Vegan Sancocho – Connoisseurus Veg

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by Sil Pancho

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01.20.2022


This vegan sancocho is super satisfying and full of flavor! Made with fresh corn, plantains, and sweet potatoes, it’s the perfect stew for warming you up on chilly days.

White wooden surface set with blue pot, bunch of cilantro, and a bowl of Vegan Sancocho.

I’ve never had traditional sancocho. Frankly, I’d never even heard of the dish until a few months ago! But once I learned about it I pretty much had to create a vegan version. Those plantain slices and big chunks of corn on the cob smothered in cilantro-spiked sauce just looked so good! I was totally intrigued.

For anyone who showed up at this post having never heard of sancocho, it’s basically a Latin American analogue to beef stew. There are a bunch of versions from different regions, but most involve meat, root veggies, maybe some winter squash, and corn on the cob.

My version is obviously not very authentic. For one thing, it’s made with seitan instead of meat!

But also, I substituted some of the more difficult to find ingredients with ones that are more accessible, at least where I live. I did however include some notes on alternatives in the ingredients section below. If you can get your hands on some of these alternative ingredients like name or yuca, I highly encourage you to include them in your version of this stew!

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Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Olive oil. You can substitute another high-heat oil if you’d like. Canola, corn, or avocado oil would all work.
  • Onion.
  • Green bell pepper.
  • Seitan. This is my substitute for beef in this sancocho. You can buy it at the store, or make your own using my seitan recipe.
  • Garlic.
  • Cilantro. Substitute with parsley if you’re a cilantro-hater.
  • Cumin.
  • Vegetable broth.
  • Yellow potatoes. You can absolutely substitute another starchy root vegetable here. I’ve also made the stew with name, which I LOVED, but can’t always find. Yuca is another one that’s often used. You could even make the stew with purple potatoes or plain old baking potatoes.
  • Sweet potato. We’re using an orange sweet potato here, which might be labelled as a yam at the supermarket. Boniato would be a great alternative if you can get ahold of it. Winter squash such as butternut or acorn squash would also work well.
  • Plantains. You can use a ripe plantain (yellow with brown spots), an underripe (green) plantain, or half of each (my preference). It really depends on the balance of flavors you prefer in your stew — sweet or starchy.
  • Corn. We’re using fresh corn on the cob, which frankly makes the stew really fun to eat! However, I totally get that you might not be able to find this during the winter months. If this is the case, substitute with 1 ½ cups of (thawed) frozen corn, and add it when the stew is done simmering.
  • Tomato paste.
  • Lime juice.
  • Salt & pepper.

How to Make Vegan Sancocho

The following is a detailed photo tutorial on how to make this dish. Scroll all the way down if you’d like to skip right to the recipe!

  • Heat up some oil in a large pot, then add diced onion and bell pepper. Sweat them until they begin to soften up. This should take about 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the seitan and cook it with the onion and pepper for another 5 minutes, until it begins to brown.
  • Now add the garlic, cilantro, and cumin. Cook everything briefly, stirring frequently to prevent anything from burning.
  • Stir in the broth, potatoes and sweet potatoes. Bring the liquid to a boil and let it simmer for about 5 minutes.
Collage Showing the first two stages of Vegan Sancocho cooking in a pot.
  • Stir in sliced plantain and let it simmer with the stew for about 10 minutes.
  • Finally, stir in small sections of corn on the cob, along with the tomato paste. Continue simmering the stew until everything is tender — the potatoes, sweet potatoes, plantains, and corn. You can add more broth or some water if the liquid reduces too much while the stew cooks.
Collage showing the last two stages of Vegan Sancocho cooking in a pot.
  • Take your vegan sancocho off of the burner and stir in some lime juice. Season the stew with salt and pepper to taste, then enjoy!
Vegan Sancocho in a pot with a wooden spoon.

Leftovers & Storage

Leftovers of this dish will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.

More Vegan Stews

Bowl of Vegan Sancocho with a blue pot in the background.

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Bowl of Vegan Sancocho with a Spoon.

Vegan Sancocho

This vegan sancocho is super satisfying and full of flavor! Made with fresh corn, plantains, and sweet potatoes, it’s the perfect stew for warming you up on chilly days.

Ingredients

  • 2
    tablespoons
    olive oil
  • 1
    medium onion,
    diced
  • 1
    medium green bell pepper,
    roughly chopped
  • 1
    (8 ounce or 226 gram) package
    seitan,
    cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 4
    garlic cloves,
    minced
  • ½
    cup
    chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1
    teaspoon
    ground cumin
  • 5
    cups
    vegetable broth
  • 2
    medium yellow potatoes
    (about 12 ounces total), scrubbed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1
    medium sweet potato
    (about 12 ounces total), scrubbed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1
    medium plantain
    (ripe or green is fine*), peeled and cut into ½ inch slices
  • 3
    medium ears of corn on the cob,
    cut into 2 to 3 inch pieces
  • ¼
    cup
    tomato paste
  • 2
    tablespoons
    lime juice
  • Salt & pepper,
    to taste

Instructions

  1. Coat the bottom of a large pot with the oil and place it over medium heat.

  2. When the oil is hot, add the onion and pepper. Sweat the veggies for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they begin to soften up.

  3. Add the seitan to the pot and cook it with the onion and pepper for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it begins to brown.

  4. Stir in the garlic, cilantro, and cumin. Cook everything for about 1 minute, stirring constantly, until the mixture becomes very fragrant.

  5. Stir in the broth, sweet potatoes, and yellow potatoes. Raise the heat and bring the liquid to a boil. Lower the heat and let everything simmer for about 5 minutes.

  6. Stir in the plantain and continue simmering the stew for 10 minutes.

  7. Stir in the corn and tomato paste. Continue simmering the stew for about 7 to 10 minutes, until the broth has thickened slightly and the veggies and plantains are tender.

  8. Take the pot off of the burner and stir in the lime juice. Season the stew with salt and pepper to taste.

  9. Ladle into bowls and serve.

Recipe Notes

* Feel free to use a ripe (yellow and brown) or unripe (green) plantain, depending on how sweet you’d like your stew to be. I prefer to use half of each!

Nutrition Facts

Vegan Sancocho

Amount Per Serving (1.5 cups)

Calories 303
Calories from Fat 56

% Daily Value*

Fat 6.2g10%

Saturated Fat 0.8g4%

Sodium 728mg30%

Potassium 990mg28%

Carbohydrates 47.5g16%

Fiber 7.2g29%

Sugar 16.5g18%

Protein 14.2g28%

Calcium 27mg3%

Iron 5mg28%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.





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