There is no better way to enjoy the cold weather than with a bowl of piping hot tempeh stew that's fragrant with savory, perennial herbs and packed with succulent vegetables.
This is a surprisingly simple stew, with vegetables and pantry ingredients that you likely already have on hand, and it takes about 30 minutes from scratch to finish. It is also a mostly one-pot dish (you do need a bowl to toss the tempeh), and the only other food you need to serve with it is some rice or crusty bread. All reasons why it's one of my favorite stews to make and eat.
Tempeh is a wonderful and healthy protein to add to stews, especially if you're squeamish about using meat substitutes. It is especially delicious in this stew because I pack into it lots of flavor by tossing it first in seasoned flour and roasting it. This also gives the tempeh a chewy texture on the outside, and makes it really creamy and delicious on the inside.
I used dry herbs in this stew because it's mainly a cooler weather stew, but you can definitely grab any perennial herbs that are still thriving in your backyard and toss them in, including rosemary and sage. They add smoky, delicious flavor, making the tempeh stew even more appetizing.
Why you will love this Tempeh Stew
- It is so aromatic. Your whole home will smell delicious as it cooks, and the fragrance will linger, tickling your tastebuds, for hours to come.
- It is so healthy. The stew is packed with nothing but good-for-you foods, from the tempeh to the assorted veggies, including potatoes, onions, celery, carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes and mushrooms. You can make it oil-free and add in other seasonal veggies (see FAQs below).
- It is so delicious. This stew has so many flavors, and tomato paste, liquid aminos and mushrooms add in tons of umami to make your tastebuds sing.
- It is everyone-friendly. Okay, there is soy in this recipe with the tempeh and the optional liquid aminos/soy sauce. But you can sub in beans if you are soy-free, see the FAQs below. The recipe is gluten-free and nut-free and it is vegan, of course.
- It is a one-dish meal. You can chow down on this stew by itself, or serve it with rice or crusty bread. A leafy salad on the side would be nice, but given how many veggies are in the stew it is not necessary.
Tempeh Stew: Ingredients
- Tempeh. Use the original flavor tempeh.
- Gluten-free all purpose flour (or rice flour or regular all purpose flour). I made the stew gluten-free but I have also made this with regular all purpose flour and it works just as nicely.
- Dry rosemary or sage. If you can't use either of these, oregano or marjoram are good substitutes. You can also use a mix. This is an herby stew so be generous with the herbs.
- Olive oil. Or any vegetable oil.
- Dry white wine (optional). The alcohol cooks out so you and your kids won't get drunk. 😉 But if you absolutely can't use it, use a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar instead.
- For the aromatic vegetable base (mirepoix): onions, celery and carrots.
- Garlic. For flavor.
- Tomato paste. For umami and delicious color.
- Liquid aminos. This adds more color and flavor and umami. Soy sauce or tamari will work as substitutes.
- Potatoes. I just love potatoes in stews, and almost always add them in when I'm making one. Try and use red or yellow potatoes here. If you don't have anything but russets it's okay to use them but they may not hold their shape when cooked.
- Sweet potatoes. I used red sweet potatoes with a red-purple skin and white flesh. Orange sweet potatoes or purple sweet potatoes would work just as well.
- Mushrooms. Just a handful, for more flavor and healthfulness.
- Ground black pepper.
- Vegan butter. Just a tablespoon, for adding rich flavor at the finish. You can leave this out.
- Parsley. For a fresh finish and for a pretty garnish.
How to make Tempeh Stew
Tofu would be great in this recipe. Toss in flour and roast, just as you would the tempeh.
You can also use beans in this recipe. But if using beans don't roast them first. Stir in cooked or canned beans at the stage where you'd add the roasted tempeh back into the pot.
Yes, butternut or any winter squash would be really nice in this recipe and would add more seasonal flavor.
Toast the tempeh and flour on a dry, nonstick skillet. Instead of adding oil to saute the mirepoix of carrots, onions and celery use a tablespoon of water or stock.
Make ahead and storage instructions
Like most stews, this one keeps really well for a day or two and even tastes better the next day when the flavors have had time to sit around together and meld. You can store the stew in the refrigerator for up to three days and reheat before serving.
For longer storage freeze the stew in a freezer-safe container. Thaw and reheat before eating.
More vegan stew recipes
- Green Tomato Stew
- Mushroom Lima Bean Stew
- Moroccan Chickpea Stew
- Vegan African Peanut Stew with Eggplant and Okra
- Vegan Mushroom Stew
Savory Herbed Vegan Tempeh Stew
- 8 oz tempeh (cut into cubes)
- 2 tablespoon gluten-free all-purpose flour (or rice flour or regular all purpose flour)
- 2 teaspoon dried rosemary (or any savory herb like sage. Oregano or marjoram, or a mix is also fine)
- 2 teaspoon olive oil (or any vegetable oil, divided)
- 1 medium onion (diced)
- 1 tablespoon garlic (minced or crushed)
- 2 medium carrots (finely chopped)
- 2 stalks celery (finely chopped)
- 2 medium potatoes (cut into ½-inch chunks)
- 2 small sweet potatoes (cut into ½-inch chunks)
- 8 crimini mushrooms (sliced)
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 tablespoon liquid aminos (or soy sauce or tamari)
- ground black pepper (to taste)
- Salt (to taste)
- 2 tablespoon parsley (chopped, for garnish)
- Place the cubed tempeh in a bowl with half the herbs, half a teaspoon of ground black pepper and the flour.
- Toss the tempeh in the flour. Add a sprinkle of water if needed to get the flour to adhere to the tempeh. It's okay if some dry flour is still left in the bowl, this will create a nice roux that will thicken the stew.
- Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large skillet. Add the tempeh cubes and cook, turning them around occasionally, until they start to turn lightly golden. Remove from the skillet and set aside.
- Add the remaining oil to the skillet. Add the onions, celery and carrots and cook until they begin to soften, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in the garlic and saute another minute.
- Add the potatoes and sweet potatoes along with the remaining herbs and mix well. Allow the potatoes to cook, covered, for about five minutes, until they begin to get tender.
- Stir in the mushrooms and the wine and allow the wine to cook out. Stir often.
- Add tomato paste and 3 cups of water and stir in.
- Bring to a boil, lower heat, cover, and allow the stew to simmer until the vegetables are cooked, about 5 to 10 minutes.
- Stir in the tempeh cubes along with the liquid aminos or soy sauce/tamari. Cook five minutes, then turn off the heat.
- Stir in the tablespoon of butter, if using. Garnish with parsley.
- Serve hot.
- If you'd like to use another protein besides tempeh, tofu would be great in this recipe. Toss in flour and roast, just as you would the tempeh. You can also use beans in this recipe. But if using beans don't roast them first. Stir in cooked or canned beans at the stage where you'd add the roasted tempeh back into the pot.
- Winter squashes would be a nice addition, if you want to replace another veggie. Don't replace the veggies in the aromatic base of onions, carrots and celery, however.
- To make this recipe oil-free, toast the tempeh and flour on a dry, nonstick skillet. Instead of oil to saute the mirepoix of carrots, onions and celery use a tablespoon of water or stock.
- You can thin out this stew to your liking by adding more water.