Hungarian goulash is a hearty and scrumptious beef stew that is Hungary’s national dish. Beef is slow-cooked with onions, tomatoes, carrots, and potatoes to make this the ultimate comfort food and perfect dish for cold days.
I love making Hungarian Goulash because it all cooks in one pot and the smell is to die for! I make this all the time at home and it’s definitely a family favorite recipe that we’ve enjoyed together for a long time. Stew is a great one-pot dinner that will satisfy the whole family! Once you try this recipe, you’ve got to try this Guinness Beef Stew, this amazing Bean Stew, and this Tuscan Vegetable Chicken Stew.
Goulash means a highly seasoned stew of meat and vegetables. It comes from Hungary and is actually their national dish. It’s really popular all over the world too. Here in America, we have created our own version of it (American Goulash), as have many other countries. I think that the original is the best version! It is SO flavorful and a really easy dish to put together. My kids absolutely love it when I make it!
The best part about Hungarian goulash is you don’t have to make anything else to go along with it. You absolutely can whip up some homemade pasta or serve this along with some breadsticks, but it’s hearty and filling all on it’s own! The vegetables get so soft and flavorful that my kids totally forget they are eating carrots. The tomatoes are so fragrant and create a perfectly balanced stew.
Hungarian goulash is a great stew with just the basic ingredients. First, you cook the onions in butter which is always a perfect way to start any recipe. Then you add more and more vegetables that add more and more flavor. Other ingredients that you could add are caraway seeds, bay leaf, and red bell peppers. Once I scoop out the portions into the bowls, I love adding a dollop of sour cream. You can find the measurements below in the recipe card.
- Butter: This is to cook the onions and beef.
- Onion: Onion is what adds so much flavor to this recipe. It also helps to season the meat.
- Stewing Beef: You can use pretty much whatever kind of beef you want because it will cook for a long time and become tender.
- Garlic: Fresh garlic cloves minced up infuse a ton of flavor in this recipe.
- Paprika: You can use regular paprika, or Hungarian paprika if you want to make it really traditional.
- Salt and Pepper: Brings out lots of flavor in the stew.
- Beef Broth: This is what makes the base of the stew so flavorful and adds lots of nutrients too.
- Diced Tomatoes: I like to use these canned tomatoes because they are actually more flavorful than fresh tomatoes.
- Carrots: They cook until they are soft and soak up all of the broth making them honestly the most flavorful ingredient.
- Potatoes: Potatoes soak up all of the flavors too and make the stew so filling.
Hungarian Goulash Recipe
Hungarian goulash is just like most stews you have made before. It is really simple to make, I think you’re going to love it! You can use ground beef instead of a cut of beef if you want to. I have served this over egg noodles and it was amazing. This is a great recipe to make in your slow cooker or dutch oven even! It’s a great recipe no matter how you make it. I don’t usually use any all-purpose flour to thicken the sauce because I like the consistency. You will cook the beef cubes until they are fork tender.
- Saute Onions and Beef: In a large soup pot, over medium high heat, melt your butter and saute your chopped onion. Once the onion begins to brown, add the beef to the pot and cook for about 8 minutes, the beef should start browning. Add the garlic to the pot just before the beef browns and saute with the onion and beef.
- Add Seasonings: Remove the pot from heat and add your paprika, salt, and pepper. Toss to coat and pour in your beef broth and canned tomatoes. Return the pot to the stove over high heat and bring to a boil. Once it is boiling reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Add Veggies: Add in your carrots and potatoes, increase the heat to medium low and gently boil for another 30-40 minutes, until your carrots, potatoes and meat are tender and cooked through.
- Enjoy: Serve hot and add additional salt and pepper to taste.
Tips for Making Hungarian Goulash
Hungarian goulash is really simple to make. If you make this recipe and want to change it to fit your family’s palate’s, here are some changes I’ve made and loved!
- Spices: You can always add more spices and fresh herbs. I love adding caraway seeds and bay leaves. You can also add fresh herbs at the end like basil, thyme, and anything else you think would go well.
- Other Types of Protein: You don’t have to just stick to cubed meat, you can use other proteins as well. I have used ground beef from the freezer and it was amazing. You can use any cut of beef, and you can use chicken too. If you don’t want to add any proteins, you could add mushrooms instead.
- Ways to Cook Goulash: You don’t have to just stick to cooking this on the stove. I have made goulash in the crock pot before and it’s a great way to make this dish super low maintenance. If you are making it in the slow cooker, saute the onions and meat over the stove, then transfer everything to the slow cooker and follow the recipe from there. Cook on low for 4-6 hours. You can also cook this in a Dutch oven.
This Hungarian goulash recipe makes a lot so it’s likely that you will have leftovers! This makes a fantastic lunch or dinner the next day!
- In the Fridge: Place your cooled goulash in an airtight container and put it in your fridge. Leftover goulash can last 3-4 days in the refrigerator.
- In the Freezer: You can definitely freeze goulash! Once your goulash has cooled then you can place it in a casserole dish and cover it with a double layer of foil. Or, you can put it in a ziplock bag and lay it flat in your freezer. Make sure to label your container with the date! American goulash can stay frozen for up to 3 months.
- Reheat: You can heat this back up on the stove on medium heat until it’s warmed through. Or, you can warm it up in the microwave. Cook it for 1-2 minutes on high and stir. Continue this until its warmed up!
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 large onion chopped
- 1 pound stewing beef cubed
- 3 cloves garlic chopped
- 3 tablespoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 2 cups beef broth
- 1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes
- 2 carrots diced
- 2 large potatoes cut into small cubes
- In a large soup pot, over medium high heat, melt your butter and saute your chopped onion. Once the onion begins to brown, add the beef to the pot and cook for about 8 minutes, the beef should start browning. Add the garlic to the pot just before the beef browns and saute with the onion and beef.
- Remove the pot from heat and add your paprika, salt, and pepper. Toss to coat and pour in your beef broth and canned tomatoes. Return the pot to the stove over high heat and bring to a boil. Once it is boiling reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Add in your carrots and potatoes, increase the heat to medium low and gently boil for another 30-40 minutes, until your carrots, potatoes and meat are tender and cooked through.
- Serve hot and add additional salt and pepper to taste.
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.
How much caraway seeds would you use?
You can use whatever kind is available at your local grocery store!
It’s essential that you use Sweet Hungarian Paprika for this recipe or it’s just beef stew.