Vegan Mushroom Stew

By Alexandra Caspero on December 7, 2018

Beefless stew! This recipe reminds me of Sunday nights. Of dinners at my grandmother’s house where she would often serve a roast alongside carrots, potatoes, onions and celery.

Even as a kid, I didn’t care too much about the meat centerpiece but loved all of the yummy cooked vegetables. There’s something about buttery, rich root vegetables that have been cooked for hours. Swoon, I could eat an entire bowl of them– especially pearl onions!

That meal is what this stew is based on. I swapped in mushrooms for the beef and created the stew that I now want to eat on Sunday nights. Savory, rich and perfect for chilly winter evenings.

vegan mushroom stew cooked mushrooms

This one is pretty easy to get right, though there are a few things you should know ahead of time.

It’s not a typo that I’m calling for 3 tablespoons of oil in the beginning. Um, you could even start with 1/4 cup if you wanted to. Beef, obviously, is fatty and to replicate this stew with the same amount of richness you need some fat. Without it, the flavors end up falling rather flat.

You are essentially frying the mushrooms first, coating them in a crispy brown layer as that’s the base of this soup. Take your time and let them become really brown!

This is a soup you’ll want to take your time on. Rushing it will rush the flavor. Let the vegetables cook, let the red wine reduce, stir in the flour and let it cook down. All of these steps help to build the flavor of the soup and are essential, so don’t skip ’em!

vegan mushroom stew vegan beefless stew

Lastly, you’ll notice that I call for two odd ingredients- liquid smoke and marmite.

I wrote this in the notes of the recipe, but I’m going to leave it here as well. Liquid smoke helps add, well, smokiness to the recipe that the beef usually adds. It’s optional as I know some of you don’t like these kind of specialty ingredients.

However, liquid smoke lasts for years in the fridge and I also like it when I’m making tempeh bacon, so it’s likely an ingredient you’ll use again. If you’ve got a little browning gravy liquid, throw that in as well!

The marmite is yeast extract and again, optional but encouraged. Marmite is essentially umami and as I’ve explained here, plant-based food without umami tends to feel like something is ‘missing’. I can find marmite at my Whole Foods and local grocery stores, but you might have to do some digging or buy online. Again, you’ll use this one again and it lasts for a while!

Hope you have a great weekend, preferably with this stew making an appearance somewhere. It’s pretty bomb with my vegan pumpkin cornbread muffins or rosemary no-knead bread. xo

vegan beefless stew

vegan beefless stew

Vegan Mushroom Stew

  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 75 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 servings 1x
  • Category: main, stew, dinner, soup
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: American, English


Vegan Beefless Stew! You’ve gotta try this meaty vegan stew, made with mushrooms, carrots and potatoes. Tender vegetables in a rich and hearty red wine broth.

  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 75 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 servings 1x
  • Category: main, stew, dinner, soup
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: American, English
  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 75 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 servings 1x
  • Category: main, stew, dinner, soup
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: American, English


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 lb. baby bella or button mushrooms, cut into large chunks
  • 5 carrots, chopped
  • 4 shallots, chopped
  • 4 celery stalks, chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary (can use 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3/4 cup red wine
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 pound small potatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke (see notes)
  • 1 teaspoon marmite (see notes)


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large stock pan or soup pan over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until cooked down and mostly browned, about 10-15 minutes.
  2. Add the carrots, shallots, celery and garlic and cook until the vegetables are tender, stirring often so the garlic doesn’t stick, about 7 minutes.
  3. Add the rosemary, thyme, red wine and bay leaves and deglaze, scraping the pot to get up any browned bits that the vegetables may have left. Increase heat to bring wine to a simmer, then cook until wine is reduced by half, stirring often, about 5 minutes.
  4. Slowly add in the flour, until it’s completely absorbed by the remaining liquid. Stir in the tomato paste, potatoes and broth, then reduce heat to low to simmer until potatoes are tender and stew has thickened, about 45 minutes.
  5. Add in the liquid smoke, marmite, lots of freshly ground black pepper and more salt, if needed. I usually end up adding 1/4-1/2 teaspoon salt to my soups, just depends on your broth!


  • I know some of you don’t have liquid smoke or marmite lying around…
  • The liquid smoke helps add that unmistakeable meaty taste. You don’t have to use it if you can’t find it, though it lasts for years in the fridge and you will likely find other recipes that call for it. A little goes a LONG way, which is why I only call for a 1/2 teaspoon. You can always add more, so start with less and taste.
  • Marmite is a really, really good source of umami! As you remember from this post, umami is what is missing in a lot of plant-based eats as it’s concentrated in meat/cheese. I got the idea of adding marmite from Alissa and I think it’s SO yummy in this recipe. You can find it online or in specialty grocery stores. My Whole Foods and local grocery stores carry it. Again, it lasts a while in the fridge. It’s optional though!

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Meet Alex Caspero

Alex Caspero is a Registered Dietitian, New York Times Bestselling Plant-Based Chef and mom of two. She aims to cut through the nutrition noise by providing real-life, nourishing tips for body and mind. Learn more about Alex.

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    1. Amy D
      November 4, 2019 AT 7:45 am

      Can we omit the red wine, or is there a substitute? Thanks.

      1. Lisa s
        March 1, 2020 AT 4:54 am

        Flavor was awesome! I’m not a huge mushroom fan but my husband who is loved it.

        1. Alex
          March 1, 2020 AT 6:40 am

          So glad you (and your husband!) liked it!

      2. Alex
        November 4, 2019 AT 1:33 pm

        Yes, you can use broth and a splash of red wine vinegar instead.

    2. Leanne
      August 26, 2019 AT 2:59 pm

      My son found it too bland tomatoe tasting so we added a bit of sriracha and lime spice .It was a very delisious meal over all.

    3. Lori Murray
      January 18, 2019 AT 2:12 pm

      I made this, and it was a big hit! I ended up using the whole can of tomato paste and substituting miso, which I had, for the marmite, which I did not have. Wonderful. Thanks!

    4. Dani C
      December 16, 2018 AT 11:45 am

      I made this and I absolutely LOVED it. I didn’t have marmite, although I really would love to find it, so I didn’t add it. Also my liquid smoke was expired, so I didn’t add that either, and this stew still tastes absolutely delicious. I will definitely be putting this into my regular rotation! Thank you!

      1. Alex
        December 16, 2018 AT 5:46 pm

        Thanks Dani! So glad you liked it!

    5. Rachel
      December 9, 2018 AT 2:37 am

      Looking forward to trying this recipe! Any suggestions for something to substitute the red wine, if I don’t want to include alcohol in the recipe? Thank you!

    6. Lori Murray
      December 8, 2018 AT 9:43 pm

      This looks so good, it’s making my mouth water! I just printed it off and plan to make it soon. Thanks!