Try our vegan beef Bourguignon: a simple, yet flavorful take on the French classic, made entirely with plant-based ingredients. This recipe combines seitan, mushrooms, and a rich wine sauce to create a comforting stew perfect for any day of the week.
Original publication date: January 2018
Updated: February 2024
This vegan beef Bourguignon is the ultimate comfort food. This easy-to-make, flavor-packed recipe offers a plant-based twist on the classic French dish, perfect for cozy evenings. Although traditional beef Bourguignon is a staple, our vegan version captures all the richness and depth of flavor without any meat. Enjoy the process of creating this dish in your kitchen, where every stir and chop adds to the anticipation of a delicious meal. Pair it with a glass of red wine for an even more authentic experience.
What Is Vegan Beef Bourguignon?
Vegan beef Bourguignon is a plant-based take on the classic French stew traditionally made with beef. This version substitutes beef with seitan, a wheat-based protein, ensuring a hearty texture that absorbs the rich, wine-infused sauce it simmers in. The dish combines a medley of mushrooms, carrots, and pearl onions, slow-cooked in a savory blend of red wine and herbs, to replicate the deep, complex flavors of the original recipe.
By using ingredients that mimic the umami and texture of meat, this vegan adaptation offers a satisfying and sophisticated option for both vegans and those looking to reduce their meat consumption, without compromising on the traditional taste and comfort of the beloved French classic.
More recipes that can make you feel cozy and comforted during grey days (or even sunny ones) are my easy focaccia, shroom stroganoff, cauliflower and mushroom curry, vegan French onion ramen noodle soup, and New England vegan chowder. Check out our fall and winter recipes for lots of vegan comfort food recipes!
Why You’ll Adore This Vegan Beef Bourguignon
This easy vegan beef Bourguignon recipe stands out for its ability to deliver the comforting warmth and richness of the traditional dish with a completely plant-based twist. It’s a great recipe for those seeking to indulge in classic French cuisine without the use of animal products, offering a guilt-free, nutritious alternative that doesn’t skimp on flavor.
The recipe’s blend of tender seitan, earthy mushrooms, and aromatic vegetables, all stewed in a luscious red wine sauce, ensures a dining experience that’s both satisfying and sophisticated. Its straightforward preparation and adaptability make it a go-to for any home cook looking to impress with minimal fuss. This dish proves that plant-based French cuisine can be just as decadent and enjoyable as its non-vegan counterparts.
As this vegan beef Bourguignon cooks, your kitchen will be filled with the rich scents of red wine, herbs, and simmering vegetables. The smell of mushrooms and seitan cooking together creates an amazing aroma that makes waiting for the dish to finish almost as enjoyable as eating it. It’s the kind of scent that lets you know that a hearty, satisfying meal is on the way!
In this vegan beef Bourguignon, every ingredient contributes to a flavorful, plant-based version of the classic French stew. Let’s go over them, from the meaty texture of seitan to the subtle flavors of herbs and wine.
Vegan Butter: Adds richness and depth to the dish, enhancing the flavors of the other ingredients. It is the base fat for sautéing, providing a buttery taste without animal products.
Olive Oil: Used alongside vegan butter to sauté ingredients, olive oil adds a subtle fruity flavor and helps in browning the seitan and vegetables, contributing to the depth of the dish’s flavor profile.
Seitan: A wheat-based protein that serves as the meat substitute in this vegan version of the classic dish. Seitan is chosen for its meaty texture and ability to absorb the surrounding flavors, making it an ideal base for the rich, wine-infused sauce.
Brown Mushrooms: Adds an earthy flavor and a meaty texture to the stew. Mushrooms are excellent at absorbing and enhancing the flavors of the wine and herbs, contributing to the complex taste of the dish.
Shallots: Offers a mild, slightly sweet onion flavor that adds depth without overpowering the other ingredients. They become tender and blend seamlessly into the sauce, enriching its overall flavor.
Garlic: Provides a pungent, aromatic depth that is essential in building the stew’s flavor foundation. Garlic’s robust taste complements the earthiness of the mushrooms and the richness of the wine.
All-Purpose Flour: Used to thicken the stew, giving it a heartier texture. Flour ensures that the sauce clings to the seitan and vegetables, enriching every bite with flavor.
Cabernet Sauvignon: A full-bodied red wine that imparts a rich, complex flavor to the stew. Its acidity balances the richness of the ingredients, while its deep fruity notes contribute to the stew’s overall depth.
Bay Leaves: Add a subtle layer of herbal complexity. Their aromatic qualities infuse the stew with a hint of mint and spice, enhancing the savory flavors of the dish.
