This creamy vegan paprikash substitutes mushrooms for meat! Made with peppers and onions in a smoky cashew-based paprika sauce, this will be your new favorite comfort food meal.
Well, I already learned that I’m a big fan of vegan goulash, despite never having tasted non-vegan goulash in my life. Since starting this blog I’ve made vegan versions of traditional and American goulash.
I just learned that goulash has a cousin: paprikash. Paprikash is kind of like goulash, but with a creamy sauce. Of course I had to make a vegan version happen asap!
What You’ll Need
- Raw cashews. This is what we’ll be using to create our creamy sauce. It’s important that they’re raw (roasted ones won’t work), and you’ll need to soak them in water for a few hours before getting started.
- Vegetable broth. I used Better Than Bouillon’s roasted vegetable flavor.
- Cooking oil. I like olive oil, but feel free to use your favorite high-heat oil.
- Mushrooms. The recipe calls for cremini mushrooms (also known as baby portobellos), but button mushrooms will work in a pinch!
- Vegan butter. Look for brands like Earth Balance or Miyoko’s.
- Yellow onion.
- Red bell pepper.
- Garlic. This probably isn’t an ingredient in traditional paprikash, but it adds a nice bit of flavor.
- Paprika. Sweet paprika is required for the recipe, but feel free to also include a bit of hot or smoked paprika for extra flavor.
- Diced tomatoes. Use the canned kind.
- Lemon juice.
- Salt and pepper.
- Cooked rice. For serving! Feel free to use noodles instead if you like.
- Sauerkraut. Also for serving, and totally optional!
How to Make Mushroom Paprikash
The following is a detailed photo tutorial on how to make this dish. Scroll down if you’d like to skip straight to the recipe!
First, make sure you’ve soaked your cashews in water for a few hours before getting started. If you forget, try boiling them for 15 minutes, but know that they might not blend up as smooth.
- Place the cashews into a blender or food processor with some broth and blend them up until they’re smooth.
- Heat up some oil in a skillet and add sliced mushrooms in an even layer. Let them cook for a few minutes on each side, until they’re browned and tender. Make sure not to crowd the skillet — this may mean cooking them in batches.
- Take the mushrooms out of the skillet and transfer them to a plate.
- Now heat up some vegan butter in the skillet, then add sliced onions. Cook the onions for 10 minutes or so, until they soften and start to brown.
- Now add some roughly chopped red bell pepper. Cook it with the onion for 5 minutes or so, until they begin to soften up.
- Stir in the garlic and paprika. Cook everything for just about a minute more, until the garlic becomes very fragrant.
- Return the mushrooms to the skillet, then stir in some diced tomatoes and vegetable broth, raise the heat, and simmer the veggies for 10 minutes or so, until the peppers are tender.
- Now stir in the cashew mixture.
- Bring the sauce up to a simmer and let it cook for just about a minute or so.
- Take the skillet off the burner and season your paprikash with some lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
It’s ready! Serve your paprikash over rice and with some sauerkraut, if you like. Dig on in!
Mushroom Paprikash Tips & FAQ
- Is this dish gluten-free? It is!
- Shelf-life & storage: Leftovers will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for about 4 days, or in the freezer for about 3 months.
- How can I get the cashew cream super smooth? The best way is to use a high-powered blending device, like a Vitamix. If you don’t have one, the sauce might not look as smooth, but it will still be creamy and delicious. I made cashew-based sauces using a Ninja for years and never once did anyone complain that it wasn’t perfectly smooth.
- If cremini mushrooms aren’t available, feel free to substitute portobellos or button mushrooms.
- Not into rice? This dish would be awesome over pasta.
- 1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water 4-8 hours, drained and rinsed
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth, divided
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pound cremini mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
- 1 tablespoon vegan butter
- 1/2 pound yellow onion (about 2 medium onions), thinly sliced
- 1 medium red bell pepper, roughly chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons sweet paprika*
- 1 14 ounce or 400 gram can diced tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Cooked rice, for serving
- Sauerkraut, for serving (optional)
- Place the cashews and 1/2 cup of broth into a blender or the bowl of a food processor fitted with an s-blade. Blend until smooth. Set aside.
- Coat the bottom of a large skillet with the oil and place it over medium heat.
- When the oil is hot, add the mushrooms in an even layer. Avoid crowding the skillet, and cook them in batches if needed.
- Cook the mushrooms for about 5 minutes on each side, until browned and tender.
- Remove the mushrooms from the skillet and transfer them to a plate.
- Melt the butter in the skillet, then add the onion. Cook the onion for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft and lightly browned.
- Stir in the pepper and continue cooking it with the onion for about 5 minutes, until it begins to soften.
- Stir in the garlic and paprika. Continue cooking and stirring everything for about 1 minute, until the garlic becomes very fragrant.
- Return the mushrooms to the skillet and stir in the tomatoes and remaining broth.
- Raise the heat, bring the broth to a simmer, and cook the veggies, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, until the peppers are tender.
- Stir in the cashew mixture and continue cooking everything for about 1 minute, until very hot. You can thin the sauce with some water or extra broth if it becomes too thick.
- Remove the skillet from heat and stir in the lemon juice. Season the mixture with salt and pepper to taste.
- Divide onto plates and serve with rice and sauerkraut.
*Feel free to substitute a bit of smoked or hot paprika for extra flavor.