Ready for St. Patrick’s Day? You will be with this hearty Slow Cooker Vegetarian Guinness Irish Stew, perfect for St. Paddy’s or any cold winter night.So it’s the middle of March and the East coast just got hit with a massive snow storm. Which means that you shouldn’t dismiss soups and stews just yet. There’s still a need for warm, hearty comfort foods and if anyone knows warm and hearty, it’s the Irish. I visited Ireland a couple summers ago and you can read about my travels to Dublin, Aran Islands and Galway, Killarney and Dingle. I’ve never felt m
ore at peace and at home in any of my travels than I did in Ireland, which makes sense considering my Irish roots.
I have such fond memories of St. Patrick’s Day growing up. Going to watch the parade and then heading over to my Grandma’s house for corned beef and cabbage, Irish soda bread, plenty of Irish trad (music) and my grandma doing an Irish jig or two. It’s funny how I now associate Irish music with my Gram, which is probably why I was the girl at an Irish pub in Galway balling my eyes out while the band played Irish ballads.
The last few years, I’ve had to travel for work St. Paddy’s weekend in Boston so I’ve missed the parade but before I leave, I always make sure Steve and I (and our friends) have a proper St. Paddy’s feast. Every year around this time, I try to make a new Irish recipe on the blog, whether it’s a whole-wheat Irish soda bread, a vegan cauliflower colcannon or a superfood shamrock smoothie. This year, I’m revamping my recipe for Irish Lentil Stew to a slow cooker version so that you can set it and forget it while you make your soda bread and colcannon.This Irish stew is still made with a pint of Guinness stout but instead of traditional beef, we’re making this vegetarian-friendly using an inexpensive source of protein, lentils. A 16-oz. bag of dry lentils costs about two dollars, which means a serving of protein only sets you back twenty cents. Not too shabby. Plus, for one serving of lentils, you get 9 grams of quality plant-based protein and 8 grams of satiating fiber (32% of DV for fiber). Not to mention lentils are great vegetarian source of iron – about 7mg per serving (37% DV).
I love this slow cooker version for its ease and convenience and the volume it makes! With 8 servings, we have plenty for hosting a group of people or more than enough to store in the freezer for future use. Serve a cup before your corned beef and cabbage feast or pour a hearty bowl and have alongside a couple slices of soda bread for a satisfying St. Patrick’s meal.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 large celery stalks, diced
- 3 small yellow onions, diced
- 10 ounces. button mushrooms, sliced
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (can sub gluten-free flour if needed)
- 1 14.9-oz. can of Guinness®*
- 5 small to medium russet potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
- 3 small to medium turnips, peeled and cut into large chunks
- 3 large carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks
- 1 1/2 cups dry black lentils, rinsed
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- Optional: chopped parsley for garnish
- Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium to medium-high heat and add celery, onions and mushrooms. Cook until soft, about 10 minutes.
- Add flour to vegetables, stir to coat and let cook for a few minutes, until the bottom of the pot begins to brown.
- Pour in the Guinness and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot.
- Add potatoes, turnips and carrots to the slow cooker.
- Transfer the Guinness and vegetables to the slow cooker.
- Add lentils, tomato paste, mustard, bay leaves, paprika, sugar, salt and pepper. Pour in vegetable broth.
- Cover slow cooker and let cook for 7-8 hours on low (or 3-4 hours on high). Remove bay leaves and serve.
- Optional: Garnish bowls with fresh chopped parsley.
*Some consider Guinness to be non-vegetarian because of the company's reported use of isinglass, a fish product, to filtrate their beer. Guinness confirms that its products are free of animal products, but admits a possibility that minute quantities of isinglass might be carried into the beer. But good news, Guinness is committed to providing vegan beer and is currently exploring other methods of filtration that don't require isinglass.
**No slow cooker? Follow these instructions: Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium to medium-high heat and onion, celery and mushrooms. Cook until soft, about 10 minutes. Add flour to vegetables, stir to coat and let cook for a few minutes, until the bottom of the pot begins to brown. Pour in the Guinness and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, partially covered, until vegetables are tender, about one hour.
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!
Try my other St. Patrick’s Day Recipes: