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Vegan Irish corned beef and cabbage stew ( tempeh with rustic veggies) is an adaption of a traditional Irish-American meal that was developed by Irish immigrants to North America.
This recipe is a tasty, fun, nutritious rustic dish that is perfect to enjoy as an everyday meal or as part of a St Patrick’s Day (17th March) dinner or Irish themed meal.
Each bite of this tasty stew is amazing. From the slow-cooked melt-in-your-mouth cabbage, to the sweet chunks of carrot and onion, to the nutty tempeh, earthy celery, and creamy new potatoes. Not forgetting the slurpable rich savoury gravy that can be mopped up with a wedge of wholesome Irish soda bread.
Quick origin of Irish corned beef and cabbage stew
Irish corned beef and cabbage is really an American-Irish collaboration that originated from the traditional Irish bacon and cabbage stew.
When Irish immigrants were forced to move due to the Irish potato famine during the 19th Century many settled in North America. Bacon was difficult to source so they subbed this ingredient with corned beef to re-create their cabbage stew. Whereas back home in Ireland beef was too expensive an ingredient to be readily available.
Nowadays corned beef and cabbage stew is popular in North America especially during St Patrick’s Day, and over in Ireland they are more likely to have the classic bacon and cabbage.
Vegan corned ‘beef’ and cabbage stew
My family lived in Northern Ireland for many years, and two of my kids can claim Irish decent so I love adapting Irish recipes to feed them all with!
This vegan recipe is my take on the classic dish. Tempeh, which is cooked and fermented soya beans, replaces the corned beef.
I chose tempeh rather than tofu as tempeh has a more dense and ridged texture, with a nuttier, creamier flavour. Also tempeh has more protein compered to tofu and is a great source of plant-based nutrition.
So in all tempeh is perfect for this recipe. Tempeh is in fact a traditional ingredient that originates in Indonesia where it has been a common food for centuries.
The gravy is flavoured with a little marmite and tamari soya sauce to achieve that savoury taste that creates a delicious want-to-eat-more base. The veggies are kept authentically rustic as they are sliced into wedges and chunks which makes this stew fun and a pleasure to eat. Lots of texture and satisfying bites.
Once cooked the tempeh can be removed from the gravy and sliced thinly or thickly, before added to the bowls of stew. Or if preferred chop the tempeh into smaller pieces and chuck back into the stew before serving. My kids enjoyed the tempeh better in smaller chunks as they find tempeh to be quite strong tasting. However I liked the tempeh in larger slices so go with your family’s own likes.
However the tempeh can be easily replaced with tofu, a smoked tofu variety would be extra tasty, seitan, large mushrooms, a large creamy bean such as butterbeans, rehydrated soya chunks or soya curls.
With the original corned beef and cabbage stew, the individual ingredients are often removed from the stock and served separate on a plate.
However, with this plant-based version I didn’t want to loose the delicious savoury flavours of the gravy that is created.
That would be a disaster! Besides my wedge of soda bread definitely required the gravy.
Recipe Notes And FAQS
Leftovers can be stored in the fridge within a covered container for 3 days. Or frozen for up to 4 months.
Leftovers can be reheated by bringing to a simmer for 3-4 minutes until piping hot. Add extra veggie stock if necessary.
This recipe can be easily prepared gluten-free with a few considerations. All the ingredients that I used for this recipe are gluten-free.
Check that your tempeh brand has been prepared without gluten ingredients, use a gluten-free vegan stock, and use tamari soya sauce.
Tamari soya sauce is usually gluten-free whereas regular soya sauce is not.
Yes, a few suggestions:
* instead of tempeh use tofu, seitan. rehydrated TVP chunks (textured vegetable protein), or soya curls. Other good ideas are large mushrooms, aubergine/eggplant wedges, or creamy butterbeans.
* celery can be omitted if preferred and replaced with a few extra carrots
* whole shallots can be used instead of onion
* replace the tamari soya sauce with vegan Worcester sauce or liquid aminos
How To Prepare Vegan Irish Corned Beef And Cabbage Stew
More vegan and plant-based Irish recipes:
Traditional Irish Apple Cake (delicious link coming soon)
Vegan Irish Corned Beef and Cabbage Stew (Tempeh with rustic veggies)
- Large soup/stock pan or Dutch oven
- 250 g tempeh left whole, your package of tempeh may be less or slightly more than 250g which is fine
- 500 g white cabbage about half a large cabbage, sliced into large wedges, don't remove the inner stalk. Aim for 1-2 wedges per person depending on appetite, so you may require more of the other half of your cabbage.
- 700 g new/baby potatoes kept whole and skins on, if blemished peel. or use larger potatoes chopped into large chunks
- 230 g carrots 2 medium, sliced into large chunks
- 150 g celery 2-3 medium ribs
- 380 g onion 2 medium, sliced into wedges
- 4 cloves garlic left whole or halved
- 2 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon dried mixed herbs
- 1 teaspoon marmite vegetable extract/vege-mite
- 2 tablespoons tamari or regular soya sauce
- 2 tsp onion powder
- 2 litres vegan stock use a beef flavoured vegan stock if available. I added 3-4 teaspoons of stock powder.
- 10 g parsley or chives, chopped
- Add the carrot, celery, and onions to your soup pan.
- Nestle the tempeh block in the middle of the veggies.
- Add the garlic cloves and potatoes.
- Pour the vegan stock over and mix through the flavourings. Add some salt and pepper.
- Set the cabbage wedges in the pan on top of the potatoes. Don't worry if the tops of the cabbage is not submerged into the stock.
- Bring to the boil. Lower the heat and pop a lid on. Simmer for 30 minutes.
- Remove the lid, and flip over any cabbage wedges that were above the stock.
- Continue to simmer, minus the lid, for 15 minutes or until the potatoes and cabbage is fork tender.Taste the gravy and add salt and black pepper to taste.
- Remove the tempeh and either slice thinly or thickly and serve with the rustic veggies, potatoes and cabbage wedge. Or if preferred chop the tempeh into smaller bitesize pieces. Pour the gravy into the bowls after you've dished out the food.
- Sprinkle each bowl with chopped parsley or chives if liked.
- Nutritional information is provided for guidance only and is not intended to be a strict calculation as ingredients vary. Data is calculated using computerized nutrition apps.
- For a lower sodium stew use a low-salt vegan stock.
- Tempeh can be switched out for tofu, rehydrated TVP chunks (textured vegetable protein)/soya curls, seitan, large whole mushrooms, or a can of large creamy white beans such as butterbeans.
- The veggies are chopped into chunky rustic pieces, but if preferred chop the veggies smaller.
- The cabbage inner stalk is left on as it holds the cabbage leaves together. Also the stalk is actually tasty especially when stewed and has a pleasant creamy turnip (swede/rutabaga) flavour.
- Leftovers can be stored in the fridge, in a covered container, for 3 days.
- Or frozen for up to 4 months. Defrost before reheating.
- Reheat by bringing to the boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 3-4 minutes until piping hot. Add extra veggie stock if necessary.