Portobello Vegan Beef(less) Stew


This week, one of the meals I offered to my beta team for this season of freezer meals was Beef Stew with a vegetarian option of Beef(less) Stew, in which I planned to substitute vegetable broth for beef broth and seitan for beef. However, the timing of my instacart order prevented me from getting seitan from Whole Foods, so I was forced to improvise. (Quick aside: I feel like using instacart each week has actually saved me grocery money as I am much better about sticking to necessities and not as susceptible to impulse buys. I may need to keep this up after the Freezer Meal Pilot is over! If you’re interested in trying it, you can use the link I provided for a $10 credit.)
I decided to give connoisseurusveg’s Porobello Vegan Beef(less) Stew a try, with a few of my own adaptations, of course. This recipe did not disappoint and made it super easy to make a vegetarian version and a meat lovers version from the same base. Here are the changes I made:

  • I didn’t have red potatoes, so used white potatoes instead
  • Forgot to add flour. Had I remembered, I would have used arrowroot powder instead.
  • Didn’t have red wine on hand, so left that out. Probably would have been a good addition though!
  • Added a bag of frozen sweet potatoes
  • I “wet chopped” the onion/carrot/celery mix in my vitamix and used the water as vegetable broth.
  • I eliminated the liquid smoke as it felt a little too “fake” to me
  • I eliminated the Marmite as I wasn’t feeling brave enough to try it and didn’t have it on hand.
  • As usual, I incorporated Esther’s Seasonings
  • I added Victoria’s Tomato sauce (such great quality) and organic diced tomatoes – yum!

As I’m typing all this out, I’m realizing I made some pretty drastic changes to this recipe and should probably just offer it up as my own! But I’m all about giving credit where credit is due and sometimes it helps to start with someone else’s version and take some creative liberties. After all, what fun is cooking if you follow the recipe exactly?

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Portobello Vegan Beef(less) Stew

This hearty vegan beef stew uses tender portobello mushrooms in place of meat, along with potatoes and veggies. It’s super easy to turn it into a meat lover’s version by simply cooking the stew beef separately and adding it in later… I made some changes to connoisserusveg’s version. You can find the original linked below. Enjoy!

Source: connoisseurusveg.com

Course: Main Course

Prep Time: 15 min


Cook Time: 1 hr


Total Time: 1 hr 15 min


Yield: 4

Serves: 4 Scale


  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 lb. portobello or cremini mushrooms stemmed and coarsely chopped
  • 1 large onion coarsely chopped
  • 2 celery stalks chopped
  • 2 carrots sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 2 lb. red potatoes chopped into 1-2 inch chunks or white potatoes
  • 1-2 lb sweet potatoes, chopped into 1-2 inch chunks
  • 3 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary
  • salt and pepper to taste or Esther’s Gourmet Salt and Esther’s Zesty Peppermill
  • 1 14 oz can organic diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup good quality tomato sauce I like Victoria’s


  1. Coat the bottom of a large pot with oil and place over medium heat. Add mushrooms and cook until softened, 5 minutes. Add onion, celery, carrots and garlic. Cook until veggies begin to tenderize, about 5 minutes more, flipping occasionally with a spatula.
  2. Add broth, tomato paste, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, potatoes, thyme and rosemary. Stir to fully incorporate ingredients. Raise heat and bring to a simmer. Lower heat and allow to simmer, uncovered, until potatoes and veggies are soft, about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add a bit more water to the pot if mixture becomes too thick and starts to sputter.

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