Hungarian Goulash

5 from 4 votes
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What could be more Hungarian or Eastern European in general than Hungarian Goulash? This traditional recipe uses all the necessary ingredients, as well as plenty of the all-important Hungarian sweet paprika.

Why not try this recipe for tasty Classic American Goulash? Or make a healthy Chicken Paprikash instead?

Hungarian Goulash on white rice

Hungarian Goulash

Hungarian goulash, or any typical goulash recipe, is really just a stew of any meat and veggies combined with paprika. It might sound simple and unimpressive, but there is just something wonderfully tasty when you combine paprika with some really simple ingredients.

This meal is comfort food- delicious, warming and filling, as well as still somehow feeling different from the usual stews and soups, thanks to the very unlike North American flavor of the dish.

This can be served over almost any plain carb – picky eaters might prefer rice as shown in the main photo, others might like traditional nokedli or Hungarian dumplings that are shown in the photo below with the goulash.

Hungarian Goulash with nokedli

Hungarian Goulash Ingredients

Don’t forget to read the recipe card at the very bottom for the exact amounts needed to make this.

  • Boneless stewing beef
  • All-purpose flour
  • Salt & pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Yellow onions
  • Hungarian sweet paprika
  • Caraway seeds
  • Beef broth
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Can of tomato paste
  • Brown sugar
  • Sour cream

How to Make Hungarian Goulash

  • Combine the flour, salt & pepper in a medium-sized bowl
  • Toss the beef in the mixture until completely coated
  • Heat the oil in a Dutch oven on medium-high heat until shimmering
  • Brown the beef in batches, browning all sides completely
  • Add in the onions, frying until they softened
  • Add in the paprika and caraway and sauté until fragrant
  • Slowly pour in one cup of the beef broth, deglazing using a wooden spoon
  • Add in the rest of the beef broth, the Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, and brown sugar
  • Cover the Dutch oven and simmer for 2 hours until the meat is tender
  • Stir in sour cream at the very end, and then serve over rice, egg noodles or Hungarian dumplings
Hungarian Goulash on white rice in a bowl

What Kind of Paprika Should You Use for This Recipe?

This recipe calls for using Hungarian sweet paprika, which some people might struggle to find, or might not have even ever heard of.

Hungary is famous for its huge paprika focus, both in its exports and its cooking, and they make more types of paprika than you could have ever imagined existing.

The most traditional type of paprika, and the type most likely to be used in this recipe, is called Noble Sweet and is a lot more delicately flavored than most other paprika varieties.

It is sweeter, as well as having this imperceptible umami quality that really takes this dish to another level.

If you cannot find Hungarian sweet paprika, then use a combination of regular paprika and smoked paprika. It won’t be exactly the same, but it should hit most of the same notes.

Hungarian Goulash with nokedli in a white bowl

Do You Have to Use Sour Cream?

This recipe, like many other Eastern European recipes, calls for sour cream to be added to the broth just as it’s finishing cooking.

A lot of Western cooks probably don’t use much sour cream outside of Mexican or Texan food, but trust me (says the girl who has sour cream Eastern European blood running through her body) – it really works here.

The sour cream not only provides all the richness and creaminess that you would get if you were to add regular cream to a soup, but it also gives a huge kick of sour, tangy flavors that work perfectly with the paprika and the tomatoes.

If you absolutely cannot find sour cream, then you could use some regular cream. However, the best replacement is some yogurt. This will perfectly replicate the sourness of sour cream, though it will definitely be a bit tangier and have a slightly different texture.

Looking for more tasty Beef recipes? Try these out:




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Tender beef and onions simmered in a decadent paprika spiced tomato sauce, served over Hungarian dumplings or egg noodles.
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Hungarian Goulash

Tender beef and onions simmered in a decadent paprika spiced tomato sauce, served over Hungarian dumplings or egg noodles.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time
30 minutes
Cook Time
2 hours
Main Course, Soups
Karlynn Johnston


  • 2 pounds boneless stewing beef cut into one-inch cubes
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 yellow onions diced
  • 1-2 tablespoons Hungarian sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • one 6 ounce can tomato paste
  • 1-2 teaspoons brown sugar to taste
  • 1/2 cup sour cream


  • Combine the flour, salt, and pepper in a medium sized bowl. Toss the cubed beef in the mixture until coated.
  • Add the oil into a Dutch oven then heat the oil on medium high heat.
  • Add the beef, browning in batches if needed. Make sure that all sides are nicely browned then, transfer to a plate and continue to brown all the beef, removing to the plate when done.
  • Add in the onions, adding more oil if needed. Fry until they are softened.
  • Add in the paprika and caraway, and sauté until fragrant.
  • Slowly pour in one cup of the beef broth, deglazing the bottom of the Dutch oven by scraping the browned bits off of the bottom of the pot. Once done, add in the rest of the beef broth.
  • Mix in the Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste and then brown sugar to taste. The sugar will offset the acidity of the tomato paste and compliment the Hungarian paprika.
  • Cover the Dutch oven and simmer for 2 hours or until the meat is tender.
  • Right before serving, stir in the sour cream to add a smooth, creamy tang.
  • Serve over egg noodles, or with Hungarian dumplings. Garnish with fresh parsley.

Recipe Notes

  • Traditionally this is served with Hungarian dumplings, but feel free to serve over whatever you can get your kids to eat! (in my case, rice for kids, dumplings for adults!)
  • This is not traditionally made with potatoes or carrots (that’s more a North American stew), but if you want to bulk up the meal you can add them. 

Nutrition Information

Calories: 522kcal, Carbohydrates: 12g, Protein: 29g, Fat: 39g, Saturated Fat: 15g, Trans Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 117mg, Sodium: 981mg, Potassium: 619mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 699IU, Vitamin C: 3mg, Calcium: 75mg, Iron: 4mg

All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

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Karlynn Johnston

I’m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the Canadian prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a cocktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

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  1. Jennie says

    Karlynn, any tips for tweaking this recipe into an Instant Pot version? Sounds comfortingly goulashtastic….just would love a version that’d help expedite cook time in spite of my latey-lou prep habits. 😉

  2. Alisha D Vance says

    What do you thing of the Hungarian Goulash with chicken in stead of beef stew meat?

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