Hungarian Goulash

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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It dates back centuries and was originally made by shepherds drying out meat to be able to store and then adding water to create a soup or stew.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
4.95 from 372 votes
Review Recipe

Hungarian Goulash

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


  • 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

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  • 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.

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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Recipe Rating


  1. I just loved this recipe…felt like I was back for a visit in Hungary.

    I didn’t have caraway seeds so used cumin instead.5 stars

  2. Wouldn’t you want to crush up the caraway seeds in a mortor I would cook the meat first to brown then add onions and possibly some garlic the add the broth to get the fond goodness from the bottom of the pan then add the meat back in. Would buttered noodles be good with this4 stars

  3. I’ve made Hungarian Goulash before but this recipe calls for Caraway seeds. We’ve never had them and thought we’d give it a try. It was so bad we had to throw it all away.1 star

    1. Oh no, I’m sorry to hear that Heath. If you make this recipe again you can definitely leave them out.

    2. Caraway seed are traditionally used in Hungarian goulash did you crush them and toast them first

  4. No mushrooms!?!?
    No Kidney beans?
    Heresy I tell you!

    Just kidding, there isn’t a proper recipe for it.
    I love it with mushrooms, and combined with the kidney beans it can be tough to beat for nutritional value.

  5. Made this yesterday exactly as recipe plus the carrots (no potatoes). Ate it tonight with crusty bread and butter, the flavour was gorgeous. My husband and I both thoroughly enjoyed this meal and will certainly be making it again – soon.5 stars

  6. I made this recipe but my goulash doesn’t have much flavor. I expected it to have more pizazz, it’s kind of bland. I made a trip to the store to get the caraway seeds and broth because I did have those. I had just bought a new can of premium Hungarian paprika, and followed the directions which were easy. Not sure what I can add to pep it up.4 stars

    1. Try cayenne pepper or cumin or both or chili powder. I did this bc I ran out of paprika. Still awaiting results but I tried this recipe the original way and my family loved it. And they’re avid stew eaters5 stars

  7. I love soup and I’m always looking for a new recipe. My husband has type 2 diabetes and I have fibromyalgia. Therefore healthy recipes that are low in sugar are very welcome!

  8. It’s been my experience that in order to get a nicecsearnon the beef, you have to do this step first, or in a separate pot. Then brown the onions after removing the meat, adding the meat back in after the onions have softened. Your thoughts?

    1. You could do it in that order if you prefer Patricia. We have found that it works as written, but both will work. Enjoy the goulash!

  9. This recipe is a new addition to our recipe book. My husband loves this. I made it for my father and he was hooked. It comes out perfect every time and has the best flavor. I never found caraway seeds so I haven’t used them but the dish is delicious just the same. Thank you!5 stars

  10. Tried this today. It was awesome. Made it with home made spätzle. Real winter comfort food. Thanks.5 stars