The next time someone dares to tell you that you can’t have it all, serve them this Vegan Mushroom Stroganoff. Undeniably creamy, and yet made entirely without cream (or any dairy!), this plant-based dinner is filling, healthy, AND tastes like a plate of pure comfort!
While I love a rich, cheesy pasta as much as the next sane human (Mushroom Pasta anyone?) I also appreciate healthy meals that leave me feeling elated and empowered for making nutritious choices for myself.
But can you have them both?
Food that speaks to your creamy pasta-loving soul and food that nourishes your body?
As my collection of healthy pasta recipes, demonstrates, you never ever should have to sacrifice flavor to eat well.
This vegan mushroom stroganoff is an ideal example!
Whether or not you follow a vegan diet, it’s a marvelous recipe and one worthy of your meal rotation.
The fact that it is vegan is a happy by-product.
Cheers for plant power!
Making Creamy Stroganoff Sauce without Cream
Stroganoff recipes, like reader-favorite classic Beef Stroganoff, Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff, Chicken Stroganoff, and Instant Pot Beef Stroganoff, are prized for their comforting, creamy sauce and deeply savory flavor.
My challenge when making stroganoff vegan was to create a sauce that had a similar all-American vibe and creamy texture, without the use of actual cream.
While I found a number of recipes for vegan mushroom stroganoff with coconut milk, I worried that using coconut milk to thicken the sauce would taste (and there is no polite way to say this) weird.
When it comes to doing justice to stroganoff, one of the most iconic dishes of my Midwest upbringing, it just didn’t feel right.
5 Star Review
“I love this lightened-up version because it still has everything I love about stroganoff.”
Instead, I turned to a different trick to create vegan recipes that taste so velvety, rich, and even cheesy, no one will suspect they are dairy-free: cashews.
Soaked, blended cashews have a gloriously creamy texture that’s ideal for pasta sauces (this Dairy Free Penne Alla Vodka uses blended nuts too).
The flavor is pleasantly neutral.
You’ll taste a subtle nuttiness, and when combined with nutritional yeast, cashews can even make recipes taste “cheesy.”
Taste any of them, and you’ll be a believer too!
How to Make Vegan Mushroom Stroganoff
While the cashews are the base of this vegan mushroom stroganoff’s tasty texture, they are not the only ingredient at play.
To mimic the savoriness that would typically come from the stroganoff beef, I turned to a handful of other ingredients known for their umami intensity.
- Cashews. Cashews become the base for our creamy, vegan sauce. Not only do they add wonderful flavor and create a scrumptious texture, but they also pack this dish with protein.
- Cremini Mushrooms. The first component of our umami bomb. Mushrooms are the key to creating depth, just like in this Mushroom Soup.
- Dried Thyme. Adds an herbal component that complements the mushrooms perfectly.
- Smoked Paprika. More umami goodness is packed into this smoky spice.
- All-Purpose Flour. A little flour helps create our thick and luscious sauce.
- Soy Sauce. The final umami ingredient that gives the dish a delicious saltiness too.
- Nutritional Yeast. Gives the sauce a “cheesy” factor that, while not traditional in stroganoff, works magic to make this pasta satisfying and a dead ringer for the real deal.
- Sherry. Adds a little sweetness and a touch of acidity. Red wine vinegar would also work well here.
- Whole Wheat Pasta. I chose to use whole wheat pasta for its nutritional benefits, like more fiber.
- Blend the cashews.
- Saute the mushrooms and onions.
- Pour in the soy sauce.
- Stir in the flour.
- Pour in some vegetable broth.
- Add more broth and the noodles, stirring to combine. Cover and bring the mixture to a boil. Stir, then let simmer for 9 to 10 minutes.
- Remove the pot from the heat, and stir in the cashews, nutritional yeast, and vinegar. Serve with fresh parsley and DIG IN!
This mushroom stroganoff will pair nicely with Pinot Noir, Malbec, dry Riesling, or Chardonnay.
