Flavorful Vegetarian Irish Stew: A Hearty Bowl of Comfort

Picture this: you’re cozied up on a chilly, rainy day with a bowl of homemade stew. The steam from the bowl warms your face, and the smell of savory vegetables and fragrant herbs fills your nose. There’s something about a hearty stew that just feels like home, like comfort. And today, I am thrilled to share with you my Vegetarian Irish Stew Recipe.

Now, you may be thinking, “A vegetarian Irish stew? That’s not traditional!” And, well, you’re right. But this stew is proof that sometimes it’s good to shake things up a bit. By swapping out the meat typically used in Irish stew for lentils and potatoes, this vegan Irish stew still maintains all of the warm and hearty flavor that we love so much.

As a chef specializing in British cuisine, I can tell you that there are few dishes more iconic to me than an Irish stew. It is the epitome of comfort food – a dish that brings people together in warmth and coziness. While this vegetarian version may be different from what you’re used to, I promise it won’t disappoint. So let’s grab our ingredients and get cooking!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Vegetarian Irish Stew
Vegetarian Irish Stew

If you’re looking for a hearty, flavorful and comforting meal, then this vegetarian Irish stew recipe is the perfect choice for you. Even if you’re not a vegetarian or vegan, this dish is definitely worth trying because it’s packed with delicious flavors and textures that will make your taste buds dance with joy.

One of the things I love about this recipe is its versatility. You can serve it as a main course or as a side dish, depending on what you’re in the mood for. The combination of peas, dried lentils, potatoes, carrots, celery and garlic give this stew a satisfying depth of flavor and texture that is both comforting and filling.

Another great feature of this vegetarian Irish stew recipe is its simplicity. You don’t need to be an expert chef to make this dish; all you need are some basic cooking skills and a few simple ingredients. The recipe calls for common ingredients that you can find at any grocery store, so there’s no need to hunt down exotic spices or hard-to-find ingredients.

Perhaps one of the best things about this recipe is its long history rooted in Ireland’s culture. This old-fashioned Mulligan Stew has been made for centuries with lamb or mutton but this vegetarian twist on the iconic Irish stew brings new life to an old favorite.

Lastly, the stew uses tomato sauce and bay leaf to achieve incredible flavor while being vegan-friendly or vegetarian-friendly which suits a large group of people with specific dietary needs.

Believe me when I say this, once you try this chunky and hearty vegan Irish stew recipe, it will become a regular addition to your dinner rotation. So go ahead and give it a try – you won’t regret it!

Ingredient List

 The ultimate comfort food: Vegetarian Irish Stew
The ultimate comfort food: Vegetarian Irish Stew

Here are the ingredients you need to make this hearty Vegan Irish Stew recipe:

Main Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 medium potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 large carrots, sliced
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 1 cup dried lentils
  • 4 cups water or vegetable broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ teaspoon thyme

Additional Ingredients:

  • 1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1 can (15 ounces) peas

Note that these Irish Stew ingredients are for a vegetarian Irish stew recipe that uses no meat but if you want a more traditional dish, try substituting the meat with lamb or beef.

The Recipe How-To

 Get ready to savor each bite of this hearty stew
Get ready to savor each bite of this hearty stew

Now, it’s time to cook up this hearty Vegetarian Irish Stew. Here’s how I make it:


  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 4 potatoes, peeled and chopped into bite-size pieces
  • 1 cup dried lentils
  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 can of tomato sauce
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • A handful of frozen or fresh peas


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for about five minutes until soft and translucent.
  2. Add the minced garlic to the pot and sauté for another minute.
  3. Add the sliced carrots, chopped celery, and chopped potatoes to the pot. Sauté for another five minutes until the vegetables are slightly tender.
  4. Increase the heat to high; pour in water, canned tomato sauce, add dried lentils, bay leaf, dried thyme, salt, and black pepper. Give everything a good stir.
  5. Bring to a boil then reduce heat low and let it cook for around an hour or until the lentils and vegetables are fully cooked and tender.
  6. Finally, in the last ten minutes of cooking, add a handful of frozen or fresh peas into the stew mixture.

