This vegan traditional creamy stroganoff is a tasty, easy adaptation of traditional beef stroganoff, made with textured vegetable protein (TVP) instead of meat and without mushrooms, perfect for those who dislike them. Interestingly, the earliest stroganoff recipes didn't include mushrooms either!
Savoury, creamy, tangy and richly flavour-packed this meat-free stroganoff is amazing served with thick noodles, rice or mashed potatoes. A wedge of crusty bread to mop up the delicious creamy juices is also a great addition.
While this vegan Stroganoff recipe doesn't include mushrooms, you can easily add a few cups of them if desired! Alternatively, if you're not fond of TVP, feel free to replace it with all mushrooms for a delicious variation.
Origins of stroganoff
Beef Stroganoff, or Stroganov, is a Russian dish that has its origins in the 19th century. The dish is named after the Stroganov family, an influential and wealthy Russian family that was prominent during the Tsarist era. Although the exact origin of the recipe is unclear, it is believed to be traditionally based on a peasant meal, and there are a few theories about how it came to be associated with the Stroganov family.
One theory suggests that the dish was created by a French chef Andre Dupont who worked for the Stroganov family. This chef may have been inspired by traditional Russian and French cooking techniques, as Beef Stroganoff combines elements of both culinary traditions.
For example, it features sautéed beef and onions, which are common ingredients in Russian cuisine. At the same time, it incorporates a creamy sauce, a popular element in French cuisine. Crispy fried potatoes sliced into thin shapes 'potato straws', was a popular accompaniment to beef stroganoff.
Another theory is that the dish originated from a popular Russian recipe called "govjadina po-strogonovski", which was essentially sautéed beef served with a sour cream sauce. Over time, this recipe may have evolved and been adapted by various chefs, ultimately leading to the creation of the modern Beef Stroganoff.
In any case, the dish gained popularity not only in Russia but also internationally. It became particularly popular in the United States during the mid-20th century, where mushrooms were a common addition, and the stroganoff was often served over rice or noodles.
Today, Beef Stroganoff can be found in many different countries, with each region putting its unique spin on the classic recipe.
Stroganoff in the UK and US
Stroganoff started gaining popularity in the United States and the United Kingdom in the mid-20th century. The exact timeline varies, but it's generally agreed that the dish became more widely known after World War II.
In the United States, the popularity of Stroganoff surged during the 1950s and 1960s, when it became a fashionable dish to serve at dinner parties. It was often made with convenience foods like canned mushroom soup and packaged onion soup mix, which were popular during this time.
In the United Kingdom, the dish similarly gained traction in the post-war period. It was featured in popular cookbooks, and the availability of international ingredients made it easier for home cooks to prepare Stroganoff.
While Stroganoff may not be as trendy today as it once was, it remains a beloved comfort food in both the United States and the United Kingdom, with many variations and adaptations to suit different tastes and dietary preferences.
Easy Vegan Stroganoff
This recipe for meat-free Stroganoff replaces the beef with textured vegetable protein (TVP) chunks, which are a one-ingredient vegan meat replacement made from defatted soy flour.
Of course, you can substitute the TVP chunks with a variety of vegan 'beef' style pieces, fresh or frozen, or opt for juicy mushrooms, tofu, seitan, or cooked baby/new potatoes. To provide the sauce with rich and deep savory, umami flavors, this recipe uses soy sauce, red wine vinegar, Marmite, and vegan 'beef' flavored broth or stock.
For the desired creaminess, the Stroganoff sauce includes vegan crème fraiche, but you can also use vegan plain yogurt, vegan sour cream, or vegan mayonnaise, depending on your preference and availability. Additionally, have often prepared a quick make-shift vegan sour cream simply by adding a squeeze of lemon juice to vegan pouring cream.
Textured vegetable protein (TVP) chunks are ideal for absorbing delicious savory flavors. The secret to great-tasting TVP is marinating it in a flavorful broth for a few hours before use. If you're new to TVP, check out our Thai 'beef' Curry recipe post which offers an explanation on what TVP is.
How to prepare vegan stroganoff
This vegan meat-free Stroganoff uses textured vegetable protein (TVP) chunks, which is perfect for absorbing the rich, home-cooked onion gravy. Interestingly, the earliest traditional Stroganoff recipes did not actually contain mushrooms! However, if you're a mushroom lover, feel free to add a cup of sliced mushrooms while cooking the onions for even more savory flavors and textures.