Thyme: Contributes a slightly floral and earthy note, complementing the mushrooms and wine. Thyme’s aromatic properties are key to achieving the traditional French flavor profile of the dish.
Refined Coconut Oil: Used for sautéing the vegetables, providing a neutral base that allows the flavors of the ingredients to stand out. Be sure to choose refined to avoid any coconut flavor being imparted into the dish.
Vegan Bacon: This adds a smoky, savory element to the dish. Use tempeh bacon or some of our chopped shiitake bacon.
Liquid Smoke: Imparts a smoky depth to the stew, mimicking the complex flavors that traditional meat dishes offer. It’s essential for achieving that hint of smokiness without actual meat.
Carrots: Add sweetness and color to the dish, offering a tender bite that contrasts the textures of the seitan and mushrooms. They also contribute to the stew’s nutritional value.
Pearl Onions: Provide a mild, sweet flavor that enhances the overall taste complexity of the stew. Using frozen pearl onions simplifies preparation without sacrificing quality.
Vegetable Stock: Serves as the liquid base for the stew, adding depth and richness. It helps to meld the flavors of the various ingredients together, creating a harmonious and flavorful sauce.
How To Make Vegan Beef Bourguignon With Seitan: A Step-By-Step Guide
Creating this Vegan beef bourguignon is a fairly straightforward process with minimal fuss. Most of the time is spent waiting for the stew to cook! Here’s a breakdown of the steps involved:
- Start with Searing: Begin by melting vegan butter and olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the seitan slices, season them with salt and pepper, and brown each side to develop a rich flavor foundation.
- Add the Vegetables: Introduce mushrooms to the pot, allowing them to release moisture and absorb the seasonings. Following this, shallots and garlic are added, softened slightly, then coated with flour to help thicken the stew.
- Deglaze and Simmer: Pour in a generous amount of red wine, add bay leaves and thyme for aromatic depth, and stir well. This mixture is then slow-cooked in the oven at 350°F for 1 1/2 hours, allowing the flavors to meld beautifully.
- Prepare the Additional Vegetables: Approximately 45 minutes before the stew is done, add the refined coconut oil, vegan bacon, carrots, pearl onions, and a splash of vegetable stock in a separate pot. This is simmered until everything is tender.
- Combine and Serve: Once the stew and vegetables are cooked, combine them, removing any bay leaves and thyme sprigs. Serve this hearty stew with your choice of mashed potatoes or crusty bread, garnished with fresh parsley for a fresh touch.
Here are practical tips and suggestions for making, storing, and customizing your vegan beef Bourguignon. Whether you’re enjoying it fresh, savoring the leftovers, or adding your personal touch, these insights will help ensure a delicious outcome every time.
Storing and Enjoying Leftovers
One of the best things about this Vegan Beef Bourguignon is that it tastes just as delicious, if not better, the day after it’s made. The flavors have more time to meld and deepen, making leftovers something to look forward to. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. To reheat, simply warm it gently on the stove over low heat, adding a splash of vegetable broth if needed to keep it moist.
Freezing for Later: This dish freezes beautifully, making it a great make-ahead meal option. Cool the bourguignon completely before transferring it to freezer-safe containers. It can be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight and reheat slowly on the stove, adjusting the seasoning as necessary.
How To Customize
While this vegan beef Bourguignon is a classic for a reason, there’s always room for a bit of creativity if you’re inclined. Here are a few ideas, though remember, the essence of the dish is its rich, wine-infused sauce and tender, hearty ingredients:
- Protein Variations: Experiment with different vegan proteins. Tempeh or chunky portobello mushrooms can offer interesting textures and flavors.
- Wine Alternatives: While red wine is traditional, you could experiment with different types of vegan red wine to see how they influence the dish’s flavor profile. Just ensure it’s a wine you enjoy drinking, as its flavor will be prominent in the dish.
How Do I Serve This Recipe?
For a comforting and hearty meal, serving your Vegan beef bourguignon with mashed potatoes or crusty bread is a classic choice, perfectly complementing the rich flavors of the stew. For variety, consider pairing it with:
- Potato Gratin: Oven-baked layers of creamy potatoes that beautifully complement the stew.
- Buttered Noodles: Fluffy and buttered, these noodles provide a delightful texture contrast and soak up the savory sauce.
- Rice Pilaf: A lightly seasoned and fluffy rice pilaf can serve as a delicate base that absorbs the Bourguignon’s rich flavors.
- Fresh Focaccia And Garlic Confit: Make my easy focaccia and serve it with homemade garlic confit!
