This vegetarian Irish stew recipe means you don't have to miss out on one of Ireland's favorite dishes if you're meat-free. 

Irish stews bring to mind lumps of steaming hot meat in a dark sauce with heaps of potatoes, but this recipe offers a healthier, meat-free, vegetable-full alternative!

Vegetarian Irish stout stew recipe


  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 medium leeks, cleaned and sliced (or 2 medium onions, diced)
  • 1 cup parsnips, sliced
  • 1 cup carrots, sliced
  • 1 cup potatoes, sliced into chunks
  • 1 cup turnips or rutabagas, peeled and sliced into chunks
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 cups stout beer (we recommend Guinness, of course!)
  • 1 cup pearl barley
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • A few sprigs each fresh rosemary, fresh thyme and fresh marjoram (or 1/4 teaspoon of each dried)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, sauté leeks in the olive oil until translucent. Add the remaining vegetables and cook for a few minutes, stirring to coat the vegetables with oil.
Add broth, stout, barley and parsley to the pot. Tie together sprigs of fresh herbs with a piece of cooking string and add (or add dried herbs). Bring to a boil, then reduce heat. Simmer for an hour, or until vegetables are tender and the stew has thickened, adding water if necessary. Remove the herb bundle.

Season with salt and pepper, divide among plates and serve with bread. Enjoy!

What's your favorite Irish recipe? Is there a vegetarian alternative? Let us know in the comments!

* Originally published in 2015, updated in 2022.