Vegan Brown Stew Chicken

 Those who are familiar with Jamaican cuisine simply can’t miss Brown stew chicken. And those who are not familiar with the cuisine should miss out on this recipe. That’s because this dish is simply gorgeous. It is unmatched. Sounds interesting? It’s just the beginning!

Brown stew chicken is a traditional Jamaican dish. It is a stew made from vegetables, chicken, and  Caribbean spices. The dish is not just flavorful but is rich in flavors and has a brown silky and rich gravy with a depth of Caribbean flavors. In simple words, this dish is incredibly delicious! Other amazing Jamaican stews, Jamaican Stew Peas, Ital Stew, Jamaican Yellow Yam Stew.

vegan brown stew chicken close up

What is vegan brown stew chicken?

Now, since being vegan, I don’t eat meat or poultry of any kind; that doesn’t mean I can enjoy the many flavors of the cuisine. The misconception of being a vegan is that you have a limited choice. But in reality, we can eat whatever we want and enjoy all the dishes of different cuisines. There is no limit at all.

So, keeping this in mind, I have come up with a delicious new vegan version of the classic Jamaican dish called brown stew chicken. By a vegan version of this dish is just as delicious as the original one and far healthier.

We have kept the spirit of the original dish alive by making a small change, i.e., replaced chicken with a vegan product. That’s pretty much it. Other than that, the dish is purely traditional and is jam-packed with flavors and texture


What is browning?

Browning or browning sauce is a traditional Caribbean sauce. It is a crucial part of the cuisine and an essential ingredient in the many Caribbean or Jamaican dishes. This sauce is traditionally made from three main ingredients, i.e., cane sugar, caramel, and salt. It has a dark brown color and a depth of flavors that almost leave an umami effect. It is most widely used in stews and gives the stew richness and color that makes it unique and tasteful at the same time.

Where can you find browning?

Now the good news is that if you want to enjoy this delicious Caribbean/Jamaican-inspired dish, you don’t have to go to the land to get browning. You can easily find it at the international section of any grocery store or on Amazon. The sauce comes in a bottle which is very convenient.

However, the bad news is that to enjoy the dish with its true flavor, you need browning, and there is no substitute for it. But don’t get agitated! If you can’t find it, you can create your own browning sauce! For that, you will need sugar and water. Here is how you can prepare your own browning sauce:

  • Add one cup of sugar to a deep pot.
  • Place the pot on medium heat and use a wooden spoon to stir the sugar until it starts melting. The key is constant stirring.
  • Let the sugar melt and the syrup turn dark brown.
  • Once it gets a dark brown color, remove it from the heat and pour ½ cup of water and continue to stir.
  • Let the syrup cool down and transfer it to a jar or bottle. You can keep it in the refrigerator for about a month.

ingredients for tofu brown stew on a white background

What to use instead of chicken?

Because we are making a vegan version of the classic brown stew chicken, you won’t be using chicken meat for the purpose. Instead, we can use any of the following ingredients:

  • Tofu: Tofu is made from condensed soy milk and is rich in plant-based protein.
  • Seitan: It is a perfect meat substitute for vegan dishes. You can also use it for this dish. However, it is not gluten-free.
  • Cauliflower: Although I have used tofu for this dish, you can also use cauliflower florets as a protein.

brown stew tofu ingredients chopped on cutting board

How to make vegan brown stew tofu?

Making vegan brown tofu is super easy. Here are a few simple steps for you to follow:

  • Firstly, you can press tofu to get rid of all the excess water.
  • In a small bowl, mix ingredients for the marinade. These ingredients include browning, pink Himalayan salt, paprika, and black pepper.
  • marinated tofu in a glass bowl
  • Once the tofu is water-free, cut it into small pieces and marinate it with the prepared mixture.
  • Now, in a large skillet, heat coconut on high heat and add tofu pieces. Fry them off on all sides for about 5 minutes until they get a brown color. Once done, take them out on a plate.
  • fried marinated tofu for tofu brown stew tofu on a parchment paper
  • In the same skillet and add onion, garlic, thyme, bell peppers, carrots, and potatoes, and sauté for 3 minutes. Pour in vegetable stock, ketchup, and browning. Stir until all ingredients are well combined.
  • sauteeing vegetables for tofu brown stew
  • Let it simmer for 10 minutes on medium heat.
  • Now add cooked tofu, and let it simmer for 5 more minutes. Serve.
  • vegetables for brown stew tofu

What to serve with brown stew tofu?