- Roasted Garlic Bread: Elevate traditional crusty bread with a hint of roasted garlic for a more flavorful side.
- Couscous: Quick to prepare, couscous offers a unique texture that pairs well with the stew, making for a lighter yet satisfying side.
Now that we’ve gone through all of the elements of this vegan beef Bourguignon with seitan, I hope you’ll be inspired to make it yourself! You’ll love the aromas that fill your kitchen, and it will turn any cold, grey day into a cozy one.
Yes, you can make vegan beef Bourguignon gluten-free by substituting seitan with a gluten-free meat alternative, such as jackfruit or mushrooms, and using a gluten-free all-purpose flour blend for thickening the sauce.
If you prefer not to use red wine, you can substitute it with a combination of vegetable broth and a splash of balsamic vinegar or red wine vinegar to mimic the acidity and depth of flavor that wine contributes to the dish.
Absolutely! This dish tastes even better the next day as the flavors have more time to meld together. Simply prepare as directed, allow to cool, and store in the refrigerator. Gently reheat on the stove when ready to serve.
Yes, if you don’t have vegan butter, you can use an equal amount of olive oil or any other plant-based oil that you prefer. The goal is to provide fat for sautéing and to add richness to the dish.
If your sauce is too thin, you can remove a cup of the stew, blend it with a hand blender, and stir it back into the pot. Alternatively, you can simmer the stew uncovered for a few extra minutes to reduce and thicken the sauce.
Yes, this vegan beef Bourguignon freezes very well. Cool the stew completely, then transfer it to a freezer-safe container. It can be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight and reheat gently on the stove.
This dish pairs wonderfully with mashed potatoes, crusty bread for dipping, rice pilaf, roasted garlic bread, or buttered noodles. These sides complement the rich flavors of the bourguignon and make for a filling meal.
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This vegan beef Bourguignon with seitan recipe is so fun to make and smells and tastes amazing! This recipe is heavily adapted from Jacques Pépin’s version. Enjoy making this on a cold day when surrounded by the warmth of the oven and amazing aromas feels nice.
for the stew
- 1 TB vegan butter
- 1 TB olive oil
- 12 oz. seitan, sliced
- 16 oz. brown mushrooms, quartered
- 1 tsp salt, divided
- 1 tsp pepper, divided
- 1 cup sliced shallots
- 1/2 head garlic, minced
- 1 TB all-purpose flour
- one bottle of cabernet sauvignon
- 2 bay leaves
- a few sprigs of thyme
for the vegetables
- 2 TB refined coconut oil
- one recipe shiitake bacon (or tempeh bacon, browned and chopped)
- 1 tsp liquid smoke
- 1 1/2 cup carrots, chopped
- 1 cup pearl onions (I used frozen)
- 1/4 cup water or vegetable stock
- mashed potatoes or crusty bread
- fresh chopped parsley
to make the stew
- Melt the vegan butter and olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat.
- Place the seitan slices into the pot, season with half the salt and pepper, and allow to brown on one side. Flip and brown the other side.
- Add the mushrooms to the pot, season with the remaining salt and pepper and stir. After a few minutes, they will release a lot of moisture. If you find them sticking, add a little splash of broth and stir.
- Preheat your oven to 350.
- Add in the shallots and allow to soften for a few minutes, then add in the minced garlic and stir.
- Allow to soften for a few minutes more, then add the flour and stir until the seitan and mushrooms are well coated.
- Increase the heat a bit. Add in the entire bottle of wine, bay leaves and thyme and give it a stir.
- Cover with a lid and place into the oven to cook for 1 1/2 hours.
for the vegetables
- When you have about 45 minutes left on the stew cook time, place a smaller Dutch oven on the stovetop over medium heat and add the coconut oil.
- Place the chopped vegan bacon, liquid smoke, carrots, onions, and stock into the pot.
- Reduce the heat to its lowest setting, cover with a lid, and allow to cook and soften for 20-30 minutes. Remove from the heat.
- Remove the stew from the oven and remove the thyme sprigs and bay leaves.
- Place the desired amount of stew into bowls and top with the vegetables.
- Serve with mashed potatoes or crusty bread and garnish with fresh chopped parsley.
- It’s important to chose refined coconut oil here to avoid a coconut flavor.
- This can be made and served immediately but tastes best when allowed to sit in the refrigerator for a day or two and reheated on the stovetop. A perfect + quick weeknight meal.
- Serve with crusty bread or mashed potatoes with homemade garlic confit for a heavenly meal!
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 105 minutes
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Baked, Seared
- Cuisine: French
Keywords: seitan Bourguignon, vegan Bourguignon