This chunky Vegetable Stew recipe is hearty and healthy comfort food! It's made in a Dutch oven with vegetables and gluten free dumplings.
I've been on a hearty comfort food kick lately in an effort to stay warm as temperatures outside have plummeted. My go-to comfort foods include soups and stews like this Dutch Oven Vegetable Stew.
Stew is often thought of as a dish reserved for carnivores; one that involves big chunks of meat simmering away in a large pot on the stove top. It turns out, though, that the vegetarian version of this cold weather classic is every bit as hearty and delicious as its meaty counterparts.
This Vegetable Stew is chock-full of veggies like potatoes, green beans, carrots, and peas. The whole thing is finished with homemade dumplings, which serve to make it even heartier.
You won't miss the meat when you whip up a batch of this vegetarian stew! It yields a lot of servings and can be enjoyed for dinner, or for lunches throughout the week.
There is nothing more cozy than curling up on the couch with a bowl of veggie stew in hand and a cat curled up at your feet.
- What Vegetables Are Good For Stew?
- Ingredients For Vegetable Stew
- How To Make Vegetable Stew
- What Type Of Wine Is Best For Stew?
- What Herbs Are Best For Stew?
- How To Make Gluten Free Dumplings
- Will Dumplings Thicken Stew?
- How To Thicken Stew
- Can I Make This Stew Without The Dumplings?
- What To Serve With Vegetable Stew
- How Long Does This Stew Last In The Fridge?
- Can It Be Frozen?
- Vegetable Stew with Dumplings
What Vegetables Are Good For Stew?
There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to which vegetables can be added to a stew. Technically, you can add any veggies you like, but some vegetables cook faster than others and it's important to keep this in mind when making a stew.
I love hearty vegetables like carrots, green beans, squash, mushrooms, and root vegetables like rutabaga, parsnips, and turnips. These vegetables take slightly longer to cook than those lighter in texture and are generally added to the pot earlier in the cooking process.
Veggies like peas, corn, broccoli, cauliflower, and potatoes take slightly less time to cook and are added in the middle of the cooking process.
A waxy variety of potato such as red or Yukon gold will work better than a starchier variety like Russets. A waxier potato will hold up better than a starchy potato and won't become mushy when cooked.
Hearty greens like kale, Swiss chard, spinach, and arugula make a great addition to any soup or stew and are added at the end of the process and cook just until wilted.
For this recipe, I used garlic, onions, and celery for aromatic flavor and opted for carrots, green beans, red potatoes, and frozen peas for substance.
Ingredients For Vegetable Stew
Here's what you'll need to make it.
- 6 cloves Garlic
- 1 Onion (any color)
- 2-3 stalks Celery
- 4-5 large Carrots
- 1 lb. Green Beans
- 2-3 Potatoes (any waxy variety such as Red or Yukon Gold)
- 2 cups Frozen Peas
- 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
- 1 tsp. Italian Seasoning
- 2 Bay Leaves
- ½ cup White Wine (a crisp and dry variety works best)
- 6 cups Vegetable Broth
- 1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. Gluten Free Flour Blend (split) (use regular AP flour if not gluten free)
- ¼ tsp. Baking Powder
- 1 tsp. Kosher Salt (split)
- 1 tsp. Pepper (split)
- 1 Egg
- ½ cup Whole Milk
- Fresh Herbs like Thyme or Rosemary for dumplings (optional)
This recipe is gluten free and uses a gluten free flour blend such as Bob's Red Mill 1 to 1 Flour. Feel free to use regular all purpose flour if gluten is not an issue for you.
How To Make Vegetable Stew
This vegetarian stew is made much the way a stew with meat is prepared. The vegetables are chopped and sautéed over high heat, then deglazed with some white wine.
A few tablespoons of flour are added early in the cooking process to help thicken the broth.
The dumplings are prepared and added at the end of the process, as they only take about 15 minutes to cook.
- The first step is to mince 6 cloves of garlic and 1 onion (any color). Finely chop 2-3 stalks of celery.
- Wash and scrub 4-5 large carrots and 2-3 red potatoes. Feel free to peel the carrots and potatoes if you like (optional). Cut the carrots into slices and dice the potatoes into chunks.
