July 16, 2022

VEGAN RECIPE REVIEW: Mushroom Stroganoff

One meal that I absolutely love and don't get to eat very often is stroganoff--even before I became vegan, I preferred just mushrooms rather than meat. Unfortunately, nobody else in my family likes mushrooms (in fact, they despise them) so I don't use them much. It's hard to avoid mushrooms when a lot of recipes that look great to me include mushrooms! So I'm going to make things once in a while that I know I'm probably the only one who will eat it. I've always tried to accommodate everybody's tastes, but now it's my turn ;)

When I saw this super simple version of mushroom stroganoff on It Doesn't Taste Like Chicken, I thought it looked like an easy recipe for me to make just for myself. (I'll link to it again at the end of the post.) A lot of the other recipes I looked at contained either wine (I don't drink) or plain vegan yogurt. My Kroger doesn't carry plain vegan yogurt (I'm not at all a fan of yogurt, so I'm not sure I'd like it anyway). This recipe didn't call for either of those, so it was another reason to choose it.

Usually when I review recipes, I make them exactly as written; the only change I made for this stroganoff was to cut the recipe in half (two servings instead of four).

I really like the recipes from It Doesn't Taste Like Chicken--I've only made a few, including the half-failed nacho "cheese", but I like how simple they are and that you don't need all sorts of weird ingredients that you'll only use once. In fact, when I was at Barnes & Noble, I saw Sam Turnbull's cookbook (the creator of the recipes at It Doesn't Taste Like Chicken). I almost bought it but it was $25 and I have such a hard time buying cookbooks when you can get recipes for just about anything online.

After flipping through it for a while, I saw that there were very few recipes that I probably wouldn't make. For the rest, though, I probably already have 90% of the ingredients at home. I looked up the book on Amazon and it was only $14; so I just ordered it on Amazon and saved $11.

Anyway, onto the recipe review!

Like I said, there are very few ingredients for this stroganoff:

Pasta for serving, vegan butter, onion, thyme, black pepper, salt, vegetable broth, plain non-dairy milk, garlic, and, of course, mushrooms.

I started with the pasta to get the water boiling while I was cutting up the onion and mushrooms. Then I made the sauce--broth, milk, flour, thyme, salt, and black pepper. I put it into a mason jar and shook it until it was well blended. Then I set that aside.

While the pasta was cooking, I heated a skillet over medium heat and added the onions and garlic. I stirred almost constantly to keep the garlic from burning.

Once the onion was translucent and soft, it was time to add the mushrooms.

Again, I just let this cook until the mushrooms were soft and turning brown.

After that, I poured in the sauce mixture. The sauce is very thin, but the flour in it will thicken it up once it comes to a boil.

As soon as it was at gentle boil, it thickened right up and it looked delicious!

Question for any of you that are familiar with vegan cooking or just non-dairy cooking. If you look closely, you can see little white spots that made me wonder if the almond milk got curdled from the heat. Is this something that happens with non-dairy milk? Do I need to keep it at a lower temp or add it in later? Or is this normal? I didn't notice it when I was eating it (it didn't feel gritty or anything), but I was just curious.

I divided it into two servings and poured it over pasta. It looked good! I would say it looked more like a mushroom gravy than stroganoff, but still good. I think when we hear words like "stroganoff", it puts an expectation in our heads; and then we are disappointed when it doesn't taste like what you're imagining. So, I would have called this "creamy mushroom pasta" or something like that.

The sauce thickened up a bit after I took these pictures, and it made it look even better.

But most importantly, the taste! I was the only one in the house to try this recipe; not only was I home alone, but I know my kids would groan about tasting a mushroom and they would form opinions before they even tried it.

When I tasted it, I had two thoughts: 1) Yum! Mushrooms and pasta are favorites of mine; and 2) There is quite a bit of thyme in this and it's a dominating flavor. I do like thyme, but I think next time I would only use half the amount. Still, I ate it and enjoyed it. The ratio of sauce to pasta was perfect! I used the recommended amount of pasta--2.5 ounces (dry) per serving.

As far as being filling... the dish was light enough that I didn't feel full or sick afterward. It seemed to be just the right amount. I ate it later than usual so I didn't need a snack before bed; it was filling enough that I was satisfied.

I have leftovers in the fridge, which I'll eat tonight. Would I make this again? Definitely! Although, next time I would cut the amount of thyme in half.

I'm sure I'll be trying out more of Sam's recipe from the cookbook; if I come across anything that I think is worth sharing, I'll be sure to do so!


  1. You might try finding a vegan substitute for Worcestershire sauce to add to the dish, which to me is key to the taste of stroganoff. A dash of soy sauce and apple cider vinegar, with a touch of sweetener for balance, would help replace what's missing from the flavor.

    1. Great idea! I found a vegan Worcestershire sauce that I've used a few times. I'll definitely add that next time. It was a good dinner! I just felt one or two small tweaks would have made it even better.


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