Hearty Vegan Stew Recipe

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Hearty Vegan Stew Italian style featuring gnocchi dumplings, meaty jackfruit, peas and carrots and a thick red wine gravy. No beef, one pot comforting stew that checks all the boxes. Rich, savory and whole foods plant based recipe.

Vegan Stew

You’ll find a number of plant based stews on this blog, it’s really hard for me to actually choose a favorite. From the now famous jackfruit stew to my soy curl veggie stew, spiced chickpea stew, and this comforting mushroom bourguignon, they are all equally delicious stews but also unique in the way they deliver their deliciousness.

And if you make a loaf of this crusty bread to dunk into it you are without a doubt the king / queen of your castle!

Recipe Tips + FAQ

  • Which jackfruit should you use in this stew ? Glad you asked as this is very important! The jackfruit has to be young unripe, so before it gets sweet. My favorite for making stews are these organic jackfruit pieces i buy in bulk from amazon. You could also use canned jackfruit packed in water / brine not syrup. Make sure to rinse it well before cooking.
  • How do you thicken the stew ? Before adding the veggie stock to the pot I whisked in some whole wheat pastry flour. This way the stew naturally thickens as it cooks and no lumps are formed. If you prefer a thinner stew or want to make it gluten-free you can omit the flour. The gnocchi will add lots of body and texture too.
  • Can I use potatoes instead of gnocchi ? Sure you can use about 1 pound of diced golden potatoes if you prefer or any homemade dumplings.
  • Storage: The leftovers keep well in the fridge up to 4 days. They can also be frozen in lidded freezer proof containers or mason jars up to 4 months. Take care not to overfill the jars or containers and remember to thaw out in the fridge the night before reheating.
  • How to serve it: Since this is already such a hearty meal, there’s no need for rice or pasta. A thick slice of homemade bread charred under the broiler and rubbed with garlic aka bruschetta is as perfect as it’s gonna get. However you can top it with these olive oil mashed potatoes and turn it into an awesome Italian style Shepherd’s pie.
Plant Based Stew with Gnocchi, Green Peas and Jackfruit.

more hearty stews

Bowl of vegetable stew on wooden table.
Hearty Vegan Stew
4.67 from 9 votes

Hearty Vegan Stew

Hearty vegan stew Italian style featuring gnocchi dumplings, meaty jackfruit, peas and carrots and a thick red wine gravy. No beef, one pot comforting stew that checks all the boxes. Rich, savory and whole foods plant based recipe.
Print Recipe
Prep Time:15 minutes
Cook Time:1 hour
Total Time:1 hour 15 minutes


  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 2 carrots sliced into rounds
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 lb jackfruit pieces rinsed well
  • 1 lb gnocchi Italian potato dumplings
  • 1 cup fresh tomatoes diced
  • 3/4 cup frozen green peas (thawed out and rinsed)
  • 8 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika you can sub sweet paprika
  • 1/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/3 cup fresh Italian parsley roughly chopped
  • 6 cups vegetable stock low sodium
  • 1/3 cup red wine
  • sea salt + black pepper to taste


  • Preheat a heavy bottom dutch oven over medium low heat and sautee the onion and carrot in a drop of oil or a splash of water until the onion is translucent. (omit oil to be WFPB & Plantricious compliant).
  • Stir in the garlic and cook a few seconds until fragrant.
  • Add the jackfruit pieces, thyme, bay and the red wine. Simmer until the wine is almost evaporated. (It's very important that you allow the wine to evaporate or the stew won't taste right).
  • Meanwhile whisk the flour with the vegetable stock until combined and add it to the pot with the jackfruit. Bring to a simmer and stir in the paprika and cloves.
  • Cook everything together for 45 minutes until the jackfruit is fork tender.
  • Stir in the gnocchi, tomatoes and green peas and cook a few extra minutes until the gnocchi float to the top and the green peas are cooked through to your liking.
  • Discard the thyme sprigs and whole cloves and season the stew to your taste with sea salt and black pepper.
  • Stir in the fresh parsley and serve!

Slow Cooker Method:

  • Saute the onion and carrot with a pinch of salt until translucent. Stir in the garlic and cook 30 seconds longer.
  • Add the cooked onion, carrot and garlic to a slow cooker with the jackfruit, red wine and all the spices.
  • Whisk in the flour and veggie stock and add them to the slow cooker. Cover and cook on slow for 5-6 hours or on hight 2 - 3 hours. Add the gnocchi and green peas and return back to high heat for 20 minutes or so until the gnocchi are cooked through. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.


