Once the temperatures drop below 60 degrees, we declare it's time to start making soups and stews. And even though most traditional stews start with a hunk of meat, the truth is, you can have hearty, delicious and comforting stews without any meat at all.
Yes, there are tons of vegetarian stews out there that are not only delicious but full of healthful vegetables and legumes that will keep you full for hours. And if you have a hard time getting your recommended servings of vegetables, veggie-based stews are a great way to trick yourself into eating more greens.
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We tapped two registered dietitians to help us find drool-worthy, high-protein vegetable stew recipes with at least 10 grams of the satiating macro.
1. Moroccan-Inspired Pumpkin and Chickpea Stew
- 325 calories
- 16.3 grams of protein
"Pulses, which include dry beans, lentils, beans and chickpeas are the key to high-protein vegetarian stew," Amy Gorin, RDN, plant-based dietitian and owner of Plant-Based Eats, says. "In fact, pulses are key components of the updated Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which recommend beans, peas, lentils and chickpeas as part of a healthy diet."
Get the Moroccan-Inspired Pumpkin and Chickpea stew recipe and nutrition info from The Simple Veganista.
2. Chipotle Black Bean and Quinoa Stew
- 312 calories
- 17 grams of protein
"I love that this recipe has a very low amount of sodium, which is rare for a stew," Gorin says. And since you're starting with dried black beans instead of the canned version, you have more control of the sodium levels and flavor profiles of your stew. To make this a well-balanced meal, try adding a side of your favorite vegetables for a boost of vitamins and minerals.
Get the Chipotle Black Bean and Quinoa Stew recipe and nutrition info here.
3. 15-Minute Cannellini Bean Stew
- 593 calories
- 31.8 grams of protein
This quick and easy stew gets most of its protein content from cannellini beans, Gorin says. And because this recipe uses canned beans, opt for the low-sodium or no-salt-added variety and add salt as needed.
Get the 15-Minute Cannellini Bean Stew recipe and nutrition info from Simple Vegan Blog.
4. Butternut Squash, Chickpea and Lentil Moroccan-Inspired Stew
- 431 calories
- 27.4 grams of protein
This recipe's two plant-based proteins — chickpeas and lentils — are what make this stew more satiating. "Chickpeas are considered both a protein food and a vegetable when aiming to meet recommended food intakes," Gorin says.
Get the Butternut Squash, Chickpea and Lentil Moroccan-Inspired Stew recipe and nutrition info from Ambitious Kitchen.
5. Pinto Posole
- 382 calories
- 15.9 calories
Pinto beans are the star of this Mexican-inspired stew, and it's loaded with flavor. "You get a lot of vegetables, including onion, tomato paste, avocado and green cabbage," says Gorin. Not to mention, the hominy in this stew is a source of both protein and fiber.
Get the Pinto Posole recipe and nutrition info from Cookie and Kate.
6. Lentil and Mushroom Stew Over Potato-Parsnip Mash
- 470 calories
- 15 grams of protein
"Lentils are a great source of fiber, protein, potassium and vitamin B9," Amanda Nicole, RDN, says. Plus, they're naturally low in sodium and saturated fat. If you're vegan or looking to reduce or omit dairy, Nicole recommends adding plant-based milk, vegan butter or extra virgin olive oil to your mash instead of milk and butter.
Get the Lentil and Mushroom Stew Over Potato-Parsnip Mash recipe and nutrition info from Dishing Out Health.
7. Mexican-Inspired Red Lentil Stew
- 268.6 calories
- 14.91 grams of protein
Combining vitamin C-rich foods like tomatoes with lentils increases the body's ability to absorb the non-heme iron in lentils, Nicole says. Adding the powerful antioxidant spice turmeric helps to protect our body from oxidative stress and is linked to a reduced risk for chronic disease and cancer, she adds.
Get the Mexican-Inspired Red Lentil Stew recipe and nutrition info from Budget Bytes.
8. Sweet Potato and Chickpea Peanut Stew
- 490 calories
- 17 grams of protein
The combination of sweet potatoes and peanut butter adds loads of health benefits to this stew. "Sweet potatoes are a great source of fiber, antioxidants and provitamin beta-carotene, which the body converts into the active form known as vitamin A," Nicole says.
Get the Sweet Potato and Chickpea Peanut Stew recipe and nutrition info from Dishing Out Health.
9. Easy Veggie Stew
- 360 calories
- 12 grams of protein
Spices and herbs are a great way to boost the flavor of a dish without adding excess calories. "Onions also add delicious flavor and have many immune-boosting components," Nicole says. "They're also an excellent source of fiber and prebiotics, which feed the good bacteria in your gut and help support your immune system."
