stir and bring the soup to a boil.
- Add potatoes and cook for 7-8 minutes (until potatoes are almost tender).
- In a separate bowl, mix cornstarch with some water. Add it to boiling stew and simmer for 2-3 minutes until it thickens.
- Add drained brown lentils. Stir well.
- Add cooked dumplings. Ready to serve it!