Summertime Stroganoff; A Light & Healthy Vegetarian version, No Heavy or Sour Cream!

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This has instantly become one of my favorite high protein, low-calorie dishes. The creamy umami sauce, sweet peas, and meaty mushrooms keep my Summertime Stroganoff hearty without all the fat. Low cost, Freezer/pantry friendly ingredients make it a great weekday choice. Even better news: other than a pot to boil the noodles, this dinner is made in ONE pan! Why save the comfort food recipes for cold weather? I am delighted to take a heavy, gut-buster gravy and make it into something that can be enjoyed any time of year.(Vegetarian) Summertime Stroganoff-

Where it all started…

Stroganoff is a dish I’d consistently wished to try from childhood well into adulthood. Many restaurants have the rich dish on their menu. However, each time, after a quick dash to the kitchen by our server to verify with the chef, I’ve been told their recipe includes sour cream. My stomach and sour cream are not friends. I’m not sure why, but since I was a kid, it was something I always had to avoid. (I’ll spare you the details of how my belly tells me to steer clear.) Although dissatisfied, I’d made peace with my unrequited love of Stroganoff.

While my husband was on assignment in Manhattan, NYC for nearly a year, we built a close relationship with an elegantly stylish, accomplished, and senior nurse, Paulina. Born and raised in Crimea, she remained unapologetic for both her love of country and Vladimir Putin. We always laughed through our discomfort of the latter, but as someone still working 16-hour days well into her early 70’s, we never found it necessary to push back on her views. Our friendship was solid in our love for this country, patient care, and obsession with good food.

A Proper Introduction to Russian Food(Vegetarian) Summertime Stroganoff-

To celebrate her birthday, she invited us to an upscale Russian Restaurant in Greenwich Village where velvet covered dome chairs, golden chandeliers, and tufted walls greeted us. After sharing and assortment of sipping glasses of vodka and Russian sodas at the bar, we moved to our table in the center of the restaurant. Paulina with her back to the wall where she could more easily hold court, wine was served, and the meal began. Over the course of our 3 hour dinner, our hostess ordered what she wanted whether or not on the menu. She regularly went so far as to tell our servers to explain to the chef how she wanted particular items prepared, seldom in English. They knew her, and not to question a woman of such stock. Every dish, with the exclusion of the pickled herring, was exquisite! From crispy, moist Chicken Kiev to the light and custardy layers of a Napoleon pastry, these dishes I’d seen on menus a million times before now carried new flavor definitions in my memory.

(Vegetarian) Summertime Stroganoff-

REAL Stroganoff

About half way into our meal, she ordered (in the most literal sense of the word) a large platter of Beef Stroganoff. I was quietly disappointed knowing the creamy sauce was made from the disagreeable sour cream. When it arrived smelling heavenly and looking of a beautiful muted orange, I sat back in my chair and watched as others closed their eyes in indulgence after first bite. Instantly taking notice, Polina demanded an explanation. After embarrassingly explaining I couldn’t have sour cream, she laughed, rolled her eyes, patted her perfectly coiffed chignon, and said in her slightly faded Russian accent, “Real Stroganoff is with heavy cream, not sour cream. Diis real Stroganoff.” Knowing better than to question her, I gave in to my elation and took all of .25 seconds to dive in.(Vegetarian) Summertime Stroganoff-

The rich cream sauce over soft al dente noodles and umami rich mushrooms was everything I’d imagine it to be. It was so exquisite I ordered my own to take home that night! Since then I’ve recognized that as much as I love the dish, heavy cream isn’t something our arteries, or hips, can handle too often. So I set out to construct a healthier version with a satisfying, flavorful sauce perfect for warm Summer days, and the cool Fall nights.


(Vegetarian) Summertime Stroganoff- HeDoesXrayIDoFood.comMeaty and Meat-Free

I chose to make this vegetarian because traditional Stroganoff is made with lean beef that must be cooked “low and slow” for a long time to keep from turning to shoe leather. During the Summer, the last thing I want is to stay indoors with the stove on all day.

Using Gardein’s Beefless Tips give the meaty texture, flavor, and protein expected in this traditional meat lover’s recipe. You can find a bag in your grocery store’s “meat substitute” section of the freezer aisle. If you aren’t able to find it, just double the mushrooms and follow the “Chef’s NOTE”. And of course I had to add in frozen peas. I did so not merely for an extra punch of protein, but because to me they signify sunny weather and its bright, colorful food. (I’m notorious for sneaking them into everything.)

Want to another great Meatless Re-make to test this Summer? Grab a bun and try my: Philly Cheese”Fakes”; Vegetarian Cheese Steak Sandwiches, a healthier option to satisfy the craving

(Vegetarian) Summertime Stroganoff-


(Vegetarian) Summertime Stroganoff

Serves 4


(Vegetarian) Summertime Stroganoff-
Click to see Nutrition facts
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 bag Gardein Beefless Tips (Or mushroom substitute, see Chef’s NOTE below)
  • 6 oz “No Yolk” egg noodles
  • 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp, or 1/2 a large shallot, minced
  • 8 oz sliced baby portabella mushrooms
  • 3/4 cup veg broth
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 6 oz (3/4 cup) 2% Evaporated milk
  • 1/2 tsp Dried mustard
  • 1/2  tsp sweet paprika
  • 1/2 tsp sea Salt (start with 1/4 if using table salt and add to taste)
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • black pepper


Chef’s NOTE: If not using  Gardein Beefless Tips , double mushrooms to 16oz (1lb), vegetable broth to 1 1.4 cup, and white wine vinegar to 4 tbsp (1/4 cup).


  1. Heat 2 tsp olive oil over medium heat and sauté the frozen Gardein Beefless Tips until they are cooked through. (Follow package directions.) Move them to a plate and set aside. Keep this pan and burner available.
  2. On a separate burner, bring water to a boil in a pot and follow package directions to cook noodles. Drain well and return to the pot. Stir in the 1/2 tbsp of butter and mix until melted and distributed throughout the noodles. Reserve and keep warm.
  3. In the pan where you cooked the Beefless Tipsover medium heat melt the butter. Sauté the shallots until soft.
  4. Add in the mushrooms and coat in shallots and butter by stirring to combine. Pour in the vegetable broth and white wine vinegar. Cook, stirring so they don’t burn until the liquid thickens and coats the mushrooms. Remember the mushrooms will throw out their own liquid as well, so be patient.
  5. Lower heat to medium low and stir in evaporated milk, dried mustard, paprika, and salt. Stir to combine and fold in frozen peas. Simmer until sauce has thickened, a few minutes. Add in the reserved Beefless Tips and stir to coat with salt. Season to taste pepper, and more salt if needed.
  6. Divide noodles between 4 bowls. Top with “beef” mixture and enjoy!(Vegetarian) Summertime Stroganoff-
    All images & content are copyright protected. DO NOT use images without prior permission. To republish recipe, link back and use proper attribution such as “adapted from”. Thank you.

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