- Wash and trim 1 lb. of fresh green beans. Cut the beans in half.
- Place a cast iron Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed soup pot on the stove top and heat to medium-high. Add 2 Tbsp. olive oil.
- Once heated, add the minced garlic, onions, and celery to the pot. Sauté for 4-5 minutes, stirring often.
- Add 2 Tbsp. gluten free flour blend (or AP flour if not gluten free) and sauté for a minute, stirring until the aromatics are coated in the flour.
- Pour ½ cup white wine into the pot and sauté for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. The wine will reduce as it cooks and the mixture will look sticky.
- Add the sliced carrots and green beans to the pot, along with ¾ tsp. each of kosher salt and pepper. Sauté for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally.
The vegetables will look a bit sticky when the flour is added to the pot. The flour thickens the broth as it cooks and helps to create a stew, rather than a soup.
What Type Of Wine Is Best For Stew?
This recipe uses white wine. I recommend a varietal that's dry and crisp, such as a Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, or Chardonnay.
Any white wine that you enjoy drinking should work just fine, however, I do not recommend a sweet varietal like Riesling or Gewürztraminer, nor any varieties of dessert wine.
What Herbs Are Best For Stew?
Once the vegetables have sautéed a bit and are fully coated in the flour mixture, it's time to add the broth, herbs, and spices to the dish.
Again, there are no firm rules when it comes to which herbs and spices to use when making soups and stews.
I find that hearty herbs like rosemary, thyme, and oregano are great for winter dishes like this one.
Herbs that are lighter in flavor like tarragon, parsley, and chives are better suited for bright summer dishes and summer soups.
- Once the vegetables have sautéed a bit, add 6 cups of vegetable broth to the pot, along with 1 tsp. Italian seasoning and 2 bay leaves.
- Stir until combined and bring the mixture to a boil.
- Once boiling, reduce to a low boil, cover, and cook for 15 minutes.
- After 15 minutes, remove the cover and add the diced potatoes, along with 2 cups of frozen peas.
- Allow the mixture to return to a boil and then reduce to a low boil, cover, and cook for another 10 minutes.
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- Dutch Oven Chicken and Potatoes
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How To Make Gluten Free Dumplings
I don't know what it is about dumplings, but there's something so comforting about them. They add texture and general heartiness to just about any dish.
Traditionally, soup dumplings like these are made with flour and not gluten free. The dumplings in this Vegetable Stew are made with a gluten free flour blend, but can be prepared with all purpose flour if gluten is not an issue for you.
I came across a dumpling recipe in an old church cookbook and adapted it to fit this stew.
The dumpling mixture can be whipped up while the stew is boiling on the stove top and added at the end of the cooking process.
- To make the dumplings, whisk 1 egg and ½ cup whole milk in a bowl.
- In a separate bowl, combine 1 cup gluten free flour blend (or AP flour if not gluten free), ¼ tsp. baking powder, and ¼ tsp. each kosher salt and pepper. Stir until combined.
- Add the egg and milk mixture to the flour mixture a bit at a time, stirring until completely combined. The mixture will be thick and sticky.
- Feel free to add a few pinches of fresh thyme, rosemary, or herbs of choice to the dumpling mixture. This step is completely optional.
Will Dumplings Thicken Stew?
The great thing about dumplings like these is that they require minimal effort and cook right in the stew! The flour in the dumplings helps to thicken the broth, creating a rich and flavorful dish.
- After the potatoes and peas have cooked for 10 minutes, remove the cover and spoon the dumplings into the pot, one at a time.
- Using a small ice cream scoop or two small spoons, scoop up a bit of the dough and plop it into the stew. Repeat until all of the dumpling dough is added to the pot.
- Cover the pot and cook on a low boil for another 10 minutes.
- Remove the bay leaves before serving.
The dumplings will puff up as they cook, so it's important not to make them too big.
It's best if the dumplings are on the smaller side, so that they remain tender and fluffy. If the dumplings are too large or overcook, they may become tough and dense.
How To Thicken Stew
If you find that the stew has not thickened as much as you like, feel free to scoop a cup or so of the broth from the stew and combine it with 1 Tbsp. or so of flour or corn starch.
Mix the two until completely combined with a small whisk or fork. Return the mixture to the stew and stir. The combination of the liquid and flour or corn starch is called a slurry and will help to thicken the stew even more.
