Zucchini Stew with Potatoes is a rustic Italian-inspired main dish. This vegan and gluten-free recipe is healthy and loaded with vegetables. Enjoy a warm bowl of this comforting stew on its own or with some crusty bread.
Zucchini is a summer staple in my house. I love using it to make Easy Vegan Spaghetti with Zucchini, Mediterranean Tomato and Zucchini Saute, and Vegan Pasta Bake. And when I want something really easy and comforting, I turn to this vegetable stew.
This rustic dish will remind you of a recipe your Italian grandmother would make, if you had an Italian grandmother. It's especially perfect during the summer when zucchini is abundant and you have more than you know what to do with.
Why you'll love this recipe
- It's easy to make in an hour with only 9 ingredients (plus salt and pepper).
- It's meant to be rustic, so you don't need to worry about chopping the vegetables finely.
- It's perfect for meal prep and a great way to use up any extra zucchini you have.
For the complete list of ingredients with measurements plus recipe instructions, please see the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
These ingredients are all easy to find and budget-friendly. And they are all part of a plant-based Mediterranean diet, which is one of the healthiest ways to eat.
You can use whatever type of potatoes you prefer, such as Russet or red. I like to use my favorite gold potatoes.
As you can see in the above photo, there's no need to dice the vegetables small for this chunky Italian zucchini stew.
Slice off both ends of the zucchini squash before quartering and chopping them. This will help remove any of the bitterness.
The only special equipment you need to make this zucchini stew is a large pot or Dutch oven. I'm a big fan of Le Creuset, but Cuisinart is another great choice at a more affordable price.
- Saute the onion in a little olive oil until soft. Then add the garlic and saute for about 30 seconds more.
- Next add the zucchini, potatoes, carrots, and red bell pepper.
- After about 5 minutes, add the canned whole tomatoes with their juice. Smash the tomatoes down into the vegetables with a wooden spoon and break them apart a little.
- Once the mixture comes to a low boil, reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are tender and the vegetable stew has thickened. Finally, add a little salt and pepper and some fresh parsley and it's time to eat!
If you want to boost this meal with some extra protein, I recommend adding in a can of chickpeas, cannellini, or kidney beans.
And if you have other vegetables on hand like eggplant, celery, or green beans, they would be wonderful additions to this zucchini stew. In addition you can substitute basil or your favorite herbs for the parsley.
I'm perfectly happy eating a big bowl of this rustic vegetable stew on its own. But if you have some crusty bread like Bread SRSLY sourdough, heat some up for dipping in the stew. Or try it with one of these salads:
Storing and freezing
This chunky vegetable stew is a great make-ahead meal. You can prepare it on the weekend and enjoy it reheated during the week.
It will last for up to 5 days refrigerated, and you can even freeze it. I like to freeze it in individual servings in glass containers or mason jars. Just be sure to leave a little room at the top since the zucchini stew will expand when frozen.
To reheat, first defrost the frozen container in the refrigerator overnight. It will be thicker, so you may want to add a little water before reheating it in a pot on the stove or in a microwave-safe bowl.
Refer to the FDA Food Storage Guidelines for more information.
Zucchini (and cucumbers) produce a compound called cucurbitacin which can make them taste bitter. The best way to combat this is to cut off both ends of the squash before slicing or chopping it.
No, you do not need to peel zucchini. In fact, it's better to leave the skin on since it contains a lot of the nutrients.
To quarter zucchini, first cut off both the ends and discard them. Then slice the squash lengthwise into 2 pieces. Now slice those 2 pieces lengthwise again so you have 4 pieces or quarters.
More recipes to try
If you purchased a 3 pound bag of potatoes, you can use one pound to make Zucchini Stew with Potatoes and the other two pounds to make Greek Lemon Roasted Potatoes with Chickpeas or Chickpea Soup with Potatoes. Or try some of these favorite soups and stews:
And for even more recipes, join the Vegan Mediterranean Diet Recipes Facebook group for support, inspiration, and fun.
