Hungarian Goulash featured image
Hungarian Goulash is easy to make on the stovetop simply by simmering and sautéing basic ingredients to create a hearty beef stew or soup. The flavorful paprika-spiced sauce cooks the meat until fall-apart tender.
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Table of Contents
  1. What is Hungarian Goulash?
  2. Why We Love Hungarian Goulash
  3. Hungarian Goulash Ingredients
  4. Substitutions and Additions
  5. Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
  6. How to Make Hungarian Goulash
  7. Tips for Making the Best Hungarian Goulash
  8. How to Store Hungarian Goulash
  9. Frequently Asked Questions
  10. More Delicious Stew & Soup Recipes
  11. Hungarian Goulash Recipe

Hungarian Goulash is an iconic Hungarian dish and classic comfort food from Central Europe that’s been around for centuries. This traditional stew is made with beef and a variety of vegetables, simmered in a rich paprika sauce until everything is perfectly tender.

Whether you’re serving it as a main course or as a side dish, this hearty stew will quickly become a family favorite.

Hungarian Goulash hero image

What is Hungarian Goulash?

Hungarian Goulash is a traditional stew that hails from Hungary and can trace its origins back centuries.

It’s an iconic dish with plenty of variations, but the classic version consists of beef or pork slow-cooked with vegetables and spices like paprika, caraway seeds, garlic, pepper and onion. The result is a hearty and flavorful dish that is loved around the world.

With a few simple ingredients, this Hungarian Goulash easily makes a full-flavored, hearty dinner resembling the depth and richness of Hungary’s traditional gulyás, and with a taste that’s better than any American dressed-up beef stew.

This classic stew-type meal is a warm and hearty dish; a delicious bowl of comfort food that’s packed full of flavor for cold winter weather.

Why We Love Hungarian Goulash

  • Quick and easy to prepare and then cooks low and slow in one pot.
  • Made with simple ingredients and spices that create complex flavors.
  • Hearty, stick-to-your-ribs, soul-warming soup or stew that is perfect for cold weather.
  • Family-friendly filling meal that feeds a crowd.
  • Delicious dinner that can be made ahead or as a freezer meal.

Hungarian Goulash Ingredients

  • Shortening
  • Salted sweet cream butter
  • Sweet yellow onion
  • Fresh minced garlic
  • Whole caraway seeds
  • Beef stew meat: You can also use a 2 pound roast, cut into 1 inch chunks.
  • All-purpose flour
  • Smoked paprika: You can substitute the smoked paprika for sweet Hungarian paprika.
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh cracked black pepper
  • Beef broth
  • Canned petite diced tomatoes
  • Carrots
  • Creamer potatoes
  • Fresh chopped parsley

Substitutions and Additions

  • Best Cuts Of Beef: The best type of meat for this recipe is one that breaks down and becomes tender when cooking. In addition to beef stew meat, you can use a shoulder roast, blade roast, or any other similar roast in this goulash.
  • Switch The Shortening: Instead of shortening and butter, you can use pork lard or bacon grease (pork lard is traditionally used and imparts a great flavor).
  • Vegetarian Version: You can easily make this goulash vegetarian. You can use lentils or chickpeas in place of the beef.
  • Serving Suggestions: Serve this Hungarian Goulash over egg noodles, rice, or sop up any extra sauce with some bread.
hungarian goulash
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How to Make Hungarian Goulash

This Hungarian Goulash recipe easily makes a delicious beef stew or soup with a rich, flavorful paprika-seasoned broth. It is so simple to cook this delicious dish low and slow on the stovetop by sautéing and simmering basic ingredients into a warm and comforting cold weather meal.

  1. Melt the shortening and butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the diced onion and sauté for 5 – 6 minutes, stirring often.
  2. Add the minced garlic and caraway seeds and cook for 1 minute, stirring continuously. Dredge the cubed meat in flour.
  3. Add it to the pot, and cook for 6 – 7 minutes.
    Pro Tip: It is important to scrape the bottom of the stock to keep the flour from scorching.
  4. Add the beef broth to the pot and scrape the bottom to loosen the browned flour bits.  Add the remaining beef broth and the diced tomatoes to the pot.
  5. Stir in the smoked paprika, salt, and black pepper.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes. 
  6. Add the carrots, stir, cover, and continue to simmer for another 30 minutes. Add the potatoes, stir, cover, and simmer for the final 30 minutes.
  7. Remove from the heat and garnish with fresh parsley. Serve and enjoy!

Tips for Making the Best Hungarian Goulash

  • Hungarian Goulash is all about the paprika, so you’ll want a fresh, good quality Hungarian paprika.
  • Sautéing the caraway seeds really releases the aromatic flavor. It’s not a must, but it really makes a difference in the flavor.

