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It dates back centuries and was originally made by shepherds drying out meat to be able to store and then adding water to create a soup or stew.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 780 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 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


  • 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 780 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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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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Recipe Rating


  1. I turned the crock pot to high and melted the butter, added the onions, spices, dredged beef, and gave it a couple good stirs to mix everything together nicely. Then added liquids and cooked for 6 hours on high. Added the potatoes and carrots for the last 2 hours. Texture of everything was perfect! Need to get an authentic Hungarian paprika next and cut the beef in thicker cubes…thanks Holly for this delicious recipe!

  2. Instead of adding potatoes to cook with the stew, I boiled separately until just tender enough to get a firm slice after draining. . Mix in with olive oil , garlic, salt, pepper and bake in oven until
    brown and crisp. Serve on top of the stew. Deelish.5 stars

  3. Made this recipe today. It is amazing. Only changes I made was slow cooking onion, beef and sauce 3 hours. Then in the last hour putting carrots and potatoes in. Beef was tender, vegetables soft yet all had a nice firmness also. Don’t like when vegetables and meat are turned into moosh. Spicewise I added a little fresh garlic and cumin. Otherwise recipe ingredients and proportions as listed. Great comfort food with plenty of flavor without being to spicy for the rest of the family.5 stars

  4. Made this tonight, it was delicious! Did everything according to directions, I also added in minced garlic(about one tablespoon), carrots, and two bay leaves. Cooked for 2 hours, came out perfect. After cooking for 1.5 hours, I made a corn starch slurry(1tbsp corn starch,1tbsp water) and added it to thicken.5 stars

  5. This ghoulash is amazing! I followed the recipe exactly and used a Hungarian paprika that was a little spicy, so it gave it a little kick. Everyone wanted seconds in my house; this dish is definitely a keeper. Thank you for sharing!5 stars

    1. Sorry, forgot to mention I didn’t cook the carrots and potatoes as long. Cooked them around 45 mins.

  6. This looks wonderful with one exception, I can’t stand caraway seeds! Can you please recommend an alternative? (Please don’t say cilantro!)

    1. You can just leave them out Wally, and while it will alter the flavor, it will still be delicious. Enjoy!

      1. I too don’t care for the seeds but do like the flavour. I got some caraway seeds. What I’m thinking of doing is crush them so I have the flavour, just not the seeds caught in my mouth. Do you think that will work? Should I reduce the amount?5 stars

      2. I haven’t tried it so I can’t say for sure, but it should be just fine. I would start with the same amount. If you try it I would love to hear how it turns out!

    2. If you like the taste but not the seeds themselves maybe try putting them in a teaball or those little fabric pouches.

    1. Hi Sandy, 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. We do have this delicious crockpot Goulash that you may enjoy too!

  7. What a winner of a recipe!! My husband loved this, he even had a second bowl and he is the pickiest eater i know. I used chuck roast for this one and cut the beef a little bigger, it cut easily with a fork, it was so tender. Great work!!5 stars

  8. My husbands grandad is Hungarian and makes an amazing goulash, however, due to his age and finding it tricky to write down the recipe I thought I would find an alternative and this looks amazing! I am in the UK and buying beef broth here is quite expensive… can I use beef stock in water ? broth here costs between £6-£8 for one meal!

  9. Can you confirm that the values listed in your summary of Nutrition are for the total quantity of 6 servings, I wish recipes would be specific about this qualification.
    Just a suggestion, I encounter this problem with many published recipes. Attention to the detail is everything to me. Thanks in advance for this clarification.5 stars

    1. Hi Ian, our nutrition information is an estimate calculated using a program and generalized ingredients (not brand specific). I would suggest using a program and entering your specific ingredients to get the most accurate information. Nutrition information on Spend With Pennies is for one serving, so the total recipe divided by the number of servings. Hope that helps.

  10. Great recipe! I would just note that the potatoes and carrots may only need a max 40-45 min of cooking, so I would add them toward the end. Adding parsley and dill at the end also brings out great flavour!5 stars

    1. Hi Linda, we haven’t tried this recipe with leftover roast beef but would love to hear how it turns out for you! If the roast beef is already cooked you will want to reduce the cooking time to avoid overcooking it.

    2. Answer Yes! Did it today with leftover beef joint from yesterday! Works really well. Need to find Hungarian paprika though to get it more tasty.5 stars