Vegan Goulash (American-Style) – Connoisseurus Veg

This vegan goulash is packed with savory flavor! Made with macaroni in a smoky, savory sauce, along with a hearty mix of lentils and mushrooms that stand in for meat, this delicious stew will be your new favorite comfort food meal.

Bowl of Vegan Goulash with blue pot and napkin in the background.

I stopped eating meat when I was pretty young, so I missed out on a lot of classic dishes that other people grew up eating. I’m discovering a lot of those dishes now as I veganize them!

A while back I shared a recipe for eggplant goulash, which is really a meatless version of Hungarian-style goulash. But I later learned that American goulash is a thing too!

So I did a little research on American goulash, and you know what? It’s a really weird dish. Most of the recipes for conventional, meat-based American goulash call for ingredients that I’d never really expect to go together, like macaroni, meat, soy sauce and paprika.

I decided to give the dish a try, but replacing the meat with mushrooms and lentils. And you know what? It was delicious! This vegan goulash was an absolute flavor bomb. It’s a great comfort food meal and the recipe makes a great big batch, so you can enjoy leftovers for days!

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Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Brown lentils. This recipe calls for uncooked lentils. If you happen to have lentils that have already been cooked (like canned lentils) on hand, you can use them instead. You’ll need about 2 cups or one 15-ounce can. Feel free to substitute green lentils if that’s what you’ve got, keeping in mind that they’ll take a bit longer to cook. I don’t recommend using red lentils for this recipe.
  • Olive oil. Just about any high-heat oil can be substituted, such as canola, corn, or coconut oil.
  • Cremini mushrooms. These are also known as baby portobellos. White button mushrooms will work as a substitute.
  • Onion.
  • Red bell pepper.
  • Garlic.
  • Vegetable broth. I like Better Than Bouillon brand in seasoned vegetable flavor.
  • Tomato sauce.
  • Diced tomatoes.
  • Spices. We’re using a mix of sweet paprika, smoked paprika, thyme, oregano, and bay leaves.
  • Soy sauce. Tamari or liquid aminos will work if needed.
  • Elbow macaroni. Use gluten-free pasta if needed.
  • Tomato paste.
  • Salt & pepper.
  • Vegan sour cream. Use store-bought sour cream or homemade cashew cream.
  • Fresh parsley.

How It’s Made

  • Cook your lentils by boiling them in water, then drain then when they’re done. Make sure they’re fully cooked but not mushy. Check on them frequently to prevent overcooking.
  • Cook the mushrooms in some olive oil while the lentils boil. Make sure you’re letting them sit on the hot surface and not stirring them too much. Too much stirring can prevent them from browning.
Mushrooms cooking in a pot.
  • Add diced onion to the pot and cook it with the onion for a few minutes, until it starts to soften.
Mushrooms and onions cooking in a pot.
  • Add bell pepper and garlic to the pot and sauté everything briefly.
  • Stir in the broth, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, spices, soy sauce, and macaroni.
  • Raise the heat, bring the liquid to a boil, and let the mixture simmer until the pasta is al dente — fully cooked but a little on the firm side.
Pot of Vegan Goulash simmering on the stove.
  • Add the tomato paste and cooked lentils to the pot, let it simmer a couple minutes more, then take the pot away from heat.
  • Season your vegan goulash with salt and pepper to taste.
Pot of Vegan Goulash with wooden spoon.
  • Ladle it into bowls and serve each with a dollop of vegan sour cream and a sprinkle of fresh parsley.
Wooden surface set with pot and bowl of Vegan Goulash.

Leftovers & Storage

Leftover vegan goulash will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about 3 days or in the freezer for about 3 months.

More Vegan Dinner Recipes

Like this recipe? If so, please stop back and leave me a review and rating below if you try it! Also be sure to follow me on Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram, or subscribe to my newsletter for more recipes like this one!

Bowl of Vegan Goulash with sour cream and parsley on top.

Vegan Goulash (American-Style!)

This vegan goulash is packed with savory flavor! Made with macaroni in a smoky, savory sauce, along with a hearty mix of lentils and mushrooms that stand in for meat, this delicious stew will be your new favorite comfort food meal.


  • ¾
    dried brown lentils
  • 2
    olive oil
  • 6
    cremini mushrooms,
    cleaned and roughly chopped
  • 1
  • 1
    red bell pepper,
  • 3
    garlic cloves,
  • 3
    vegetable broth
  • 1
    (14 ounce or 400 gram) can
    tomato sauce
  • 1
    (14 ounce or 400 gram) can
    diced tomatoes
  • 1
    sweet paprika
  • ½
    smoked papkria
    (can sub more sweet paprika)
  • ½
    dried thyme
  • ½
    dried oregano
  • 2
    soy sauce
  • 2
    bay leaves
  • 8
    uncooked elbow macaroni pasta
    (2 cups of of uncooked pasta)
  • ¼
    tomato paste
  • Salt and pepper,
    to taste


  1. Place the lentils into a small saucepan and cover them with a couple of inches of water.

  2. Place the pot over high heat and bring the water to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer the lentils, uncovered until they’re tender but not mushy, about 25 to 30 minutes. Add water to the pot if it dries up while simmering.

  3. Drain the lentils into a colander and set them aside.

  4. While the lentils cook, coat the bottom of a large pot with olive oil and place it over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the mushrooms.

  5. Cook the mushrooms, flipping them once or twice, for about 5 minutes, until they begin to soften and brown.

  6. Add the onion to the pot and cook it with the mushrooms for about 5 minutes more, until the onion is soft and translucent.

  7. Add the bell pepper and garlic to the pot. Continue to sauté the mixture until the garlic becomes very fragrant, about 1 minute.

  8. Stir in the broth, tomato sauce, tomatoes, sweet paprika, smoked paprika, thyme, oregano, soy sauce, bay leaves, and pasta. Raise heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Lower heat and allow everything to simmer until the pasta is al dente, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  9. Stir in the lentils and tomato paste and allow everything to cook for about 2 more minutes, just to heat everything throughout and thicken the sauce.

  10. Remove the pot from heat. Remove the bay leaves and season the goulash with salt and pepper to taste.

  11. Serve with vegan yogurt, cashew cream, and/or fresh parsley.

Recipe Notes

  1. Two cups of precooked lentils or one (15 ounce/400 gram) can can be substituted if desired. Skip steps 1 through 3 if you do this.
  2. Recipe makes about 9 cups.

Nutrition Facts

Vegan Goulash (American-Style!)

Amount Per Serving (1.5 cups)

Calories 341
Calories from Fat 60

% Daily Value*

Fat 6.7g10%

Saturated Fat 1.1g6%

Sodium 1050mg44%

Potassium 1133mg32%

Carbohydrates 55.2g18%

Fiber 12.1g48%

Sugar 10.2g11%

Protein 16.8g34%

Calcium 50mg5%

Iron 5.2mg29%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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