Spring veggie casserole with little herb dumplings

Spring veggie casserole with little herb dumplings

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(37 ratings)

Prep: 45 mins - 2 hrs


Serves 6
A vegetarian supper full of fresh flavours, perfect for sharing with friends

Nutrition and extra info

  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal335
  • fat17g
  • saturates7g
  • carbs32g
  • sugars0.04g
  • fibre6g
  • protein10g
  • salt0.94g
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    For the dumplings

    • 100g self-raising flour
    • 50g butter at room temperature, cut in pieces



      Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

    • 50g mature cheddar, finely grated
    • 3 tbsp finely chopped parsley



      One of the most ubiquitous herbs in British cookery, parsley is also popular in European and…

    For the casserole

    • 3 tbsp light olive oil
      olive oil

      Olive oil

      ol-iv oyl

      Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

    • 8 shallots, peeled and cut in half lengthways



      Related to the onion (as opposed to being a younger version of it), shallots grow in clusters at…

    • 250g small new potatoes, cut int half
      New potatoes

      New potatoes

      n-ew po-tate-oes

      New potatoes have thin, wispy skins and a crisp, waxy texture. They are young potatoes and…

    • 3 peeled garlic cloves, cut in half lengthways
    • 200g baby carrots, scraped but left whole
    • 2-3 fennel bulbs (about 500g total weight), each cut into 8 wedges
      Fennel bulb

      Fennel bulb

      Like Marmite, fennel is something that you either love or hate - its strong aniseed flavour…

    • 600ml boiling vegetable stock (Marigold Swiss bouillion is good)
    • 300g fruity white wine, such as sauvignon blanc or pinot grigio
    • pinch of muscovado sugar, light or dark
    • ½ tsp light soy sauce
    • 200g green beans, trimmed and cut in half
    • 250g chestnut mushrooms, halved if large
    • 200g baby courgettes, each cut into 4 chunks, or 2 courgettes cut in sticks



      The courgette is a variety of cucurtbit, which means it's from the same family as cucumber,…

    • 2 tsp cornflour
    • ½ fresh red chilli, seeded and finely chopped
    • 1 tbsp each snipped chives and chopped parsley



      One of the most ubiquitous herbs in British cookery, parsley is also popular in European and…


    1. To make the dumplings, rub the flour and butter together so it looks like breadcrumbs. Stir in the cheese, parsley and salt and pepper to season and set aside.

    2. Heat the oil in a large pan or flameproof casserole (about 3.5 litres) over a high-ish heat, then throw in the halved shallots. Fry for 2-3 minutes till beginning to soften and turn brown and gold in places. Now still working on quite a high heat, add the potatoes and watch for the same effect, about 5-7 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon and generally moving the pan about a bit. Add the garlic, carrots and fennel, allowing a couple of minutes between each so they get a chance to release their flavours. Pour in the stock along with most of the wine, then stir in the sugar and soy sauce and return to the boil. Simmer covered for 10 minutes. If preparing ahead make up to the end of step 2, cool and chill for up to five hours. About 20 minutes before you are ready to serve, bring back to the boil, and continue with step 3.

    3. Stir about 2 tbsp of water into the dumpling mixture to form a soft dough. Break off small pieces to make 20-25 dumplings, then shape into rounds about the size of a cherry tomato. Add the green beans and simmer for 5 minutes, then add the mushrooms and courgettes. Stir the cornflour into the remaining wine until it has dissolved, then stir into the casserole until it thickens. Bring to the boil, stir well then gently place the dumplings on top. Cover the pan with a lid and simmer gently for about 15 minutes till the dumplings have risen, and the stew is rich and thick and the vegetables deliciously tender. Check the seasoning.

    4. Mix the chilli and herbs together in a small bowl and scatter on top of the casserole.

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    Comments, questions and tips

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    3rd Feb, 2012
    Just about to serve this up to my extended family who are all veggies and real foodies! Found it easy to make apart from making the mistake of submerging my dumplings so they have gonea bit soggy. I've had a taste already and its yummy. We're always on the look out for veggies recipes that are hearty and warming for cold days like today that don't just involve pasta. Thank you
    28th Jan, 2012
    Have made this about 3 times now & have absolutely loved it every time. The fennel gives a wonderful flavour to the whole dish, and the cheesy dumplings (which we've made with a variety of different cheeses now just for a bit of variation) on top are a treat. The chilli gives it a really gentle warmth too (but can always add more if you want a kick!)-we always add the chilli with the stock to give it time to infuse.
    26th Nov, 2011
    Preparation takes a while but it's worth it, nice meal! Vegetables were a little overcooked in my opinion.
    suedebloke's picture
    13th Oct, 2011
    Lovely, even meat eaters loved it! Did te recipe exactly and had no problems. The dumplinhs were lovely light and fluffy. Maybe the mixture was overworked judging by others comments?
    11th Sep, 2011
    Those who say it dosnt have much taste either have no taste buds or havent followed the recipe. It's an absolutely fabuluos dish. Brilliant for a cold blustry day. Full of flavours and really scrummy. I actually made this in Autumn and couldnt find Fennel anywhere so substituted some Parsnips and leeks. Yum
    22nd May, 2011
    I very rarely eat vegetarian food and like others, thought this would be healthy but bland. In fact, it was surprisingly good - although I did add thyme, a bit of tomato puree and more soy than in the recipe. The fact that it is cheap, one pot, easy to make and easy to adapt means that this recipe will become a firm favourite with me. Definitely worth a try whether you're veggie or not.
    14th Mar, 2011
    Absolutely love this, I originally made it for vegetarian friends who loved it but it is a family favourite now. Worth the long ingredient list.
    16th Feb, 2011
    Best veggie casserole I've had.
    7th Feb, 2011
    I made this without the dumplings as an accompanionment to roast chicken, and it made a really nice change. The herb and chilli topping is well worth it and definitely lifts the flavour (I replaced the chives with thyme). Funnily, when I whizzed the leftovers up to make soup it had a taste and texture very reminiscent of a properly made chicken soup without any meat being in there!
    1st Feb, 2011
    Thought it was a lovely casserole, but the dumplings were no good. They broke up into a mush when cooked on top of the casserole, I think because the ingredients did not make the dumpling mixture stiff enough. I don't want to use commercial dumpling mix, yuk! but would be glad of anybody's ideas of an alternative dumpling, or indeed the same recipe altered slightly to give a firmer texture. Any ideas?


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