Vegan Hungarian goulash is the perfect mid-week meal that the whole family will love.
This goulash is a delicious satisfying stew of potatoes, carrots, peppers and tomatoes simmered within a thick, rich tomato-paprika-caraway savoury sauce.
This one-pot meal is so quick and simple to prepare. Enjoy on its own or with slices of tasty garlic bread and satisfying pasta, noodles or rice.
Vegan Hungarian Goulash a dish with medieval origins, served with garlic bread slices, red pepper flakes and sprinkling of parsley. So tasty.
Origins Of Hungarian Goulash
Ah, Hungarian goulash—a meal with an interesting past and delicious humble flavours! Goulash actually translates to mean herdsman.
In order to keep themselves warm and well-fed throughout their long days caring for their flocks, medieval Hungarian shepherds in the ninth century began to prepare a straightforward, substantial stew comprised of beef, onions, and a few spices.
Over time, these modest beginnings changed as the meal developed into the delicious, paprika-infused classic we know today. But it wasn't until the 18th century that paprika, the recipe's secret ingredient, was added.
The Turks brought this tasty spice to Hungary, and it quickly established itself as a staple of Hungarian cooking, giving the country's famed goulash depth, warmth, and a lovely touch of heat.
In modern times, goulash is the beloved National Dish of Hungary and there is much debate as to whether it is actually a soup or a stew!
Vegan Hungarian Goulash
Vegan Hungarian Goulash is inspired by the traditional Hungarian Goulash. This plant-based recipe uses soya chunks or textured vegetable protein (TVP) as a tasty meat alternative. If you'd rather use soy curls or another meat-free alternative then please do so, after all its your meal.
Soya chunks work well in this recipe as they soak up the deliciously, thick, savoury, lightly spiced tomato-paprika sauce and the texture of the TVP become pleasantly tender.
Vegan Hungarian goulash is amazing served with pasta. Any pasta shape is fine but other great sides include noodles, spaghetti, or rice. Additionally, a few slices of garlic bread or crusty bread is usually welcomed by extra hungry family members.
Hungarian goulash can be served as a soup or stew. All you have to do is adjust the thickness of the sauce. Add more broth if you'd like it thinner or stew the goulash for longer to thicken up a thinner sauce.
This recipe for vegan Hungarian goulash turns out quite thick which is perfect for serving with pasta. However, with the leftovers I added a little vegetable stock to thin it into a soupier texture and enjoyed it as a cup-of-soup for lunch the next day. It is so delicious and incredibly budget-friendly.
For another goulash recipe check out our Vegan American Goulash which is a tasty adaption of Hungarian goulash.
How to prepare vegan Hungarian goulash
This recipe is so amazingly simple and packed with humble plant-based ingredients that create such as tasty meal, that you'll surely be whipping this goulash up regularly.
First, rehydrated the dried TVP chunks by adding to a bowl along with veggie broth and a teaspoon of marmite.
This step is optional, but does produce an extra authentic flavour to the goulash.
Add caraway seeds to a pan and dry fry them until they begin to pop. Set aside until required.
To prepare the goulash, add the diced potato, carrot, onion and garlic to a soup pot.
Next pop in the tomato puree, tomato passata, TVP chunks, caraway seeds, soy sauce, paprika and chilli powder.
Pour in the veggie stock and bring to the boil. Simmer for 25 minutes.
Chuck in the chopped bell peppers and apple cider vinegar. Pop a lid on the pot and cook for a further 10 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper to taste. Finish by sprinkling over some chopped parsley.
Recipe notes and frequently asked questions
Store leftover goulash within a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. The flavours of Hungarian goulash develop and improve as each day passes!
Can I freeze leftover Hungarian Goulash?
Yes of course. Place into a freezer proof container and store for 2-3 months.
Transfer the leftover goulash into a non-stick saucepan. Pour in a little extra veggie broth or water if necessary to loosen up the stock and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 2-3 minutes or until piping hot. Stir frequently while reheating.
Or reheat within a microwave using a microwave safe dish. Add a microwave safe lid to the dish or a lid of microwave safe food wrap. Heat for a minute, give the goulash a stir and heat for a further few minutes or until piping hot.
Stuffed Peppers: Hollow out some bell peppers and fill them with the goulash. Top with vegan cheese, if desired, and bake until the peppers are tender and the cheese is melted.
