Caldo de res is Mexican beef soup and it’s comfort food that’s enjoyed all year long no matter the weather. I’m so thrilled to share my vegan caldo de res recipe with you. Amigos if you’ve been missing caldo de res since going meatless, my recipe is going to satisfy those cravings and I promise your whole family will love it too.
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Mexican Caldo de Res
When it comes to hearty and soul-warming soups, few cuisines can compete with the robust flavors of Mexican caldo de res.
This is one of those delectable cherished dishes that has graced Mexican tables for generations. Depending on the region this Mexican beef soup may be called: caldo de res, puchero or cocido.
Traditionally it’s made with bone-in beef shank or chuck roast, beef bones which help infuses the broth with a rich, meaty flavor. Additionally a variety of local Mexican vegetables are added to the pot and cooked slowly until tender.
For Mexicans it’s warming comfort food that is not only served during the colder winter months, but eaten throughout the year – yes even in the blazing heat of summer some Mexican homes cook caldo de res.
Vegan Caldo de Res
Amigos for those of use on a plant-based journey, vegan or vegetarian journey, we too can enjoy Mexican caldo de res – without the meat, of course.
I promise that the flavors in my vegan version are so close to the traditional Mexican beef soup, and it will be a meal you’ll find truly satisfying.
By substituting the meat with a veggie-based protein, this vegan caldo de res version captures the essence of the original while providing a compassionate and nutritious option. It’s a fantastic way to enjoy the flavors of caldo de res without any animal products.
Vegan caldo de res with it’s vibrant vegetables, vegan protein, and savory broth packed with delicious flavors, is a bowl of nourishing comfort that warms the soul. It’s meal you can feel good about for not causing any harm to any animals.
When it comes to the vegan version of Mexican caldo de res (or caldo sin res), there’s a strong emphasis on the broth. We need to achieve a flavorful broth to compliment the hearty vegetables. It’s a know fact that the heart of any caldo or stew lies in its broth.
- Vegan Protein: I used Beyond Meat Steak and it made the most perfect substitution for the rich beef flavors. On occasion I’ve used Taiwanese Vegan Beef Slice TVP. Other vegan meat proteins you could use would be beefless tips like those by Be’f Tips by Gardein.
- Fresh Vegetables: The vegetables in my vegan recipe remain the same as the beef version. You’ll need carrot, chayote a type of Mexican squash, zucchini or calabacitas, potato, cabbage, ears of corn, onion, garlic.
- Broth: To replace the beef stew meat and bones in the traditional soup base we’ll be using vegan beef bouillon broth base as a flavorful alternative. You could also use vegetable broth instead.
- Seasonings: To help give the tasty broth a deeper umami flavor we’ll be using vegan Maggi seasoning. You can also use liquid aminos or soy sauce instead.
- Herbs & Spices: Fresh cilantro, bay leaves, salt and black pepper.
- Olive Oil: Just a little bit to sauté the vegan protein.
- Water: We’ll need several cups of water to mix our vegan beef broth bouillon and to cook the vegetables.
The vegetables I mentioned above are the most common and traditionally ones used. But I’ve also seen a lot of people add green beans and even chopped serrano pepper to the stew mix. Certain Mexican regions add a large tomato or two to the soup broth. Feel free to do so if desired.
For serving you’ll need lime wedges, warm corn tortillas, homemade salsa or your favorite hot sauce.
More Mexican Stew and Soup Recipes
- Albondigas or Mexican Meatball Soup: This is a vegetarian version because I used egg in the recipe, I’ll get a vegan version to you soon.
- Vegan Sopa de Fideo: Mexican noodle soup with a tomato base.
- Vegan Frijoles Charros or Mexican Charro Beans: A hearty bean stew bursting with flavors.
- Vegan Sopa de Lentejas: Lentil Mexican soup that’s hearty and perfect for cooler days.
- Vegan Mexican Shells Soup: Sopa de conchas is a tomato based soup with shell shaped pasta.
- Vegan Menudo: An incredibly flavorful and delicious vegan alternative to the tripe version.
- Caldo de Pollo: Is Mexican chicken soup made similar to the caldo de res.
- Caldo de Verduras: Mexican vegetable soup made similar to both caldo de res and caldo de pollo, except it’s just a vegetable stew.
How to Make Vegan Caldo de Res
In Mexican households, it’s not uncommon to simmer a large pot of caldo de res for hours on the stovetop. The result? Tender, flavorful broth, and perfectly cooked vegetables. This method pays homage to the rich culinary heritage of Mexico.
Though you could easily cook this caldo in your slow cooker or Instant Pot, I prefer the traditional cooking method of a long stovetop simmer. I promise that it’s a practical way to cook and enjoy homemade caldo de res with very minimal effort.
Step 1: Beyond Steak is found in the frozen isle of your local grocery store. You don’t need to defrost it before using it. To begin, pour the oil in a large Dutch oven and once hot pour in the frozen vegan steak bits. Over medium-high heat sauté for 5 minutes or until defrosted and they begin to brown a bit. Remove from the pot and set aside.
Step 2: Add the onion and garlic to the pot and cook until soft.
Step 3: Add the carrots, chayote, potato, cabbage, corn, the cilantro, bay leaves, salt and black pepper, vegan beef bouillon powder or paste to the pot. Then pour in plenty of water to fully cover the vegetables.
Step 4: Add the Maggi seasoning and mix until everything is well combined.
Step 5: Lower the heat to medium-low, cover the pot and simmer until all of you have tender vegetables.
