This may be the best meal I’ve ever made. How did I come to create a Beef-less Bourguignon?

Years ago I visited Paris with some girlfriends and we stayed at a friend’s apartment. He was an Italian living in Paris. During the day we girls did all the touristy things. But in the evenings our Italian friend took us to places we wouldn’t have found unless we were locals.

I was a vegetarian at the time and at each meal I would either order vegetables or fish. But on our last night in Paris I decided to get a classic French dish, Beef Bourguignon. Our friend had taken us to a local restaurant run by a husband and wife. She had put cinnamon in her Beef Bourguignon, which I thought was so interesting. I remember that meal more clearly than any other from my time in Paris.

Here I am making a Beef-less Bourguignon with portobello mushrooms in place of the beef. I was inspired by my Parisian meal and added cinnamon and some other spices to the dish.

Beef-less Bourguignon plated

Beef-less Bourguignon

This is a vegetarian twist on the French classic Beef Bourguignon.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine French, Vegetarian


  • oven-safe skillet


  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
  • 1 turnip cut into small chunks
  • 1 carrot cut into small chunks
  • 1 parsnip cut into small chunks
  • 2 stalks celery cut into small chunks
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 large shallot finely chopped
  • 1 pint cremini mushrooms slices
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp French Four Spice by Penzey's (mix of white pepper, nutmeg, ginger, cloves)
  • 1 1/2 cups burgundy wine
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 cloves garlic rough chopped
  • 1 bouquet garni (fresh herbs tied together such as parsley, thyme, bay leaf, leek)
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 3-4 portobello mushrooms cut into thick slices
  • 1 cup pearl onions frozen
  • fresh parsley for garnish


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 
  • In a large oven-safe skillet, melt butter and olive oil. Add the turnip, carrot, parsnip and celery. Cook until they start to soften, about 2 minutes. Add a teaspoon of salt.
  • Add shallot and cremini mushrooms. Cook for 2 minutes. (Hold the portobellos until the end.)
  • Sprinkle in cinnamon and French spice blend. Stir to coat all of the vegetables.
  • Add the Burgundy wine and cook for a couple of minutes to give the alcohol a chance to burn off.
  • Stir in flour to thicken the sauce a bit. Cook for 2 minutes.
  • Stir in tomato paste. Add the bouquet garni and 2 cups of vegetable broth. Cover the skillet and put in the oven for a half hour.
  • In a separate frying pan add the portobello mushrooms and pearl onions with a little olive oil and heat up to start to caramelize. Just a few minutes. You don’t need to cook them all the way through.
  • Remove the skillet from the oven, remove the bouquet garni. Add the portobellos and pearl onions. Put the lid back on and return to the oven for 15 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven. Check to make sure there is enough liquid. Make sure everything is soft. Return to the oven without the lid so it can thicken up and become stew-like. This will take about 15 minutes.
  • Serve with mashed potatoes. Garnish with freshly chopped parsley.


Keyword mushrooms, stew

ingredients for Beef-less Bourguignon

softening root vegetables

adding shallots and mushrooms

Penzey's French Four Spice

adding spice

adding Burgundy wine

adding Bouquet Garni

cooking onions and portobellos

everything togetherBeef-less Bourguignon fresh out of the oven

Beef-less Bourguignon close-up

Beef-less Bourguignon

Beef-less Bourguignon

Beef-less Bourguignon

Beef-less Bourguignon

Beef-less Bourguignon plated