Goulash Pot Pie: Place the goulash in a baking dish, cover with a layer of vegan puff pastry or pie crust, and bake until the crust is golden brown and crispy.
Goulash Pasta: Toss the goulash with cooked pasta of your choice, such as fusilli, penne, or spaghetti. Top with fresh herbs and a sprinkle of vegan cheese, if desired.
Goulash-Stuffed Baked Potato: Bake or microwave a large potato until tender. Cut open the top, fluff the insides, and spoon the goulash into the cavity. Top with vegan sour cream and chives.
Goulash Quesadilla: Spread the goulash between two tortillas, add some vegan cheese, and cook in a skillet or panini press until the tortillas are crisp and the cheese is melted. Serve with salsa, vegan plain yogurt, vegan sour cream or creme fraiche.
Goulash Fried Rice: Stir-fry cooked rice with the goulash and your favorite veggies, such as peas, carrots, and bell peppers. Add a splash of soy sauce and a sprinkle of sesame seeds for an Asian twist.
Goulash Sloppy Joes: Toast some burger buns, spoon the goulash onto the bottom half, and top with shredded lettuce, sliced tomatoes, and pickles. Cover with the top half of the bun and enjoy!
Crusty Bread: A warm, crusty bread such as a baguette or sourdough is perfect for soaking up the rich goulash sauce.
Vegan Spaetzle or Nokedli: These traditional Hungarian dumplings are great with goulash.
Mashed Potatoes: Creamy mashed potatoes make for a comforting side that complements the flavors of the goulash. Even though there is potatoes in the goulash, more potatoes are always welcomed, and you could always go for a mashed sweet potato.
Rice or Quinoa: A simple side of steamed or boiled rice or quinoa can help balance the hearty flavors of the goulash.
Steamed or Roasted Vegetables: Steamed or roasted veggies like green beans, Brussels sprouts, or carrots add color and nutrition to the meal.
Cucumber Salad: A light and refreshing cucumber salad with a touch of vinegar and dill can provide a cool contrast to the rich goulash.
Pickled Vegetables: Hungarian pickles, sauerkraut, beetroot, or other pickled vegetables can add tanginess and crunch to your meal.
Fresh Green Salad: A simple green salad with a light vinaigrette can help cleanse the palate and provide a refreshing contrast to the hearty goulash.
Vegan Sour Cream: A dollop of vegan sour cream on top of the goulash adds a touch of creaminess.
Cooked beans (borlotti, cannellini, butterbeans, etc.): These beans provide a hearty, filling texture and are rich in protein and fiber. Their mild flavor will allow the spices in the goulash to shine through.
Vegan meat alternative chunks: Plant-based meat alternatives like seitan, soy curls, or store-bought meatless chunks can closely mimic the texture of meat while providing protein and a satisfying bite.
Smoked tofu or regular tofu: Tofu adds a creamy, tender texture to the goulash. Using smoked tofu can add an extra layer of flavor with its subtle smokiness.
Tempeh: This fermented soybean product offers a firmer, chewier texture than tofu and packs a punch in terms of protein and nutrients. It will also absorb the flavors of the goulash nicely.
Canned jackfruit: When cooked, jackfruit takes on a shredded, meat-like texture that works well in stews and sauces. It's also a good source of fiber.
Chunks of chopped mushrooms: Mushrooms provide an earthy, umami flavor and a meaty texture that complements the rich goulash sauce. Choose a variety of mushrooms like cremini, shiitake, or Portobello for different textures and flavors, or just go with ordinary white or button mushrooms.
This easy vegan Hungarian goulash is a no-oil recipe and honestly the recipe is so packed with flavour that oil is just not missed in the slightest.
More easy vegan traditional stew recipes
***please note: for US measurements click the 'US customary button' within the recipe and the measurements will switch to tablespoons, cups, and ounces.***
Vegan Hungarian Goulash
- Large sauté pan, skillet or non-stick saucepan.
