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It dates back centuries and was originally made by shepherds drying out meat to be able to store and then adding water to create a soup or stew.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!

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Overhead shot of Hungarian Goulash
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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

Ingredients  

  • 2 medium onions diced
  • 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

Optional

  • 1 ½ cup carrots optional
  • 3 cups potatoes optional

Instructions 

  • 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 748 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

Hungarian goulash with writing

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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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Comments

  1. Can this Hungarian Goulash be made in a slow cooker/crockpot? How long should it cook if the answer is yes? Thanks for any help!5 stars

    1. Hi Gail, we haven’t tried this recipe in the slow cooker but I would suggest 8-10 hours on low or 4-6 on high. I would love to hear how it turns out!

    1. Hi Julia, I would say gold are probably better for this dish but you can use any potatoes you have in your pantry! I would love to hear how it turns out for you :)

  2. Holly, I made the Hungarian Goulash last night for dinner. My family loved it! I ordered genuine Hungarian paprika. This is the best recipe for Hungarian Goulash that I have found. Thank you

    Penny P.
    Texas

    1. Hi Peter, you should be able to scroll down or use the jump to recipe button at the top of the page to see the entire recipe with ingredients, quantities, and cooking instructions. I hope that helps!

  3. I LOVE this recipe. My husband always asks for it, especially during the cold months. Just to clarify – did you mean 2 teaspoons or tablespoons of butter/lard? I always use 2 tablespoons.5 stars

  4. My father and I went to a diner last week and he ordered Beef Goulash. He told me it had no flavor and was very watery. I explained that what he was probably thinking of was Hungarian Beef Goulash. I promised him I would find a good recipe and make it for him. I found this recipe and it has good reviews, so I made it for him today. I had Hungarian Paprika. He’s 91 years old and has the heartiest appetite but never gives anything a great review. He always says that it could use this or that and so on…lol. He had this with noodles and loved it so much. I don’t eat meat so I personally can not give a description of the taste. I can say it came out perfect. I will make this for my dad again.5 stars

    1. My dad is also 91 (turning 91 in April) and are you sure we don’t have the same dad?? I say this because he, too, has a hearty appetite, but rarely gives anything my sisters or I cook for him, a great review (and we’re pretty good cooks!). He was also a very good cook when he starting cooking after he retired (and for my mom, when she got sick and could no longer cook herself). I plan to make this for ‘my’ dinner night with him tomorrow night. Fingers crossed!

    1. Hi Nancy, to make a little thicker, you could increase the flour slightly. Or if it isn’t thick enough towards the end of cooking you could add a flour and water mixture then to thicken it.

  5. This turned out well, and my teens both devoured it and said I should make it again, including the picky one. I added the potatoes in the last half hour so they wouldn’t get too mushy. I think I’ll order some Hungarian paprika before making it again (used just standard grocery store brand paprika this time).5 stars

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

  6. This is a fantastic goulash recipe! My daughter and I traveled to Budapest and fell in love with both the city and its cuisine. Upon returning home, I wanted to recreate the wonderful foods I fell in love with in Hungary and found this recipe. It did not disappoint, its flavor and texture are just as I remember, a truly delicious and authentic experience!5 stars

  7. Just made this exactly according to recipe but I added bell peppers with the onion and I used a venison roast. My kids aren’t necessarily picky eaters but man did they scarf this!!5 stars

  8. very good. I did add a little garlic and onion powder and a dab of garlic paste to mine. I also sliced potatoes into chips and baby carrots.5 stars