Hungarian Goulash is a delicious beef stew (or soup) with a rich paprika seasoned broth. This delicious dish is warm and comforting, perfect for a cold weather day.

Serve this over homemade noodles (or add potatoes) or with a side of bread or Biscuits to sop up any of the broth left in your bowl.

Overhead shot of Hungarian Goulash

Now that it’s autumn, the only real way to stay warm is this delicious Hungarian Goulash (gulyás). Homemade goulash is a staple in our family, and could not be more comforting as the sun turns to snow!

In this easy Hungarian Goulash recipe, tender chunks of beef, onions and tomatoes are simmered to tender perfection in a savory beef broth. YUM!  While I most often simmer this on the stove, you can also make this easy Hungarian Goulash in the oven. A house filled with the aromas of this stew is probably the most comforting way to say goodbye to my patio until next summer!

White bowl of Hungarian Goulash with two slices of bread in it

What Is Goulash?

Well for starters, it is one of the most delicious comfort food that exists (it’s up there with my oldest daughter’s favorite appetizer, jalapeno popper dip). A traditional Hungarian Goulash is a soup or stew that is usually filled with tender beef and onions spiced with paprika.

Many versions add other vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, onions, celery, peppers, and tomatoes.

It dates back centuries and was originally made by shepherds drying out meat to be able to store and then adding water to create a soup or stew. Everyone seems to have their own way of making this dish and adds different veggies. Regardless, Hungarian Goulash is very different from an American Goulash Recipe which is more of a tomato, beef and macaroni dish (and also sometimes known as American Chop Suey).

Goulash is seasoned with paprika and other fragrant spices like caraway seeds and sometimes even cajun! You will almost always find red meat in a Hungarian goulash, and because it is simmered at a lower temperature for a longer amount of time, it is the perfect way to use a cheaper cut of meat and save some money!

Ladle full of Hungarian Goulash

How To Make Goulash

To make the perfect Hungarian goulash you’ll want to start with onions and beef as the base and plenty of Hungarian Paprika! Fry the onions in butter until they are translucent.

Add the beef to the pan and sear it on all sides. Next, deglaze the pan by slowly adding the beef broth to it. Once deglazed, add the tomatoes and broth and season to taste.

Bring the Hungarian goulash to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover it, and simmer it for about an hour and a half (this is where it starts to smell like heaven throughout your house). Serve the goulash on its own or over spaetzle or spooned over Mashed Potatoes! We always serve it with bread or 30 Minute Dinner Rolls to sop up any leftover gravy.

What is Hungarian Paprika

Paprika is made from grinding up dried peppers. Peppers can range from hot to mild, so paprika will vary from region to region. In a lot of American cooking like deviled eggs, paprika is mainly used as a garnish.

In Hungarian cooking, paprika is usually used to flavor the dish instead of a garnish. Some paprika is smoked, some may be sweet, some may be mild, and some may have a stronger flavor. In Hungarian cooking, usually a mild to sweet paprika is used.

Bowl of Hungarian Goulash with bread slices in it

Hungarian goulash freezes perfectly, making it ideal to make in batches for the winter. I love quickly warming up a single serving of this goulash recipe for a quick lunch or dinner!

More Soups You’ll Love

Overhead shot of Hungarian Goulash
4.97 from 637 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Hungarian Goulash

Tender beef and potatoes in a beefy broth seasoned with paprika.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours
Servings 6 servings


  • 2 medium onions
  • 2 teaspoons butter or lard (preferred)
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 1 ½ pound stewing beef trimmed and cut into 1" cubes
  • 2 cups beef broth or water
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes canned
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper


  • 1 ½ cup carrots optional
  • 3 cups potatoes optional


  • In a large pot, melt butter and add onion. Cook till translucent. Stir in caraway seeds and paprika and mix well.
  • In a bowl, dredge the stew beef with flour. Add beef to the onion mixture and cook for about 2-3 minutes. 
  • Slowly add about ¼ cup of the beef broth to lift the brown bits off the bottom of the pan. Then add remaining broth, diced tomatoes (potatoes and carrots if using), salt and pepper. 
  • Stir and bring to a boil, cover, then reduce to a simmer for about 1 ½ -2 hours or until tender.
4.97 from 637 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 427 | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 84mg | Sodium: 662mg | Potassium: 1188mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 6585IU | Vitamin C: 20.5mg | Calcium: 92mg | Iron: 7mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Main Course, Soup
Cuisine Hungary

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Ladle of Hungarian Goulash with writing

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About the author

Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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Recipe Rating


  1. I am 82years young have read some of your recipes and can hardly wait to set down take a bigggg bite of “goulash “. I also had seen some “Hungarian” dishes that I would like to try think it was made with CASHEWS.

  2. This recipe is so simple to make and it comes out delicious every time! My family and friends love it. I found this recipe after returning from Budapest with paprika. This is a good as any I had in Hungary!!5 stars

  3. Too much liquid and lacked the depth of flavour of the goulash I had in Vienna. I’m still searching for that flavour from a recipe2 stars

  4. I never post comments, but this dish is so delicious I just have to say something. If I make a regular stew, inevitably my family misses the rich flavor of this one! This recipe never disappoints; everyone I’ve made it for loves it!

  5. Hi, I would love to make this- can it be made in a slow cooker and how long on high or low? Thank you :)

    1. Hi Aimee, we haven’t tried this recipe in the slow cooker but I would suggest 8-10 hours on low or 4-6 on high. Let us know how it goes

  6. Have made this several times and love how easy and flavorful it is, with a few additions. I add mushrooms, peppers, bay leaf, garlic, a little brown sugar, and a dash of fish sauce for extra umami. Omit the potatoes and it freezes beautifully!5 stars

  7. My family loves this recipe and requests it whenever the weather starts to cool down. It’s also a great one to scale up and make for big groups.5 stars

  8. This meal was delicious. I followed the recipe to a T and my family loved it. I just spent time in Budapest eating lots of goulash. This was as good as any I tasted there. I did buy some really good quality paprika while I was in Hungary.5 stars

  9. Going to try this recipe today. I assume I’m supposed to chop the onions? Not sure how fine, or if they should be sliced..Unfortunately your recipe does not specify.

  10. Excellent recipe, thank you.
    Very easy to make and it’s so delicious.

    We made our version replacing caraway with cumin seeds and it went great.
    Also adding sour cream and parsley as garnish.5 stars

  11. First time I’ve made this recipe. What a nice surprise as it was amazing, especially sopping up the gravy with crusty bread. Thank you for this recipe. It’s a keeper.5 stars

  12. This looks good sounds like it should be good I might have to try this one day. If I do and if I can find this page again I will definitely come back and leave A comment on how I’d like it.

    If anybody have some tips on this recipe in stuff I like more tips on how to make. You can always email me the tips or I’m on Facebook

    [email protected]

    Michael Archer

    1. To receive our newsletters to see more quick and easy recipes, you can sign up here or scroll down to the bottom of the post and you will see a signup box.

  13. This dish is outstanding. The caraway makes the sauce taste so rich and unique. I would even make this for company!5 stars

      1. That should work just fine Penny. I would cook this at 325°F for about 2 hours or until the meat is fork tender.

  14. I add one clove of crushed garlic and a bay leaf. I leave out the carrots and potatoes and serve with mashed potatoes or noodles. When I have it, I use Hungarian paprika.5 stars

  15. I have been using this receipt for two years and follow the receipt as written, with one exception, the one cup of crushed tomatoes – I use a 10 ounce can of diced tomatoes with hot peppers – I love the taste and everyone else who has had dinner at my home has loved it. It is a wonderful meal on those cold and rainy/snowy fall and winter nights. I use garlic bread with it. Thank you so much for the receipt.