- small bowl for soaking TVP chunks
To soak the textured vegetable protein chunks (TVP):
- 100 grams dried soya chunks (TVP) or dried soya curls (can replace with a 400g/14 oz can of beans such as borlotti, cannellini, kidney beans)
- 1 teaspoon vegetable yeast extract or marmite, vege-mite
- 500 millilitres boiling water for additional flavour use vegetable broth
- 2 medium potatoes chopped into medium dice
- 2 medium carrots diced
- 1 large onion diced
- 500 gram tomato passata or sieved uncooked tomatoes or 2 400g/14oz cans diced tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon tomato puree tomato paste
- 4 cloves garlic sliced
- 1 tablespoon paprika plus an extra teaspoon if liked
- 1 teaspoon mild chilli powder or use a medium/hot chilli powder
- 1 teaspoon caraway seeds or fennel seeds
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce use Tamari soy sauce if needing gluten-free
- 800 millilitres vegetable broth
Add ten minutes before end of cooking goulash:
- 1 red bell pepper sliced (can replace the peppers with 2 cups of frozen mixed peppers)
- 1 yellow bell pepper sliced
- 2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar or balsamic
- 1 handful parsley chopped
- pasta, thick noodles or rice cooked according to packet instructions
Prepare the dried soya chunks:
- Soak the soya chunks in 2 cups of boiling water. Add 1 teaspoon of yeast extract [marmite] and mix.Leave for 20-40 minutes. Give the chunks a stir every now and again.Drain but reserve the liquid for the veggie stock.100 grams dried soya chunks (TVP), 1 teaspoon vegetable yeast extract, 500 millilitres boiling water
Optional, toast the caraway seeds:
- Add the caraway or fennel seeds to a small non-stick pan and heat over a medium-hot heat until the seeds start to pop (just a minute or so). Move the seeds around so that they do not burn and after they start to pop remove from the heat and shake the pan gently back and forth so that the seeds continue to toast within the residual heat.1 teaspoon caraway seeds
Cook the goulash:
- Pour the TVP soaking liquid into a measuring jug and top up with boiling water or ready-made veggie broth until you have 800 ml/ about 3 ½ cups. If your using water add the stock cubes/powder/bouillon and mix.800 millilitres vegetable broth
- Add the passata, tomato puree, carrots, potatoes, soya chunks, onion, garlic, caraway/fennel seeds, paprika, chilli powder, and soy sauce to your pot. Mix well.2 medium potatoes, 2 medium carrots, 1 large onion, 500 gram tomato passata, 1 tablespoon tomato puree, 4 cloves garlic, 1 tablespoon paprika, 1 teaspoon mild chilli powder, 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- Pour in the vegetable broth.Bring to the boil.
- Lower the heat and simmer for 25 minutes.Meanwhile prepare any accompaniments such as pasta, thick noodles, garlic bread. Rice will depend on the packet instructions as to when you need to start preparing.pasta, thick noodles or rice
- After 25 minutes add the bell peppers and apple cider vinegar.1 red bell pepper, 2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar, 1 yellow bell pepper
- Simmer for 10 minutes with a lid on the pot. Stir a few times to make sure the goulash is not sticking. If necessary add a splash of boiling water to loosen up the sauce.
- Check that the potatoes are soft.Taste the seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve with a sprinkling of chopped parsley if liked. A scatter of paprika or red pepper flakes is also tasty, as is a swirl of vegan sour cream.1 handful parsley
- Nutritional information is provided for guidance only and is not a strict calculation as ingredients vary.
- Soya chunks can be replaced with about 250-300 grams of fresh or frozen vegan chunks. Or even cooked vegan burgers or sausages chopped up into pieces; although add these cooked alternatives about 10 minutes before the dish is cooked as then they will have enough time to heat through and not over cook.
- Alternatively use a meaty precooked bean such as butter beans, kidney beans or borlotti. Its not authentic or traditional but it will still taste pretty good!
- Some cubed tofu or tempeh is a nice substitution for the soya chunks.
- Try subbing out the white potatoes with sweet potatoes. It will taste amazing!
- If you don't have caraway or fennel seeds but do have a dried ground variety use a teaspoon of this instead.
- Vegan Hungarian Goulash will keep fresh covered in the fridge for up to 3 days. Just reheat until piping hot before serving.
- Freeze any leftover portions to enjoy a speedy meal during those extra busy days.
Thank you for trying out our vegan adaptation of Hungarian Goulash! We hope you enjoyed making and savoring it as much as we do.
If you tried this recipe, please let us know in the comments below how it turned out for you, or if you made any modifications.
If you share your creations on social media, don't forget to tag us (@traditionalplantbasedcooking) and use the hashtag #traditionalplantbasedcooking, so we can see your scrumptious dishes!
Lastly, if you found this recipe helpful, please share it with your friends and family, so they can enjoy it too.
Thank you, and happy cooking!