Get the Easy Veggie Stew recipe and nutrition info from Ela Vegan.
10. Quinoa and Vegetable Stew
- 390 calories
- 13 grams of protein
Quinoa is a great option to add to your stew because it's high in protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals, Nicole says. It's also high in manganese, magnesium, phosphorus and antioxidants.
Get the Quinoa and Vegetable Stew recipe and nutrition info from Cooking Classy.
11. Moroccan-Inspired Lentil and Vegetable Stew
- 238.8 calories
- 12.2 grams of protein
If you're looking for an inexpensive meat alternative for your vegetable stew, consider chickpeas, like the ones used in this recipe. "Chickpeas are an excellent source of soluble fiber, which helps produce more healthy gut bacteria, making less room for harmful bacteria to produce, and improve the digestive system," Nicole says.
Get the Moroccan-Inspired Lentil and Vegetable Stew recipe and nutrition info from Budget Bytes.
12. Lentil and Potato Stew
- 265 calories
- 12 grams of protein
Lentils are a slow-digesting resistant starch, making them a low-glycemic food, Nicole says. They're also a source of prebiotics that feed our gut flora and help to regulate bowel movements.
Get the Lentil and Potato Stew recipe and nutrition info from Occasionally Eggs.
13. Portobello Vegan Beef(Less) Stew
- 278 calories
- 10.1 grams of protein
Swapping portobello mushrooms for beef helps to reduce the fat content in a traditional stew without losing the meaty flavor or texture. "Portobello mushrooms are an excellent source of selenium, potassium, riboflavin and niacin," Nicole says. She recommends checking the label when buying mushrooms to see if they're sun-exposed, which makes them a great source of vitamin D.
Get the Portobello Vegan Beef(Less) Stew recipe and nutrition info from Connoisseurus Veg.
14. Mexican-Inspired Quinoa Stew
- 249 calories
- 10.5 grams of protein
In a half-cup of black beans, you'll get 7 grams of protein, according to the USDA, making beans a great meatless source of the macro. "Black beans also contain a good amount of dietary fiber, starch and complex carbohydrates," Nicole adds. She explains that complex carbs are slowly digested in the body and prevent a spike in blood sugar levels.
Get the Mexican-Inspired Quinoa Stew recipe and nutrition info from Cookie and Kate.
15. Vegan Lentil Mushroom Stew With Sweet Potatoes
- 283 calories
- 13 grams of protein
The herbs in this stew are packed with nutritional benefits. "Thyme contains some vitamin C, vitamin A, copper and manganese," Nicole says. "And sage is an excellent source of vitamin K and contains magnesium, copper and zinc." To reap all the health benefits, she suggests using fresh herbs whenever possible and adding them at the end of the cooking process.
Get the Vegan Lentil Mushroom Stew With Sweet Potatoes recipe and nutrition info from Vegan Richa.
16. Vegan Brunswick Stew
- 281 calories
- 13.2 calories
This hearty meatless stew contains jackfruit, which has a similar texture to pulled pork, that's slathered in barbecue sauce. "Jackfruit is full of fiber, vitamin C, B vitamins and potassium," Nicole says. "The pigment that gives jackfruit its vibrant yellow color is the antioxidant carotenoid — it is essential in protecting the cells in our body from harm and supporting overall health."
Get the Vegan Brunswick Stew recipe and nutrition info from Connoisseurus Veg.
17. Spanish-Inspired Chickpea Stew With Cauliflower Broccoli Rice
- 338 calories
- 16 grams of protein
If you're watching your carb intake, try serving this Spanish-inspired stew atop a bed of riced vegetables. The cauliflower and broccoli rice is also seasoned with cumin, "which has antioxidant compounds that protect our cells and skin from oxidative damage and may reduce the appearance of aging skin," Nicole says. She suggests topping this stew with 1/4 of an avocado to add heart-healthy fat and make this dish even more filling.
Get the Spanish-Inspired Chickpea Stew With Cauliflower Broccoli Rice recipe and nutrition info from Vegan Richa.
18. Spanish-Inspired Pumpkin and Chickpea Stew
- 566 calories
- 24.1 grams of protein
This pumpkin stew includes both tomato paste and fresh tomatoes, which are a great source of vitamin C, potassium, vitamin K and folate, Nicole says. They also contain the antioxidants lycopene, beta-carotene and chlorogenic acid, which can help lower oxidative stress, Nicole says.
Get the Spanish-Inspired Pumpkin and Chickpea Stew recipe and nutrition info from Simple Vegan Blog.