Traditional Hungarian Goulash Recipe

Traditional Hungarian Goulash Recipe – Perfect for Winter

When a few months ago I visited Budapest, apart from enjoying the beautiful city, I was obviously interested in the local food. We had a chance to try a few dishes and cakes that we liked very much and that I wanted to cook myself. Beef goulash was one such meal.

I spent some time looking for a traditional Hungarian goulash recipe, and as it often happens, I found many variations. Some of them asked for ingredients I don’t use (e.g. lard for frying). Some asked for lots of liquid to make it more a soup rather than a stew. So in the end, I combined my knowledge and came up with the recipe below. It is based on some staple ingredients used in Hungarian beef goulash recipe (paprika spices, peppers, potatoes, carrots) and staple rules (e.g. not using flour to thicken the sauce but cooking the meat for a long time, so it creates gelatin). You can serve this goulash with potatoes but we had it with bread dumplings, and I was ecstatic with the delicious result. My husband must have even been happier: he had the leftovers for breakfast!

Hungarian Goulash

A traditional Hungarian goulash with beef, peppers and carrots as well as hot paprika for a bit of a kick.
Servings 4 people
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2.5 hours



  1. Warm up the oil in a big frying pan; add the onions and fry on a medium heat for 2-3 minutes until the onions start getting brown.
  2. Add the mild paprika and stir it with the onions.
  3. Increase the heat, add the cubes of beef and fry stirring from time to time until the beef is slightly browned (approx. 5-10 minutes).
  4. Add the garlic, caraway seeds, bay leaf, hot paprika paste or powder, pour in the stock, season and simmer covered on a low heat for 1.5-2 hours till the meat is tender.
  5. Stir in the carrots, parsnip and potatoes, cook for approx. 30 minutes more.
  6. When the vegetables are soft, add the tomato puree and peppers and bring to boil.
  7. Serve with bread dumplings, pasta or mashed potatoes.

Recipe Notes

* The vegetables should be diced into pieces of approximately the same size.

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