Step 6: Add the calabacitas or zucchini to the pot, then pour in the reserved vegan beef bits. Stir to well combine, cover the pot and simmer another 10 to 15 minutes.
Step 7: Before serving taste the caldo and adjust seasonings as desired – careful it’ll be very hot!
How to Serve Caldo de Res
Serving your vegan caldo de res is really up to you and how you’d like to enjoy it.
The most traditional accompaniments to caldo are warm tortillas, lime, Mexican rice, and usually some sort of homemade salsa or hot sauce.
Growing up I would watch my dad add a raw egg to his large bowl of my mom’s caldo de res. He’d mixed it into the broth and it added like a creamy texture to it. I personally never like that.
My own personal favorite way to eat my caldo de res is with plenty of lime juice drizzled over the bowl, then some dashes of hot sauce like Valentina, and a pile of warm corn tortillas. Typically I reserve the arroz for when I eat caldo de pollo.
You can serve caldo de res in large bowls as a main dish, or in small bowls as a hearty appetizer. You can serve it for lunch or dinner.
I like to make a large pot of my vegan caldo de res and just enjoy throughout the week. It also works perfect for meal prepping too.
What Does Vegan Caldo de Res Taste Like
Amazing! Vegan caldo de res tastes amazing!
You’re going to be so pleasantly surprised how close to the traditional flavors this vegan version has.
The Beyond Steak by Beyond Meat has the best flavor for a beef substitute in this Mexican caldo – and actually in so many recipes. Once it’s been simmered with the rest of the ingredients it has a very similar texture to tender beef. Plus it’s umami flavor helps add that special touch. Every time I make it that soft texture reminds me so much of the tender meat my mom’s caldo always had – but the best part being that no animals were hurt in the making of this delicious soup.
Amigos don’t skip on the Maggi sauce because it really helps round out those deep umami flavors that make this hearty soup so perfectly balanced.
The vegetables are savory, tender, sweet and just the perfect texture to vegan caldo de res.
I promise you that once you start making this vegan caldo de res it will show up on your meal plans on a regular basis. It’s also a great way to get your kiddos or veggie hating adults, to eat more nutritious veggies in one meal.
How to Store Leftover and How to Reheat
To store leftover caldo de res, allow leftovers to come to room temperature before storing in an airtight container. This caldo will keep fresh for a week or little longer.
To freeze pour into freezer-safe container or freezer safe bags for up to 3 months. Defrost overnight in the fridge or the next day on the countertop.
To reheat you can do so on the stovetop until hot. Or you can place in the microwave for a couple of minutes or until the large pieces of vegetables are warmed through.
Vegan Caldo de Res Recipe
If you were a fan of the classic caldo de res I promise this plant-powered version will still offer you a taste of Mexico’s culinary heritage. Vegan caldo de res with its rich broth, tender vegan meat, and colorful vegetables, is still a testament to the art of Mexican cooking just with a plant-forward method.
So, the next time you’re looking for a hearty and satisfying meal to warm your soul on cold days or simply want that childhood nostalgia, consider whipping up a big pot of vegan caldo de res. Your taste buds, and perhaps even your family, will thank you for it. Because remember, Mexican food is not just a meal; it’s a taste of Mexico’s traditions, heart and soul.
Delicious Vegan Caldo de Res (Mexican Beef Soup)
- 8 oz Beyond Steak 227grams
- 1 large potato cut into 8 pieces
- 1 large carrot sliced
- 1 medium chayote roughly chopped
- 1 whole ear of corn sliced into 4 pieces
- 1 small calabacita roughly chopped
- 7 oz white cabbage chopped into medium-size pieces
- 1/2 cup white onion chopped
- 4 large garlic cloves minced
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 3/4 teaspoon Maggi seasoning adjust to taste
- 1 teaspoon salt adjust to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper adjust to taste
- 1 large bay leaf
- 10 sprigs fresh cilantro
- 6 cups vegan beef broth*
- lime wedges
- warm corn tortillas
- homemade salsa or hot sauce of choice
- Beyond Beef Steak is found in the frozen isle of your local grocery store. You don’t need to defrost it before using it. To begin, pour the oil in a large Dutch oven and once hot pour in the frozen vegan steak bits. Over medium-high heat sauté for 5 minutes or until defrosted and they begin to brown a bit. Remove from the pot and set aside.
- Add the onion and garlic to the pot and cook until soft.
- Add all of the carrots, chayote, potato, cabbage corn, the cilantro, bay leaves, salt and black pepper, vegan beef bouillon powder or paste to the pot. Then pour in plenty of water to fully cover the vegetables.
- Add the Maggi seasoning and mix until everything is well combined.
- Lower the heat to medium-low, cover the pot and simmer until all of you have tender vegetables.
- Add the calabacitas or zucchini to the pot, then pour in the reserved vegan beef bits. Stir to well combine, cover the pot and simmer another 10 to 15 minutes.
- Before serving taste the caldo and adjust seasonings as desired – careful it’ll be very hot!
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Nancy Lopez is a food blogger and author of the cookbook Mexican Tamales Made Meatless. Born in Mexico, raised in the US, and currently living in Southern Mexico, she has followed a meatless diet for almost 10 years. It is her passion and mission to share all she has learned about vegan Mexican cooking and vegetarian Mexican recipes. Mexican Made Meatless is a blog dedicated to preserving the authentic flavors of Mexican cuisine just without the meat. It’s a place to celebrate Mexican culture and all it’s delightfully delicious traditional foods. Read more…