Vegan Pepper Steak with Mushrooms is a one pot, “meaty” vegetarian dish. It’s loaded with mushrooms, peppers, and onions and has great depth of flavor. Served over rice, it’s total comfort food.
Pepper steak was always a favorite meal of mine growing up. It was also my husband’s favorite meal and my son is following in those footsteps, too.
I decided to create a vegan version of this delicious Chinese-American meal. I’m happy to report that my husband loved it just as much as I do!
This Vegan Pepper Steak with Mushrooms is far from authentic, but it’s a delicious new twist on a classic Chinese takeout dinner. And it’s ready in under an hour!
Ingredients you need
Ingredient notes and substitutions
Mushrooms ~ Mushrooms don’t always make the perfect replacement for meat, but they work incredibly well in this dish, soaking up the flavors of the rich tomato based sauce.
I typically use white button mushrooms, but you could use sliced portobellos, or shiitakes, if you prefer.
Peppers ~ This vegan pepper steak uses two bell peppers. I like to use one green and one red. Growing up, my mom always made it with just green. My mother-in-law makes hers with just red. Use what you like.
Onions ~ Use one yellow or white onion. Halve it and then slice thinly.
Tomatoes ~ I have always liked pepper steak extra saucy so I add a can of tomato purée or tomato sauce along with the diced tomatoes. You can leave out the purée/sauce if you want a less saucy, more traditional stir fry.
Seasonings ~ Soy sauce and a little pure maple syrup for balance is about all you need. Feel free to use tamari instead of soy sauce for a gluten-free option.
I like to add a dash or two of liquid smoke to create a more “steaky” flavor, but it’s optional so no need to rush out to buy it if you don’t already have it.
Feel free to add salt and pepper, as needed, to suit your tastes.
Oil – I use oil to sauté the onions and peppers. For an oil-free option, use vegetable broth or water.
Extras ~ I like to keep this recipe fairly simple, but feel free to add fresh chopped garlic and/or ginger if you like.
Serve this stir fry dish over fluffy, cooked rice and garnish with sliced green onions.
How to make the recipe
Please scroll down to the recipe card for exact ingredient measurements and instructions.
1 Sauté the sliced mushrooms in a dry non-stick skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until they release their liquid. Continuing sautéing until the liquid evaporates and the mushrooms start to brown. Remove from the skillet and set aside.
2 In the same skillet, sauté the sliced onions until translucent and starting to brown.
3 Add the chopped peppers and sauté for a few minutes until starting to become tender.
4 Add the diced tomatoes and tomato purée, if using, and simmer until thick and saucy.
Note: Many recipes call for the use of cornstarch to thicken the sauce, but it’s not necessary in this particular recipe.
5 Add the mushrooms back to the skillet, stir well to combine, and simmer for a few more minutes to heat through.
Traditionally, pepper steak is served with white rice. You could serve this vegan mushroom pepper steak with brown rice, quinoa, or stir fry noodles, if you prefer.
Fridge: Store leftover vegan pepper steak separate from any rice used for serving. Both will keep in air-tight containers in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.
Freezer: I don’t recommend freezing this recipe.
The name pepper steak comes from the two main ingredients of the dish – bell peppers and steak.
Vegan Pepper Steak has the same general flavors and textures of the original, but this version uses mushrooms in place of the steak. You may also find other vegan pepper steak recipe made with seitan, soy curls, or store-bought vegan steak.
I hope you love this recipe as much as we do! If you tried it, please use the rating system in the recipe card and leave a comment below with your feedback.
Be sure to sign up for my FREE Newsletter to be the first to get my NEW recipes! You can also follow me on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest.
For even more easy family recipes, be sure to check out my cookbook, The Meatless Monday Family Cookbook!
Vegan Mushroom Pepper Steak
- 1 package (10 oz) sliced mushrooms
- 2 tablespoons olive oil use water or veggie broth for an oil-free option
- 1 yellow onion sliced thin
- 1 green bell pepper seeded and cut into bite-size pieces
- 1 red bell pepper seeded and cut into bite-size pieces
- 1 can (15 oz) diced tomatoes
- 1 can (15 oz) tomato purée or tomato sauce optional
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari or liquid aminos
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- 2 dashes liquid smoke optional
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups cooked rice for serving, optional
- 2-3 green onions sliced, for serving, optional
- Heat a large non-stick pan over medium heat on the stove. Add the sliced mushrooms and sauté, stirring frequently, until cooked down, about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the mushrooms to a plate or bowl and set aside.
- In the same pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté 4 to 5 minutes, until softened and translucent. Add the chopped bell peppers and sauté another 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add the diced tomatoes, tomato purée, if using, soy sauce, pure maple syrup, and liquid smoke, if using. Bring to a simmer, then turn down the heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thickened.
- Add the mushrooms, stir to combine, and simmer another 2 to 3 minutes to heat through.
- Serve hot over rice and garnished with sliced green onions.
Nutrition facts calculated for Vegan Pepper Steak sauce only, not including any rice or green onions for serving.
Nutrition values are calculated using online calculators and are estimates only. Please verify using your own data.