Goulash is a traditional dish from Hungary. This vegan Goulash takes everything we know about the authentic version but makes it plant-based and super easy to make. Perfect for a comforting winter dinner to cosy up with! Especially when served with mashed potatoes or traditional Hungarian dumplings.
🌟 Why this recipe works
- Sweet Paprika – this is the key ingredient. If you don’t have the right quantity then it won’t be the same. A traditional Goulash, and therefore a Vegan Goulash version, needs to have a good helping of sweet paprika. If you can find the Hungarian version, that would be best, otherwise you should buy sweet paprika and failing that, standard paprika powder will do the trick. Just steer clear of smoked paprika.
- Simmer time – stews and casseroles always need a healthy simmer time. This vegan goulash is no different. In total it will simmer for 60 minutes. This is to make sure the sauce thickens and the flavours develop. Plus, we want the chickpeas to cook until they’re nice and soft.
- Rich and comforting – there’s nothing better than a rich and comforting stew during autumn and winter. It’s a staple during the winter months in our house. This stew has it all - a rich depth of flavour, a hint of sweetness from the paprika powder and lashings of warming sauce. And if you love stews, you may also like to try this Vegan Stew and Dumplings.
- Easy dinner for busy midweek evenings – as there is minimal prep needed for this recipe, it’s a case of putting everything into the casserole dish and letting it simmer in the oven! It could even be made in the slow cooker, if you have one. While dinner is cooking, it’s a perfect time to catch up on jobs, some work from home tasks or even your latest Netflix binge (it’s what winter was made for, right?).
🍽 Equipment and Products Used
The main product recommendation for a hearty and authentic vegan goulash is Hungarian Sweet Paprika. You can get it online, but we haven’t seen it in many other places. If you don’t have the traditional stuff, use sweet paprika powder or plain paprika powder. A good quality casserole dish wouldn’t go amiss either.
📋 Ingredient Notes
- Hungarian Sweet Paprika – as mentioned above, if you can get hold of Hungarian Sweet Paprika, it is highly recommended to create a dish that is authentic. If not, use sweet paprika or plain paprika powder from the supermarket.
- Chickpeas – a great versatile ingredient that is packed with protein. Make sure they get the full 20 minutes of simmer time, otherwise they may be a little hard. One of my pet peeves! We use chickpeas from a can, but it’s often cheaper to buy them dried and in a larger quantity. If you have dried chickpeas, make sure to soak and boil them before adding to this dish.
- Onions & Garlic – the best foundation for so many recipes, it wouldn't be the same without onion and garlic. If you want to save the preparation time, use frozen garlic and onions or lazy garlic from a jar!
- Vegetable stock – vegetable stock or vegan beef stock work best for this vegan goulash. There are many options for stock on the market these days, including vegan chicken stock. For this recipe, it’s best to use a vegan beef stock or a veggie stock. Beef style is what would traditionally be used, but herby chicken style stock doesn't pair as well with the rich paprika flavour.
- Red Peppers – usually we would say any colour pepper (or capsicum) is fine, but using red peppers is traditional for Hungarian goulash.
Check out the recipe card at the bottom of this article for exact measurements.
🔪 Step-by-step Instructions
These step-by-step instructions are an overview to go with the pictures. Head to the recipe card below for the full ingredients list, instructions and recipe notes too.
1. Optionally, pop a splash of oil or oil spray in your casserole dish. Then add the chopped onions and pressed garlic.
2. Once translucent, sprinkle in the paprika powder and then add the tomato puree. Stir well.
3. After two minutes pour in the tomatoes and the vegetable stock.
4. Pop in the bay leaves and the black pepper, stir well.
5. Add in the chopped carrots and peppers. Stir well and bring up to a simmer.
6. Once simmering, pop the lid on the casserole dish and put it in the oven for 40 minutes, on gas mark 4 / 180°C.
7. Then, it’s time to add the chickpeas. Simmer again for 20 minutes in the oven, to allow the chickpeas to soften beautifully.
8. Finally, add 1 teaspoon of salt and stir well. Serve with mashed potatoes and crusty bread.
👩🍳 Expert Tips
- Use sweet paprika or Hungarian paprika! I know we’ve banged on about it in this whole blog post, but it’s the key to creating an authentic style vegan goulash.
- Don’t scrimp on the simmering time. This is what allows the vegan goulash sauce to thicken in to the beautifully rich and colourful sauce that you’re looking for. There’s no way around it.
- Put it in a slow cooker for an even easier cooking experience! We won’t pretend to be experts on slow cookers (we don’t have one) but from what we know about them, stews like this work well cooked in one. We might get one soon though (and then we’ll share loads of slow cooker recipes!)
- It keeps well in the fridge and the flavour even intensifies when refrigerated for a couple of days. Keeps in the fridge for 3 days.
- Vegan Goulash freezes well for up to 3 months.
From what I can tell, American goulash almost always contains pasta. Hungarian goulash is a deep, rich, red stew that is served with nokedli (a Hungarian type of dumpling that resembles pasta).
Yes, it keeps well in the fridge for 3 days but is best eaten fresh.
Yes, just make sure to thoroughly defrost before eating. Keeps in the freezer for 3 months.
It is advisable to use Hugarian paprika or sweet paprika. Just don’t use smoked paprika! We won’t bang on about it anymore.
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Easy Vegan Goulash
- 2 onions
- 5 cloves garlic
- 2 bay leaves
- ¼ cup Hungarian sweet paprika – or standard sweet paprika powder
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- 400 g chopped tomatoes
- 400 g carrots – chopped
- 3 red peppers
- 350 ml vegetable stock
- 250 g chickpeas – 1 x 400g tin, drained
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- Optionally, pop a splash of oil or oil spray in your casserole dish. Then add the chopped onions and pressed garlic.2 onions, 5 cloves garlic
- Once translucent, sprinkle in the paprika powder and then add the tomato puree. Stir well.¼ cup Hungarian sweet paprika, 2 tbsp tomato puree
- After two minutes pour in the tomatoes and the vegetable stock.400 g chopped tomatoes, 350 ml vegetable stock
- Pop in the bay leaves and the black pepper, stir well.2 bay leaves, 1 tsp black pepper
- Add in the chopped carrots and peppers. Stir well and bring up to a simmer.400 g carrots, 3 red peppers
- Once simmering, pop the lid on the casserole dish and put it in the oven for 40 minutes, on gas mark 4 / 180°C.
- Then, it’s time to add the chickpeas. Simmer again for 20 minutes in the oven, to allow the chickpeas to soften beautifully.250 g chickpeas
- Finally, add 1 teaspoon of salt and stir well. Serve with mashed potatoes and crusty bread.1 tsp salt
- We recommend using Hungarian paprika powder or sweet paprika powder, not smoked paprika powder. This is to create an authentic tasting goulash.
- Red peppers are traditional for Goulash, so we recommend using them.
- This dish keeps well in the fridge for three days and will keep in the freezer for 3 months.
- We use one can of chickpeas, drained. If you’re using dried chickpeas, make sure to soak and boil them first, according to packet instructions.
- The simmering time is important for allowing the sauce to reduce down and cook the chickpeas perfectly.