This vegan mushroom stew is comforting, luxuriously creamy and flavorful, yet surprisingly light. Made with whole-food ingredients including fresh and dried mushrooms, potatoes, carrots, garlic, and rosemary. Serve with salad, rice, or your favorite crusty bread for dipping. This mushroom stew is gluten-free and oil-free (WFPB).
If you're a mushroom lover like I am, this creamy stew is going to make you SO happy. The mushrooms lend a tender and meaty bite, while the potatoes, onion, and carrots create a perfectly comforting stew with just a hint of vegetable sweetness.
Initially, I had planned to share a vegan Irish stew, since St. Patrick's Day is right around the corner. But after one test batch I just wasn't feeling the vibes - tomatoes combined with the same old veggies and herbs.
So I decided to switch gears and take inspiration from one of our favorite recipes, Vegan Cream of Mushroom Soup.
The creamy base of this mushroom stew? Oh friends, it's crave-worthy! It's satisfying in all the ways you want a creamy soup or stew to be, but without dairy or loads of fat to weigh you down.
All of the creaminess in this vegan stew recipe comes from just ⅓ cup raw cashews. No flour or starch needed.
And finally, the stew is finished with a splash of balsamic vinegar for brightness plus mellow white miso (optional) for more umami and saltiness.
Enjoy this low-calorie stew as is, or make it even more filling with the addition of cooked beans, lentils, seitan, or beef-less tips.
Start to finish this recipe takes just under 1 hour to prepare. So let's make a pot!
- fresh mushrooms - use any combination of mushrooms you enjoy and have access to; more on this below. I used 16 ounces baby bella (or cremini) and 8 ounces white button mushrooms. For varieties with woody stems, such as shiitakes, be sure to pluck out the stems.
- dried mushrooms - shiitakes are great because they have a naturally smoky aroma and flavor. Porcinis are also delicious. I often buy dried mushrooms online because they have a long shelf-life and are more affordable in bulk. You can also find them in small packages at the grocery store, usually near the produce section.
- rosemary - fresh rosemary really gives the stew amazing flavor, but dried rosemary works in a pinch. Feel free to use thyme instead.
- potatoes - I chose yellow potatoes. Reds or russets are great, too.
- broth - use your favorite store-bought or homemade vegetable broth.
- raw cashews - raw sunflower seeds may be substituted if you avoid cashews. The natural starch in cashews is what thickens the stew during cooking; if not using a high-speed blender see notes below regarding soaking.
- white miso - optional; when the stew is done, taste and decide whether you'd like more saltiness. Usually you'll find miso near the tofu in grocery store coolers. Some stores carry a shelf-stable variety on the aisle near other Japanese ingredients.
Check out this post to learn more: What is miso?
See recipe card below for quantities and full recipe.
How To Make Mushroom Stew
- Cover the dried mushrooms and rosemary with 1 cup of boiling water. Set aside to steep while you begin the stew.
- On the stovetop, preheat a soup pot over medium heat. Saute the onion and fresh mushrooms for about 8 minutes. The mushrooms will release their moisture during this time. Add the carrots and garlic, and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes.
- Combine the dried mushroom mixture (including the water), cashews, and 2 cloves of garlic in a high-speed blender. Blend until completely smooth.
- Next, add the potatoes, salt, pepper, blended mixture, and broth to the pot. Bring to a boil.
- Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook until the potatoes are barely fork tender but not quite done, about 10 minutes.
- Remove the lid, add balsamic vinegar, and increase heat to a simmer. Cook for another 5 minutes or until the stew has thickened and reduced slightly.
Now it's time to taste! For more saltiness and umami add the miso. To do this, scoop about ⅓ cup of the liquid part of the stew into a bowl, whisk in the miso until dissolved, then add to the pot.
Tip: Keep in mind that the smaller you cut the potatoes the more quickly they'll cook. We really enjoy them large and chunky for this recipe.
How to Serve Mushroom Stew
Garnish with chopped fresh parsley and serve alongside a fresh green salad or kale salad and toasted bread.
And though there are potatoes in the stew, there's nothing better than mushroom stew over mashed potatoes.
To serve with mashed potatoes, omit or reduce the potatoes in the stew, and add more veggies, such as turnips, parsnips, or an additional carrot.
RELATED: If you love healthy soups, check out this Instant Pot Lentil Cabbage Soup. It's been one of our favorites this winter - lightly smoky and spicy and full of nutrition.
As mentioned above, this mushroom stew is fairly light. If you'd like to make it more filling, while still keeping it plant-based, there are plenty of easy ways to do that. Here are some possible additions:
- cooked beans like chickpeas or white beans
- pre-cooked chunks of seitan, either homemade or store-bought
- steamed or baked tempeh or tofu
- pre-seasoned soy curls
- beefless tips, vegan ground beef, or chick-un strips
How to Store
Store mushroom stew in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
To freeze, let cool completely, transfer to a freezer-safe container, and freeze for up to 2 months.
Any mushroom variety you can get your hands on will work well in stew. But some varieties do lend more depth and flavor than others. Cremini mushrooms (also known as baby bella) are a solid choice because they're both easy to find and affordable. Baby bellas, white button, and portobello mushrooms are the same variety, but vary by maturity. Since white buttons are the youngest, they are the softest and least flavorful of the three. Portobello, porcini, and shiitake mushrooms are also great here, though usually more expensive.
Yes, of course. If you don't have dried mushrooms on hand, increase the amount of fresh mushrooms to 2 pounds. I still recommend steeping the rosemary in hot water (in Step 1) because it's such a great flavor enhancer.
More Vegan Soup Recipes
Creamy Vegan Mushroom Stew
- ½ ounce dried mushrooms - I used shiitakes
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary - or 1 teaspoon dried
- 1 cup boiling water
- 5 cloves garlic, divided - mince 3 cloves and leave 2 whole
- ⅓ cup raw cashews - sub raw sunflower seeds if needed
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 1 ½ pounds mixed fresh mushrooms, cut into thick/chunky slices - remove any woody stems
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into coins or half moons
- 1 ½ pounds yellow potatoes, cut into large, equal-sized pieces
- 3 to 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 teaspoons mellow white miso, optional
- Place the dried mushrooms and rosemary in a bowl, and cover with 1 cup of boiling water. Set aside to steep.
- Preheat a large soup pot over medium heat. Cook the onion and the fresh mushrooms for about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add a generous pinch of salt once you hear the mushrooms sizzling (releasing moisture). Add the carrots and minced garlic, and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. The mixture should still be fairly moist from the mushrooms, not dry.
- Pour the steeped mushroom-rosemary mixture (including the water) into a high-speed blender (see Notes). Add the cashews and 2 whole cloves of garlic. Blend until completely smooth.
- To the soup pot add the potatoes, 1 teaspoon salt, black pepper, contents of the blender, and 3 cups broth. If needed, pour some broth into the blender to help remove all of the mushroom-cashew mixture.
- Make sure the potatoes are submerged, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer until the potatoes are barely fork tender, about 10 minutes (possibly less, depending on their size). Stir in the balsamic vinegar, and increase heat to return to a simmer. Cook uncovered for another 5 minutes or until the stew has thickened and reduced slightly.
- Turn off the heat and taste for seasoning. If including miso, scoop about ⅓ cup of the liquid part of the stew into a bowl, whisk in the miso until dissolved, and add to the pot. Serve hot with crusty bread and a side salad.
Estimated Nutrition (per serving)
Nutrition information is an estimate and will vary depending on the exact amounts and specific products and ingredients used. We calculate this information using the online calculator cronometer.com.