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Rustic vegan cassoulet with herby dumplings

This vegan cassoulet is a super flavourful version of the classic French dish - perfect topped with herby dumplings! Such hearty comfort food.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Main meals
Cuisine: French
Servings: 3 people
Calories: 725kcal
Author: Becca Heyes


  • 100 g (~ 1/3 cup) pearl barley
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 large carrot, diced fairly small
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 300 g (~ 10 1/2 oz) chestnut mushrooms, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree / paste
  • 100 g (~ 1/3 cup) red lentils
  • 400 g tin butter beans, drained (240g, or ~ 1 1/4 cups, when drained)
  • 400 ml (~ 1 2/3 cups) vegetable stock
  • 75 g (~ 1/2 cup) vegetable suet (I used light)
  • 120 g (~ 3/4 cup) self-raising flour
  • 2 tsp dried or semi-dried parsley (or a couple of sprigs fresh parsley, finely chopped)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • ~ 6 tbsp water


  • Boil the pearl barley in plenty of water, until cooked al dente (around 20 minutes). Drain, and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, heat a dash of oil in a large, deep frying pan, and add the diced carrot and onion. Cook over a medium heat for about 5 minutes, then add the mushrooms and garlic. Cook for 5 more minutes.
  • Add the fresh rosemary and thyme to the vegetables, along with the bay leaf, tomato puree, red lentils, butter beans, and veggie stock. Mix to combine, and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook until the lentils are fairly soft, around 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • While the cassoulet simmers, prepare the dumplings. Add the vegetable suet, flour, dried parsley, salt and pepper to a bowl, and mix to combine. Add the water a little dash at a time, mixing with a spoon until you end up with a slightly sticky dough. I ended up using around 6tbsp water in total.
  • When the lentils are nearly cooked, add the cooked pearl barley to the pan, and mix the cassoulet thoroughly. If the mixture seems a little dry, just add an extra splash of water (the dumplings need some steam to cook, so you need at least a small amount of liquid). Dollop the dumpling mixture on top - I ended up with 8 dumplings in total. Add a lid to the pan, and cook over a fairly low heat for another 10-15 minutes, until the dumplings are fairly firm, and piping hot inside. For a slightly crispier dumpling, you can also pop the pan under the grill (broiler) for a few minutes.
  • Remove any large stalks of rosemary and thyme, and serve hot.


Serving: 1portion | Calories: 725kcal | Carbohydrates: 110.4g | Protein: 25.8g | Fat: 21.5g | Saturated Fat: 1.1g | Sodium: 432mg | Potassium: 1359mg | Fiber: 24.8g | Sugar: 8.6g | Calcium: 135mg | Iron: 13mg