Hungarian Goulash

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This recipe might be a little different than the goulash your mom used to make.

The flavors in this traditional stew are deeply satisfying and will warm you on a chilly night. No need to purchase an expensive cut of beef because the slow cooking in the savory sauce will turn it into melt-in-your-mouth delicious. Serve with cloverleaf dinner rolls for a comfort meal your family will devour.

An overhead view of a black cast-iron pot filled with Hungarian goulash with chunks of beef, yellow potatoes, red bell peppers, and a brown sauce.

How To Make Hungarian Goulash

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The Ingredients You Will Need

Bacon – Go with regular slice or thick slice, they both are excellent.
Beef – Pick a roast that is nicely marbled, but not expensive. A chuck roast is best.
Seasonings – Salt, pepper, smoked paprika, caraway seeds, and fresh oregano (or dried, if necessary).
Onions – Chopped
Tomato paste – For depth of flavor.
Wine – We prefer a good white wine (Chardonnay), but you could also go with a red (Cabernet).
Beef broth – Broth or stock is great. You could substitute chicken broth.
Red bell pepper – Seeded and cut into strips.
Potatoes – Yukon gold are great, quartered.
Egg noodles – Cooked until just tender.
Sour cream – For garnish
Parsley – Optional, but it makes a nice garnish.

EPXERT TIP: Cut the meat into bite-sized chunks and then brown it in the bacon grease. The meat won’t be fully cooked, but will later as it slowly simmers in the sauce.

An overhead view of a black pot filled with chunks of chuck roast that have been browned in olive oil.

Tips for Perfect Hungarian Goulash

Use the Right Cut of Meat – Choose a tough, fatty cut of beef, such as chuck or brisket, that will become tender and flavorful when slow-cooked.

Use Hungarian Paprika – Hungarian paprika is the key ingredient in goulash, and using a high-quality, fresh paprika will give your dish an authentic flavor. Smoked paprika is a great choice, too.

Cook Slowly – Goulash is a slow-cooked dish that requires patience and time to develop its rich flavor and tender texture.

Add Sour Cream at the End – Adding a dollop of sour cream at the end of cooking will give the goulash a creamy, tangy flavor that complements the rich, savory beef and paprika.

EXPERT TIP: Don’t add the potatoes or bell peppers until the last hour of cooking. If you add them too soon, they will be extremely soft and even mushy.

A person dumping quartered chunks of gold potatoes into a pot of simmering chunks of beef, bell peppers in a beef sauce.

How To Serve

You’ll want to serve this right out of the pot with a nice big ladle.

Be sure to have plenty of sour cream on hand.

We love to serve the stew over cooked egg noodles, but it’s also delicious over steamed rice.

A close-up view of a white bowl filled with Hungarian goulash over egg noodles and topped with a dollop of sour cream.

Other Amazing Stew Recipes to Try

There is nothing much more hearty than a comforting stew. Here are some of our favorites that we are certain you and your family will love.

Hearty Beef Stew
Slow-Cooker Beef Stew
Smoked Ham and White Bean Stew
Pozole (Pork and Hominy Stew)
Classic Brunswick Stew
French Chicken Stew
Instant Pot Smoked Sausage Stew
Cioppino (San-Francisco-Style Seafood Stew)

These are all amazing, without a doubt. But isn’t this catching your eye right about now?

A straight-on view of two bowls of Hungarian goulash sitting next to two tall glasses of amber beer.

This version is different than the Americanized version that so many of us remember.

It takes a little more effort, but, boy, oh boy, is it worth it.

And, leftovers are even better the next day, and it freezes beautifully.

We guarantee you that this goulash will become and instant family favorite!

A close-up view of a white bowl that is filled with Hungarian goulash tossed with egg noodles and a portion of it missing.

Ready to make the best stew this side of Budapest? Go for it!

And when you do, be sure to take a photo of it, post it on Instagram, and tag @HowToFeedaLoon and hashtag #HowToFeedaLoon!

An overhead view of a black cast-iron pot filled with Hungarian goulash with chunks of beef, yellow potatoes, red bell peppers, and a brown sauce.

Authentic Hungarian Goulash

Hungarian Goulash is different from the Americanized version which is similar to Italian meat sauce. This hearty stew is packed with melt-in-your-mouth beef, tender potatoes, and a savory paprika and caraway sauce that will warm you to the bones.
Print Pin Rate
Course: Entree / Stew
Cuisine: Hungarian
Keyword: Goulash, Hungarian, Stew
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 50 minutes
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 441kcal


  • Large pot with lid A Dutch oven or cast-iron pot works well.


