Portuguese Mains, Veganised traditional Portuguese dishes


Rancho is a typical dish from the northeast of the country. The traditional one is quite heavy, with loads of pork, chorizo and other similar meaty products… I was never a big fan of it, but I must say, this vegan version is so good, still filling, but the right kind of filling feeling afterwards (confusing?!). It is quite versatile, you can opt to use meat substitutes like seitan and chorizo, or not at all, it’ll be lovely anyway, and super easy to make.

Time: 50 min approx.

Type: main dish

Difficulty: 1 pan

Serves 4 people

What you need


1 white onion, finely chopped

2 garlic clove, finely chopped

2 tbs olive oil

1 bay leaf

½ savoy cabbage cut into small pieces

1 big carrot, cut into small pieces

1 can chickpeas

2 handfuls of penne pasta

2 big potatoes, cut into small cubes

1 big beef tomato cut into small pieces

1 tbsp paprika

Salt to taste

Optional: 150g marinated seitan cut into small chunks (marinate in enough white wine, paprika, shredded bay leaf and garlic powder for at least a couple of hours) OR/AND a few slices of vegan chourizo (you can add both if you want it a bit more ‘meaty’)


Large pan


Chopping board


Finely chop the onion and garlic cloves;

Cut the potatoes, cabbage and carrot and set aside;

Heat the olive oil in a large pan over a medium-low heat. Gently fry the onion, garlic, carrot and bay leaf for a few minutes;

Add fresh tomato and let it cook for a few minutes until the tomato is nice and soft;

Add cabbage, mix well and pour enough warm water to cover – let it cook for about 15 minutes;

Add potatoes, pasta, seitan/ chorizo (if using), paprika and salt to taste, cover with lead and let it cook in medium heat until all is cooked through (might take another 15 minutes)- you can add more water if necessary, this dish should be a bit moist, but not a soup!

Once vegetables are cooked through, allow it to sit for about 10/15 minutes for the flavours to set.

Note: you can also use cabbage and broccoli for example instead of only cabbage, or other green leaf veggies- the basics that shouldn’t change are potatoes, carrot, pasta and chickpeas.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.