Vegan Hungarian Gullasch Recipe


This easy vegan Hungarian goulash (or Gullasch) is a delicious, rich, and completely meat-free version of the traditional Hungarian Gullasch recipe. It’s full of deep flavors, meaty textures, and hearty warming sauce. You can tell just by looking at this delicious plant-based goulash that it’s a ultra rich, ultra comforting bowl of warm savory goodness. It’s a real comfort food recipe in a healthier, lighter form that’s so tasty it’s earned the nickname “the best vegan Sunday chili”.

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In this classic Gullasch-made vegan recipe we’re only using authentic spices and ingredients (apart from the vegan meat substitutes). Goulash is a recipe that has changed a lot through the years with every country putting its own twist on the original recipe. Well, this plant-based goulash is a back-to-basics full-flavored Hungarian Gulasch. There’s no pasta, no potatoes, and no wine. Instead, we’re working with authentic deep flavors, a ton of paprika, lots of rustic vegetables, and a deep rich sauce.

Origins of Goulash 

Goulash or Gullasch is a traditional Hungarian soup or stew made with lots of paprika, vegetables, and meat. Traditionally goulash has been made with beef, lamb, veal, or pork. 

In Hungarian cuisine, traditional “Gulyásleves” (literally meaning “goulash soup“), “bográcsgulyás“, pörkölt, and paprikás were thick stews often served with a side of bread or mashed potatoes. It’s a classic slow-food stew that’s deliciously rich, creamy, and surprisingly healthy.

The traditional way to serve Hungarian Gulasch 

Gulasch in its original version is a rich stew that’s really more a soup than a stew. Think of lots of rich, strongly flavored sauce, loads of paprika and so much coziness. Traditionally goulash is served with a side of creamy mashed potatoes or a simple slice of toasted bread. It’s a rustic, comfort food dish that’s surprisingly healthy.

I like to make a really big batch and invite everyone over. It’s such a crowd-pleaser and a super easy dinner recipe. Make it in advance and heat it when the guests arrive. The longer the dish has time to simmer, the better it tastes.

And here’s the great thing – if you like your chili hot, you can just add hot chili. If you are like me and prefer a milder chili, you can just add a medium chili. It’s so easy to customize to your taste.

What’s great about this easy plant-based Goulash recipe

  • Thick and chunky 
  • Spicy, but not too spicy. Just the cozy, warming, and winter kind of spicy 
  • It’s full of healthy immune system-boosting spices
  • Loaded with delicious rich flavors 
  • Easy to make
  • Meal prep friendly 
  • Dairy-free and nut free 
  • Healthy and low-calorie 
  • Crock pot-friendly vegan goulash 
  • Great Instant pot goulash 
  • Freezer friendly stew

Meal prep big batch plant-based Hungarian Gulasch

This recipe is for a big batch of goulash – but if you are making it for fewer people you might want to cut all the ingredients in half. It will still make for a good batch and big portions.

Ingredients you need to make easy vegan Hungarian Gullasch soup / stew

  • 2.2 lbs (900g) Vegan ground meat substitute such as Seitan
  • 6 cloves Garlic
  • 4 Big Onions
  • 4 tins Chopped Tomatoes
  • 5 Carrots – large
  • 2 Red Bell Peppers
  • 2 Yellow Bell Peppers
  • 1 Chili Medium or hot – as you prefer
  • 6 tbsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1 tbsp Cumin
  • 5 cups Vegetable Broth
  • 1 cup Soy Cream
  • 3 tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 5 tbsp Olive Oil
  • Salt to taste

How to make plant-based Hungarian Gullasch soup with mashed potatoes 

  • Start by rinsing the carrots and cutting the ends off. If you want to peel them you can, before slicing them into medium-thick slices. Set aside for later.
  • Dice the onions and set them aside for later.
  • Next, rinse the bell peppers and cut the kernel out. Chop into 1-inch chunks and set aside.

    Prepare the garlic by removing the outer shell and dicing finely. Set aside.
  • Now, grab a large pot and warm it up over high heat. Drizzle the olive oil in the pot along with the vegan textured vegetable protein. Let the vegan protein cook for a few minutes while stirring occasionally. Add the garlic, smoked Paprika, cumin, a pinch of salt, and soy sauce, and stir everything together. Let it cook for a few minutes.
  • Add in the carrots and chopped mushrooms and stir everything together before adding the diced onions. Let it cook for a few minutes while stirring occasionally.

