Vegan Goulash – Gluten-Free, Simple, and Delicious

Updated on: 14.01.2021
vegan goulash
vegan goulash

In today’s recipe, we will show you how to make a simple yet absolutely delicious vegan goulash that we eat all the time. The recipe was inspired by a childhood favorite. However, this one is cruelty-free and healthy, so it’s a thousand times better!

Not only is it super cheap to make, so you can afford it even on a tiny budget, the preparation time is incredibly quick, too; it takes about 15 minutes.

However, the cooking time should be at least an hour, preferably two or more.

Before you get scared – no, you don’t need to be actively present for that amount of time.

In fact, once you leave it to shimmer on low heat and cover it with a lid, you can go read your favorite book, study, do some yoga, or even take a nap without needing to worry.

All you need to do is set a timer for every half hour – to check if you need to add more water. That’s it! Let the goulash cook itself. 😉

The Vegan Goulash Meat

We usually make the vegan goulash with dehydrated soy steaks, which are super cheap. Sometimes we make it with seitan, too.

If you want to make the vegan goulash gluten-free, do not use seitan, as that is pure gluten. Use dehydrated soy steaks or another gluten-free vegan meat alternative.

dehydrated soy steaks in goulash
dehydrated soy steaks in goulash

One thing to note though – if you are cooking for someone with celiac disease, make sure that you check the packaging.

If it says that it may contain traces of gluten (which means that the food was processed in a factory dealing with gluten ingredients), do NOT make that for a person with celiac disease.

If they ingest even a trace of gluten, they may suffer severe damage to their small intestine, which will take months to heal. You can read more about it here.

The Veggies

A crucial ingredient of this goulash is onions. And when we say onions, we mean lots and lots of them!

We generally use 4 or 5 large onions when cooking for a family of four.

Actually, we always use that amount. If there are leftovers, we just pop them in the freezer for the days when we are too busy (or lazy) to cook.

red onion
red onion

The vegan goulash keeps for several months, but honestly, it never makes it that far in our household.

When it comes to the type of onion, we always use red onion, simply because it is way more nutritionally rich than the white one.

As you probably know, the colors of foods signify the antioxidants, and we just love to see that purple glow.

The other crucial vegetable in this goulash are carrots. We like to add about 4 large carrots or 7 smaller ones.

Before we add them to the pot, we peel them, wash them, and cut them into smaller pieces (about half a finger in thickness and length).

The Vegan Stock

If you’ve been following for some time, you might have realized that we are the type of cooks who prefer to simplify things.

Life is already complicated enough; why make things harder in the kitchen, too?

So it’s simple – if we’ve been cooking vegetable soup from leftover vegetable scraps, we will use that liquid.

Generally, we just use a vegan bouillon cube dissolved in about a liter of boiling water. Can’t get more simple than that!

If we are using a kettle, we’ll first pour the water into the pan with the vegan goulash-to-be. Then we crumble in the bouillon cube to dissolve.

If you’re feeling fancy or have a spare wine suitable for cooking in the fridge, you may substitute a cup of water for the (cup of!) wine for a bit of extra flavor. If you want a thicker consistency, blend up vegetable stock together with a few veggies in a high-speed blender. Don’t have a blender yet? Check out our best blender for everything shopping guide to find your best match.

As for the spices and other additions, check out the recipe below.

The Vegan Goulash Sides

The gluten-free vegan goulash goes great with any side, such as potatoes, bread, rice, sauteed vegetables, pasta, or polenta.

Personally, we prefer to eat it with either boiled potatoes (which we cut into larger cubes and mix into the pan after they are finished cooking) or macaroni.

Sprinkle a bit of vegan parmesan cheese or vegan goat cheese on top for a perfect finish.

Now without further ado, here is our gluten-free vegan goulash recipe.

vegan goulash
vegan goulash

How to Make Gluten-Free Vegan Goulash

Total Time: 2 hours and 15 minutes

Peel and chop the onions, carrots, and garlic

Because we are using a huge amount of onions, we recommend that you use a food processor to roughly chop the onions instead of cutting them by hand. If you don’t have a food processor, pop a few minty pieces of gum into your mouth and chew while you prep the onions; it should overwhelm your senses and stop you from crying your eyes out. Cut the carrots into pieces about as large and thick as half a woman’s finger.

Pour 3 tbsp of oil into the pan. When hot, add in the chopped onions and cook on medium heat.

You can use less oil, but note that meat is very high in fat and we are trying to imitate that (to a healthy extent), so this will give the best result.

Mix the onions with a spatula until they soften, then add in the carrots and the chopped garlic.

Mix for about 15 seconds till you smell the garlic and then pour in the vegetable stock (or water and bouillon cube)

Optionally, you can add a bit less water and pour in a cup of suitable wine instead for extra flavour.

Pop in the dehydrated soy steaks or other vegan meat alternative

If you want to make it gluten-free, make sure that the vegan meat alternative is gluten-free (seitan is not).

Add in the spices

Be generous with black pepper and smoked paprika. We recommend using a few splashes of soy sauce instead of salt for extra flavor. Add other spices as well (such as rosemary, marjoram, thyme, and bay leaves). Optionally, you can add a bit of mustard, too, and some more olive oil.

Use the spatula to mix everything thoroughly and push the soy steaks beneath the sauce surface.

Bring to a soft boil, then lower the heat to very low, cover with a lid and let simmer for at least an hour but preferably two or even more.

Set a timer on your phone to 30 minutes to regularly check if you need to add more water or stock.

Optional: Add a splash of vegan cream and additional spices, then let cook for another 5 minutes before serving with a side.

The vegan goulash goes great with potatoes, bread, pasta, polenta, rice, or even sauteed vegetables. Sprinkle a bit of vegan parmesan or vegan goat cheese on top for a perfect finish (recipe on our site).


  • 5 large red onions
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 4 large carrots
  • 3 tbsp oil of choice
  • dehydrated soy steaks or other GF vegan meat alternative (or seitan, but it’s not gluten-free)
  • 1 liter of water or vegetable stock (optional: sub 1 cup water with 1 cup wine)
  • optional: if using water, add a vegan bouillon soup cube
  • salt or, preferably, soy sauce to taste
  • a generous amount of black pepper and smoked paprika
  • other spices to taste (such as rosemary, marjoram, thyme, bay leaves, etc.)
  • optional: 1tbsp mustard
  • optional: a splash of vegan cream
  • optional: an additional tbsp olive oil

vegan goulash with seolina dumplings
vegan goulash with seolina dumplings

The goulash keeps in the fridge for up to a week, but we prefer to freeze any leftovers and save them for the days when life gets too overwhelming. It keeps in the freezer for several months.

So there you have it – our favorite go-to vegan pad thai recipe. For more easy and delicious vegan recipes check out our recipes section.

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Thanks for reading!

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