Serve hot with crusty bread or over mashed potatoes.

Enjoy your Vegetarian Irish Stew!

Substitutions and Variations

 No meat? No problem! This stew will still leave you satisfied
No meat? No problem! This stew will still leave you satisfied

As a vegetarian Irish Stew recipe, this dish already comes piled high with an incredibly rich array of flavors and nutrients. But let’s get creative! Here are some substitutions and variations to change things up or adapt the recipe to your preferences.

First and foremost, you can always switch up the vegetables. Though this recipe has been crafted to provide maximum flavor, you can use any veggies that tickle your fancy. If you don’t like mushrooms, leave ’em out. If sweet potatoes sound divine instead of regular potatoes, substitute away!

In addition, there are ways to create a Heartier Stew by adding legumes such as chickpeas or red kidney beans for a protein boost. For an even beefier alternative, consider using seitan, which has a similar hearty texture and taste to meat.

If you want to go extra creamy, swap out the tomato sauce for coconut milk or heavy cream. You can also try incorporating herbs like sage or rosemary for a little bit of a twist on the classic Irish stew seasoning blend.

Finally, feel free to adjust the water depending on how soupy or stewy you like it. If you prefer chunkier vegetable pieces in your stew, add less water than if you would like it more soup-like.

No matter how you choose to make substitutions and variations to this Vegetarian Irish Stew recipe, remember that experimentation is key! There’s no right or wrong way to make it – just trust your instincts and have fun with it.

Serving and Pairing

 Perfect for a cozy night in by the fireplace
Perfect for a cozy night in by the fireplace

Once your vegetarian Irish stew is finished and ready to serve, you’ll want to gather your favorite serving dish and ladle that hearty vegan goodness right into it. Sprinkle some chopped fresh parsley over the top for a pop of color, and maybe even serve it up with a slice of fresh, crusty bread.

For pairing, I recommend a full-bodied red wine such as a Cabernet Sauvignon or a Zinfandel to complement the richness of the stew. Alternatively, if you’re not in the mood for an alcoholic beverage, try serving with some hot tea or apple cider.

This hearty stew is perfect for a cozy night in with loved ones or as a warming meal after a chilly day outside. So light some candles, get comfortable, and enjoy this delicious and nutritious vegan Irish stew.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 A flavor explosion in every mouthful
A flavor explosion in every mouthful

As with most stews, this Vegetarian Irish Stew recipe is great for making in advance. In fact, it often tastes even better the next day as the flavors have more time to meld together. So, if you’re hosting a dinner party or just want to be able to relax on the day of serving, make this stew up to two days ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator.

To reheat the stew, simply use a large pot and heat it up over medium heat. If your stew has thickened up from sitting in the fridge, add a splash of water or vegetable broth to thin it out to your desired consistency. It’s important not to microwave this stew as it can cause uneven heating and may not turn out as flavorful.

If you have leftovers after reheating, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days. This Irish Stew also freezes well for longer storage; simply allow it to cool completely before dividing into freezer-safe containers or bags. When you’re ready to reheat it from frozen, simply defrost overnight in the refrigerator, then warm through on the stove over medium heat.

Overall, this hearty Vegan Irish Stew is great for making ahead to save time and effort on busy nights or for entertaining guests. With its delicious blend of veggies and spices, you’ll want to savor each bite – at any temperature!

Tips for Perfect Results

 Who says vegetarian food can't be hearty and delicious?
Who says vegetarian food can’t be hearty and delicious?

To achieve a hearty and rich flavor for this vegetarian Irish stew recipe, there are several tips that I would like to share with you. The first tip is to use fresh thyme and bay leaves. By using fresh herbs, the stew will have a more vibrant and deep taste.

Another important tip is to cook the vegetables at the right time to avoid mushiness. To do this, make sure to cut them into similar sizes so they cook evenly. For example, cut potatoes and carrots into bite-sized pieces and add them to the pot when the lentils are halfway done.

