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Vegetarian Ashkenazic Cholent

Vegetarian Ashkenazic <em>Cholent</em> Related:   vegan option, vegetarian

Prep time: 20 min

Cook time: 12+ hr

Yield: 6-8 servings

This modern twist on the traditional Jewish stew will have you primed for the perfect winter nap after just one bowl. Meaty mushrooms step in to replace the classic use of meat and meat bones to retain the dish’s chewy texture and earthy flavor. Sweet potatoes, honey and tomatoes dulcify. So chop, drop and roll your way onto that sweet spot on your couch with this easy-to-prep comfort dish.


  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup pinto beans
  • 1/2 cup kidney beans
  • 1/2 cup navy beans
  • ¼ cup pearl barley
  • 1 ounce porcini, shitaki or portabello mushrooms
  • 1 large Spanish or yellow onion, coarsely chopped
  • 6 medium potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 1 parsnip, peeled and thickly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 5 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons honey (or agave syrup, brown sugar or maple syrup for vegan)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • Hot water


Lightly coat the bottom of your crockpot* with extra virgin olive oil and cover with dried beans. Other types of beans like lima, lentil, great northern and cannellini work great, too. Just replace above suggested beans using same proportions. Add half of onions. Sprinkle barley and mushrooms on top. Put in all potatoes and parsnip and cover with remaining onion. To a large tempered glass measuring cup add paprika, crushed garlic, honey, soy sauce, salt, pepper and the can of diced tomatoes with liquid. Cover with hot water and stir. Pour spiced tomato mixture over onions. Add hot water through a gap in side (so as not to wash off seasonings) until ingredients are just covered. Place lid on the crockpot and turn on low setting for at least 12 hours. Serve hot straight from pot or ladle stew into a large serving bowl. Pair with pickled winter vegetables like cauliflower and turnips, and a bright salad of marinated beets and crisp belgian endives. Tangy, crunchy sides complement the warmth and richness of this full-bodied dish. * If you don’t have a crockpot or slow-cooker at the ready, a large pot with 8 quarts volume will work. Add all ingredients as in the recipe above and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for three hours on a low flame. Before Shabbat, add water to cover ingredients by one inch and place in the oven at 180-200 degrees or on a warming tray until it’s time to eat.

8 Responses

  1. Nora says:

    It was a success. Everyone liked it, most people added more salt. I used shitaki mushrooms, it does add a chewy texture.

  2. Michelle says:

    Do you use canned or dried beans

    • Merav Levkowitz Merav Levkowitz says:

      Dried. Since you cook this dish for many hours, the beans get cooked. Canned beans would probably get mushy.

  3. Aaron Mullins says:

    Can you add the soy meat crumble product?? I really don’t this this would add flavor, but more protein. Could I spice it up a little?

  4. Heidi Hoover says:

    Are the mushrooms dried or fresh?

  5. Gail Fletcher says:

    I made this parev cholent for Shabbos this week. Everyone loved it and most had a second serving. Thank you, it will definitely be made again

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