These herby vegan dumplings are perfect for serving with your favourite stew, and use only plant-based ingredients! They use a vegetable suet to keep the recipe classic and can be cooked in a stew or baked.
🌟 Why this recipe works
- Classic approach – we’ve based this recipe on traditional ones, but used a vegetable suet instead of beef suet. It achieves the same delicious dumpling, but makes it vegan!
- Practice makes perfect – lots of recipe testing went into these vegan dumplings. We developed them alongside our vegan beef stew, feeding them to lots of friends and family members.
- Versatile – these dumplings can be baked in the oven or cooked in a stew, depending on what you’d prefer.
- Comforting – dumplings are the perfect comforting side to complete any stew or casserole.
- Simple and easy – this recipe is really straightforward with very few ingredients. There’s not much that can go wrong!
🍽 Equipment and Products Used
The key ingredient for making vegan dumplings is suet! Just look out for a vegetable suet and double-check it’s vegan-friendly. You could also use vegetable fat, like Trex.
📋 Ingredient Notes
- Vegetable suet – saturated fat derived from vegetables. Traditionally a suet dumpling would use animal-derived suet, but these vegan dumplings obviously require a plant-based alternative! In the UK, we’d recommend Atora shredded suet, which is designed to replace traditional beef shredded suet. Using a vegetable shortening or vegetable fat such as Trex also works really well.
- Fresh herbs – we use half a tablespoon each of chives and oregano. You can get creative and use your favourite herbs or what you think will work for your stew, just stick to one tablespoon total and you’ll be fine.
- Self-raising flour – did you know that self-raising flour is just plain flour but with baking powder included? That was a revelation when we first found out too! By using self-raising flour, it eliminates the need for baking powder to be added to the dough.
You can find the exact measurements and instructions in the recipe card at the bottom of this article.
🔪 Step-by-step Instructions
These instructions are an overview of how to make vegan dumplings, to go with the photos. For full instructions, full ingredients and notes, head to the recipe card at the bottom of the page.
1. Preheat the oven to 190c / gas mark 5. Sieve the self-raising flour and salt into a mixing bowl.
2. Pop in the chopped herbs and mix the dry ingredients.
3. Stir through the suet, then add the water and mix the ingredients really well. The dough should be firm but still pliable.
4. Divide the dough into 8.
5. Form the dough into balls.
6. If baking; put the dough balls onto a baking tray and bake for 10 minutes. Turn the tray around and bake for another 5-10 minutes – check them after 5 to check whether they’re done and leave in for the additional 5 minutes if needed.
7. If cooking in a stew; place the dough balls on top of the stew and baked for 20 minutes, without the lid on.
👩🍳 Expert Tips
- Dough consistency – different kitchen conditions and ingredient brands can affect the dough. If your mix is a bit wet add some more flour (1 tablespoon at a time), or if it’s a bit dry add some more water (1 tablespoon at a time). The dough should be firm but easily workable.
- Fresh vs dried herbs – we’ve tried this recipe with both, and both work well! We find the flavour of fresh herbs much more balanced and enjoyable in these vegan dumplings though.
- How to cook – it’s a versatile recipe that allows for the dumplings to be baked or cooked on the top of a stew. How you do it is really up to you and we actually choose whichever method we’re feeling at the time. Baking produces more of a crumbly, scone (or American biscuit) type texture. Whereas cooking in a stew keeps the bottom of the dumplings moist, and the top crispy (if you don’t put the lid on the stew pot).
- Don’t put them in the fridge – putting baked goods in the fridge doesn’t help them stay fresh. In fact, baked goods like bread or cake go stale much quicker in the fridge. It sounds counter-intuitive, but believe us, it’s true!
If you can’t find a vegetable suet, a suitable alternative would be a vegetable shortening (also called vegetable fat). This recipe is based on traditional suet dumplings, so a fat like this is needed.
Not unless they’ve been made with a vegan-friendly vegetable suet. Traditionally, they’re made with a suet made from animal fat, usually beef. Luckily, our recipe is for vegan dumplings with suet, so they're totally plant-based.
Yes, gluten-free flour will work fine – just make sure it’s still self-raising. If it’s not, you’ll need to add some baking powder.
If baking in the oven you can make ahead of time and keep in an airtight container for up to 5 days. If cooking in a stew they’re best served fresh, to account for the soggy bottom.
They will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months. Make sure to defrost and heat thoroughly in the oven.
What to serve with them
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Herby, British Vegan Dumplings with Suet
- 200 g self-raising flour
- 0.5 tsp salt
- 0.5 tbsp oregano – dried or fresh and chopped
- 0.5 tbsp chives – dried or fresh and chopped
- 90 g vegetable suet
- 170 ml water
- If baking – preheat the oven to 190c / gas mark 5. If cooking in a stew, keep the oven on the temperature required for that.
- Sieve the self-raising flour and salt into a mixing bowl.200 g self-raising flour, 0.5 tsp salt
- Stir in the fresh herbs.0.5 tbsp oregano, 0.5 tbsp chives
- Add the suet and pour in the water.90 g vegetable suet, 170 ml water
- Mix the ingredients until thoroughly combined. The dough should be firm but pliable.
- Divide the dough into 8 small balls.
- If cooking in the oven, place the dough balls on a baking tray and cook in the oven for 10 minutes. Turn the tray and cook for another 5 minutes. Check the progress of the dumplings and if they need it, cook for another 5 minutes.
- If cooking in a stew, put the dough balls on top of the stew. Put the stew, without a lid, back into the oven for 20 minutes.
- If you can’t find vegetable suet, a vegetable shortening or set fat, like Trex (not liquid oil), also work well in this recipe.
- You can make these vegan dumplings gluten-free by simply using a gluten-free self-raising flour. If you only have plain gluten-free flour, add some baking powder.
- You can use different fresh herbs if you’d like – just stick to 1 tablespoon in total.
- The dumplings will keep in an airtight container for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.