When it comes to garlic in this recipe, finely minced garlic cloves work best as opposed to chunky ones. This will allow their flavor and aroma to be better distributed throughout the stew.

Adding a splash of Irish stout to this vegan Irish stew recipe can take its flavor up a notch. It adds a bold and robust taste that complements well with the other ingredients. However, if you prefer a non-alcoholic version, replace it with vegetable broth instead.

Finally, be patient with the cooking process. Allow the stew to simmer at low heat until all ingredients are thoroughly cooked through. This will help meld all of the flavors together, resulting in a rich and savory texture that will satisfy your taste buds.

By following these tips, you will achieve great success in creating an authentic vegetarian Irish stew that even meat lovers will enjoy!


Now that you have all the ingredients and steps to make a delicious Irish stew let’s review some frequently asked questions. You may have some doubts about substitutions, cooking time or leftovers. Don’t worry; I’ll give you insight into how to customize your vegan Irish stew to your taste and the optimal way to reheat it. Let’s get started with the FAQ section.

What is the difference between Irish stew and regular stew?

When it comes to different types of stews, the broth and meat choice can greatly affect the taste and texture. For instance, if you opt for a beef stew, you will typically use cubed beef, such as stew meat or chuck roast. However, an Irish stew is quite different in that it traditionally calls for mutton or lamb and comes with a luscious beer-based broth.

What is the difference between Irish stew and Mulligan stew?

When it comes to Mulligan stew and Irish stew, one of the primary contrasts is the type of meat used. Unlike Irish stew that calls for lamb or mutton, Mulligan stew utilizes beef. Moreover, the latter stew tends to incorporate various vegetables that may be present in the fridge, providing a more versatile recipe overall.

Which ingredients do you need for an Irish stew?

Some may argue that a genuine Irish stew is made solely with mutton, potatoes, and onions, however, it is widely accepted that other vegetables such as carrots, celery, turnips, swedes, parsnips, leek, kale, and cabbage can be added to make it more traditional and flavorful.

What is the secret to good stew?

To achieve the finest taste in stew, it is crucial to grant it ample time. The key ingredient in a stew is collagen-dense, hard-to-cut meat, that takes time to be cooked perfectly. By boiling stew, it will only make the muscle fibers shrink and turn hard, so one needs to avoid that. To make sure that the meat breaks down entirely, at least two hours are required for perfect results. It would be best if you always gave your stew ample time to prepare to attain the best flavor.

Bottom Line

In closing, this vegetarian Irish stew recipe packs all the flavor and heartiness of its meaty counterpart, without any of the animal products. Whether you’re a vegetarian looking to enjoy traditional Irish cuisine, or simply want to switch up your stew game, this recipe is sure to deliver. With a rich tomato sauce base, colorful vegetables like carrots, potatoes, and peas, and fragrant herbs like thyme and bay leaf, this stew is sure to warm you up on even the coldest of days.

But don’t just take my word for it – give this recipe a try for yourself and see! Whether you stick to the ingredient list or get creative with substitutions and variations, there’s no doubt that this stew is a winner. So pour yourself a pint of Guinness or another Irish stout if desired, ladle up a bowl of chunky veggie goodness, and raise a toast to St. Patrick’s Day or any other occasion. Sláinte!

Vegetarian Irish Stew

Vegetarian Irish Stew Recipe

A substitute to the standard meat stew for St. Patty's Day... delicious for any time of the year!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Irish
Keyword Beans, Easy, European, Lentils, One-Dish Meal, Potato, Vegan, Vegetable
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Calories 232.1kcal


  • 1 small chopped onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 cups chopped carrots
  • 5 cups cubed potatoes
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon thyme
  • 1 tablespoon bay leaf
  • 1 Guinness stout
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 cup dried lentils
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup peas


  • Add all ingredients except for peas into crock pot and cook on low for 6 hours. Add peas and cook for 2 more hours.


Serving: 315g | Calories: 232.1kcal | Carbohydrates: 40.4g | Protein: 10.1g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 0.6g | Sodium: 203.7mg | Fiber: 12.3g | Sugar: 5.8g

Recommended Recipes Just For You

None found