Vegan chicken style stew and fluffy dumplings is just a bowl of pure deliciousness and comfort. This stew is so easy to come together in one pot, and can be ready in just over an hour.
Packed with everyday plant goodness, creamy savoury sauce and airy, soft dumpling pillows, this veggie stew will quickly become a favourite family menu staple.
Quick Origins Of Chicken Stew
Chicken stew originated thousands of years ago and most countries around the world have their own variations. It is difficult to track down the actual origins of the first chicken stew as humans have been preparing stews for thousands of years. Possibly the first recorded stew was within a Roman cookbook Apicius that was written way back in the 1st century!
Chicken soup, which is similar to chicken stew, dates back even further to 7000-10000 years ago to somewhere in India or South Asia. Again chicken soup has countless variations that can be found around the world. I have a tasty vegan chicken noodle soup recipe that is one of my family's favourites especially whenever we are under-the-weather.
It stands to reason that the history of chicken stew and chicken soup are intertwined as both dishes are so close in nature.
What's the difference between a stew and a soup?
Not much really. However there are a few small differences.
A stew is basically any food cooked within a liquid which could be a broth, gravy, sauce, stock, milk, etc, but this could also describe a soup. However, the ingredients for a stew are generally prepared chunkier and thicker, with more ingredients packed into the liquid. Although again some soups could be described this way!
Stews are generally thickened up with flour or some form of starch but then so are some soups such as chowders.
I would think the main difference between a stew and a soup is that a soup is generally served in a bowl to contain the relatively thinner liquid, while a stew could technically be served on a plate, with sides, and the thick sauce poured over.
Vegan Chicken Stew And Fluffy Dumplings
This vegan chicken stew is based on the traditional British chicken stew with simple ingredients but an emphasis on creaminess and flavour.
The most amazing airy, fluffy and soft dumplings accompany this stew. Many would argue that the dumplings are arguably the best part of a stew and my kids would wholeheartedly agree!
Vegan chicken stew is thick, creamy and packed with savoury herb goodness. This recipe uses vegan chicken flavoured stock but any vegan stock can be used. Coconut milk brings rich and satisfying creaminess, including delicious aromas and flavours.
For the chicken alternative I add vegan Quorn pieces and the flavour and texture work perfectly with this stew. I don't use too many meat-free alternatives but my kids happen to really like the Quorn chunks so I am happy to add them. Although any veggie meat-free pieces will work either dried, fresh or frozen alternatives.
The veggies I choose for this stew are traditional ones: parsnip, potato, carrot, celery, and peas along with the trusty combo of onion and garlic.
I decided a can of cannellini beans should also go in the pot as I like to add beans to most of our meals.
A few teaspoons of dried sage brings amazing aromas and flavour while a few tablespoons of flour thickens up all the tastiness.
This vegan chicken stew quickly comes together in just an hour. For the last 30 minutes the dumplings are added. The dumplings only need a few ingredients: self-raising flour, plant milk, vegan mayonnaise and a few teaspoons of dried thyme. After 20 minutes of steaming on the top of the stew, the dumplings are left for a further 10 minutes on the cooker ring but with the heat off, to finish off their cooking perfection.
A sprinkle of chopped parsley brings bright pops of green goodness and compliments the creamy sauce beautifully.
How To Prepare Vegan Chicken Stew And Dumplings
Vegan Chicken Stew And Dumplings Recipe Notes And FAQS
Leftover stew can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days within a covered container. Or frozen for up to 3-4 months. Defrost completely before reheating.
Place the stew into a non-stick pan and bring to a simmer, reheat for 3-5 minutes or until piping hot throughout. Stir frequently while simmering. A little extra plant milk, stock or water may need to be added as the stew will likely have become thicker.
A few ideas:
* replace the parsnip with celeriac, cauliflower or turnip/swede
* use sweet potato instead of white potato
* or replace the carrot with sweet potato and keep the white potato!
