This healthy, vegetarian sweet potato stew will surprise your taste buds in the best way possible!  Loaded with chunks of melt-in-your mouth sweet potatoes, tender carrots, tomatoes, and wilted baby spinach. It gets a little Eastern Mediterranean flare with a few warm spices like cumin and turmeric.

The best way to serve this hearty vegan stew is over quick-cooked couscous or with a piece of crusty whole wheat bread. It’s the perfect warm-your-belly comfort meal. Bonus – slow cooker and Instant Pot options!

vegetarian sweet potato stew in large Dutch oven

Oh, sweet potatoes…one of my favorite versatile veggies!

Not only are sweet potatoes delicious, and hearty, but they are packed to the brim with nutrition – minerals, vitamins, fiber, antioxidants, and so much more!

And when they're cooked, they get this incredibly sweet and creamy texture that is just to die for. A complete win in my book!

Except in Greek lemon potatoes and Batata Harra, you can pretty much replace a regular potato for sweet potato in many recipes. Perfect for side dishes like Baked Sweet Potato Fries, cubed and roasted, mashed, or simply boiled and tossed with herbs.

I love sweet potatoes in any form and will never turn down a dish with these beauties! But lately, I've been all about sweet potato stew.

Since the weather outside is a bit chillier, I figure there is nothing better than a cozy bowl of stew. And sweet potatoes are the star!

Vegetarian Sweet Potato Stew, Mediterranean-Style

This healthy vegetarian--actually, vegan--sweet potato stew is the kind of rustic, comforting dish that tastes like it's been simmering all day long. Super hearty and melt-in-your mouth delicious.

Chunks of sweet potato are cooked along with other wholesome veggies, aromatics, and warm Mediterranean spices, until tender and creamy. A handful of baby spinach is stirred in at the end for a pop of awesome green. And the final finishing touch? A drizzle of rich Greek extra virgin olive oil!

The biggest draw here for me is the fact that this sweet potato stew is made in one pot and in just over 30 minutes or so.  Plus, it's filling and hearty without any meat.

How do you pick out a good sweet potato?

Since the star ingredient in this stew is sweet potatoes, let's talk quick about how you pick them!

There are actually several kinds of sweet potatoes, but I'm partial to the bright-orange spuds.

To get the best sweet potatoes that will give you the sweet taste and creamy texture when cooked, look for: small to medium-sized potatoes that feel firm to the touch and with smooth skin.

It is so tempting to buy those massive sweet potatoes at the supermarket, but try to refrain and get those smaller ones. Larger sweet potatoes are going to be a lot starchier.

The potato should feel firm and have fairly smooth skin. If the sweet potato feels squishy or the flesh gives, it’s probably passed its prime.

I think it is so great when you get home with a perfect sweet potato and cut into it to reveal that bright orange flesh. That’s how I know I’ve done a good job.

Are sweet potatoes good for you?

Sweet potatoes are of the healthiest foods one can eat. They are filled with vitamins and minerals like vitamins A, C, and B6, magnesium, potassium, and more.

They also have cancer-fighting properties, help vision, brain function, and keep your immune system strong and healthy!

It may sound strange to you, but one of the things that most excites me about sweet potatoes is that they are great for gut health. Because, not only are they an excellent source of one but two kinds of fiber, which is amazing for digestion.

Sweet potatoes contain both soluble and insoluble fiber. And because the human body can't digest either type, instead of breaking down as they pass through the digestive tract, these fibers move about intact, doing some amazing things for the gut.

Okay, I think you get the picture. I'll stop here and get to how to make this sweet potato stew goodness...

Ingredients for sweet potato stew. Sweet potatoes, spinach, onions, garlic, tomatoes, carrots and parsley

What’s in this sweet potato stew?

SO many amazing ingredients and spices in this stew, but also nothing over the top. It is the perfect balance of super simple, but complex in flavor.

- Sweet potatoes – Earthy and sweet, sweet potatoes are the star of the stew. They are hearty, creamy, and perfectly replace meat in the stew, so you are not going to miss it!

