Spooky Stew for #SundaySupper

Posted by on Oct 27, 2013 in #SundaySupper, Simple Meals | 40 comments

Spooky Stew for #SundaySupper

I’m so happy to be rejoining #SundaySupper after so long away, particularly as the Halloween theme is my favourite of the year! Hosted by Kathia of Basic N Delicious, this theme allows childish creativity to run wild, which I love. Since I made something sweet last year, and knowing that there would be a glut of fabulous cakes and sweet treats, I decided to tackle a savoury dish and set about creating a Spooky Stew

At this time of year, a hearty stew is my go-to dinner dish and I love experimenting with different flavour combinations. As this is a Halloween stew, the basic ingredient had to be pumpkin, to which I added sweet potato, carrots, parsnips and red lentils. I found cute baby pumpkins at the local supermarket, so I couldn’t resist using those! My spice base was similarly warming, both in colour and taste, using turmeric and cumin seeds. 

Halloween Stew and Dumplings

The spooky element came in the form of dumplings. Now, I am never going to make classic stew and dumplings as well as my grandma, who makes it better than anyone. Mine is also a vegetarian, gluten-free offering. This means that I can’t use suet in the dumplings, which makes them light and fluffy. Mine are a bit more like savoury scones (the Americans among you may call them ‘biscuits’, but to me that means a chocolate digestive and, as such, is a completely unacceptable accompaniment to stew). If you want to make this dish for yourself and you don’t need it to be gluten-free, you can substitute the butter for the same amount of suet (either animal or vegetable) to get true dumplings. 

Spooky Stew

I made each ‘dumpling’ into a little ghost, by using sultanas for their eyes and open ‘oohing’ mouths. The sultanas also added a certain sweetness to the dish, which, along with the spices, gave it an almost middle-eastern taste. 

It’s a bit of fun, with enough of a taste punch to please adults, plus the spooky dumplings may encourage children to eat a whole pile of veg. 

Stew and Dumplings

I found I had extra stew left over in the pan, so I blitzed it into a soup and froze it for sometime when I need a quick, healthy dinner. 2 meals for the price of 1 – who can complain about that?

Spooky Stew
Serves 4
A vegetarian, gluten-free stew and dumplings recipe made spooky for Halloween!
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Total Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr
For the stew
  1. 1 baby pumpkin
  2. 4 carrots
  3. 2 parsnips
  4. 1 sweet potato
  5. 80g red lentils
  6. 1/2 a large onion
  7. 1 clove of garlic
  8. 500ml vegetable stock
  9. 1/2 tsp turmeric
  10. 1 tsp cumin seeds
  11. 1 bay leaf
  12. Black pepper to taste
For the dumplings
  1. 100g self-raising flour (gluten-free blend)
  2. 50g butter (substitute for suet if not making gluten-free)
  3. Sprinkling of salt
  4. 1/2 tsp mixed herbs
  5. 30ml water
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C.
  2. Peel and roughly chop the veg, deseeding the pumpkin. Finely chop the onion and crush the garlic.
  3. Heat a little oil in a large saucepan and put in the onion and garlic, cooking slowly until softened.
  4. Add the rest of the vegetables and mix in the spices. Add the stock, bring to the boil, then cover and simmer for 10 mins.
  5. Rinse, drain and add the lentils to the pan. Leave to simmer for another 10 mins.
  6. Transfer the stew to an casserole dish (if there is too much for your dish, reserve to make soup), cover and put into the oven for 20 mins.
  7. Meanwhile, make the dumplings. Put the flour, salt and herbs into a mixing bowl and combine. Then add the diced butter and incorporate into the flour using your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add a little of the water at a time and lightly bring together into a dough. Cut into four pieces and roll each one into a round shape.
  8. Create the ghost faces with three sultanas to each dumpling, then place the dumplings on top of the stew.
  9. Return the stew to the oven and cook uncovered for a further 20 mins until the dumplings are beginning to turn golden.
  10. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.
  11. Serve with gravy made from vegetable stock and thickened with a little cornflour.
  1. If you have left over stew when you come to transfer it to the casserole dish, use a blender to blitz it into a soup, adding a little more liquid if necessary. Freeze for up to 2 months.
Happy Baking Days http://www.happybakingdays.com/
 Take a look at the other ghoulish creations from the #SundaySupper crew – and Happy Halloween! 






  1. Oh my, this will creep out my socks :) Thank you for sharing
    Kathia Rodriguez recently posted..Spooky Cookies Halloween Party #SundaySupperMy Profile

    • Thank you Kathia!

