This creamy loaded Vegan Stew with Dumplings is flavorful, satisfying, easy to make. Ready in less than 30 minutes, this cozy stew features amazing, fluffy dumplings that are easier than you think.
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Hey Internet, in the winter it always comes back to soups for me. They’re easy, they’re usually fast (mostly because I’m really impatient), they’re easy to pack a lot of veggies and nutrients into, and they’re pretty cheap too. Of course, they warm us up and satisfy our hunger and cravings.
Is this a soup or a stew? I don’t know. Stews are usually thick, loaded with lots of stuff. This is, but there’s also a good amount of broth, you know?
I’m gonna call it a stew to make things simpler, but you can customize it to your liking--add more or less broth according to your preference.
Making a vegan soup or stew is actually even easier than a meat soup, since you don’t have to worry about meat being underdone. I’ve packed a lot of great stuff into this vegan stew with dumplings so I hope you’ll keep reading and make it yourself.
The one thing I’ve been wanting to try for a while is making vegan soup dumplings. You know, those drop-type dumplings.
I also love momo, dim sum, gyoza, and more dumplings from countries in Asia, but today, we’re focusing on what are probably the fastest and easiest dumplings you can make.
There is a little trick to making these dumplings super fluffy: baking powder! This makes them puff up and get fluffy.
Of course, you have to also cook them for the right amount of time, and the dough itself needs a slight bit of fat to be really perfect.
This soup / stew is also loaded with veggies, beans (butter beans are SO good in this), spices, my favorite Bouillon, and a creamy boost added at the end. If you haven’t tried making vegetable soup creamy, my friend, you will love this.
Keep reading to find out exactly how you can have a delicious warming vegan stew and dumplings in 30 minutes or less.
What You’ll Need
Let’s start with the dumplings since they are the star of this recipe for sure!
You only need 5 simple ingredients to make these vegan soup dumplings: flour, canned coconut milk (can sub melted vegan butter or oil), baking powder, salt, and warm water. See the below section “What Substitutions Can I Make” if you want to customize the recipe.
My favorite vegetable broth is Better Than Bouillon Roasted Vegetable Base--which you just mix with hot water.
The Better Than Bouillon brand is much more economical than prepared broth, has better flavor in my personal opinion, and lasts forever in the fridge.
However, vegetable bouillon cubes or store bought broth will also work. These, in my opinion, do not have as much flavor as the Better Than Bouillon, so you may want to add salt and pepper, more spices, or more herbs.
Okay, next. Veggies.
You can really use any type of veggies you like in here. I used classic soup veggies: onion, garlic, celery, and carrots. I also added mushrooms and spinach.
Keep in mind that harder veggies like potatoes will take a bit longer to cook, so either chop them very small or just simmer your soup a little longer to cook them till they’re almost done and then proceed to the dumpling step.
It's optional, but I like beans in my stew. Butter beans are awesome in this, but any beans will work.
Herbs and spices: because I used Better Than Bouillon which packs a lot of flavor, I only added a bit of dried Italian herbs (just a store bought blend) and some smoked paprika. But use what you like!
Finally, I added a splash of canned coconut milk at the end to make this soup super creamy and warming. It’s optional but I HIGHLY recommend it. I’ll never go back to clear soup… sounds silly but it’s a game changer for sure.
What Substitutions Can I Make?
The flour you use should be light enough to create a fluffy dumpling. I recommend unbleached all purpose flour.
If you want to make this gluten-free, I recommend trying a good quality cup for cup flour, like Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Gluten-Free Flour or King Arthur Measure for Measure Gluten-Free Flour. I’ve had lots of success in gluten-free cooking/baking with these brands.
If you don’t have baking powder, you can use baking soda or omit it all together, but read this:
The first time I tested this recipe I used baking soda, and the dumplings turned out but they were a bit dense. They still floated, but they weren’t as good as I knew they COULD be. That’s why I tried baking powder.
You can also completely omit it, but again, your dumplings may turn out a bit dense. Some people like dense dumplings and that’s totally cool too.
But this recipe makes fluffy vegan soup dumplings, so if that’s your thing, pick up some baking powder before you try this recipe.
I use canned coconut milk in two places in this recipe: in the dumplings themselves and in the soup. Coconut milk is my favorite creamy friend to add in cooking and baking recipes.
In the dumplings, you can use melted vegan butter or a neutral flavored oil instead.
In the soup, it’s totally optional but the creaminess it adds to the final soup is so good. You can substitute cashew cream, vegan plain yogurt, or a thick non-dairy milk.
Tips for Making Vegan Stew with Dumplings
- So I recommend having all your veggies chopped up ahead of time because it just makes things easier. But, if you’re good at multitasking, you can always combine steps to save even more time.
- Start by making the dumpling dough. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Use a spoon or spatula to make a well in the center and pour in the canned coconut milk (or melted vegan butter/oil) and warm water. Mix well until a sticky dough forms. If it won’t come together, add a bit more warm water. If it’s really sloshy and wet, sprinkle in a bit more flour. This is a pretty forgiving dough. When it’s thick and somewhat sticky, cover it with a kitchen towel and set it aside.
- Heat a large, wide pot over medium high heat. If you don’t like to cook with oil like me, add your onions, carrots, celery, and a few tablespoons of water to the pot and saute for 3-4 minutes until the onions are translucent. Add water a splash at a time if the veggies start to stick.
- Now add the garlic and saute for another minute. Add the spices after that and stir them constantly for just a minute, until fragrant.
- Now add the mushrooms, broth, any extra water, and the beans and bring everything to boil. Unless you’re using harder veggies like potatoes that are not very finely sliced (like the carrots and celery), you should be ready for the next step.
- Using a spoon (I like to use a smaller spoon), grab a small amount of dumpling dough. Keep in mind they will puff up, so grab less than you think you need. The perfect size for me was about 2 - 2 ½ teaspoons of dough. Push it off your spoon carefully into the broth. It’s ok to dip your spoon into the liquid to coax it off. Repeat with the rest of the dough, giving the dumplings a little breathing room in the pot. It’s OK if they touch after 30 seconds or so, but in that initial dunk they can stick a little, so just give them a little time.
- Simmer the dumplings on that medium high heat for about 10-12 minutes. If your dumplings are bigger, they’ll need a little longer to cook. Remove one, cut it in half, and give it a taste. Try not to overcook your dumplings, as they may become hard.
- If your dumplings are ready, stir in the spinach and then the coconut milk until the spinach has wilted and the soup is nice and creamy. Remove from heat and serve!
- To store the vegan stew and dumplings: I recommend removing the dumplings from the soup and storing them separately. This will keep them from getting as hard. When you reheat, you can combine them in your bowl and microwave them or heat in a small saucepan on the stovetop (on medium low) until desired temperature is reached.
More Cozy Vegan Soup Recipes
In the colder months, I can’t get enough soup. It fills me up, soothes a sore throat, and makes me feel all cozy and warm. Here are a few of my favorites:
- Vegan Cream of Chicken Soup
- Vegan Matzo Ball Soup
- Tomato Soup with Vegan Grilled Cheese
- Corn Chowder
- Butternut Squash Carrot Ginger Soup
- Vegan Double Chicken Noodle Soup
- Creamy Mushroom Lasagna Soup (weird but good!)
- Hearty Lentil Vegetable Soup
As always, I hope you love this recipe--I know I do, and Mr. Zardyplants does too. It’s rare that we both lick the bowl.
This Vegan Stew with Dumplings is:
- And perfect for 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!