vegan hungarian goulash

Vegan Hungarian Goulash!

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vegan Hungarian Goulash pin

Vegan Hungarian Goulash is a remake of the traditional dish that is prepared with meat.

Hungarian goulash is the national meal of Hungary.

Hungarians have been enjoying goulash since the 9th Century!

The dish was commonly eaten by Medieval Hungarian shepherds, and the word Goulash actually means herdsman. 

Chunks of meat and onions are traditionally the main ingredients, with other additions added throughout the centuries.

Between the 16-18th Century, Paprika was introduced to the Hungarian Goulash.

If you can source Hungarian Paprika then do so! I would absolutely love to try it but I am still looking for it.

Most recipes for goulash call for meat chunks, mainly beef or pork.

goulash meat
Hungarian Goulash, made with meat

My vegan-friendly recipe uses soya chunks. I’ve discussed soya chunks over on my Vegan Irish Stew recipe.

Soya chunks work well in this recipe as they soak up all the awesome umami tomato-paprika stock and become deliciously tender.

vegan hungarian goulash
My Vegan friendly version of Hungarian Goulash

I’ve also added potato, carrot, peppers and passata. The spices and herbs I use are paprika, chilli powder and fennel seeds.

I usually use caraway seeds but unknown to me I had run out when I prepared this goulash for my family a few days ago.

So I reasoned that fennel seeds were a close approximation!

And they lend a yummy, gentle aniseed flavour so I was happy with the outcome!

My vegan goulash recipe is also sweet and lightly spicy!

I served my goulash with pasta shells as my kids love those. But the goulash could also be accompanied with noodles, spaghetti or rice.

Hungarian goulash is served as a soup or stew.

All you have to do is adjust the thickness of the sauce.

Just add more liquid stock if you’d like it thinner or stew the goulash for longer to thicken up a thin stock.

My vegan Hungarian goulash turned out quite thick, which is what I was going for.

But, 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 was scrumptious!

(Please note Update: Vegetable oil is used in this recipe but nowadays I limit my family’s oil intake for health reasons. Instead I use a little vegetable stock, or left-over vegetable cooking water, to sauté the onions and garlic, etc.,  and then when the veg are soft I proceed with the recipe). Just add enough stock or water to sauté the vegetables in, add a tad extra if the stock dries out. I have not even noticed a major difference in flavour. But the reduced calories, seeing as a tbsp of oil has about 120 calories, is a welcome bonus).

vegan hungarian goulash

Vegan Hungarian Goulash

A rich, paprika-tomatoey unami stew perfect for a chilly evening.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Course Main Course
Cuisine Europian, Hungarian
Servings 4 people


  • Large saute pan or non-stick saucepan (I used quite a large saute pan)
  • Stove top
  • Chopping board
  • Vegetable knife
  • Measuring jug
  • Wooden spoon


  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic chopped
  • 2 medium potatoes (about 360 grams) chopped into rough cubes, but not too small. I tend to leave the potato peel on if its unblemished and not too thick, just remove the blemished parts. The peel is where the fibre and vitamins are at!
  • 1 medium carrots (about 150 grams) chopped into rough cubes, but not too small
  • 1 red pepper chopped into rough cubes, but not too small
  • 1 yellow pepper chopped into rough cubes, but not too small
  • 100 grams soya chunks
  • 1 tbsp paprika plus an extra tsp, so 1 tbsp and 1 tsp altogether.
  • 1 tsp mild chilli powder
  • 3/4 tsp fennel seeds so that's 3 quarters of a tsp. Can use the same amount of caraway seeds instead of fennel.
  • 700 millilitres vegetable stock use boiling water and 1 vegetable stock cube.
  • 2 tbsp light soya sauce
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 500 gram carton of tomato passata
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp vegetable or olive oil
  • 1 handful parsley, optional for the garnish stocks removed and leaves chopped alittle
  • pasta, rice or noodles to serve put on to cook about 20 minutes before the goulash is ready, so it will be ready to serve at the same time.


  • Saute the onion in the oil, over a medium heat for about 5 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Add the tomato puree, stir and cook for 2 minutes. Put on the kettle to boil and prepare the vegetable stock.
  • Add the fennel seeds and mix well. Add the paprika and chilli powder, and a pinch of salt. Mix thoroughly and stir for a few minutes.
    soya chunks
  • Add the soya chunks and mix well.
    potato mix
  • Add the peppers and mix. Add the potatoes and carrots and mix well.
  • Add the passata, soya sauce and the vegetable stock.
  • Turn the heat up to high. Bring to the boil.
    hungarian goulash cooking
  • Once boiling turn the heat to low-medium. Stir and place a lid on your pot/pan.
  • Set a timer for 25 minutes. Leave to stew, but check it now and again to make sure it is not sticking and give it a mix.
  • After 25 minutes, remove the lid and add the apple cider vinegar. If necessary turn the heat up to maintain the stewing. If it looks like the mix is becoming too dry then just add an extra half cup of boiling water.
  • Prepare the rice, pasta or noodles. Also prepare the parsley.
  • After 20 minutes check the potatoes and carrots are soft. Check the seasoning. If necessary add some salt.
  • Goulash should be ready. If you like the goulash to have more sauce just add more liquid during the last 20 minutes cooking time. If you like a thicker sauce, the stew should be nicely thick after the cooking time.
  • Serve with your accompaniment, a sprinkling of parsley and a grinding of black peppercorns.
    vegan hungarian goulash
  • Enjoy!
    vegan hungarian goulash


Soya chunks can be replaced with about 300 grams of fresh or frozen vegan or vegetarian friendly meat chunks. Preferably 'steak' or 'brown' variety. The cooking times will be quicker, probably halved. 
When I have problems sourcing vegan or vegetarian 'meat' chunks , I substitute with vegan or vegetarian sausages or burgers (not the vegetable quarter powder types). Just chop the sausages or burgers up when cooked, into chunk size pieces. You can either cook them separately, chop up and then add to the cooked goulash or add them at the soya chunk stage, wither fresh or frozen and then just chop in the pan when soft. Just adjust the cooking time of the goulash.
Keyword Autumn meal, Comfort food, Stew, Tradtional
vegan hungarian goulash
Vegan Hungarian Goulash


Are you looking for more satisfying vegan and vegetarian friendly dinner ideas? Check out my Vegan Irish Stew recipe here

vegan irish stew

Be sure to bookmark my site as I will be adding lots more delicious, traditional recipes!

Comment below how you get on with my recipes, and to ask any questions.

I am looking forward to hearing from you!

vegan Hungarian Goulash pin

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  1. 5 stars
    This looks like a delicious meal, I’ve never heard about it before. Your step by step insructions are very helpful for us that we’re not perfect at cooking !

    I couldn’t try it if without your detailed instructions 🙂

    I really liked they story behind the recipe as well, excellent work!

    • Thanks! I’m really happy you liked my post. I really appreciate feedback as my blog is just a day old and I’m very new to food blogging! 🙂

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