Hungarian Goulash

Total Time

Prep: 20 min. Cook: 7 hours


12 servings

Updated: Nov. 05, 2023
Talk about your heirloom recipes! My grandmother made this Hungarian goulash recipe for my mother when she was a child, and then Mom made it for us to enjoy. Paprika and caraway add wonderful flavor, and sour cream gives it a creamy richness. It’s simply scrumptious! —Marcia Doyle, Pompano, Florida


  • 3 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 2 medium green peppers, chopped
  • 3 pounds beef stew meat
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon pepper, divided
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1-1/2 cups reduced-sodium beef broth
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Dash sugar
  • 12 cups uncooked whole wheat egg noodles
  • 1 cup reduced-fat sour cream


  1. Place the onions, carrots and green peppers in a 5-qt. slow cooker. Sprinkle meat with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. In a large skillet, brown meat in oil in batches. Transfer to slow cooker.
  2. Add broth to skillet, stirring to loosen browned bits from pan. Combine the flour, paprika, tomato paste, caraway seeds, garlic, sugar and remaining salt and pepper; stir into skillet. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Pour over meat. Cover and cook on low for 7-9 hours or until meat is tender.
  3. Cook noodles according to package directions. Stir sour cream into slow cooker. Drain noodles; serve with goulash.
Hungarian Goulash Tips

Can you use Hungarian paprika to make Hungarian goulash?

Absolutely. In fact, Hungarian paprika is preferred for the most authentic-tasting goulash. Hungarian paprika is often described as hotter than other varieties, but it does comes in a range of heat levels, and they'll all do for goulash—depending on your tolerance and preference for spice. You’re most likely to find just two: sweet, and some variation of "sharp" or "hot" in stores. American paprika (usually just called paprika) is less intense and has less depth of flavor. Spanish paprika is made from smoked peppers, so it has an earthy, smoky quality to it. If you can’t get Hungarian, regular paprika will do, but add a bit of cayenne to boost the flavor. No matter the variety, paprika adds color and flavor to other dishes like paprika chicken, creamy paprika pork and beef paprika.

How else can you cook Hungarian goulash?

You can cook Hungarian goulash on the stovetop quite easily. Brown the meat in a Dutch oven and follow the same basic steps, simmering until the beef is tender, around 1-1/2 to 2 hours, before adding the sour cream. For an original stovetop goulash, check out our top-rated Hungarian goulash recipe. You can also cook Hungarian goulash in a pressure cooker. See our guide to how to convert slow-cooker recipes for pressure cookers, or use an original pressure-cooker goulash recipe.

How long will leftover Hungarian goulash last?

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. It can also be frozen in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to 4 months. It’s best to cook fresh noodles when you reheat the leftover goulash so they don’t get mushy, but if you do cook them ahead of time, store the stew separately. For more tips, see our guide to storing leftover food, or our ultimate guide to freezing food. If you liked this dish, be sure to check out more Hungarian recipes.

Hazel Wheaton, Taste of Home Book Editor

Nutrition Facts

2/3 cup goulash with 1 cup noodles: 388 calories, 13g fat (4g saturated fat), 78mg cholesterol, 285mg sodium, 41g carbohydrate (5g sugars, 7g fiber), 31g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 3 lean meat, 2 starch, 1 vegetable, 1 fat.