- Baby spinach, carrots, tomatoes – Fresh baby spinach and carrots add more veggies to the stew and take on the flavors well. Carrots become tender and the mild baby spinach wilts and almost melts into the soup.

- Aromatics – Onions and garlic are always necessary and add so much flavor to any dish, especially stews.

- Mediterranean spices – What really takes this simple sweet potato stew to the next level is a foursome of bold spices with an Eastern Mediterranean flare:

  • Coriander: Warm and earthy. It is slightly sweet with a very mild spice.
  • Cumin: Earthy, lemony, warm, and super bold! Pairs perfectly with sweet potatoes.
  • Turmeric: A beautiful brilliant yellow, turmeric is super earthy with a mild ginger-like flavor.
  • Aleppo pepper:  Also known as Halaby pepper, it is a magical spice of fruity, tangy chili flakes. It's fairly mild—the heat builds slowly, giving off a raisin-like flavor or a sweetness akin to the best kind of sundried tomatoes! If you haven't tried it yet, grab some Aleppo pepper here.

How to make this vegetarian sweet potato stew: step by step

First, saute vegetables & season 

In your large pot or Dutch Oven, cook the garlic and onion in a bit of extra virgin olive oil until nice and fragrant.

Add your chopped carrots and sweet potatoes. Season with kosher salt, pepper, and add in your set aside spice mixture. You want to now turn the heat to medium-high. Cook the veggies and stir occasionally. Cook for 4-5 minutes.

Sweet potatoes being sauteed with carrots, onions, and garlic

Add in liquids

Add in the can of diced tomatoes with the juices and the broth. Bring to a boil for about 10 minutes, then turn burner to low heat. Cover the pot, but leave a small opening so the pot doesn’t boil over. Simmer for about 25 minutes until the sweet potatoes are nice and tender.

Tip - To test if the carrots and sweet potatoes are tender and cooked through, stick a fork or knife into a piece of each. If it goes in without resistance and is soft, they are fully cooked!

broth and tomatoes are added

Add in greens & finish

Open the lid and stir in your baby spinach and parsley. Let the spinach wilt a bit. Remove the pot from the heat and top with a healthy drizzle of Private Reserve Greek extra virgin olive oil.  That's it!

baby spinach is added to sweet potato stew

Can I make this In the Slow Cooker or Instant Pot? 

Yes, this easy sweet potato stew can also be made in the slow cooker or instant pot. Whatever method you prefer! Here is how...

Slow Cooker Option:

  • In your slow cooker, add chopped onions, garlic, carrots, and sweet potatoes.
  • Season with salt, pepper, and spice mixture.
  • Dump in the canned tomatoes and the broth and give it a good stir to combine the ingredients.
  • Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4-5 hours. You want the veggies to get tender.
  • About 5-10 minutes before done, stir in the spinach and parsley.
  • Turn off the slow cooker and serve!

Instant Pot Option:

  1. Put your Instant Pot on “sauté” and add the olive oil. Add your garlic and onions and cook for 3 or so minutes, stir so the garlic doesn’t burn.
  2. Now add the chopped carrots and sweet potatoes, salt, pepper, and spice mixture. Cook for 4 minutes and stir everything around.
  3. Add the canned tomatoes and broth. Stir.
  4. Hit cancel on our Instant Pot and lock the lid with the valve in the sealing position. Select the manual function and cook on high pressure for 10 minutes. Allow natural release for 10 minutes, then follow with quick release. Simply stir in spinach and parsley and allow to sit for a couple of minutes.

Bowl of vegetarian sweet potato stew

What to serve along? 

Personally, I love this sweet potato stew over quick-cooked couscous. Beautiful, fluffy couscous cooks in about 10 minutes and makes the perfect bed for this saucy stew (grab some here at our online shop). Oooh, and when I have some crispy roasted chickpeas, I love adding a few on top for texture

Now, for a couple of simple vegan starters before you serve the stew, you can do a big Shirazi salad and maybe some baba ganoush.

Can you serve this sweet potato stew as a side? Sure! If you'd like to add a protein next to this stew, something like Moroccan meatballs or a simple chicken breast will work!