  2. What an awesome stew to make on halloween night. Love it!

  3. Your stew is really scary and I love it! I would love this for dinner, only if I could get my Husband to eat pumpkin and sweet potatoes! I think I’ll make it for me!! LOVE this recipe!
    Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers recently posted..Snickerway Truffles #SundaySupperMy Profile

    • Thank you so much Jennifer!

  4. I didn’t realize sultanas made such great faces! I just love dumplings, with or without spooky faces!
    Paula @ Vintage Kitchen Notes recently posted..Candied Pumpkin Cheesecake with Maple Cream #halloween #SundaySupperMy Profile

    • I have a real weakness for dumplings too!

  5. I’m so glad you are back with us again, and you came back with a gusto with this adorable spooky stew. I just love everything about this recipe and those faces… they are awesome!
    Nicole recently posted..Halloween Chocolate Pumpkin Parfaits #SundaySupperMy Profile

    • Thank you Nicole! I’m so glad to be back :)

  6. Welcome back! I want a dumpling face on MY stew!
    Dorothy at Shockingly Delicious recently posted..Shrek’s Dirty Q-Tips for a Halloween Party #SundaySupperMy Profile

    • Thank you! It’s nice to be back :)

  7. Hehe…this make me smile! I bet it’s wonderfully warm and hearty too. Looks great!
    Courtney @ Neighborfood recently posted..Pumpkin Dirt Pudding (Graveyard Parfaits) #SundaySupperMy Profile

    • Thanks Courtney!

  8. Your dumplings are so cute (and scary, of course :))! Great idea on how to turn stew into a Halloween dinner!

    • :) Thank you Liz!

  9. I make a stew very similar to this. It has made me fall in love with red lentils. I will have to try adding pumpkin the next time.
    Laura Dembowski recently posted..Candy Corn Puppy Chow #SundaySupperMy Profile

    • I love red lentils too!

  10. This is such a fun idea…and I love the spooky dumplings/biscuits/scones! 😉 (potayto/potahto)
    Heather // girlichef recently posted..Dark and Stormy Gingerbread {#SundaySupper: Halloween Party}My Profile

    • hehe, call them whatever you like! I just still get a bit of a shock whenever I see ‘biscuits and gravy’. It sounds so wrong to me!

  11. LOVE! Your dumplings are so cute :)
    Megan @ I Run For Wine recently posted..Snickers Fudge Recipe for #SundaySupper Halloween PartyMy Profile

    • Thank you Megan!

  12. Wonderful post, Katy! Your contributions is so creative and good for you =)

    Reading your post also makes me feel as if I’m in the UK with references to sultanas, scones and digestive biscuits. (My childhood favorite!)

    P.s. I’m forwarding this page to my gluten-free pals in the UK.

    • Thank you, Kim! Let me know if you ever want some digestives mailed to you!

  13. Oh this stew made me grin, Katy! :-) Such a cute idea and I love the marvy spices you used. :-)
    Krista recently posted..Spring Rains on the Farm and Gluten Free Apple Pie with Walnut StreuselMy Profile

    • Thank you Krista! Turmeric is one of my current favourites :)

  14. Awesome stew and perfect for Halloween, love everything in it!!

    • Thank you Tara!

  15. This stew is so creative! And I’m a huge fan of anything involving lentils. Pass me a bowl, please!
    Lori @ Foxes Love Lemons recently posted..Trick or Beet Brownies #SundaySupperMy Profile

    • Thank you, Lori!

  16. Ohmigoodness, those dumplings are adorable!
    Kim@Treats & Trinkets recently posted..Zombie Cupcakes #SundaySupperMy Profile

    • Thanks Kim!

  17. The absolute cutest spooky dumplings and stew I’ve seen. What a wonderful and comforting dish for Halloween night.
    Renee recently posted..Candied Pumpkin (Calabaza en Tacha) for #SundaySupperMy Profile

    • Thank you Renee!

  18. Love those creepy dumplings, Katy!
    Cindys Recipes and Writings recently posted..More Cookies Please! #SweetStackers To the Rescue!My Profile

    • Thank you Cindy!

  19. Too wonderful! I just love the dumplings on the top!
    Jane’s Adventures in Dinner recently posted..Tuesday Night Quickie: Kale and Walnut SlawMy Profile

    • Thank you, Jane!

  20. That is amazing! You go! Welcome back!

    • Thank you Sarah, I’m very happy to be back :)

  21. What a cute and spooky stew!
    Marjory @ Dinner-Mom recently posted..Roasted Tomato Soup with a Spider Web ToppingMy Profile