- To Store. Refrigerate stroganoff in an airtight storage container for up to 4 days.
- To Reheat. Gently rewarm leftovers in a Dutch oven on the stovetop over medium-low heat.
- To Freeze. Freeze leftovers in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
Meal Plan Tip
Slice the mushrooms up to 1 day in advance, refrigerating them in an airtight storage container until you’re ready to cook. You can also blend the soaked cashews and broth up to 1 day in advance and store the mixture in a separate storage container in the refrigerator until you’re ready to cook.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Dutch Oven. Perfect for making this mushroom stroganoff.
- Blender. Great for pureeing the cashews for the sauce.
- Measuring Spoons. These double-sided spoons make cleanup a breeze.
This satisfying vegan stroganoff makes going meatless a joy, not a burden. I hope it brings as much comfort to your table as it does to ours!
Vegan Mushroom Stroganoff
- 3/4 cup raw cashews* soaked in water for at least 4 hours or up to 10 hours
- 3 1/4 to 4 cups low sodium vegetable broth divided
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion diced
- 24 ounces cremini mushrooms thinly sliced
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 2 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt plus additional to taste
- 2 cloves garlic minced (about 2 teaspoons)
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 tablespoon sherry or red wine vinegar
- 8 ounces whole wheat rotini**
- Chopped fresh parsley optional for serving
- Drain the cashews, then place them in a blender with 3/4 cup of the vegetable broth. Puree until smooth, thick, and creamy. Depending upon your blender, this may take several minutes and you may need to stop and scrape down the blender a few times. The mixture will be the consistency of a thin paste. Set aside.
- In a large, deep skillet or a Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid, heat the olive oil over medium. Add the onion and cook until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes.
- Add the mushrooms. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are browned and softened and have given up their liquid, about 10 to 12 minutes.
- Stir in the thyme, smoked paprika, black pepper, salt, and garlic. Cook, stirring to coat the mushrooms, until the garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Stir in the soy sauce. Let cook until the soy sauce evaporates, about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- Sprinkle the flour over the top, then stir so that it coats the mushrooms. Continue stirring until all of the white bits of flour disappear.
- Pour in 1 cup of the remaining broth. Stir and work any stuck-on bits off the bottom of the pan.
- Add 1 1/2 cups of the remaining broth and the noodles. Stir to combine and cover the pan. Bring the liquid to a boil, then immediately remove the lid and stir again. Re-cover, then reduce the heat to a low simmer. Let simmer until the noodles are al dente and most of the liquid is absorbed, about 9 to 10 minutes. Check every minute or so to give the noodles another stir and run a rubber spatula or wooden spoon along the bottom of the pan to prevent sticking, recovering the pan each time. If at any point, the noodles look dry, splash in more of the remaining broth. Adjust the heat as needed so that you maintain a gentle simmer.
- Once the noodles are tender, remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the blended cashews, nutritional yeast, and vinegar. If the sauce is too thick at any point, splash in more broth to loosen it (I ended up adding almost all 4 cups by the end.) Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve hot.
- *In lieu of the blended cashews, you can use 2/3 cup of a thick, non-dairy yogurt (bring it to room temperature and let the noodles cool for a few minutes before stirring it in) or vegan cream cheese, cut into pieces and softened to room temperature; if you go this route, add 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice or an additional 1/2 to 1 tablespoon vinegar.
- **Egg noodles are more traditional for stroganoff, but I find it harder to locate the whole wheat variety, compared to easy-to-find rotini, and rotini holds up a bit better when cooking a one-pan pasta too. If you’d like to use egg noodles, start with only 2 cups additional broth in Step 6; the pasta will cook more quickly, in about 7 minutes. Keep an eye on it and add more liquid as needed.
- TO STORE: Refrigerate stroganoff in an airtight storage container for up to 4 days.
- TO REHEAT: Gently rewarm leftovers in a Dutch oven on the stovetop over medium-low heat.
- TO FREEZE: Freeze leftovers in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
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