    Now, add the bell peppers and stir everything together before adding the vegetable broth. Put a lid on the pot and turn the heat down to medium. Let it simmer while you rinse the potatoes and cut them into 1-inch chunks (stir the pot occasionally).
  • While everything simmers, finely dice the chili and add it to the pot.

    After 15 minutes, turn the heat down to low and leave the dish to simmer for 1 hour or more.
  • 20 minutes before serving, add the soy cream and stir everything together. Add extra salt if it needs it and serve with a generous side of creamy mashed potatoes, a garnish of chopped fresh basil or parsley, and bread on the side.
  • Enjoy.

How to make Meal prep friendly Vegan Hungarian Gullasch in a crockpot 

Add all the ingredients to the crockpot. Place the lid on, and set the timer to cook on high for 5-6 hours or on low for 7-8 hours. Let the steam release naturally. 

Serve with a side of mashed potatoes and enjoy.

Easy way to make Dairy-free vegan Goulash in an instant pot 

Turn your instant pot to sauté and add the chopped onions, peppers, mushrooms, and carrots. Cook until the onions have softened, stirring often to cook evenly. Place all the remaining ingredients in an instant pot. Cook on high pressure for 8 minutes. Release the pressure and stir to mix everything well. Taste to see if more salt or other seasoning is needed. 

Leave to rest for 2 minutes to let the sauce thicken slightly.

Serve with a side of steaming mashed potatoes and enjoy.

What’s the best vegan meat substitute?

For this recipe, I used vegan minced beef made from a textured vegetable protein produced with pea protein. Pea protein is one of my personal favorite textured vegetable protein meat substitutes as they are high in protein and usually has a very meaty texture. 

Here are the top 3 vegan meat substitutes for stews, soups, and everything else:

  • textured vegetable protein chunks made with pea protein 
  • Soy-textured vegetable protein 
  • Seitan

Health benefits of paprika 

Gulasch stew is loaded with flavorful paprika. It’s a rich, deep, and delicious stew that also has some great health benefits. Thanks to the antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals in paprika and the other spices in this stew, it’s a dish full of healthy immune system-boosting ingredients. 

Here are the top 7 health benefits of paprika and goulash soup.

Full of antioxidants 

Thanks to the large amounts of paprika in this stew this dish are full of antioxidants. Paprika is naturally rich in antioxidants which has been found to boost the immune system.

Might help with autoimmune disorders 

The spices in this rich Gullasch are full of antioxidants and capsaicin…the latter being directly linked to fighting autoimmune diseases. 

Good for the eyesight 

The richness of vitamins and minerals in Gullasch is believed to have a very beneficial effect on your eyesight. The Antioxidants found in paprika like vitamin A, Lutein, and zeaxanthin have been reported to prevent eye diseases and help improve eyesight in general. Along with some of the vitamins such as Vitamin A and C in the vegetables, this stew is a powerhouse of eyesight healing and improving ingredients.

Heart-healthy vegan stew

Because of the vegetables and the balanced protein in this stew, it is said to be a heart-healthy dish. The spices naturally boost the cardiovascular system while the high levels of vitamin B6 are believed to have heart-healing abilities as well as lowering blood pressure.

Metabolism increasing stew

The high levels of spices in Gullasch have been linked to increased metabolism. Studies have indicated that eating more spices improves metabolic function and helps you burn more calories.

May be useful to treat diabetes 

Studies have indicated that consuming balanced nutrients and spices may help keep the blood sugar level stable and assist in preventing and treating diabetes.

Might help prevent cancer 

Paprika contains high levels of capsaicin, a powerful nutrient that has been linked to treating and preventing many diseases such as cancer.

FAQ

How big of a crockpot or Instant Pot do I need to use?

This makes a lot of stew! We’d recommend at least a 6-qt. for both.

I don’t want to use vegan meat substitutes. Can I use something else?

Absolutely. There are lots of other meat substitute options you can use. A few of my favorite options in this recipe are:

Chopped portobello mushrooms
Cooked green lentils 
50% chopped mushrooms and 50% eggplants

Can I add wine to the sauce?

