When the weather outside is cold and blustery, our bodies need something hot to eat that can warm us from the inside out. There’s always soup, but sometimes you want something thicker, heartier and more satisfying. That’s when stews and chilis are the answer.
Stews are like soups but thicker because the liquid transforms into a rich sauce or gravy that is filled with flavor from simmering. Stews and chilis are healthy with tons of veggies, legumes, and grains. They can be “meaty,” spicy, savory, and saucy. They’re also easy, one-pot meals – pretty much just chop and drop. Plus, you can make double and triple batches to freeze so you can always have a comforting meal on hand for busy nights and last minute cravings.
Learn all the basics about making winter stews in How to Make Simple Veg Stews to Keep You Warm This Winter including how to make them “meaty,” aromatics and seasoning and of course, recipes. Then stroll through these 20 easy recipes for stews and chiles that are guaranteed to make you warm and cozy all winter.
1. Spicy and Smoky Veggie Chili
Can chili exist without meat or beans? You bet. This Spicy and Smoky Veggie Chill is a warm, comforting, and hearty dish made without meat or beans. Instead, it has an entire garden’s worth of vegetables! A generous amount of spices, hot peppers, and a dash of liquid smoke really turns the flavor of this chili into something special.
2. Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili
A bowl of this Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili will keep you warm on chilly nights. Lots of veggies and beans soak up the intense flavors from all the spices such as cumin powder, fresh chili, garlic, and cocoa powder, making this chili taste even better.
3. Creole-Style Eggplant and Tofu Étouffée
A classic Creole dish goes vegan with this Creole-Style Eggplant and Tofu Étouffée. Tofu and eggplant are simmered in a flavorful stew that’s filled with veggies, Creole seasonings and of course, Louisiana hot sauce. Served with brown rice, this main dish is sure to satisfy any of your Cajun cravings with a Southern flair.
4. Southern Stew
This Southern Stew packs a lot of Southern flavor into one pot. It has a creamy sweet potato broth base and is filled with black-eyed peas, corn, and greens. Seasoned with cumin, thyme, and a bit of cayenne, this is how to do soul food – Southern style!
5. Irish Vegetable Lager Stew
Your eyes and tummy will be smiling when you try this Irish Vegetable Lager Stew. This hearty stew has potatoes, cabbage, and other veggies. It’s packed with tons of umami flavor thanks to the rich flavors of mushrooms, miso, and tomato paste. But what makes this meal special is a generous glug of lager!
6. Black Bean and Butternut Squash Chili
This Black Bean and Butternut Squash Chili is so good – it’s hearty, warming, and slightly spicy. The little bit of cinnamon in it makes it feel like a true winter’s meal. Topped with seasoned avocado that adds a little freshness, it’s a treat that will satisfy you inside and out.
7. Rich and Comforting African Peanut Stew
Somewhere between a soup and a stew, this Rich and Comforting African Peanut Stew is just what you need to warm up on a cold winter day. Spicy, rich, and packed with good greens, it also happens to be a cinch to whip up and budget friendly, too. Feel free to add in some diced sweet potato or yams in addition to the kale.
8. Feijoada (Brazilian Black Bean Stew)
Feijoada is the national dish of Brazil – it’s a savory and hearty black bean and meat stew. This Feijoada is a completely plant-based version made with vegan sausage, soy curls, beans, and veggies. It’s filled with smoky seasoning and it’s easy since you can make it in your pressure cooker.
9. Indian Cauliflower and Lentil Stew
This Indian Cauliflower and Lentil Stew is super quick, super yummy, and super flavorful because it packs in a triple threat of cauliflower, lentils, and kale. What more could you want in a meal? All of the bright, fresh flavors come shining through without any added oils, making this a healthy and lighter alternative to heavier stews. Make a ton and eat it throughout the week for easy dinners.
10. Easy Pressure Cooker Barbecue Lentil Stew
Break out the pressure cooker to make this Easy Barbecue Lentil Stew. This hearty stew is one of those meals that improves the longer it sits, so it’s definitely wise to make a big batch and eat it throughout the week for a series of quick and delicious meals! The homemade vegan barbecue sauce is so amazing, you’ll want to slather it on everything in sight.