This process can be repeated if you would like to thicken the stew even more.
Can I Make This Stew Without The Dumplings?
Yes, this stew will still be hearty and delicious if you make it without the dumplings.
Simply cook the stew until the vegetables are soft, but not mushy and add a flour or corn starch mixture to thicken as needed if necessary.
What To Serve With Vegetable Stew
This stew is very hearty and can certainly stand alone as a meal, but you can definitely pair it with your favorite sides if preffered.
Any variety of dinner salad or tangy Italian or Greek salad is perfect.
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- Italian White Bean Kale Soup
- Turkey Wild Rice Soup
- Instant Pot Lentil Spinach Soup
- Crockpot Chicken Potato Soup
- Healthy Turkey Rice Soup
How Long Does This Stew Last In The Fridge?
Any leftover stew may be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.
Make sure to allow the stew to cool completely before transferring to the fridge for storage.
Can It Be Frozen?
Yes, Vegetable Stew makes a great freezer meal.
How To Freeze
- Prepare the recipe as directed. Allow the stew to cool completely before transferring to the freezer for storage.
- Remove the dumplings and place them in a heavy-duty freezer bag. Press the air out of the bag, label with the date, and freeze up to 3 months.
- Pour the stew into a separate heavy-duty freezer bag or freezer-safe storage container, label with the date, and store up to 3 months.
How To Thaw
- Place the stew and dumplings in the fridge 24 hours before serving and allow to thaw.
- Pour the stew into a pot and heat on the stove top.
- Add the dumplings to the stew and cook until heated through.
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Check out these vegetarian soup recipes!
- Winter Root Vegetable Soup
- Roasted Carrot Soup
- Sweet Potato Kale Soup
- Curried Cauliflower Potato Soup
- Healthy Harvest Vegetable Soup
- Italian Vegetable Soup
- Hearty Lentil Soup
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Vegetable Stew with Dumplings
For The Vegetable Stew:
- 6 cloves garlic
- 1 onion any color
- 2-3 stalks celery
- 4-5 large carrots
- 1 lb. green beans
- 2-3 potatoes such as red or Yukon gold
- 2 cups frozen peas
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 2 Tbsp. gluten free flour blend or AP flour if not gluten free
- 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ cup white wine not a sweet or dessert wine
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- ¾ tsp. kosher salt
- ¾ tsp. pepper
For The Vegetable Stew:
- Mince 6 cloves of garlic and 1 onion (any color). Finely chop 2-3 stalks of celery.
- Wash and peel (if desired) 4-5 large carrots and 2-3 red potatoes. Cut the carrots into slices and dice the potatoes into chunks.
- Wash and trim 1 lb. of fresh green beans. Cut the beans in half.
- Add 2 Tbsp. gluten free flour blend (or AP flour if not gluten free) and sauté for a minute, stirring until the garlic, onions, and celery are coated in the flour.
- Pour ½ cup white wine into the pot and sauté for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. The wine will reduce as it cooks and the mixture will look a bit sticky.
- Add the diced potatoes and 2 cups of frozen peas. Return to a boil and then reduce to a low boil, cover, and cook for another 10 minutes.
For The Dumplings:
- Add 1 egg and ½ cup whole milk to a bowl. Stir until completely combined using a small whisk or fork.
- Slowly add the egg and milk mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until combined. Repeat until the mixture is completely combined. The mixture will be thick and sticky. Add a few pinches of herbs such as thyme or rosemary (optional).
- Remove the cover from the Dutch oven and using a small ice cream scoop or two small spoons, scoop up a bit of the dough and plop it into the stew. Repeat until all of the dumpling dough is added to the pot.
- Cover the pot and cook on a low boil for another 10 minutes. The stew is done when the vegetables are soft, but not mushy and the dumplings are firm, but not tough. Remove the bay leaves before serving.
- To Thicken The Stew: Scoop a cup or so of the broth from the stew and combine it with 1 Tbsp. or so of flour or corn starch. Mix the two until completely combined with a small whisk or fork. Return the mixture to the stew and stir. Repeat if necessary.To Thin The Stew Out: Add a bit more vegetable broth until the stew reaches your desired consistency.