This mushroom bourguignon is the ultimate hearty, comforting vegan stew (and it’s also surprisingly low calorie!).
If you want a hearty winter warmer to serve to guests, which sounds super fancy, but is actually really easy to make… mushroom bourguignon is the dish for you. Pretend you’re posh and wow your friends with this French veggie stew, which you actually prepared in about 20 minutes!
What is mushroom bourguignon?
This mushroom bourguignon (pronounced ‘bour-gin-yon’… kind of) is based on a French dish called boeuf bourguignon. If you speak even a little French, you’ll know that boeuf means beef, so obviously the original recipe isn’t vegetarian – it’s a rich beef stew made with red wine.
This version is totally vegetarian – in fact it’s actually vegan too! The beef is replaced by some ‘meaty’ mushrooms (don’t hate me for saying that, meat eaters), along with baby carrots and baby onions*.
*(no actual babies were harmed in the making of this dish)
Vegan beef bourguignon
This hearty vegan stew begins by frying off the vegetables in a dash of oil. Since whole baby onions and baby carrots need a fair bit of cooking, they won’t really soften up at this stage, but the mushrooms will, releasing the juices that will ultimately give heaps of flavour to the casserole’s rich sauce.
Don’t forget plenty of garlic too!
Next, add a good slosh of red wine – almost a cupful.
I’m actually not a red wine drinker, at all – I don’t like it much. But it works really well in this mushroom bourguignon, giving the sauce a beautiful deep flavour. So don’t worry if you’re not a red wine fan either – you might still love this mushroom bourguignon!
As the name of the dish suggests, it’s traditional to use a Burgundy wine to make a bourguignon (the French region of Bourgogne is known as Burgundy in English). But, since I’m not overly fussed with authenticity, I just used any old cheap red wine (don’t hate me for saying that, French people), and it still worked beautifully.
Hearty baked stew
After adding some fresh thyme, bay leaves, and a glug of veggie stock, it’s time to bake the stew in the oven. This helps the sauce to intensify, releases all the flavour from the herbs, and softens the onions and carrots.
If you have a big casserole dish that can be used both on the hob and in the oven, you’ll save yourself some washing up. I used my enormous cast iron Le Creuset casserole dish (Amazon UK* / Amazon US*). It’s almost worth cooking up this kind of big stew just so I can use that thing – love it.
How do I serve mushroom bourguignon?
After 40 minutes or so in the oven, your mushroom bourguignon is ready to eat!
I served mine with mashed potato – it’s the perfect combination. Rich gravy poured over creamy mash, with all those hearty veggies. The best comfort food ever (and pretty healthy too, if you ignore the wine!).
If you’re not a fan of mashed potato, I find you very strange (don’t hate me for saying that, mashed potato haters), but luckily this mushroom bourguignon is really versatile. It would also be great served with boiled potatoes, pasta, crusty bread, or just about anything else. It’s hard to go wrong with a good gravy.
How can I adapt this mushroom bourguignon recipe?
As always, feel free to make this recipe your own! There are all sorts of ways you could adapt the recipe to give it your own flair. Here are a few ideas:
- Add a tin of chickpeas or butter beans to make your casserole extra hearty.
- Add some vegetarian sausages for a tasty sausage stew (just fry them off a bit before adding!).
- Or, use ‘fake beef’ pieces for a more realistic take on beef bourguignon.
- Use different vegetables – anything that’s great cooked for a long time. Root vegetables (e.g. parsnips) will all work well!
- Instead of serving with mashed potato, add some baby potatoes to the stew itself so they can soak up the gravy.
- Add a pastry top to make a beautiful mushroom bourguignon pie, much like I did when I made my mushroom stroganoff pie (this would be a great way to use up any leftovers!)
- Add a splash of cream to the finished stew for an extra indulgent dish.
Whatever you do, it’s hard to go wrong with this kind of hearty comfort food.
Is mushroom bourguignon healthy?
Despite the fact that this mushroom bourguignon is really rich and hearty, it’s actually surprisingly low calorie – less than 200 calories a bowl! Of course, by the time you’ve added a huge heap of buttery mashed potatoes, it’s going to be significantly more than that, but you can certainly go easy on the side dishes if you’re trying to keep things light.
As well as being pretty low calorie, this mushroom bourguignon is also high in fibre and iron, and super high in vitamin D (it’s all those mushrooms!).
Who says comfort food can’t have a place in a calorie controlled diet?! This mushroom bourguignon certainly can!
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- 250 g (~ 9 oz) baby onions
- 250 g (~ 9 oz) baby carrots
- 1 tbsp oil
- 850 g (~ 1 3/4 lb) mushrooms, cut into chunky pieces (I used chestnut mushrooms and mini portobellos)
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 185 ml (~ 3/4 cup) red wine
- 2 tbsp tomato puree / paste
- 1 small bunch fresh thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 250 ml (~ 1 cup) vegetable stock
- Black pepper
- Peel the baby onions, and remove the tops and tails, but otherwise leave whole. Also top and tail the baby carrots.
- Heat the oil in a large pan (if you use a large casserole dish that can also go in the oven, that will save on washing up!), and add the mushrooms, baby carrots and baby onions. Cook over a medium heat for 5-10 minutes, adding the garlic for the last couple of minutes of cooking time. The mushrooms should be soft and should have released their juices. The carrots and onions will still be quite hard.
- Add the red wine, and turn up the heat. Simmer for a few minutes, then add the remaining ingredients. Mix well to combine.
- If needed, transfer the mixture to an oven-safe casserole dish. Cover with a lid or some foil, and bake at 190°C (Gas Mark 5 / 375°F) for around 40 minutes, or until the carrots and onions are cooked to your liking. Check the seasoning, and serve hot.
Nutritional information is approximate, and will depend on your exact ingredients. Please calculate your own nutritional values if you require accuracy for health reasons.