* replace the fresh onion and garlic with a few tsps of the dried varieties
* switch out the peas for broccoli chopped into small florets, sliced asparagus or green beans
* use any type of bean instead of cannellini
* instead of vegan Quorn pieces try soy curls (although rehydrate these before using), tofu, tempeh, seitan, or a different chicken style meat-free chunks. Or simply add an extra can of creamy white beans or chuck in a few juicy whole or sliced mushrooms
This meal is substantial enough to not need sides, but if feeding extra hungry people then here are a few suggestions:
* Irish soda bread ( 100% wholemeal)
* a wedge of your favourite crusty bread
* traditional Scottish oatcakes
* saltine crackers
Serve the stew over a grain:
* rice, especially wholegrain
* wheat grains
* rye grains
This vegan stew can be prepared as gluten-fee with a few considerations. Use gluten-free plain flour (I use the Doves Farm brand whenever I use gluten-free flour in sauces or stews) for the stew, and ensure your vegan stock is gluten-free.
For the dumplings you could try preparing these with gluten-free self-raising flour, but I have not actually tested this out so I do not know what the outcome would be. Although I am planning on testing gluten-free dumplings and will update this question with the outcome when I do.
More Tasty Vegan Stews To Enjoy Throughout The Chilly Months:
Vegan Chicken Stew And Dumplings
- Large non-stick pot/Dutch oven pan with lid
- Mixing bowl to prepare dumplings
- 1 tablespoon olive oil or ½ (125ml) cup veggie stock, possibly more stock as required
- 200 grams vegan Quorn pieces or similar alternative, or use an extra can of creamy white beans
- 1 can cannellini beans 400g/15oz can, drained (240g cooked beans) or use butterbeans
- 230 grams parsnips about 2, sliced into thick bitesize pieces
- 230 grams carrots 2 medium, thick sliced
- 65 grams celery 1 large stalk/rib, sliced
- 400 grams potatoes 3 small, diced into bitesize chunks
- 130 grams peas frozen, fresh, or tinned
- 200 grams onion 1 large, diced
- 4 cloves garlic sliced, use more if liked
- 2 tablespoons plain flour or all purpose flour/gluten-free plain flour/ plain wholemeal flour
- 1 can coconut milk 400ml/ 14oz can, use a lite coconut milk for less calories and fat, but full fat will works fine also and results in a more creamy stew
- 1.2 litre vegetable stock hot, use a vegan chicken stock/cubes/bouillon etc, if available
- 2 teaspoons dried sage or dried mixed herbs
- 165 grams self raising flour or plain/all purpose flour with 1 ½ teaspoons of baking powder
- 125 millilitres plant based milk such as oat or soya
- 2 tablespoons vegan mayonnaise heaped tablespoons
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme or mixed herbs
- 10 grams fresh parsley fine chopped
- Heat the oil or veggie stock in a pot.
- Add the onion, celery, carrot, parsnip and potato, sauté for 8 minutes over a medium heat. Give it a stir every now and again.
- Tip in the sliced garlic and dried sage. Mix and cook for 2 minutes.
- Stir through the flour, peas and beans. Sprinkle in some salt and pepper. Give it all a good mix.
- Pour in the vegan stock and bring to a simmer.
- Simmer for 20 minutes with the lid off. Give it a stir every now and then.
- After 10 minutes prepare the dumpling mix.
- Add the flour, thyme, plant milk and vegan mayonnaise to a bowl, along with salt and pepper and mix well to combine into a thick, sticky batter.
Add dumpling mix to stew:
- After 20 minutes has past, check the stew seasoning and add extra salt if required. Pour in the coconut milk and bring back to the boil.
- Scoop 8 even size dumplings and drop into the stew a little away from each dumpling so that they don't stick together.
- Pop a lid on the pan, turn down the heat so that the stew is at a steady simmer, and leave the dumplings to steam for 20 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and allow the pan to sit on the cooker ring for another 10 minutes.
- Serve the stew and dumplings with chopped parsley scattered over each serving.
- Nutritional information is provided for guidance only and is not a strict calculation as ingredients vary.
- If using vegetable stock to sauté the veggies the calories and fat amounts will be less.
- If preferred a lite/low fat canned coconut milk can be used and this will result in less calories and fat.
- Use a low sodium stock if necessary to reduce sodium levels.
- Leftover stew can be kept in the fridge, within a covered container, for up to 3 days.
- Or frozen for up to 3-4 months. Although do bear in mind that the texture of some veggies and the dumplings may change when they have been frozen. But the stew will still be tasty.
- Reheat leftover stew by adding to a pan along with some extra plant milk, stock or water, if necessary, as the stew will likely become very thick as it sits. Bring to a simmer and reheat for 3-5 minutes until everything is piping hot. Stir frequently.