Hungarian goulash is one of the most delicious stews we've ever tried; it's comforting, hearty, and full of flavour — all you need from a warming winter soup. Today, we'll show how you can make goulash vegan using red kidney beans and mushrooms. Let's jump into it!
For our plant-based goulash, we made a base of red onions caramelised with paprika and caraway seeds. Then, we added potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, and beans. Finally, we simmered all with vegetable stock until tender. The result is a mouthwatering stew with a thick dark broth and spicy, aromatic notes.
Classic Hungarian goulash is not vegan, as it's prepared with cubes of beef or mutton fried in lard. It's an ancient dish originally consumed by shepherds and stored in sheep's stomach bags. In our recipe, we kept all the traditional ingredients, but we swapped meat with plant-based alternatives. We chose red kidney beans as a source of proteins and mushrooms for their "meaty" texture and flavour.
The soul of a good goulash is in the paprika. It's earthy, peppery, and it gives the soup a distinctive dark red colour. You can use sweet paprika for a more toned down flavour or go with hot paprika for a spicier finish. As we like our stew bold and fiery, we also added chopped scotch bonnets. They're quite spicy, so either remove the seeds before using them or opt for milder red chillies like bird's eye or cayenne.
To make goulash stock thick, we used a few tablespoons of starch. In the classic stew, the collagen found in meat leeks out into the broth, slowly thickening the soup. Some vegan recipes use flour instead, but we opted for starch to keep the goulash also gluten-free. You can use potato, corn, or arrowroot starch; dissolve it in a bit of cold water first, and then add it to the soup. As it cooks, it will quickly thicken the goulash — easy!
One bowl of this vegan stew has less than 400 calories, and it covers 35% RDI of proteins and 70% RDI of fibres, all with a third of the fats compared to a meat-based goulash. Enjoy it with toasted bread or ladle it on a bed of small egg noodles, Hungarian-style.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Large Red Onions
- Paprika (sweet or hot)
- Caraway Seeds
- Red Hot Chillies (optional)
- Large Carrots
- Chestnut Mushrooms
- Canned Red Kidney Beans
- Vegetable Stock
- Large Tomatoes
- Potato Starch (optional)
- Fresh Parsley
Let's start by preparing the vegetables.
Peel the potatoes and carrots. Then, chop them into small chunks along with mushrooms and tomatoes.
Next, slice the red onions into thin wedges and finely mince the red hot chillies if you're using them.
Heat the oil in a deep pot and add in the onions, paprika, and caraway seeds.
Stir well and sizzle the onions for 5 minutes until softened and caramelised.
Next, add the prepared chillies, potatoes, carrots, mushrooms, and kidney beans with their canning water.
Then, sizzle them for 3 minutes to absorb the flavours.
Now, add in the chopped tomatoes followed by the vegetable stock.
Bring the broth to a boil and simmer the goulash covered for 20-25 minutes over low heat.
You can now use the starch to thicken the goulash broth, but this is optional.
Dissolve the starch in a little cold water in a cup, and then add the slurry to the stew.
Stir well and simmer the goulash for 1-2 minutes until the broth has thickened.
Divide the goulash among bowls and garnish it with chopped parsley.
Enjoy it with toasted sourdough bread on the side or on a bed of small egg noodles (csipetke/spätzle).
Drizzle the soup with lemon juice which helps absorb the iron better; you can also sprinkle the goulash with nutritional yeast flakes for a boost of nutrients.