Chilly evenings call for comfort food. This savory skillet stew ticks all the boxes – one dish, tonnes of delicious flavor, enjoyed by vegans and omnivores, loads of nutritious ingredients, and pretty presentation without much effort. The stew is studded with seared mushrooms, vegan Italian sausage, sun-dried tomatoes, carrots, fresh thyme and kidney beans. It’s then topped with sliced baby potatoes and baked. Plus it’s so good, if not better, the next day.
Tips for Perfect Skillet Stew:
- sear the mushrooms and the vegan sausage. Searing the mushrooms helps lock the moisture inside of the mushrooms so they are juicy and “meaty” rather rubbery. The sausages benefit from searing or browning, too, to get some caramelized flavor and to help keep them intact once they are baked in the stew.
- hold the salt. Salting the mushrooms before they are seared will draw out their moisture. Add extra salt to the stew only just before topping with the potatoes as many of the ingredients (soy sauce, sausages, Worcestershire sauce, etc) all contain salt.
- deglaze the pan – deglazing happens when you use a liquid, usually wine, to remove and dissolve the brown bits that are stuck to the bottom of the skillet during cooking. I used apple cider in this recipe because I really like the subtle flavor, but you can use your favorite red (or even white) wine. The alcohol will be cooked off, but if you prefer not to use an alcohol based liquid, you can sub in soup stock.
- get vegan Worcestershire sauce if you don’t already have some! It adds such a lovely depth of flavor and makes this dish more reminiscent of classic rich stews.
- if you like a bit of heat, add the chili flakes and smoked paprika. Keep in mind the vegan Italian sausages also carry some heat of their own.
- make sure your flour paste is completely lump free before streaming it into your stew. Any lumps once added will be difficult, if not impossible, to whisk into the gravy. Continue whisking until things thicken up – ending whisking too soon can result in larger lumps and uneven gravy thickness.
If you make this Skillet Stew, be sure to let me know in the comments below and give it a rating in the recipe card! Also, I love connecting on Instagram where you can tag me in your creations using my recipes. Thank you for reading along!
Vegan Savory Skillet Stew with Baby Potato Topping
- 3-4 tbsp olive oil, divided
- 8 ounces crimini mushrooms, quartered
- 4 vegan Italian sausages, cut into 1/4″ slices (368g pkg)
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 4 medium carrots, diced
- 2 stalks celery, cut into 1/4″ slices
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup apple cider (can substitute red or white wine)
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- ¼ cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
- 2 tsp vegan Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
- ¼ tsp chili flakes, optional
- 1 tsp smoked paprika, optional
- 15 ounces canned kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 28 ounces canned diced tomatoes (do not drain)
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup cold water
- salt & pepper, to taste
- 1.3 lbs baby potatoes, cut in 1/4″ slices
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- course salt
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a 10″ cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the mushrooms. Do not salt! Stir occasionally only to prevent burning and for even searing. Once seared on most sides, remove the mushrooms from the skillet and set aside.
- In the same skillet, heat 2 tbsp of oil. Lightly sear the sausage slices on both sides. This should take 1-2 minutes per side. Remove the sausage from the skillet.
- If needed, add 1 tbsp olive oil to the skillet. Reduce the heat to medium. Sauté the onion until translucent. Add the celery, carrots and garlic to the skillet. Deglaze with the cider, scraping the bottom of the skillet to get all of the flavors into the liquid. Bring to a simmer and reduce the liquid by half.
- Whisk in the tomato paste, vegan Worcestershire, soy sauce, brown sugar, thyme (and chili flakes and smoked paprika if using). Add the kidney beans, canned tomatoes and sun-dried tomatoes. Bring things back to a simmer, then add the mushrooms and sausage back in. Simmer for about 5 minutes, or until the volume reduces so you have at least 1/2″ of space above the stew for the potatoes.
- Whisk the water with the flour until a smooth paste is formed. With the stew simmering, slowly drizzle the paste into the center of the stew and whisk constantly so no lumps form. Stirring constantly, cook until the gravy has thickened. Taste, and add salt and pepper if desired. Turn the heat off.
- Toss the baby potato slices with the olive oil. Layer them over the stew, allowing them to overlap each other by about 1/4″. Sprinkle with coarse salt. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked through.