Yes. You can easily add 1/2 cup of good red wine to this recipe for an even deeper and darker sauce flavor.

How to freeze vegan goulash?

Let the goulash cool completely. Transfer it to a freezer-safe sealed container such as a ziplock bag, and freeze. When you’re ready to eat, defrost the stew and reheat it either on the stove or in the microwave in a microwave-safe bowl.

How long will goulash keep when frozen?

You can safely freeze goulash for up to 3-4 months.

It looks like a lot of veggies. How can I speed up the chopping process?

Speedy tips coming your way. You can easily use a food processor to chop all the onions and vegetables. Or you can buy pre-chopped veggies (fresh or frozen) and make it a really quick process with less cleaning required.

Other delicious vegan stews to try:

Vegan Gullash

This easy vegan Hungarian goulash (or Gullasch) is a delicious, rich, and completely meat-free version of the traditional Hungarian Gullasch recipe. It’s full of deep flavors, meaty textures, and hearty warming sauce. You can tell just by looking at this delicious plant-based goulash that it’s a ultra rich, ultra comforting bowl of warm savory goodness.
Course Main Course
Keyword dinner, gullash, slow cooking, soup, vegan
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours
Servings 6 people
Author Simone -Munchyesta.com

Ingredients

  • 2.2 lbs (900g) Vegan textured meat substitute such as Seitan such as Seitan
  • 6 cloves Garlic
  • 4 Big Onions
  • 4 tins Chopped Tomatoes can be fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 5 Carrots – large
  • 1 lbs (400g) Potatoes
  • 2 Red Bell Peppers
  • 2 Yellow Bell Peppers
  • 1 Chili Medium or hot – as you prefer
  • 6 tbsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1 tbsp Cumin
  • 5 cups Vegetable Broth
  • 1 cup Soy Cream or another plant cream
  • 3 tbsp Soy Sauce or Tamari for gluten-free option
  • 5 tbsp Olive Oil
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

  • Start by rinsing the carrots and cutting the ends off. If you want to peel them you can, before slicing them into medium thick slices. Set aside for later.
  • Dice the onions and set aside for later.
  • Next, rinse the bell peppers and cut the kernel out. Chop into 1-inch chunks and set aside.
    Prepare the garlic by removing the outer shell and dicing finely. Set aside.
  • Now, grab a large pot and warm it up over high heat. Drizzle the olive oil in the pot along with the vegan ground beef. Let the vegan beef cook for a few minutes while stirring occassionally. Add the garlic, smoked Paprica, cumin, a pinch of salt and soy sauce and stir everything together. Let it cook for a few minutes.
  • Add in the carrots and stir everything together before adding the diced onions. Let it cook for a few minutes while stirring occassionally.
    Now, add the bell peppers and stir everything together before adding the vegetable broth. Put a lid on the pot and turn the heat down to medium. Let it simmer while you rinse the potatoes and cut them into 1-inch chunks (stir the pot occassionally).
  • Add the potatoes to the pot and stir everything together. Add more water if needed (the water should be covering everything at this point). Put the lid back on and leave to simmer for 15 minutes.
    While everything simmers, finely dice the chili and add it ti the pot.
    After 15 minutes, turn the heat down to low and leave the dish to simmer for 1 hour.
  • 20 minutes before serving, add the soy cream and stir everything together. Add extra salt if it needs it and serve with a small dollop of soy cream, a little chopped fresh basil and bread on the side.

Easy way to make Dairy-free vegan Goulash in an instant pot

  • Turn your instant pot to sauté and add the chopped onions, peppers, mushrooms, and carrots. Cook until the onions have softened, stirring often to cook evenly.
  • Place all the remaining ingredients in an instant pot. Cook on high pressure for 8 minutes.
  • Release the pressure and stir to mix everything well. Taste to see if more salt or other seasoning is needed. 
    Leave to rest for 2 minutes to let the sauce thicken slightly.
    Serve with a side of steaming mashed potatoes and enjoy.

How to make Meal prep friendly Vegan Hungarian Gullasch in a crockpot 

  • Add all the ingredients to the crockpot. Place the lid on, and set the timer to cook on high for 5-6 hours or on low for 7-8 hours. Let the steam release naturally. 
  • Serve with a side of mashed potatoes and enjoy.

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