11. Filipino Kare-Kare Stew
Kare-Kare is a Filipino stew traditionally made with oxtail, tripe, and vegetables in a thick peanut sauce that’s usually served during special occasions. This Filipino Kare-Kare Stew is a vegan version made with veggies cooked in specialty Asian flavors like fermented black bean garlic and Chinese snow fungus. This has all the soulful flavor and familiar taste of the traditional dish but better.
12. Vegan Cioppino (Italian-Style ‘Fish’ Stew)
This hearty and rustic Vegan Cioppino was inspired by the Italian-American recipe for fish stew. Tofu stands in for the fish, but the rest remains the same – vegetables and herbs simmered in a flavorful tomato broth. Make sure you have lots of crusty bread to soak up the amazing broth.
13. Coconut Mango Stew with Homemade Naan Bread
There is nothing more comforting than dunking slices of homemade bread into a thick and warm bowl of stew. This Coconut Mango Stew with Homemade Naan Bread is just what you want on a cold winter’s day. Mango and coconut give this stew a tropical twist while quinoa and lentils add protein and heartiness. The naan bread is totally gluten-free so everyone can dig in.
14. Skillet Cheesy Enchilada Stew
This hearty, luscious Skillet Cheesy Enchilada Stew is an ode to the enchilada in all its glory but made into an easy one-pot meal. It’s filled with soy curls, veggies, Mexican seasonings, and ooey-gooey vegan cheese. This is a perfect dish for those nights you want something hot, comforting, and indulgent.
15. No-Dak-Doritang (Spicy Korean Potato and Vegetable Stew)
If you like the flavors of Korean food, you’ll love this No-Dak Doritang or Spicy Korean Potato and Vegetable Stew. The dak, or chicken, is swapped out for potatoes, mushrooms, and cauliflower. The sauce is spicy and flavorful, and the best part is that you can make this in your slow cooker for an easy and delicious exotic meal.
16. Greek Potato Stew/Patates Yahni
Made with just 5 ingredients and one pot in just under an hour, this traditional Greek Potato Stew is rustic, potato perfection. Red ripe tomatoes, fresh parsley, sweet red onions, minced garlic, and yellow potatoes simmered in olive oil combine to create one of the simplest, most authentic and amazingly delicious Greek dishes you will ever enjoy!
17. Rosemary Chicklins and Dumpling Stew
Chicken and dumplings is a famous southern dish. This Rosemary Chicklins and Dumplins Stew is made with vegan chicken, lots of veggies and a flavorful sauce. Top it with the dumplins and be sure to leave the “g”s off when you say how amazin it tastes.
18. Hearty Stout and Mixed Vegetable Stew
Warm up with a bowl of this Hearty Stout and Mixed Vegetable Stew. Onions, garlic, rosemary, and thyme add flavor to all the vegetables in this stew. The sauce thickens into a rich gravy and simmers the vegetables into soft and tender perfection. It’s so comforting, it tastes like warm mittens and fuzzy slippers in a bowl.
19. Hearty Black Beluga Lentil Stew
Perfect for a cold winter’s evening, this easy-to-make Hearty Black Beluga Lentil Stew pairs gravy with meaty wild mushrooms and an array of bright, fresh veggies. This stew is great fresh off the stove, and even better reheated a few days later after the flavors have had more time to meld.
20. Unbelievably Simple One-Pot Seitan Chili
This Unbelievably Simple One-Pot Seitan Chili is hearty with seitan, mushrooms, beans and lots of veggies. This is an amazing dish to make when you’re looking forward to a busy week and you can freeze a batch for another night.
Winter can be rough, but when you get to sit down in front of a steaming hot bowl of thick, hearty stew, it suddenly makes everything worth it. These recipes are like getting a warm hug in a big bowl of yumminess.
Lead image source: Spicy and Smoky Veggie Chili