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This hearty vegan stew uses tender portobello mushrooms in place of meat, along with potatoes and veggies simmered in a savory herbed red wine broth. You won’t miss the meat in this hearty vegan version of classic beef stew!

I’m all about vegan comfort food recipes this winter, and this stew is no exception. This vegan beef stew was super cozy and delicious, and this is coming from someone who didn’t even like beef stew in her omnivore days!

I think it was the beef part that I didn’t like, because a bowl of steaming hot potatoes, veggies, and in this case, portobello mushrooms (in lieu of beef) in a savory red wine broth sounds pretty much like heaven to me.

Savory Seasonings

In addition to the herbs you’d normally find in beef stew (rosemary and thyme), I included a few ingredients to give it a savory flavor that might otherwise be lacking.


One of the key ingredients to getting a super savory beef-stewy flavor out of this dish is Marmite. I hesitated to include this in the recipe, because I know lots of people will have to seek it out or order it online, so I made it optional.

What is Marmite? you may be asking. Marmite is a spread made from yeast extract. It has a very intense savory flavor. Some folks are fond of eating in toast (something I haven’t been brave enough to try yet). It’s totally vegan and great for adding flavor to recipes. It’s an optional but highly recommended ingredient in this one.

Liquid Smoke

Liquid smoke is also optional in this recipe. I find it to be a pretty polarizing ingredient: some of us love it, some hate it! I’m one of those that love it, and I find it to be great for adding smoky, savory flavor to vegan recipes. If you hate it, leave it out. If you’re not sure or have never tried it before, proceed with caution: just add a drop or two to your stew at a time and see what you think of the flavor.

Always keep in mind that with liquid smoke, a little bit goes a long way!

Red Wine

A great cook once told me never to add water to a recipe where I could instead add wine. I think that was pretty good advice. In this recipe red wine adds richness and intensity to the stew.

All of the alcohol should cook off if you let your stew simmer for the right amount of time. If you prefer to cook without alcohol, just leave the wine out.

How to Make Vegan Beef Stew

Start by heating up some oil in a large pot. Once the oil is hot, add your mushrooms. You’ll want to let them sit and cook for a few minutes to achieve some browning. Then flip them and let them cook a few minutes more.

Veggies go in next! Add some onion, celery, and carrot. Sweat the veggies for a few minutes until they begin to soften up. Now add some garlic and let it cook for just a minute or so.

Flour is our thickener for this soup, and that’s what will go in next. Sprinkle a bit of flour in at a time, stirring between each addition until it coats the veggies. Cook and stir the veggie and flour mixture for about a minute.

Now start adding broth, a bit at a time, making sure to stir and eliminate any lumps before the next addition. Once all the broth has been added, you can stir in some potato and herbs. Raise the heat and bring the stew to a boil.

Lower the heat and let the stew simmer until the potatoes are just tender. Now stir in some red wine, tomato paste, and marmite. Let the stew simmer until the veggies are very tender, the broth is thick, and all of the alcohol has cooked off (taste-test for this).

When the stew has finished simmering, take it off of the burner and season it with salt, pepper, and liquid smoke, if desired.

Vegan Stew FAQ & Tips

  • This stew keeps well and the leftovers are great! Store them in a sealed container in the fridge for 3 or 4 days.
  • Feel free to add veggies! It occurred to me just before I photographed this stew that peas would be a great addition. Try thawing some frozen peas and stirring them in during the last minute of cooking. You could also add some greens like spinach or kale, and let them simmer in the stew until they wilt.
  • Can this stew be made gluten-free? I’m not sure, but I suspect cornstarch or arrowroot would be a good substitute for the flour. Make a slurry with either ingredient in some cold water and start pouring it in, just a bit at a time, when the stew is almost done. Continue adding your thickener unil the stew is as thick as you’d like it.
  • Is there a substitute for the wine? You can simply leave it out if you prefer. Add some extra broth if the stew needs extra liquid, and a tablespoon or two more of tomato paste if the flavor is lacking.
  • Want to add some protein to your stew? Try my beef-flavored seitan.
  • Not all red wine is vegan. Check with Barnivore to ensure yours is!

More Comforting Vegan Soups & Stews

  • Vegan Clam Chowder
  • Vegetable Stew
  • Classic Lentil Soup
  • Vegan Irish Stew
  • Vegan Chicken & Dumplings Stew
  • Vegan Cream of Mushroom Soup

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4.81 from 36 votes Print

Portobello Vegan Beef(less) Stew

This hearty vegan stew uses tender portobello mushrooms in place of meat, along with potatoes and veggies simmered in a savory herbed red wine broth. You won’t miss the meat in this hearty vegan version of classic beef stew!