What I love about this dish is that it is not just delicious but is also very versatile. You can either enjoy it without any dish or serve it with another component. Either way, it tastes wonderful. Here are a few ideas to serve brown stew tofu:

brown stew tofu in saucepan with spoon on grey background

Tips and trick for perfect brown stew tofu

Although making this dish is super easy, but here are a few tips and tricks that will result in perfect brown stew tofu:

  • If you want the tofu to have a crispy texture, make sure to use extra-firm tofu. You can also get rid of excess water by pressing underweight for about 20 minutes. However, if you have a soft texture, you can use medium-firm or soft tofu.
  • If you can’t find browning sauce, you can also make your own from cooking sugar until it turns brown.
  • If you want the gravy to have a thick consistency, mash potatoes using a masher or the fork before adding tofu. This way, the gravy won’t be runny. Simply skip the mashing if you want the gravy to be runny.
  • You can replace tofu with seitan as well.
  • If you don’t want to use tofu, you can create an all-vegetable dish as well.

How to store brown stew tofu?

You can place the stew in an air-tight container and place it in the fridge for up to 3 days. You can also freeze it for up to 15 days in the freezer. Simply reheat it on the stove or microwave.

Furthermore, you can also prepare the tofu 3 days’ advance and keep it refrigerated in an air-tight container. This way, you just have to prepare the gravy and add tofu in the end.

Other Vegan Stews To Prepare

  1. Black Bean And Butternut Squash Stew
  2. Chickpea Stew
  3. Jamaican Sweet Potato Stew
  4. Stewed Plantain Dumplings
  5. Vegan Lentil Stew

Jamaican vegan brown stew chicken on a white plate with broccoli

If you enjoyed this post and would love to see more, join me on YoutubeInstagramFacebook & Twitter!

Get discounted copies of my cookbook here.

Also please leave a star rating ;-)

Need some encouragement on your Healthier Steps journey?

Join our Facebook groups, sharing lots of delicious vegan and gluten-free recipes, health tips, etc., from our members. Please join us and invite your friends to Gluten-Free and Vegan For Beginners and Vegan Recipes With Love.

Want to Save This Recipe?

Enter your email & I’ll send it to your inbox. Plus, get great new recipes from me every week!

Save Recipe

By submitting this form, you consent to receive emails from Healthier Steps.

vegan brown stew chicken close up

Vegan Brown Stew Chicken

Vegan brown stew chicken is a vegan take of a delicious Jamaican dish. It is flavorful with a deep color and an umami flavor that leaves you in awe.
5 from 7 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Entrée, Main Course
Cuisine: Jamaican
Keyword: vegan brown stew chicken
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 184kcal



  • 16 ounces extra-firm tofu pressed and cut into cubes
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon browning for marinade
  • 1 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt divided
  • 1 teaspoon ground paprika
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 1 medium bell pepper sliced
  • 1 large carrot chopped
  • 1 large potato peeled and diced


  • Press the tofu for bout 20 minutes to get rid of excess water.
  • In a small bowl, add 1 ½ tbsp browning, ½ tsp pink Himalayan salt, paprika, and black pepper. Mix well until everything is well combined.
  • Dice tofu into small cubes and place them on a baking tray.
  • Brush the prepared marinade onto each tofu piece on all sides until all pieces are well coated.
  • Place a large skillet on high heat and add coconut oil. Once the oil is hot, add marinated tofu pieces one at a time and cook until they get a brown color on each side for about 5 minutes.
  • Once done, remove tofu on a plate and set it aside.
  • In the same skillet, add onion, garlic, thyme, bell peppers, carrots, and potatoes, and sauté for 3 minutes.


Calories: 184kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 454mg | Potassium: 382mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1955IU | Vitamin C: 26mg | Calcium: 45mg | Iron: 2mg