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Vegetarian moqueca with plantains garnished with parsley.

Vegetarian Moqueca

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  • Author:
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Stew
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Brazilian
  • Diet: Vegan


This vegetarian moqueca (Brazilian coconut milk stew) is made with hearts of palm and plantains instead of fish.


  • About 2 tablespoons avocado, refined coconut, or organic canola oil
  • 1 ripe plantain (yellow with some dark brown spots), cut into coins
  • 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 bell pepper, ribs and seeds removed, thinly sliced
  • 2 plum tomatoes, finely diced
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili flakes
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • One 13-ounce can full-fat unsweetened coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon or lime juice
  • One 14-ounce can hearts of palm, drained and rinsed, cut into coins
  • Parsley or cilantro, for serving


  1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large non-stick saucepan over medium heat (see note below). Add the plantains in a single layer and cook until browned on both sides, about 5 minutes total. Remove plantains and set aside.
  2. Add more oil to the pan if needed, and add the onions and peppers. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and browned in places, about 7 minutes.
  3. Then add the tomatoes, 3 minced garlic cloves, 1/4 teaspoon each chili flakes and salt, and a few grinds of pepper. Cook until the tomatoes collapse and release their juices, stirring occasionally, 3 to 5 minutes.
  4. Add the coconut milk and 2 tablespoons lemon juice to the pot, cover, and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat, and add the hearts of palm and the cooked plantains. Cover and simmer gently for 10 minutes.
  5. Turn the heat off, taste, and adjust the seasonings if needed. Garnish with herbs before serving.


It’s important to cook the plantains on a non-stick surface; if possible, use a non-stick saucepan large enough to cook the entire stew in – so as not to dirty up more than one pan. If you don’t have a large non-stick saucepan, fry the plantain in a non-stick skillet and make the stew in a separate pot.


  • Serving Size: 1/4 of the recipe
  • Calories: 390
  • Fat: 30 g
  • Carbohydrates: 31.9 g
  • Fiber: 7.1 g
  • Protein: 6.5 g

Keywords: vegetarian, moqueca, stew, brazilian, plantain

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