This hearty vegetarian Irish stew is full of flavor and super easy to make in the slow cooker or on the stovetop. Perfect for St. Patrick’s Day or any cold winter night!

vegetarian irish stew with carrots, lentil, parsley garnish two gray speckled bowls guinness beer

There’s nothing like a hearty Guinness stew on St. Patrick’s Day. And while a beef Guinness stew might be more traditional, if you’re vegetarian or vegan, you deserve a delicious stew too!

I first published this recipe a loooong time ago and I was looking at the recipe ratings recently and thinking I could do better than that! So I tested and retested and invited others to test and I have to say this new and improved version is DELISH (if you agree, please be sure to leave a new rating!).

What’s so great about this recipe?! It’s packed with lentils, which provide a hearty and satisfying source of plant-based protein and give it a meaty texture. Plus, lentils are a much less expensive source of protein so this recipe is easier on your wallet too!

It’s loaded with lots of flavor and tastes so warm and cozy and comforting.

It’s super easy to make in the slow cooker if you have one – it’s hands off cooking for 5-9 hours (depending on whether you cook it on high or low) or you can easily make it on the stovetop if you don’t have a slow cooker.

This stew is worthy of an Irish jig whether you make it for St. Patrick’s Day or any cold winter night!

Check out the quick step-by-step in Web Stories!

Ingredients You’ll Need

Notes on Ingredients

Guinness: You can use any Irish stout here. There used to be concerns that Guinness® was not vegan/vegetarian but per their website, Guinness now uses a new state-of-the-art filtration process has removed the use of isinglass as a means of filtration and therefore all ingredients are vegan and vegetarian-friendly! 

Turnips: I like the addition of another root vegetable to this stew but you could substitute for rutabaga or add more potatoes instead of using turnips.

Flour: This helps to thicken the stew but you could also use cornstarch or arrowroot powder instead if you want the recipe to be gluten-free!

Lentils: I used green lentils for this recipe but you could also use black or brown lentils for this dish.

How to Make Vegetarian Irish Stew

If you’re making it in the slow cooker…

  1. Sauté the aromatics – celery and onion in olive oil over medium heat until soft and onion is translucent. Transfer to slow cooker.
  2. Sauté mushrooms until tender and browned. Stir in flour to coat.
  3. Pour in Guinness (or Irish stout) and deglaze the pan. Transfer to the slow cooker.
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients to the slow cooker.
  5. Including the broth!
  6. Cover and cook on low for 8-9 hours or on high for 5-6 hours, or until root vegetables are fork tender.

See?! Easy peasy.

vegetarian irish stew step by step cooking saute onions mushroom guinness slow cooker broth

Expert Recipe Tip: It can be tempting to want to throw all the ingredients into the slow cooker instead of sautéing some of the ingredients first. If you want to save time and another pan, you can do this. However, I tested it both ways and found that sautéing the onions, celery and mushrooms first helped to add more flavor to the stew and I think it’s worth the extra step. But it’s helpful to know if you’re strapped for time, you can just dump it all in the slow cooker and let it do it’s thang.

If you’re making it on the stovetop…

  1. Heat oil in a dutch oven or large pot and sauté onions, celery, and mushrooms. Cook until onions and celery are soft and mushrooms are tender, about 10 minutes. 
  2. Add flour to vegetables, stir to coat, and let cook until flour begins to lightly brown.
  3. Pour in Guinness and deglaze the pan.
  4. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a light boil.
  5.  Reduce heat to low and let summer, partially covered, until vegetables are tender, about one hour.
up close vegetarian irish stew with carrots, lentil, mushroom, celery in black slow cooker

Stew FAQs

What is a traditional Irish stew?

According to the New York Times, traditional Irish stew only has a few ingredients: meat, potatoes, carrots, and onion. It’s traditionally made with mutton (sheep) but is often now served with lamb instead. This version is vegetarian-friendly and uses lentils as the plant-based protein source.

What’s the difference between stew and Irish stew?

A typical brown stew is made with beef and thickened with a roux made from flour whereas Irish stew is typically made with mutton or lamb and is served brothy or if thickened, it’s with mashed potatoes.

What do you eat with Irish stew?

I love eating Irish stew with a side of Irish soda bread! You can try my whole wheat Irish soda bread or my Irish soda bread muffins! This would also be perfect with a side of my vegan cauliflower colcannon. 

Is Guinness vegetarian and vegan friendly?

Yes! According to their website, Guinness® now uses a new state-of-the-art filtration process has removed the use of isinglass as a means of filtration and therefore all ingredients are vegan and vegetarian-friendly! 

Is this stew gluten-free?

It can easily be gluten-free with the substitution of gluten-free all purpose flour, cornstarch, or arrowroot powder, and a gluten-free stout beer.

Does this stew freeze well?

Yes! You can store this stew in the fridge for 3-4 days or freeze it in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

vegetarian irish stew with carrots, lentil, parsley two gray bowls guinness beer stout spoons potatoes

For more St. Patrick’s Day recipes, check out more of mine below!

If you like this recipe, please be sure to give it a 5 star rating below. If you make it, share it on instagram and tag me @karalydonrd and I’ll re-share it with my followers! If you want to save this recipe for later, be sure to pin it on Pinterest!