How to Store Hungarian Goulash

  • To Store: Store any leftovers in an airtight container, in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • To Freeze: You can also freeze the goulash for up to 3 months. Allow the goulash to thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
  • To Reheat: Reheat leftover goulash in the microwave or on the stovetop in a large pot over a medium heat, stirring, until piping hot.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Hungarian Paprika?

Hungarian paprika is made from grinding up dried peppers (which are similar to red bell peppers), and sifting them through a variety of screens to produce a bright red flavorful powder.

What cut of beef is best for goulash?

There are several different cuts of beef that you could use when making a goulash. Regardless of which you choose, the goal, as it was for the Hungarians when this recipe was created, is to use cheaper accessible cuts of meat that tenderize with long cooking times. 

Is Hungarian Goulash the same as beef stew?

Hungarian goulash is very similar to beef stew, but there are some differences. While a typical stew consists of slow-braising chunks of meat with root vegetables in a seasoned broth, goulash uses spices such as caraway, cumin, paprika, and peppers to enhance and alter the flavor of a classic beef stew.

What should I serve with this Hungarian Goulash?

Goulash is traditionally served with a dollop of sour cream and a jar of hot paprika at the table. Some good crusty bread is also a great side to soak up all the delicious broth that is left behind in the bowl.
Some Hungarians like to serve their goulash accompanied by csipetke, which are small, fingernail-sized, pinched noodles.

More Delicious Stew & Soup Recipes

5 from 3 votes
Hungarian Goulash featured image

Hungarian Goulash

Serves — 10
Hungarian Goulash is easy to make on the stovetop simply by simmering and sautéing basic ingredients to create a hearty beef stew or soup. The flavorful paprika-spiced sauce cooks the meat until fall-apart tender.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr 50 mins

Ingredients
  

  • 3 tbsp shortening
  • 2 tbsp salted sweet cream butter
  • 2 cups diced sweet yellow onion
  • 2 tbsp fresh minced garlic
  • tsp whole caraway seeds
  • 2 lbs 1 inch cubed beef stew meat fat trimmed
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp smoked paprika
  • tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
  • 32 ounce beef broth
  • 14.5 ounce can petite diced tomatoes drained
  • 2 cups whole, peeled carrots cut into 1 inch chunks (4 medium sized carrots)
  • cups halved creamer potatoes
  • 1 tbsp fresh chopped parsley

Instructions
 

  • In a 5 – 6 quart heavy bottomed stock pot over medium-high heat, melt the shortening and butter.
  • Add the diced onion and sauté, uncovered, for 5 – 6 minutes, stirring often.
  • Add the minced garlic and the caraway seeds and cook for 1 minute, stirring continuously.
  • Dredge the cubed stew meat in the flour. Add to the stock pot and continue to cook for 6 – 7 minutes, scrapping the bottom of the stock to keep the flour from scorching.
  • Add 1 cup of the beef broth and scrape the bottom of the stock pot to loosen the browned flour bits.
  • Add the remaining beef broth and the drained diced tomatoes.
  • Stir in the smoked paprika, kosher salt and cracked black pepper.
  • Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Add the chopped carrots, stir, cover and continue to simmer for another 30 minutes.
  • Add the halved creamer potatoes, stir, cover and simmer for the final 30 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and garnish with the chopped fresh parsley.

Jenn’s Notes

Storage :
  • To Store: Store any leftovers in an airtight container, in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • To Freeze: You can also freeze the goulash for up to 3 months. Allow the goulash to thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
  • To Reheat: Reheat leftover goulash in the microwave or on the stovetop in a large pot over a medium heat, stirring, until piping hot.
Tips:
  • Hungarian Goulash is all about the paprika, so you’ll want a fresh, good quality Hungarian paprika.
  • Sautéing the caraway seeds really releases the aromatic flavor. It’s not a must, but it really makes a difference in the flavor.

Nutrition Info

Calories: 277kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 62mg | Sodium: 785mg | Potassium: 864mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 5761IU | Vitamin C: 20mg | Calcium: 61mg | Iron: 3mg
Jennifer Fishkind

About Jenn

Jenn is a mom to three beautiful boys, wife to an amazing husband, social influencer and blogger. I love all things easy recipes, easy crafts, all things hacks, traveling EVERYWHERE and feeding my Pinterest addiction!

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Meh… Hungarian Goulash is NOT a stew. It’s a soup. We call it goulash SOUP. (Gulyásleves.) Also, no shortening or butter. Just use oil or lard. (I don’t think too many people uses lard anymore, but definitely more authentic that way. Even if not more healthy…)

    Also no flour, and no beef broth. You don’t need beef broth – you’re cooking beef with vegetables in water so it will turn into a beef broth… But do add celeriac. Or, if you don’t have, celery. (We tend to use celeriac here, but they taste pretty similar, when cooked into a soup.)

    Oh, well, and we usually also add gnocchi-like mini dumplings called “nokedli”. It’s just eggs and flour (no potatoes). But it’s optional.