First, add the dried TVP chunks to a heatproof jug or bowl and pour in 720ml (3 cups) of boiling hot vegetable stock (broth). Stir in a teaspoon of Marmite.
Add the onions and cook them over low-medium heat for 8-10 minutes until they become soft. It's perfectly fine if they turn slightly golden in color.
Next, add the mustard powder, allspice powder [or nutmeg], soy sauce, red wine vinegar, salt, and pepper to the skillet.
Tip in the flour and stir to combine the ingredients.
Pour 450 milliliters (1.9 US cups) of broth into the skillet.
Bring the mixture to a gentle boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the gravy has thickened.
Remove the pan from the heat and check the seasoning, adding salt and pepper to taste as needed.
Stir in the vegan sour cream and garnish with freshly chopped parsley, if desired.
Enjoy with creamy mashed potatoes, thick noodles/pasta, or rice, and your favourite green veggies.
Recipe notes and frequently asked questions
To store leftover Stroganoff, follow these steps:
- Allow the Stroganoff to cool: Before storing leftovers, let the Stroganoff cool down to room temperature.
- Choose an appropriate container: Transfer the leftover Stroganoff to an airtight container or a bowl covered tightly with food wrap or a lid.
- Refrigerate: Store the leftover Stroganoff in the refrigerator within two hours of cooking. It should last for 3-4 days when properly stored. If you don't plan on consuming the leftovers within this time frame, consider freezing them instead.
- Freeze (optional): If you'd like to store the leftover Stroganoff for a longer period, transfer it to a freezer-safe container or resealable plastic freezer bag, leaving some space for expansion. Label the container with the contents and the date, then place it in the freezer. Frozen Stroganoff can last up to 2-3 months. When you're ready to eat it, thaw the leftovers in the refrigerator overnight and reheat as needed.
To reheat leftover Stroganoff, you can use a saucepan over low heat on the stovetop, stirring occasionally, or a microwave-safe dish in the microwave, stirring every 30-60 seconds to ensure even heating. Add a splash of water or broth if the sauce appears too thick. Heat until the dish is piping hot throughout.
Surprisingly, the original Stroganoff recipe from 1831 did not contain mushrooms or onions. This vegan adaptation is based on Elena Molokhovets' recipe in her book "A Gift to Young Housewives" (1831), titled "Beef Stroganov with Mustard."
The original ingredients include 2 lbs tender beef, 10-15 allspice, ¼ lb butter, salt, pepper, 2 spoons of flour, 2 tablespoons sour cream, bouillon (broth), and 1 teaspoon mustard.
The inclusion of mushrooms, onions, and tomato paste/puree in some Stroganoff recipes evolved over time as the dish gained popularity outside of Russia.
For example, in Germany, Stroganoff is known as "Geschnetzeltes" or "Zürcher Eintopf." The German version typically consists of thinly sliced meat, often veal or pork, cooked with onions and mushrooms in a creamy sauce. It is commonly served with noodles, rice, or potatoes.
Like many international dishes, Stroganoff has been adapted to suit local tastes and ingredients in Germany.
Yes, with a few careful considerations it is easy to prepare a gluten-free vegan stroganoff.
Vegan meat alternatives:
TVP chunks are a gluten-free option (although do check the label just to be sure as some packages may add extra flavourings/seasonings), as are mushrooms, tofu, or other ready-prepared gluten-free meat substitutes. Some vegan meat alternatives, like seitan, are made from wheat gluten and are not suitable for a gluten-free diet.
Traditional soy sauce contains wheat, so replace it with gluten-free tamari or a gluten-free soy sauce alternative.
Vegetable broth or stock:
Some vegetable broths and bouillon cubes contain gluten. Be sure to choose a gluten-free option.
Red wine vinegar:
Red wine vinegar is typically gluten-free. It is made by fermenting red wine, which usually does not contain gluten. During the fermentation process, any trace amounts of gluten from the original wine should be removed, making the final vinegar product safe for those with gluten sensitivity or celiac disease.
However, it's always a good idea to check the label on the specific red wine vinegar brand you're using to ensure it is gluten-free, as some manufacturers may add ingredients or use processing methods that introduce gluten to the product.
Cornstarch and arrowroot powder are gluten-free alternatives to wheat flour for thickening the sauce. As is a gluten-free plain flour mix.
Be cautious with any additional seasonings, sauces, or condiments, as they might contain hidden sources of gluten. Always read labels and choose gluten-free options.
Pasta or rice:
Opt for gluten-free pasta or rice. Many gluten-free pasta options are available, made from ingredients such as rice, corn, or quinoa. Alternatively serve the stroganoff with home-made mashed potatoes.
