American style Vegan Goulash is ‘meaty’, saucy and veggie filled, and is nostalgic comfort food at its finest! It’s super easy to make using one pot and perfect for an easy weeknight dinner.
Similar to American chop suey, Hamburger Helper or even Chili Mac, American Goulash is a mix of ground meat simmered with tomatoes, a few spices and pasta. It takes me back to the days of my youth, some 40 years ago!
Fast forward to 2019 and I decided to recreate this classic American vegan goulash using crumbled tempeh to mimic the usual ground meat. And I must say it was pretty darn good!
It’s warm, delicious, and filling. And it makes for great weekly meal prep too, as it stores and packs well.
Plus, it’s just so easy to make and perfect for entertaining a crowd or the whole family!
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Ingredients You’ll Need
In this recipe, we’ll cook the tempeh, veggies, spices and sauce to create a warm and comforting savory meal. Here’s everything you’ll need, plus variations and tips for substituting ingredients.
- Tempeh – Tempeh is a little nutty in flavor and will take on all the flavors in this goulash. Tempeh can be found by the tofu in most local grocery stores. I call for 2 packages, but feel free to use just 1, replacing the other with a can of red kidney beans if you like. If avoiding soy, use 1 – 2 cans of red kidney beans or 1 cup of cooked lentils, or any combo of the two.
- Onion – Use any color onion you have on hand.
- Garlic – If you don’t have fresh garlic, use 1 heaping teaspoon garlic powder.
- Bell Peppers – I’ve used green bell peppers, but any color will do. Red bell pepper will add a little sweetness.
- Spices – We’ll be using dried oregano and basil, you can substitute with Italian seasoning. Paprika can be sweet or hot (I used sweet). Red pepper flakes add a nice touch of heat, adjust to taste.
- Tomato Sauce – This is a classic ingredient in goulash.
- Diced Tomatoes – Diced tomatoes add heartiness and is so good. If you can find fire roasted, by all means use those.
- Liquids – For the most flavor, vegetable broth or veggie paste will add the most flavor.
- Salt + Pepper – Most American goulash recipes call for LOTS of salt, upwards of 1 tablespoon. I only call for 1 teaspoon, but feel free to adjust to taste. Add pepper to taste as well.
- Pasta – Any small pasta will work well here, elbow macaroni, shells, mini penne, rigatoni, etc. Use gluten free pasta if following a GF diet.
- Great optional add ins: 1 can of sweet corn, 8 oz. mushrooms, and 1 tablespoon of vegan Worcestershire sauce!
How To Make Vegan Goulash
- In a flat bottom pot, saute the tempeh, onion, bell pepper and garlic. When adding the tempeh, I crumble it between my fingers into to large chucks. Feel free to crumble it smaller if that’s what you prefer. Some of the tempeh will brown, this great and if you like it more browned, keep cooking.
- Add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, herbs and spices, and pour the liquids over top. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Add the pasta, give a good stir, and cook until pasta is tender, stirring frequently so the pasta doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
- Once done, taste for flavor, let cool a few minutes as shown below.
And now your vegan goulash is ready to enjoy!
Adjusting For Dietary Restrictions
- Soy-Free: Sub the tempeh and use 2 cans of red kidney beans, white beans or black beans, drained and rinsed.
- Gluten-Free: Use gluten free pasta if following a GF diet.
How To Store Leftovers
Leftovers store well and are freezer-friendly too!
- Refrigerator: Store in covered containers for up to 4 – 5 days.
- Freezer: For longer storage, keep in airtight freezer safe containers for up to 2 – 3 months.
- Reheat: Warm on the stovetop over low heat, adding a little water for moisture until warmed through. Or microwave using 30 second intervals, stirring between each interval, until warmed through.
More Comfort Food Recipes
- One Pot Vegan Chili Mac
- Vegan Mac & Cheese
- Spinach & Ricotta Vegan Stuffed Shells
- West African Peanut Stew
- The Ultimate Tempeh Chili
- One Pot Penne Pasta with Mushrooms & Vegan Sausage
- See all vegan comfort food recipes on TSV!
If you try this easy goulash recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment and rate it below. I love to hear what you think, or any changes you make.Print
AMERICAN VEGAN GOULASH
This veganised classic American Goulash recipe is easy, home-style, comfort food! Made in one pot. Perfect for a crowd, family or weekly meal prep.
- Prep Time: 10 min
- Cook Time: 35 min
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: Serves 4 - 6 1x
- Category: Entree, Pasta
- Method: Simmer
- Cuisine: Vegan, American
- 1/4 cup of water or 2 tablespoons oil
- 2 (8oz.) packages tempeh, crumbled
- 1 large onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 green bell peppers, cored, seeds removed and diced
- 1 can (28oz.) diced tomatoes (pref. fire roasted)
- 1 can (14oz.) tomato sauce
- 1 1/2 teaspoons EACH dried oregano, basil and paprika
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon mineral salt, or to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 3 1/2 – 4 cups water or vegetable broth
- 2 cups elbow pasta (about 8 oz.)
- pepper, to taste
- fresh parsley, to serve
Saute: In a large pot, heat the water/oil over medium heat, add the tempeh (crumbing between your fingers), onion and bell pepper, saute for 5 – 7 minutes, until onions are soft and tempeh is lightly browned. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute more.
Simmer: Add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, oregano, basil, paprika, bay leaves, salt, and red pepper flakes and water/veggie broth. Stir well and bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the pasta and cook for 10 more minutes, or until pasta is tender, make sure to stir often so the pasta doesn’t stick to the bottom. Taste for flavor, adding more salt & pepper to taste.
Serve: Serve in individual bowls with a sprinkle of fresh chopped parsley.
Store: Leftovers will keep fresh in the fridge for 4 – 5 days in a covered container. To keep longer, store in the freezer for up to 2 – 3 months.
Tempeh: Feel free to use 1 package of tempeh, replacing the other with a can of red kidney beans (drained and rinsed). Also, if you don’t care for tempeh, omit it and use beans or 1 cup of cooked brown or green lentils.
Additional Veggies: Corn would be great in this goulash, adding a little sweetness and color. Feel free to use any color bell peppers you like. Mushrooms (8oz.) or diced carrots (1 cup) would be nice too, cooking with the onion.
Spices & herbs: Italian seasoning would be great here, instead of the individual herbs. Also, you can get away without using the bay leaves if you don’t have any on hand. If you have vegan Worcestershire sauce in the panty, try adding 1 tablespoon for a nice umami flavor.
Liquids: I love using this vegetable concentrate from Better Than Bouillon. For this recipe I recommend just using 1/2 teaspoon, no more than 1 teaspoon, for the best flavor.
Keywords: american vegan goulash, vegan goulash recipe