  • You can use about 1 pound of diced golden potatoes instead of gnocchi or any homemade dumplings.
  • The leftovers keep well in the fridge up to 4 days. They can also be frozen in lidded freezer proof containers or mason jars up to 4 months. Take care not to overfill the jars or containers and remember to thaw out in the fridge the night before reheating.
  • WFPB and Plantricious - for the recipe to be fully compliant you must omit all oil and make sure to use a whole grain gnocchi made with whole wheat, brown rice or corn flour.
  • If using canned jackfruit but would like to give it a brown color, simply rinse it and marinate in 2 tablespoons of soy sauce for 15 minutes before adding it to the stew. 


Calories: 508kcal | Carbohydrates: 116g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 458mg | Potassium: 661mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 6992IU | Vitamin C: 32mg | Calcium: 187mg | Iron: 7mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: jackfruit, meatless stew, vegan stew
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 508kcal
Author: Florentina

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    1. You sure can, just make sure to soak them first to rehydrate, squeeze the water and roughly chop them into bite size pieces before adding to the stew.

      1. Lovely flavour, but I had a lot of extra liquid. I used a slow cooker. Next time I think I’ll just use less stock. Adding kale would be good too!

        1. Hi Tylah, I prefer to make this on the stovetop so all that lovely stew gets to reduce and concentrate flavor. Using the slow cooker that reduction won’t happen as there Is no place for all that extra steam to go so you will end up with extra liquid. You could however still do the slow cooker method and transfer to the stove top method (in a different pot) to reduce for 10-15 minutes.

  1. Hi Florentina! I made this stew using the Yukon Gold potatoes in my 6-quart slow cooker. I followed everything except I did not have the red pepper flakes and flax meal. I substituted potato flakes at the end to thicken and added 10 ounces of thawed frozen peas. The stew was wonderful! It was served to five people and everyone liked it! It looked just like your picture except for the peas. 🙂 We had a healthy biscuit recipe made with yeast and whole wheat pastry flour and put the stew over them individually. I am going to make it again using potato gnocchi. Amazing how the jackfruit you recommended is like meat. Thank you so much!

  2. I have to laugh and did! I did not realize your picture had peas! I should have took a picture of mine for you. Anyway,
    thank you for your hard work and recipes.

  3. Hi Florentina, the recipe of looks awesome!; I can’t wait to try it!
    Question: I purchased that jackfruit and when I opened it it smelled like some sort of chemical to me which made me concerned about consuming it. I was so disappointed as I was so looking forward to having that as a meat sub.
    I was Just wondering if you or anyone else who’s purchased it finds there’s a chemical smell also? I imagine it’s something about the processing. Any comments would be appreciated.

    1. Hey Rhonda, sorry to hear that, I’m really not sure what that could be I didn’t have the same experience. At this point I would suggest not to use it and contact the seller. The canned jackfruit packed in water works great here too, the only difference is that it is a light color due to the citric acid in the water that keeps it from turning brown.

    2. Hey,

      Yeah I think it’s just the jackfruit. Jackfruit in general is just NOT IT. I was excited and made the recipe but the jackfruit ruined the taste.

    1. That was for the entire recipe, sorry there was an error inside the recipe card, all fixed now!

  4. Delicious!! Added Mushrooms, Edamame, Swiss Chard and celery to this recipe plus a good sprinkle of hot pepper flakes. It was fantastic!! Thanks for the great recipe.

    This was the first time I have used Jackfruit. We liked it, but felt the recipe can also stand alone it was so good.

  5. i’m so excited to make this recipe! why is the jackfruit brown in the package? is it somewhat dried? or is it just due to the fact of no citic acid, as in the canned? Is it firmer than cannned? that would be my hope:}

    1. The browning is simply oxidation due to the lack if acid as you mentioned. I would say it is firmer than the canned but it all gets nicely tender during the cooking process. You could also just use the canned variety drained and rinsed and adjust cooking time until desired texture is achieved.

    1. You can use fresh in the same quantity but it must be unripe/green. Do not use the ripe yellow jackfruit as it is very sweet and more like a mango not suitable for this savory stew.

