This cozy vegan beef stew with tender carrots and potatoes is super simple to make in the Instant Pot or on the stove. It's a quick, easy, one-pot vegan dinner that you are going to love!
When I was a kid, my dad would make beef stew any time the weather cooled down. He'd simmer that stew on the stove all day long, and it made the whole house smell amazing.
By the time dinnertime arrived, we could barely wait to shovel it into our faces. This vegan beef stew recipe is my simplified, veganized version of that childhood food memory.
The thing is, y'all, I don't have all day to simmer supper on the stove. Honestly, I don't know how dad found the time. Instead, my version takes about half an hour to make, from chop to finish.
I adapted this recipe from my Vegan Chicken Stew, and it's just as easy to make and delicious as that one is!
This recipe is pretty straightforward, ingredients-wise, but we do need to talk about the vegan beef situation. My preferred beef substitute is Gardein Beefless Tips (not a sponsor, but get at me, Gardein!). They're easy to find, and I think the texture and flavor are great.
If you can't find the Beefless Tips (or don't want to use them), you can use beef-style seitan or any vegan beef that comes in chunks (rather than slices or grounds).
If you super don't want to use meat substitutes, I'd recommend making this recipe with two cups of portobello mushrooms, cut into 1" pieces. I wouldn't call it vegan beef stew at that point, but I would still call it hearty and delicious!
The other key to this recipe's beefy-yet-beefless vibe is choosing a good vegan beef broth. I love using the Not-Beef Bouillon Cubes from Edward & Sons (also not a sponsor, but hit me up, y'all!). For this option, you use one cube per cup of water. I tend to round up, so if I am using 1 1/2 cups of water, I use two broth cubes.
Better than Bouillon (nope, not a sponsor) also makes a great beefless bouillon option, which comes as a paste, rather than cubes. Just use one teaspoon of their paste per cup of water.
What I like about making Vegan Beef Stew in the Instant Pot is that I don't have to be there for most of the cooking process. Just like on the stove top, you cook the whole dish in that single pot.
First, use the pot's sauté function to quickly brown the Beefless Tips slightly and start cooking the onion right in the pot. Then, add everything else, set it, and walk away.
Supper will be ready before you know it!
Want to know more about the Instant Pot? Check out this post, which answers common question and includes some of my family's other favorite vegan Instant Pot recipes.
If you're making this on the stove, the process is very similar. You'll just need to use more water, keep an eye on your pot, and stir occasionally. It's a bit more hands on but by no means difficult.
Vegan beef stew recipe
- 1 tablespoon olive oil - optional - you can water-fry, if you prefer
- 1 9 ounce package Gardein Beefless Tips - still frozen is fine - see note
- 1 cup diced sweet onion
- 2 cups sliced carrots - think 1/2" rounds
- 3 medium red potatoes - cut into 1" cubes, about 3 cups
- 1 1/2 cups water - Use 2 1/2 cups water for the stovetop.
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon ground sage - or 2 teaspoons dried sage
- 1 teaspoon ground thyme - or 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 2 Not-Beef Bouillon Cubes - Use 3 cubes for the stovetop - see note.
- 2 bay leaves
Instant Pot directions
- Set your Instant Pot to saute, and add the olive oil, Beefless Tips, and onion. Cook for a few minutes, stirring, until the onions soften.
- Add the remaining ingredients to the pot, cover, and lock the lid. Cook at high pressure for 5 minutes, then do a 10 minute natural release.
- In a soup pot or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the Beefless Tips and onion. Cook for a few minutes, stirring, until the onions soften.
- Add the remaining ingredients to the pot, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. You can add up to 1 cup of extra water, as needed.