  • 4 slices bacon roughly chopped
  • 2 lbs beef chuck or rump, trimmed of any large pieces of fat, and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 medium onions chopped, about 2 cups
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tbsp paprika preferably Hungarian, or smoked
  • 1 tsp caraway seeds
  • 1 tbsp fresh oregano or 1 tsp dried
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 red bell pepper seeded and cut into 1-inch strips
  • 1 lb yellow potatoes peeled and cut into ¾-inch cubes
  • 1 cup sour cream for serving
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley chopped, for garnish (optional)


  • In a large pot or Dutch oven, cook the bacon until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon onto a paper towel-lined plate. Set aside. Leave the rendered bacon grease in the pot.
    4 slices bacon
  • Season the beef liberally with salt and pepper. Over medium heat, add the beef to the hot bacon grease and cook until no longer pink on the outside, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Remove the beef from the pot onto a large platter.
    2 lbs beef, Salt and pepper
  • Pour off all but about 2 tbsp of the grease. Add the onions and sauté over medium-high heat until soft, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic, and sauté for another minute. Stir in the paprika, caraway seeds, oregano, tomato paste, wine, beef broth, 1 tsp salt, and ½ tsp pepper. Bring to a boil.
    2 medium onions, 3 cloves garlic, 1 tbsp paprika, 1 tsp caraway seeds, 1 tbsp fresh oregano, 1 tbsp tomato paste, 1 cup white wine, 2 cups beef broth
  • Preheat oven to 300°F.
  • Turn the heat off from the pot and stir in the seared beef. Cover and place in the oven for 2 hours.
  • Remove from the oven and carefully take the lid off. Add the reserved bacon, bell peppers, and potatoes. Stir to combine. Place the lid back on and return to the oven for another hour.
    1 red bell pepper, 1 lb yellow potatoes
  • Remove from oven and gently stir. Serve warm, with sour cream and chopped parsley (if using) as garnish.
    1 cup sour cream, 2 tbsp fresh parsley


See the video near the top of the blog post for visual guidance. If you liked the video, please subscribe to our YouTube channel
Slow-Cooker Method:
  1. Cook bacon, then remove.  Sear seasoned beef in hot bacon grease. Remove and sauté onions and garlic. 
  2. Place beef and onions in your slow cooker and mix in the seasonings, tomato paste, wine, and broth. 
  3. Cook on LOW for 6 hours. Uncover and stir in the reserved bacon, bell peppers, and potatoes. Cook for another 2 hours. 
Leftovers will keep covered in the fridge for up to 1 week and can be frozen for several months. 


Calories: 441kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 105mg | Sodium: 401mg | Potassium: 543mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1196IU | Vitamin C: 24mg | Calcium: 72mg | Iron: 3mg
Tried this recipe? Take a Picture!Mention @HowToFeedALoon or tag #HowToFeedALoon!

POST UPDATE: This recipe was originally published in November 2017, but was updated with improved tweaks to the recipe with new tips and photography and a fabulous new video in October, 2023!


    • Hi Carol, just omit the wine and increase the broth (or stock) by 1 cup (3 cups total). It will still be deeply flavorful and very good. Let us know how it turns out or if you have any other questions! Best, Kris & Wesley

  • I love you guys. Your recipes are so amazing. So easy to follow. I make the Ziti and Lasagna for large crowds and take all the credit. I can’t wait to try your Hungarian Goulash. Keep it up, I just love you guys.
    When folks ask me for the recipe I do tell them all about you guys, but only if they ask.

    • Hi Eileen!! We LOVE it! You feel free to take FULL credit! You still prepared the recipe and that’s what’s important! We are so so happy you are enjoying our recipes! And we really think you’ll LOVE the Hungarian Goulash! So comforting and yummy! Keep us posted! xoxo Kris & Wesley

  • I not only watch for the recipes and the method you are cooking but I love the light breezy way you guys carry on…………………….Keep it up. Kudos to you both.

    • Hi Zelda! So sorry for the extremely delayed response! You have no idea how happy this makes us to hear! We are thrilled you are enjoying our recipes and videos! That means the world to us! Stay tuned…so much more fun and food on the way!!! xoxo Kris & Wesley

  • Hello! Being Hungarian and having my Mother’s recipe I love goulash. I usually make this every chilly season. I look forward to trying this version because the Loons Rock!

    • Hi Keith! Sorry for the extra long delayed response…but, we hope you try the goulash recipe and it lives up to you and your mom’s approval! Let us know if you make it and what the verdict is! All the best, Kris & Wesley

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