In this vegan Stroganoff, Marmite is used to flavor the TVP chunks, providing a deep savory taste. However, regular Marmite, Vegemite, or yeast extract is not gluten-free due to the use of barley or wheat in their production.
However, you might be able to find gluten-free versions at your local store or supermarket, as Vegemite does have a gluten-free option.
Alternatively, you can substitute Marmite with miso paste, but make sure to check the ingredients for a gluten-free option. If miso isn't available, replace it with a tablespoon of gluten-free soy sauce, such as Tamari.
Vegan Stroganoff can be served with a variety of delicious sides to complement its rich flavors. Here are some ideas:
Grains: Serve the Stroganoff over rice, gluten-free pasta, or quinoa for a filling and satisfying meal.
Mashed potatoes: Creamy mashed potatoes, either made from regular potatoes or sweet potatoes, pair well with the Stroganoff sauce. Or go for a scoop or two of delicious Traditional British Champ [mashed potatoes, turnips and cabbage].
Steamed or roasted vegetables: Green beans, broccoli, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, or a medley of your favorite vegetables can be served on the side.
Green salad: A light, fresh green salad with a tangy vinaigrette helps balance the richness of the Stroganoff.
Crusty bread or dinner rolls: A warm slice of crusty bread or a dinner roll is perfect for soaking up any leftover sauce on the plate. Try a slice of our traditional Irish Soda Bread or a ridiculously easy 3 Ingredient Dinner Rolls.
Pickles or sauerkraut: The tangy and slightly acidic flavors of pickles or sauerkraut can help cut through the richness of the Stroganoff. Pickled beetroot is also a delicious addition.
Russian-style cucumber salad: This refreshing salad, made from thinly sliced cucumbers, dill, and a touch of vinegar, can provide a nice contrast to the Stroganoff.
Leftover stroganoff is perfect for creating new dishes, making it worthwhile to prepare two batches at once to ensure the next day's dinner is sorted!
1. Stuffed Peppers: Hollow out bell peppers, fill them with the leftover Stroganoff, and bake until the peppers are tender. You can top the stuffed peppers with vegan cheese before baking for an extra layer of flavor.
2. Vegan Stroganoff Shepherd's Pie: Layer the leftover Stroganoff in a baking dish, top with a layer of creamy mashed potatoes (or sweet potatoes), and bake until the top is golden and crispy. A sprinkle of nutritional yeast flakes over the potatoes before the pie is baked is always a tasty addition.
3. Stroganoff Pot Pie: Spoon the leftover Stroganoff into a pie dish and cover with a layer of vegan puff pastry or pie crust. Bake until the crust is golden brown and the filling hot and bubbling.
4. Stroganoff-Stuffed Crepes or flatbreads: Make vegan crepes and fill them with the leftover Stroganoff. Fold the crepes and serve them with a side salad for a light and satisfying meal.
5. Vegan Stroganoff Quesadillas: Spread the Stroganoff over half of a large tortilla, sprinkle with your favorite vegan cheese, and fold the tortilla in half. Cook the quesadilla in a non-stick pan over medium heat until the tortilla is crispy and the cheese is melted.
6. Stroganoff-Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms: Remove the stems and gills from large Portobello mushroom caps, fill the caps with the leftover Stroganoff, perhaps topping with a sprinkle of shredded vegan cheese or nutritional yeast flakes and breadcrumbs, and bake until the mushrooms are tender.
7. Vegan Stroganoff Burritos: Fill a large tortilla with the leftover Stroganoff, cooked rice, and your choice of vegetables. Fold the tortilla into a burrito and serve with salsa and vegan sour cream, vegan mayonnaise, or vegan plain yogurt.
