Deliciously fluffy vegan dumplings to cook with your favourite stew or casserole. Quick and easy to make, they steam-cook in the pot. No comfort-food stew is complete without them!
🍴Why you will love this recipe
Steamed dumplings are the ultimate British comfort food. Is there anything more unashamedly doughy and deliciously stodgy than these fluffy little balls, steam-cooked in a hearty vegan stew?
These are so incredibly easy to make. I've included step-by-step photos below for those who are less confident in the kitchen, but they are pretty much foolproof, so do give them a go.
The plump vegan dumplings steam-cook in your stew or casserole, either on the hob (covered with a lid) or in the oven. I then like to pop them under the grill to slightly brown and crisp the top, but I know many purists would turn their nose up at that and like them steamed-only, so it is entirely your call.
Once you're a confident dumpling-maker, I've included lots of ideas for variations to match your dumpling flavours to whatever stew or casserole you have on the go.
📝 What you need
Plain flour - the storecupboard staple. If you don't have plain to hand, you can use self-raising instead and just leave out the baking powder in the recipe. Or how about trying half-and-half wholemeal and white plain flours?
Vegetable suet is fairly easy to find in supermarkets - the most common brand, Atora, is vegan (at time of writing), but if you use any other brand do check the ingredients.
If you don't have suet handy or don't want to buy some just for these dumplings, a good alternative is to use a vegan 'butter' (block margarine) instead. Something like Flora Plant Butter or Naturli block would be ideal. (Don't use a tub of spread, its water content is far too high and these won't turn out nearly as well). Just cube or grate the 'butter' into the flour then rub in with your fingertips, as if you were making pastry. Then continue from step 3 of the recipe onwards.
Dried thyme This is completely optional but adds another herby note to the dumplings. You can also use fresh thyme leaves picked from their stalks if you prefer.
👩🏽🍳 How to make your Vegan Dumplings
For a full, printable recipe with ingredients and detailed instructions, scroll to the bottom of this page 👇🏼.
Weigh the flour and add the vegetable suet.
Season well and add fresh herbs. Add water a little at a time to bring it together into a smooth dough.
Roll the dough out into individual balls. Press dumplings into your stew, cover with a lid and cook for 25-30 minutes.
🔪 Dumpling Variations
You can add all sorts of flavourings to this basic dumpling recipe to match it to your casserole or stew. How about:
- Make them cheesy with some grated vegan cheddar mixed through the flour before bringing the dough together. Some chives snipped through the dough are particularly good with this variation, or my special favourite - chopped jalapeños from a jar.... yum!
- Make them wholemeal by using wholemeal or spelt flour in the recipe.
- Make them pesto by kneading some vegan pesto through the dough (I like the Sacla vegan pesto, or make your own with my recipe here)
- Make them curried by stirring 1 teaspoon mild curry powder through the flour before bringing the dough together, then steam-cook in a curried casserole or stew.
🍽 Top Tips & FAQs
Add the water to the dough little by little, until there is just enough to bring the dough together - a sticky dough is hard to shape and makes heavy dumplings.
The dumplings suck up quite a bit of moisture from your stew as they cook, so check the consistency of the stew occasionally to make sure it isn't drying out.
For a nice crispy golden finish to your dumplings you can pop them under a hot grill for just a minute.
Yes - if you make the balls of dough then cover them or keep in an airtight container they will be fine for up to 2 days in the fridge.
If you've made too many dumplings, or want to batch-cook some stew and dumplings, good news.... these dumplings are fine to freeze. I tend to freeze one in an individual portion of stew, then once defrosted, reheat the stew and pop the dumpling in the oven for 5 minutes or so.
A quick blast in the microwave until piping hot throughout is a very easy way of defrosting it, but separate the dumpling from the stew and microwave them individually as they will need quite different defrosting times.
You can also freeze the balls of dumpling dough before cooking, then just defrost and cook as many as you need.
You will usually find suet in the baking area of the supermarket, or near the flour. I usually buy it at Christmas, and use it for making:
Homemade Vegan Mincemeat with brandy and hazelnuts, for delicious mince pies, and
The Ultimate Vegan Christmas Pudding
You can also use it to make a very soft-textured pastry (there's a good step-by-step recipe from Delia here - just swap vegetable suet for beef suet), which you can make either savoury or sweet as a delicious topping for pies.
🍽 If you liked that...
.... you might also enjoy these vegan recipes from The Veg Space:
- 100 g plain flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 50 g vegetable suet (check it is vegan)
- salt and black pepper
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme (optional)
- Weigh the flour and baking powder into a bowl.
- Stir through the suet.
- Season well with salt and pepper, then add the parsley and thyme (if using).
- Add water a little at a time - just enough to bring it together into a dough.
- Divide the dough into 6 sections and roll each into a round ball.
- Place the dumplings in your stew or casserole, and press down until half-submerged in the liquid. Cover with a lid and cook on the hob or oven for 25-30 minutes until well risen and fluffy.
- If you want to brown your dumplings a little on top, you can put the casserole dish under a hot grill for a minute or two. Serve immediately.
Free 4-Week Vegan Meal Plan
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For more quick and easy vegan recipes take a look at my latest book Vegan in 15.
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