If you love this recipe, please give it 5 stars! ★★★★★
Zucchini Stew with Potatoes
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 medium zucchini, (about 1.5 pounds) sliced lengthwise in quarters then cut in ½ inch chunks
- 1 pound potatoes, (I use gold potatoes) peeled, quartered, and cut in chunks about the same size as the zucchini
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
- 1 red bell pepper, cut in large dice
- 1-28 ounce can whole peeled tomatoes with their juice
- salt and pepper, to taste
- ½ cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped or torn
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat.
- Saute the onion in the oil for a few minutes until soft and slightly translucent.
- Add the garlic and saute about 30 more seconds until fragrant.
- Then add the zucchini, potatoes, carrots and red bell pepper to the pot and saute for 5 minutes.
- Next add the tomatoes with their juice to the vegetable mixture. Press down the tomatoes and break them apart with a wooden spoon.
- Bring the stew to a low boil, then lower the heat and simmer,uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are tender and the stew has thickened.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper and remove the stew from the heat.
- Stir in the parsley and serve.
Nutritional information is an estimation only.
Can I buy 2 or 3 fresh tomatoes, peel them myself, and use them instead of the canned tomatoes?
In this case, I think it will turn out better with the canned tomatoes because of the sauce they are packed in. But if you want to try fresh tomatoes, I would use at least 5 or 6 large ones.
How well can this tolerate being frozen?
It can be frozen. There are details under Storing and Freezing in the post. Personally I usually don't freeze it since it contains potatoes which can change texture when frozen.
Can you use a 28oz can of crushed tomatoes instead of the whole peeled tomatoes
Hi Laura, Yes you can. It will change the texture a little bit, but it will still be delicious.
Excellent recipe. The potatoes took a bit longer to cook than expected, I'll probable move to a large dice next time. Definitely a keeper, great taste and texture!
So glad you enjoyed it, Dave!
Delicious & hearty! I added kale & a jalapeño just because I had it & served with grilled sourdough toast. I’ll definitely make this again!
Those are great ideas, Pam! So glad you enjoyed it. 🙂
I didn't have whole tomatoes so I used diced and tomatoes on the vine came out delicious!
This is absolutely delicious!!! Just made it again today, so yummy! Thank you for a great recipe!!!
I'm so glad you are enjoying it, Diana!
After a trip to the Farmers’ Market, I had an abundance of beautiful veggies. I added some fresh thyme. It was delightful!
I'm so happy to hear that, Lorraine!
Sprinkle some grated pecorino romano cheese on when serving and it tastes just like Grandma's
Thanks Sergio! I need to find a vegan version of pecorino romano cheese.
The closest I know of is made by Violife. Their Parmesan(USA) or pecorino(UK), I believe they are the same but I’ve never been out of USA. Best of luck and hope this helps.
Thank you, Gregory! I didn't realize they are the same. I have some Violife Parmesan in my refrigerator right now!
This is very similar to my family recipe. I start with marinara base and also use basil leaves. I love the idea of adding carrots and peppers. I also add celery.
I always make a huge pot and it is never wasted. Great as a side or main course.
Thanks for sharing!
Never would have thought to pair zucchini with spuds but it’s a winning combo. I subbed basil for the parsley and love how flavorful this stew is. You can really taste each veggie. Thanks, Amy!
I'm so glad you enjoyed it, LisaRose! It's one of our favorites. 🙂
I substituted herbs de provence for the parsley...yummy!
That's such a great idea, Chris! I love herbes de provence.
Would adding a little vegetable broth be okay?
Quick, easy and delicious. This recipe along with many others from Amy site is a keeper.
I was tired after a long day and didn't get home until 7:30 pm. Didn't feel like cooking but didn't want to eat something bad for me so I made this. It is a winner! Thank you!
Thanks Cheryl! I'm so happy you enjoyed it!
This is so yummy. We call it cocozelle and patata, and my dad calls it Hakuna Matata.
Love those names!