CourseEntree CuisineAmerican Prep Time 20 minutes Cook Time 1 hour Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes Servings 6 Calories 278 kcal Author Alissa


  • 2tablespoonsolive oil
  • 1poundportobello or cremini mushrooms,cleaned and roughly chopped
  • 1large onion,diced
  • 2medium celery stalks,chopped
  • 2medium carrots,sliced
  • 3garlic cloves,minced
  • ¼cupall-purpose flour
  • 4cupsvegetable broth
  • 2poundsred potatoes,cut into 1 to 2 inch chunks
  • 2tablespoonsfresh thyme leaves
  • 2tablespoonsfinely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1cupdry red wine
  • 2tablespoonstomato paste
  • 1-2teaspoonsMarmite(optional, but highly recommended for savory flavor)
  • ½teaspoonliquid smoke,or to taste (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

US Customary – Metric


  1. Coat the bottom of a large pot with oil and place it over medium heat.

  2. Give the oil a minute to heat up, then add the mushrooms in an even layer. Let them cook for about 5 minutes, until lightly browned on the bottoms. Flip and cook for about 5 minutes more, until softened.

  3. Add the onion, celery, carrots and garlic. Cook everything until veggies begin to tenderize, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  4. Sprinkle in the flour, a bit at a time, stirring between additions to form a coating on the veggies. Cook the veggies and flour for about 1 minute, stirring constantly.

  5. Begin adding the broth, a bit at a time, stirring to eliminate any lumps that form from the flour. When all of the broth has been added, stir in the potatoes, thyme, and rosemary.

  6. Raise the heat and bring the liquid to a simmer. Lower the heat and allow it to simmer, uncovered, until the potatoes are just tender but still a bit undercooked, about 15 minutes stirring occasionally.

  7. Stir in the red wine, tomato paste and Marmite. Bring the stew back to a simmer. Allow the stew to simmer for about another 20 minute, stirring occasionally, until the broth is thick and the veggies are very tender.

  8. Remove the pot from heat and season the stew with liquid smoke, salt and pepper.

  9. Ladle into bowls and serve.

Recipe Notes

This is an older recipe from 2016 that I updated in 2020. If you made it before the update, you may have noticed that the instructions have changed a bit. In the original version I had you adding the wine and letting it reduce before adding the flour. I discovered recently that potatoes cook up softer and faster in the absence of wine, which is why it goes in later now. Feel free to stick with the original process if you prefer – just add the wine between steps 3 and 4, and let it simmer for 4 or 5 minutes to reduce.

Nutrition FactsPortobello Vegan Beef(less) StewAmount Per Serving (1.5 cups)Calories 278Calories from Fat 56% Daily Value*Fat 6.2g10%Saturated Fat 1.1g6%Sodium 602mg25%Potassium 1084mg31%Carbohydrates 40.1g13%Fiber 5g20%Sugar 6.2g7%Protein 10.1g20%Calcium 98mg10%Iron 4mg22%* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.« How to Make Cashew MilkThai Coconut Soup »

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Came out great.


  • Marmite was good, (can’t believe they eat it on toast), But I would leave out the liquid smoke next time.


  • I love this recipe, and I have used it so many times over the winter months.
    Is it possible to do in a slow cooker?
    Thank you x


    • I followed your steps, and then placed in the slow cooker. It turned out amazing!! The potatoes and carrots were so tender, and it thickened up nicely. Thank you for the reply. My family loved it 🙂


      • Love the recipe but I did make some changes. Instead of just red wine I used marsala, port, and sherry. I do not like liquid smoke so I put in Hungarian smoked paprika. I used powdered spices. My daughter is gluten free, I do not like her flour and she can’t have mine so I use Thick-it. I used three of the biggest portabello s I bought at Trader Joe’s. This came out half stew half. bourguignon.


      • this tastes so good, i added dumplings to this. i left out red wine, and used yeast extract from tesco as there was no ‘marmite’. i never used liquid smoke.

        i love this recipe. i will defo make again


        • I made it exactly as directed and it is unbelievably delicious. It tasted like my favorite beef stew recipe that I used to make before being a vegetarian. I recently made a shepherd’s pie which uses marmite and thinks a secret ingredient that puts it over the top. If I knew it would make me too full, I’d eat another bowl. Thank you so much for such a delicious recipe. I might making your beef seitan and trying that as well for protein, but using baby bellas that way was perfect.


      • I followed this recipe with a few modifications. I did not add any flour, as my instinct told me that the starch from the potatoes would thicken the stew right up and I was right. I added a handful of frozen peas as I had them on-hand. I did not have liquid smoke, but I did have applewood smoked sea salt, so I used a bit of that to season. I also used fresh thyme sprigs, which I removed before serving, and DRIED rosemary on the advice of another poster, and it was perfect. Very pleased with this recipe and will make it again!


      • Have made this countless times now, it’s our go to winter stew recipe. It’s so tasty, and has a real “beefy” flavour. I always make a huge pot as it freezes well.


      • I make this on a weekly basis, I don’t add the marmite because it’s not to my taste and I also add in frozen peas. So delicious.


      • I made this last night and it was delicious! I used dried thyme & rosemary. Didn’t use the Marmite and only used a dash of liquid smoke. The only change I would make is chopping the carrots so they’re larger.
        Thanks for such a healthy beef stew alternative.


      • Love these recipes!!


        • Very similar to my late husband’s faux beef stew. He used a can of stewed tomatoes cut up instead of tomato paste, and always added fresh green beans, which seem to make it taste more beefy. Lots of paprika because his family cooked Hungarian dishes growing up. He also tried out TVP a few times, but we liked it just as well without.


          • Hi, I’m Alissa! I’m a former attorney turned professional food blogger. I love creating vegan recipes with bold flavors!

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