Cozy, hearty, and flavorful, this Jackfruit Stew is a super easy and comforting meal. It’s packed with veggies, quick to make, gluten-free, and healthy without sacrificing good flavor.
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Hey Internet, it’s almost spring, and I’m tempted to jump right into those Passover and Easter recipes… but I live in Illinois and well, it just can’t decide what season we’re in. Sigh.
We had a few beautiful days last week. All the snow melted, it was even almost t-shirt weather--well, that’s hoodie weather for me since I run cold.
And then the skies dumped some more snow on us, and the winds picked up, and it got cold again. So I pulled out my trusty bouillon and started experimenting with this great jackfruit I found online (it’s way better than canned!).
I made THE COZIEST soup, and I knew I had to A.) test the recipe a few more times to make sure it was perfect for all of you; and B.) get it onto the blog ASAP.
So here it is, in all its gluten-free glory. I highlight that because this recipe is similar to a very popular recipe of mine that I published last year: vegan beef stew.
However that recipe features my beef seitan, so it’s not a gluten-free recipe, and it also features mushrooms which some of y’all seem to hate, and don’t believe me when I say you can just leave them out…
So here’s a gluten-free and mushroom-free (there might be some extract/powder in the bouillon you use, check the label if you have an allergy) jackfruit beef stew.
This stew is so dang flavorful and delicious… I can’t wait for you to try it!
What You’ll Need
- Onion and garlic: Like any good stew (or most savory dishes), this recipe starts with diced onions and minced garlic. If you can’t eat those or you don’t like them, you can leave them out.
- Carrots and potatoes: For a good chunky and hearty stew, I recommend carrots and potatoes. You can experiment with other veggies or even beans, but I feel like these two are the backbone of a great thick vegan stew.
- Jackfruit: So, I used to be all about canned young/green jackfruit and I still am in some cases. But I recently tried this kind of shrink wrapped jackfruit I found online. It had good reviews so I ordered it and gave it a go. MAJOR GAMECHANGER! The main difference is that it is not submerged in water/brine so you don’t have to waste time drying and squeezing it out before use. It’s also darker (resembling meat) due to oxidation (still safe to eat), and I think it absorbs flavor better, making it perfect for a jackfruit beef stew. If you can’t get it, canned jackfruit or any other meat replacement is still fine.
- Herbs and spices: For a nice vegan beef stew kind of flavor, I recommend thyme, oregano, bay leaves, and smoked paprika. You can use fresh thyme and oregano if you like, just don’t forget to remove the stalks before serving. I actually prefer to use dried in this recipe. The bay leaves are SO GOOD so don’t skip. Those you will have to find and fish out before serving, but for me they usually make it to the top by the end so they’re very easy to remove with a spoon.
- Vegan beef broth: Now if you’re a regular on this blog (that would make me so happy!) you know I LOVE Better Than Bouillon Concentrated Stock Paste so much I should work for them or something. I don’t, for the record (not yet anyway--bwahaha). For this recipe I used Better Than Bouillon No Beef Broth Base. It’s delicious and beefy but vegan. If you can’t find it (I buy mine online, that’s the only place I can personally find this flavor), you could try vegan bouillon cubes or prepared vegan beef broth. You can also just use vegetable broth and it will work just fine. To get it a browner color, you could add a little reduced sodium soy sauce.
- Tomatoes: I like to throw in some cherry or grape tomatoes near the end so they get a little cooked but not mushy. This addition reminds me of pot roast which is why I love it--but it’s totally optional.
- Nutritional yeast: The other optional ingredient--I know it sounds weird, but it’s a great flavor boost at the end AND it thickens the stew up a little bit. If that sounds gross to you, you could do a tablespoon or two of ground flaxseed instead or leave it out. Keep in mind the stew will thicken up in the fridge.
How to Make Jackfruit Stew
- Note about jackfruit: If using canned young/green jackfruit, you’ll need to squeeze out the excess liquid first. I recommend rinsing them in water (the brine can have a bitter taste), then drying them vigorously in paper or kitchen towels. Pick out any of the large seeds and discard. Then use as indicated in the recipe. DO NOT use fresh ripe jackfruit as it is sweet and not well suited for a jackfruit beef stew.
- Note about cooking pot: You want a very large pot--at least 4.5 quarts, but a little bigger is better, like a dutch oven. I used a 4.5 quart pot the first time I made this and it was uncomfortably full. If you don’t have a bigger pot than that I recommend halving the recipe).
- Start by sauteing onion in a large (5+ quarts) pot. If you have a good nonstick pot like an All Clad Nonstick, you don’t need oil. You can also try sauteing in broth. Either way, saute the diced onion over medium high heat for about 4 minutes or until somewhat translucent and softened.
- Add the minced garlic and saute another minute.
- Next add the carrots, potatoes, and jackfruit. Stir and add the broth and spices.
- Bring everything to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for 8-10 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes and cook for 3-5 more minutes.
- Finally, add the nutritional yeast or ground flaxseed (optional) and add any additional salt or pepper if needed. Remove the bay leaves (and fresh thyme/oregano if you used the whole stems).
- Serve jackfruit stew with a nice slice of crusty bread if you like or with some sweet apples on the side--I just love a warm soup and sweet apples (not eaten together, I just feel the flavors/textures/temperatures go well together in a meal).
- Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days--the jackfruit does tend to get a little softer. The stew will also thicken more in the fridge. You can also freeze this stew for up to 3 months in a freezer safe container.
More Vegan Stew and Soup Recipes
- Vegan Zuppa Toscana
- Vegan Stew with Dumplings
- Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Soup
- (Not GF) Vegan Beef Stew
- Vegan Cream of Mushroom Soup
- Vegan Potato and Leek Soup
- Instant Pot Corn Chowder
- Vegan Cream of Chicken Soup
- Vegan Tom Kha
As always, I hope you love this recipe--I know I do, and Mr. Zardyplants does too.
We had a lot of leftovers from testing this recipe a few times to make sure it was perfect for you, and every day we were excited to eat more of the leftovers--it is quite a feat to make Mr. Zardyplants like leftovers so much!
This Jackfruit Stew is:
And perfect for a weeknight dinner, meal prep, or a holiday meal. It’s a crowd pleaser!
Let me know in the comments below if you make this recipe or tag me @Zardyplants on Instagram so I can see your beautiful recreations! If you tag me on IG, I will share your post in my stories :)
Also, one quick request: if you love how this recipe looks or tastes, please leave me a 5-star rating and a nice comment–ratings help more people find my recipes which helps me keep providing them! Thank you!