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up close vegetarian irish stew with carrots, lentil, parsley garnish in gray bowl guinness beer stout

Vegetarian Irish Stew


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (26 votes, average: 3.58 out of 5)
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  • Author: Kara Lydon
  • Total Time: 6 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 8 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

This hearty vegetarian Irish stew is full of flavor and super easy to make in the slow cooker or on the stovetop. Perfect for St. Patrick’s Day or any cold winter night!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
  • 3 large celery stalks, diced (about 2 cups)
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced (about 2 cups)
  • 10 ounces sliced cremini mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (can sub gluten-free flour, corn starch, or arrowroot powder, as needed)
  • 1 14.9-oz. can of Guinness®
  • 6 small or 2 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces (about 3 1/4 cups)
  • 3 small or 2 medium-large turnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces (about 3 cups)
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch slices (about 1 1/4 cups)
  • 1 1/2 cups green, brown or black lentils, rinsed (I used green)
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • Optional: fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish

Instructions

For the slow cooker:

  1. Heat 1/2 tablespoon olive oil in a large nonstick pan over medium heat. Add celery and onions and cook until onions are translucent and celery is soft, about 5-7 minutes. Transfer to the slow cooker.
  2. Add remaining 1/2 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat and add mushrooms in a single layer. Let sauté until lightly browned without disturbing, about 5 minutes. Flip mushrooms over and let sauté until tender and browned, another 5-7 minutes.
  3. Add flour to mushrooms and stir to coat. Let cook until flour begins to lightly brown, about 1-2 minutes.
  4. Pour in the Guinness and deglaze the pan, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Transfer mushrooms and liquid to the slow cooker.
  5. Add remaining ingredients: potatoes, turnips, carrots, lentils, tomato paste, mustard, bay leaves, paprika, sugar, salt and pepper to the slow cooker. Pour in vegetable broth and stir ingredients.
  6. Cover slow cooker and let cook for 8-9 hours on low or 5-6 hours on high. Remove bay leaves.
  7. Optional: Garnish with parsley.

Notes

For the stovetop, follow these instructions:

  1. Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat and add onion, celery and mushrooms. Cook until soft, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add flour to vegetables, stir to coat and let cook for a few minutes, until the bottom of the pot begins to brown.
  3. Pour in the Guinness and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a light boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, partially covered, until vegetables are tender, about one hour.

Other Notes:

  1. It can be tempting to want to throw all the ingredients into the slow cooker instead of sautéing some of the ingredients first. If you want to save time and another pan, you can do this. However, I tested it both ways and found that sautéing the onions, celery and mushrooms first helped to add more flavor to the stew and I think it’s worth the extra step. But it’s helpful to know if you’re strapped for time, you can just dump it all in the slow cooker.
  2. You can store this stew in the fridge for 3-4 days or freeze it in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
  3. Serve with my whole wheat Irish soda bread or my Irish soda bread muffins! This would also be perfect with a side of my vegan cauliflower colcannon.
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 6 hours
  • Category: Stew
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: Irish

Keywords: vegetarian irish stew, vegan irish stew, slow cooker vegetarian irish stew, vegetarian guinness stew

This blog post was originally published in March 2014 and the recipe has been completely retested and photos updated to give you the most delicious and beautiful content!

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32 Comments

  1. Nicole

    Hi Kara!
    So excited to make this next week for St. Patty’s Day
    Just curious- how many extra potatoes would you do if omitting the turnips?

    • Hi Nicole! Great question – if omitting the turnips, you could double the amount of potatoes so 12 small or 4 large – you want to aim for about 3 additional cups of peeled, cut potatoes so about 6 cups cut potatoes total. Hope you enjoy!

  2. HORACE BOMAR

    Do you have an instant pot recipe version for this recipe? Thanks.

  3. Allison

    Wonderful dish, thank you for sharing it!

  4. Gina

    Is there a way to adapt this to be a stovetop recipe? Looks delicious!!!

  5. Dan

    Just made this in the instant pot. 20 minutes on high with a natural release. So good. Please consider publishing calorie counts, and thank you!

  6. Nadine

    How well does this freeze?

  7. Karla

    Made this for a work party and it was a hit. Next time I would probably take the time to cook it on slow for 8 hrs as the turnips were still a bit tough, but the flavor was excellent! Yummy and healthy!

  8. Sarah

    Hi there, we have a Vegetarian St. Paddy’s guest so excited to make this today. Thanks for the awesome recipe! Just curious what the cooking in the Dutch oven first does for the stew vs just throwing everything in the slow cooker. Does the texture come out better? With two kids under 4, I am hoping to cut corners but want it to come out as awesome as it sounds… thank you!!!

  9. Kelly

    This is delicious. Can’t wait to share with my Irish relatives at the St. Patrick’s Day party later today.

  10. Rina

    What size slow cooker do you use? I can’t fit all the ingredients into my 6 qt crockpot. 🙁 I hope it’s just as good with less veg broth.

  11. Angela

    Brown lentils ok?

  12. This sounds so comforting! I was just thinking about making something similar with split peas!

  13. This looks WONDERFUL! My husband is Irish and is ALWAYS Looking for a tasty Irish meal on St. Paddy’s Day.

  14. This looks delicious! I’ve been in the mood for Guinness stew but my stomach doesn’t always love the red meat. I’ll be giving it a try this weekend 🙂

  15. eatinglocalinthelou

    Oh so good for a cold winter eve…and sadly that is what we are still experiencing even this late in March!

  16. It’s very cold outside today where I am… I’m warming up just looking at this!
    Looks good 🙂