  6. Hi, what kind of gnocchi are you using? Regular gnocchi isn’t vegan because it contains egg or milk, I forget which. Also, when I googled where to purchase jackfruit, it said it’s illegal in the states due to possible comatose or death if prepared incorrectly…

    1. Denise, you can buy jackfruit at almost any US supermarket, it comes in a can or a pouch and the produce section has the fresh ones. I have never heard those claims before, it is most definitely Not illegal, we have a jackfruit tree in our yard and grows great with the papayas. I buy different brands of gnocchi from Italy and none of them contain milk or eggs so just check the box before purchasing.

    1. You can buy vegan gnocchi at the grocery store, off the top of my head DeCecco makes vegan gnocchi, Gia Russa and La Veneziane which is also gluten free.

  7. Just made this stew with some minor tweaks. I did not use the gnocchi and instead used 4 large organic gold potatoes. I bought the jackfruit but didn’t end up using it and instead added vegan meatballs from Trader Joe’s. Also didn’t have cloves, but it turned out so like a beef stew from my childhood! Even my kids loved it!

  8. This recipe looks absolutely delicious! What else could I use other than jackfruit? We’ve tried it a couple times from a pouch and it was super mushy and unappetizing. Bad batch maybe? Other suggestions?

    1. Christa, I’d suggest trying it with canned jackfruit green unripe, drain and rinse well before adding to the stew. The TJ’s cans are always great and consistent quality so i definitely recommend those.

  9. So delicious. Hubby had three servings and while eating it asked me several times if I would make it again. This came together quickly. I used potatoes instead of gnocchi. Despite this being heart and filling it is not heavy. Go Veggies!!

  10. Hiya! Looking forward to trying this. I’ve always loved my Nan’s beef stew and would love a hearty vegan version to work out!

    We can’t get jackfruit in the country we live in. But we do use dried hibiscus flowers (rehydrate, rinse, slow cook) as a beefy substitute. You can find them in tea stores, and grocery stores or markets in the herb sections. Hope that helps someone out there!

    1. How neat! Hibiscus flowers? Who knew. I love this idea and just happen to have some a friend grew and dried herself. She’d given them to me for tea but I’m going to use them as a meat substitute.

  11. This soup was lovely, looked like a real proper stew but I think my thyme and smoked paprika were more pungent than the ones called for in the recipe! My stew came out smelling strongly of rubber because of it. Will definitely make again with 1/3 the amount of thyme and paprika listed, because otherwise the stew was great!

    1. Check your smoked paprika box, i learned there is a sweet kind and a bitter one. Only use the sweet smoked which is mild flavorful and smoky. Someone else reported that received an odd batch of jackfruit pieces when they ordered online so I suggest you make sure to check on that before making the stew as well. Hope your next big pot of stew will be perfectly delicious! ~ Florentina Xo’s

      1. If substituting potatoes for the gnocchi, when should I add them please? Looking forward to trying this recipe

        1. About the same time, diced potatoes only take 12 to 15 minutes to cook, so about 15 minutes before your stew is done.

    1. Hey Gila, i would just use mushrooms instead of the jackfruit, chickpeas are fine but totally different texture and flavor profile.

  12. Not sure why but this turned out very bland and a bit sour. Not what I was expecting at all. I followed the recipe exactly!

      1. Sounds like something is definitely off with the jackfruit. I’m so sorry to hear, we really enjoyed it! ~ Florentina

  13. Hi,

    I’ve made this many times with some minor adjustments and it’s such a great recipe. Would this recipe work in an instant pot? Would you have instructions for that? Also, for the slow cooker, the tomatoes weren’t mentioned. Should they be added with the peas? Finally, I was thinking of adding a dark, leafy green as a way to get another portion in for the day. Is there one you’d recommend? Thank you.

    1. Hi Glory, I am so glad you loved the stew. I have not made it in the IP but for the slow cooker method I’d add the tomatoes at the same time with the peas since they are fresh you want them to keep that fresh flavor. If wanting to add some dark leafy greens you could do chopped up mustard greens, baby spinach or Lacinato kale, also chopped up collard greens and even baby bok choy would be nice. Add these in the last few minutes of cooking just until wilted. Enjoy ~ Florentina Xo’s

  14. An excellent recipe and the stew was really good. The only thing I will omit next time is cloves but everything taste really good.

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