More tasty vegan family dinners
***please note: for US measurements click the 'US customary button' within the recipe and the measurements will switch to tablespoons, cups, and ounces.***
Vegan Traditional Creamy Stroganoff
- large non-stick pan/skillet
- heatproof jug or bowl
vegan 'beef-less' chunks
- 120 grams textured vegetable protein chunks [TVP] [dried]
- 1 teaspoon marmite [or vege-mite or vegetable extract]
- 720 millilitres vegetable broth [boiling, if available use a vegan 'beef' flavour such as OXO meat free beef cubes]
- 2 tablespoon vegan butter [or vegan margarine]
- 170 grams onion [1 large]
- 1 teaspoon mustard powder
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅙ teaspoon allspice powder [or replace with ground nutmeg]
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoon plain flour [all-purpose or use a gluten-free plain flour]
Add at the end of cooking:
- 3 tablespoon vegan sour cream [or vegan creme fraiche, vegan plain yogurt, or make a quick sour cream using vegan pouring cream with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice added]
- chopped fresh parsley [or your choice of fresh herbs, sliced chives are tasty]
Soak the TVP chunks:
- Add the dried TVP chunks to a heatproof jug or bowl and pour in 720ml (3 cups) of boiling hot vegetable stock (broth). Stir in a teaspoon of Marmite. Allow the mixture to soak for a few hours, stirring occasionally if you're around. This process will help the TVP chunks absorb the flavorful vegetable stock and Marmite, making them tender and delicious120 grams textured vegetable protein chunks [TVP], 1 teaspoon marmite, 720 millilitres vegetable broth
- Once the TVP chunks have finished soaking, drain the broth but be sure to reserve it for later use. If there is less than 450 milliliters (about 1.9 US cups) of broth remaining, add a little extra water to bring the total volume up to 450 milliliters for use in the recipe.
Prepare the stroganoff:
- Melt the vegan butter in a non-stick skillet or similar pan.2 tablespoon vegan butter
- Add the onions and cook them over low-medium heat for about 8 minutes until they become soft, stir the onions occasionally.It's perfectly fine if they turn slightly golden in color.170 grams onion
- Next, add the mustard powder, allspice powder, soy sauce, red wine vinegar, salt, and pepper to the skillet. Stir to combine the ingredients.1 teaspoon mustard powder, ¼ teaspoon pepper, ¼ teaspoon salt, ⅙ teaspoon allspice powder, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- Then, mix in the flour to create a smooth, well-blended mixture.2 tablespoon plain flour
- Pour the 450 milliliters (1.9 US cups) of reserved broth into the skillet and stir to combine the ingredients. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes and the gravy has thickened.
- Remove the pan from the heat and check the seasoning, adding salt and pepper to taste as needed. Stir in the vegan sour cream and garnish with freshly chopped parsley, if desired.3 tablespoon vegan sour cream, chopped fresh parsley
- Optional serving suggestion: Serve the dish alongside creamy mashed potatoes and your favorite green vegetables for a well-rounded meal.For those with larger appetites, consider offering a crusty roll or slice of bread to soak up the delicious juices.
- Nutritional information is for guidance only and is not a strict calculation as ingredients can vary.
- Protein options: While this recipe uses textured vegetable protein (TVP) chunks, you can also use other vegan protein options such as tofu, tempeh, seitan, or store-bought vegan "beef" pieces. Although be sure and rehydrate dried chunks such as soy curls before using with this recipe.
- Mushroom-free: This recipe is intentionally mushroom-free to cater to those who may not enjoy mushrooms [such as my daughter!]. However, if you're a fan of mushrooms, feel free to add 1-2 cups of sliced mushrooms while cooking the onions.
- Gluten-free adaptations: To make this recipe gluten-free, use a gluten-free soy sauce or tamari, gluten-free vegetable stock, and a gluten-free flour such as cornstarch, arrowroot powder or a gluten-free plain flour. Also, if gluten-free marmite, vegemite, or vegetable extract can't be found replace with gluten-free miso or a tablespoon of soy sauce.
- Leftovers can be stored for 3-4 days within a refrigerator or 2-3 months within the freezer.
- Reheating leftovers: When reheating leftover stroganoff, you may need to add a splash of water or vegetable broth to thin out the sauce if it becomes too thick. Reheat until piping hot.
- Garnish options: This recipe suggests garnishing the stroganoff with fresh parsley, but you can also use fresh dill, chives, or even a sprinkle of nutritional yeast for added flavor.
- For this recipe, I used three OXO meat-free beef stock cubes to make the vegan broth to soak the TVP chunks. These stock cubes are available at Tesco in the UK, and likely other supermarkets.
- Spice it up: If you enjoy a little heat in your dishes, feel free to add a pinch of red pepper flakes or a dash of hot sauce to taste.
- Can't find a vegan sour cream, creme fraiche, or plain yogurt? A squeeze of fresh lemon juice added to vegan cream is a good substitute. I tend to use Oatley oat cream or Alpro soya single cream [both are long life products].
Thanks for visiting our family recipe blog!
I do hope you enjoyed this vegan traditional creamy stroganoff recipe as much as we do.
If you try it out, please let us know in the comments below how it turned out for you or if you made any modifications.
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Thanks so much, Jacq x
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