Hungarian Goulash Recipe – The Ultimate Stick to your bones dish

Winter is here! It’s cold outside and when you get home after a long day, you want something hot, hearty and something to stick to your bones. Sometime that gives you back your energy and helps you through the cold months. This is my recipe for Hungarian Goulash.

While Goulash is more of a soup in Hungary, I like mine a bit more thick. Please use the recipe as you see fit.

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The history of Goulash

The origins of Goulash traces back all the way to the 9th century where Hungarian shepherds ate stews made from dried meats, that were rehydrated while they were out shepherding. Not unlike the origins of chili con carne.

Paprika wasn’t introduced into the Hungarian stew until the 16th century, where peppers of the capsicum variety were brought to Europe from the Americas.

The recipe has developed over the years and the meat of choice would be both beef, veal, pork or lamb.

Hungarian goulash in a bowl with a piece of delicious bread!

It is meant to be the cuts that are well-exercised and does require a long cook time to become tender. These cuts also contain a lot of collagen, which makes the soup thicker naturally.

Some optional components are garlic, caraway seeds and wine. Some later additions to the dish include potatoes and red peppers, and other things that are popular are carrots, parsley root, and spices like cayenne, bay leaf and thyme.

Today the most defining characteristic of a Hungarian Goulash is the sweet Hungarian paprika.

The choice of meat for this Hungarian goulash recipe

The most common choice of meat for goulash today is beef.

The best choices from the cow is the flank meat, but also the chuck steak. The top round is also a popular choice.

The meat should be relatively low on fat, but lots of connective tissue is not bad, because that will melt as the meat is braised low and slow.

The conclusion of this Hungarian goulash recipe

So, what would we expect from a Hungarian goulash:

  • The sweet, sweet taste of Paprika – check!
  • Beautifully tender meat – check!
  • A rich soup, full of umami and vegetable taste – check!
  • Tender vegetables – check!

For me, this Hungarian goulash recipe checks all the boxes of the ultimate stick to your bones food for when the nights are cold!

Give it a go!

A delicious Hungarian goulash in a sourdough bread bowl

You can also try to serve your goulash in a sourdough bread bowl – you’ll find the recipe here.

Share this recipe for Hungarian goulash on social media

This is my recipe for authentic Hungarian Goulash. If you like the recipe please consider sharing it with like-minded food lovers on social media.

If you make it and post it on Instagram, please tag me as so I can see it. That would make me very happy.

Hungarian Goulash

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Hungarian
Keyword: eastern european cuisine, hungarian cuisine, sticks to your bones, sweet paprika
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 8 hours
Total: 8 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 502kcal
Author: Sune Trudslev
Nutrition Facts
Hungarian Goulash
Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
Calories 502 Calories from Fat 117
% Daily Value*
Fat 13g20%
Saturated Fat 5g31%
Cholesterol 150mg50%
Sodium 742mg32%
Potassium 1885mg54%
Carbohydrates 32g11%
Fiber 5g21%
Sugar 8g9%
Protein 61g122%
Vitamin A 10191IU204%
Vitamin C 24mg29%
Calcium 114mg11%
Iron 5mg28%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
This Hungarian Goulash will warm your soul and your culinary heart when winter is knocking at your door.
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  • 3 large onions
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1.5 kg flank meat or chuck roast
  • 1 liter beef stock
  • 6 carrots
  • 400 g potatoes
  • 250 g mushrooms
  • 3 tablespoon sweet hungarian paprika
  • 2 vegetable stock cubes
  • 3 tablespoon tomato paste

Cornstarch slurry

  • 3 tablespoon cornstarch or more if you like a thick sauce
  • water, as needed


  • Prepare all the vegetables. Peel and dice the onions. Peel and slice the carrots. Dice the potatoes. You can peel them if you like, but I used a kind where the peel is edible. Slice the mushrooms.
  • Heat a large pot to medium heat and then add some oil. I use extra virgin olive oil.
  • Add three large chopped onions.
  • Add three crushed garlic cloves.
  • Sweet hungarian paprika.
  • Let it simmer until the onions have softened and everything is fragrant.
  • Then scoop out the onions.
  • Add some more oil and brown 1.5 kg, 3 pounds of flank meat. You could also use chuck.
  • Brown the meat in batches or else it is going to take forever.
  • I switched to a taller pot, because I realized there wasn’t gonna be room.
  • Once all the meat is browned add it all to the pot including the onions.
  • Then add 1 liter, about 1 quart of beef stock.
  • Then add 2 vegetable stock cubes, 3 tablespoons of tomato paste, 6 carrots in slices, 400 grams/15 ounces of potatoes, and 250 grams/10 ounces of mushrooms.
  • Mix it up so that everything is combined.
  • Bring it to a boil and then turn it down to low. Add a lid and let it simmer away until dinner time.
  • Mine was bubbling away for at least 8 hours.
  • When you are about ready to eat, season the dish with salt and pepper.
  • Mix three tablespoons of cornstarch with some water and add to the goulash. I like mine a bit thicker, so I added another 3 tablespoons of cornstarch slurry.
  • That's it! Get ready to eat! Yummy!

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