Spring veg stew with cheddar dumplings in a casserole dish

Slow cooker vegetable stew with cheddar dumplings

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(13 ratings)

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 6 hrs


Serves 6

Give classic stew a veggie twist with creamy sauce and cheesy dumplings. Make it in the slow cooker and be rewarded with a hearty meal at the end of the day

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable
  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: Per serving

  • kcal554
  • fat33g
  • saturates17g
  • carbs40g
  • sugars6g
  • fibre13g
  • protein18g
  • salt0.9g
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  • 2 tbsp 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…

  • 200g baby carrots, scrubbed, trimmed and halved if large



    The carrot, with its distinctive bright orange colour, is one of the most versatile root…

  • 3 leeks, cut into thick slices



    Like garlic and onion, leeks are a member of the allium family, but have their own distinct…

  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 tbsp plain flour
  • 400ml vegetable stock
  • 2 courgettes, cut into large chunks



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

  • 2 x 400g cans butter or cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 thyme, rosemary or tarragon sprigs


    This popular herb grows in Europe, especially the Mediterranean, and is a member of the mint…

  • 200ml crème fraîche
  • 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
  • 200g broad beans or peas
  • 200g spinach



    Used in almost every cuisine across the world, spinach is an enormously popular green vegetable…

  • ½ small bunch of parsley, finely chopped, plus extra to serve



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

For the dumplings

  • 100g self-raising flour
  • 50g vegetarian suet or cold butter, grated
  • 100g mature cheddar
  • ½ small bunch of parsley, finely chopped



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


  1. Set the slow cooker to low. Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a frying pan and fry the carrots for 5 mins until just golden, then tip into the slow cooker. 

  2. Heat the remaining oil in the pan and fry the leeks with a pinch of salt for 5 mins until soft. Add the garlic and stir in the flour. Gradually add the stock, stirring, until the flour has dissolved and there are no lumps. Bring to the boil, then tip into the slow cooker. Add the courgettes, beans and herbs, topping up with water to cover the veg, if needed. Cover and cook for 4 hrs.

  3. To make the dumplings, tip the flour into a bowl and stir in the suet or butter until evenly distributed. Add the cheese, parsley, ½ tsp cracked black pepper and a pinch of salt. Mix in 3-4 tbsp cold water with your hands to make a soft, slightly sticky dough (add a little more water if needed). Divide into six and roll into balls.

  4. Add the crème fraîche, mustard, broad beans or peas and spinach to the slow cooker and turn it to high. Arrange the dumplings over the stew, cover and cook for 1-2 hrs more until firm and doubled in size. Scatter with parsley and serve. Will keep for up to three days in the fridge or in the freezer for up to three months.

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Comments, questions and tips

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9th Jun, 2020
Pretty happy with this recipe, it worked even though I didn't have about half of the ingredients - the substitutions were quite successful. I used fresh asparagus and spring onions (for leek), different beans, corn (for broad beans/peas), 1/2 sour cream/cream (creme fraiche), and then I added mushrooms as well as I didn't have enough spinach. Still really delicious, although I felt it needed a bit of a kick, so I also added smoked paprika and some more pepper at the end...Thanks for the recipe! So good to have a nice slow cooked meal during lockdown.
Sally Bramall's picture
Sally Bramall
31st May, 2020
I did this for the family and it was awful, tasteless, only thing we all ate was the dumplings
Liz McWatt's picture
Liz McWatt
24th Apr, 2020
I was looking forward to this but my husband refused to eat it as the dumplings spread out on top and it just looked like a big pile of slop. Can anyone tell me what I've done wrong? Followed to letter and did in slow cooker.
21st Apr, 2020
Made half recipe but same quantity of liquid (plus a glug of white wine) and sour cream instead of crème fraiche, added a few fresh green beans along with frozen broad beans because I didn't have much spinach. Gorgeous.... ate half last night and there is plenty for another night/the freezer. Cannellini beans make it nice and filling without being too heavy. Dumplings came out lovely and fluffy. Didn't miss the meat at all.
11th Apr, 2020
Made as per the recipe. Absolutely delicious. Really enjoyed the inclusion of courgette and the dumpling recipe is a winner. Will definitely make again.
pettle's picture
1st Apr, 2020
Oh forgot to say no spinach or broad beans so put diced swede with carrots and leeks at beginning and cherry tomatoes with dumplings at the end.
pettle's picture
1st Apr, 2020
I agree amazing- also made for lock down meal. Halved to make for 3 people but kept same quantities of dumplings and made lower fat by using 25g butter and 40 g cheese plus low fat creme fraiche which worked fine. Made in oven on v low in casserole dish as no slow cooker. Will definitely make again.
24th Mar, 2020
This was amazing. As we're in lockdown (it's 2020) I made a few substitituions: no courgettes, so used some butternut squash instead cut up small; no vegetarian suet, so used some leftover real suet that I'd bought to make mince pies at Christmas (never thought I'd use it up!) no creme fraiche so used half cream, half labneh I'd made a few days before... anyway, it was absolutely delicious, kids and adults alike all loved, thank you for sharing.
19th Mar, 2020
I haven’t got a slow cooker, what temperature and time would you suggest to cook it in the oven please
pettle's picture
1st Apr, 2020
I did in casserole dish on 110 degrees in oven for 4 hrs then 140 for 1-11/2 hours.
10th Mar, 2020
Hello, I don't own a slow cooker (nor instant pot), so could you please tell me how I should cook this stew on the stove? Thanks a lot.
Barney Good Food's picture
Barney Good Food
11th Mar, 2020
Hello, We haven't tested this in the Good Food kitchen but if we were to hazard a guess we would use simply gently simmer everything for 40 mins then add the dumplings and cook for another 20 mins.
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