More Soup and Stew Ideas:

Italian Pasta Fagioli

Moroccan Lamb Stew

Greek Avgolemono Soup

Looking for Mediterranean diet friendly recipes? See our collection of Mediterranean diet recipes here

 Join my e-mail list HERE to receive new recipes and my weekly dinner plan!

VISIT OUR ONLINE SHOP FOR QUALITY OLIVE OILS, ALL-NATURAL SPICES AND MORE

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vegetarian sweet potato stew in large Dutch oven

Simple Vegetarian Sweet Potato Stew, Mediterranean-Style


Description

This healthy, vegetarian sweet potato stew will surprise your taste buds in the best way possible!  Loaded with chunks of melt-in-your mouth sweet potatoes, tender carrots, tomatoes, and wilted baby spinach. It gets a little Eastern Mediterranean flare with a few warm spices like cumin and turmeric.

The best way to serve this hearty vegan stew is over quick-cooked couscous or with a piece of crusty whole wheat bread. It’s the perfect warm-your-belly comfort meal. Bonus – slow cooker and Instant Pot options!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ¾ tsp Aleppo pepper
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • Extra virgin olive oil (I used Private Reserve Greek EVOO)
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 3 sweet potatoes (about 1 lb), peeled and cubed
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • 1 15-oz can diced tomatoes with their juices
  • 3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 5 oz baby spinach
  • 1 cup chopped fresh parsley

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, add the spices (coriander, cumin, Aleppo pepper, and turmeric). Mix to combine. Set aside.
  2. In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil over medium heat until shimmering but not smoking. Add onions and garlic and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally and making sure garlic does not burn.
  3. Now, add carrots and sweet potatoes. Season with kosher salt, black pepper, and the spice mixture you prepared earlier. Raise the heat to medium-high, and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 4 to 5 minutes or so.
  4. Add diced tomatoes (and their juices), and broth. Bring to a boil for 10 minutes or so, then turn the heat to low. Cover the pot only part-way, allowing an opening at the top for the stew to "breath." Cook for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until sweet potatoes are fully cooked and tender.
  5. Finally, stir in the baby spinach and fresh parsley. Remove from heat, and finish with a generous drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Serve over quick-cooked couscous or with your favorite crusty bread.  Enjoy!

Notes

  • Slow Cooker Option: In your slow cooker, add chopped onions, garlic, carrots, and sweet potatoes. Season with salt, pepper, and spice mixture. Dump in the canned tomatoes and the broth and give it a good stir to combine the ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4-5 hours. You want the veggies to get tender. About 5-10 minutes before done, stir in the spinach and parsley. Turn off the slow cooker and serve!
  • Instant Pot Option: Put your Instant Pot on “sauté” and add the olive oil. Add your garlic and onions and cook for 3 or so minutes, stir so the garlic doesn’t burn. Now add the chopped carrots and sweet potatoes, salt, pepper, and spice mixture. Cook for 4 minutes and stir everything around. Add the canned tomatoes and broth. Stir. Hit cancel on our Instant Pot and lock the lid with the valve in the sealing position. Select the manual function and cook on high pressure for 10 minutes. Allow natural release for 10 minutes, then follow with quick release. Simply stir in spinach and parsley and allow to sit for a couple of minutes.
  • Visit Our Online Shop to browse all-natural and organic spices, extra virgin olive oils, couscous and more!
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 33 mins
  • Category: Entree
  • Method: Stewed
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean

Keywords: Sweet Potato Stew, Vegetarian Sweet Potato Stew

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I'm Suzy; born and bred right on the shores of the Mediterranean. I'm all about easy, healthy recipes with big Mediterranean flavors. Three values guide my cooking: eat with the seasons; use whole foods; and above all, share! So happy you're here...
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Comments

  1. Always looking for quick delicious one pot meals. This sounds amazing ! Just one question.....could I use precut frozen sweet potatoes ? I have carpel tunnel in my hands so cutting them is a challenge, but I always have frozen ones on hand.
    Thanks !!