Authentic Eastern European Taste, Beef Goulash Recipe

Whenever cold weather strikes, I find myself in desperate need of something warm. That is when this fantastic beef goulash comes to the rescue.

I know what you are thinking…beef goulash doesn’t just materialize on its own. This delicious, paprika-flavored Hungarian stew takes hours for the flavors to meld together, and for the beef to turn into melt-in-your-mouth little morsels of joy.

All true but apart from the length of time it takes to make this stew properly, it’s an easy and mostly hands-off task.

What Is Beef Goulash?

The origins of Beef Goulash are in Hungary although it is nearly as popular in many neighbouring countries. You will see it on the menu in most restaurants in Prague, Vienna, and many other places in Central and Eastern Europe.

We know goulash as a hearty stew but it has the consistency of a soup in its original form. Whatever thickness you prefer, the main ingredient, which sets it apart from other beef stews, is undoubtedly paprika.

If want to get the most authentic flavor, track down the best quality sweet Hungarian paprika. Or you can experiment with smoky paprika for a bolder taste!

Beef Goulash is often made with tomatoes but interestingly tomatoes were not one of the original ingredients. However, I love the sweet and slightly tangy taste crushed tomatoes bring to this stew!

Beef Goulash Recipe

Beef Goulash Recipe

The robust aroma of smoked paprika and tender, melt-in-your-mouth chunks of beef are what make this Beef Goulash an absolute winner!

Prep time: 10 minutesCook time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Total time: 2 hours hrs 40 minutesServings: 6


  • 2 lbs stewing beef
  • 2 medium onions chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 large red pepper diced
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tsp sweet paprika or smoked
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 400g/14 oz canned diced or crushed tomatoes
  • 750ml/ 3 cups beef stock
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • flat-leaf parsley for garnish
  • sour cream to garnish


  1. Peel the onions, garlic, and chop onions and red pepper. Dice the meat and coat it in flour
  2. Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven or a deep pan and cook onions, and peppers over low heat for 7-10 minutes until softened, add chopped garlic and cook for 1 minute longer, add the paprika and beef and cook while stirring for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add diced tomatoes, beef stock, a pinch of salt and pepper, and bay leaves, and bring to a boil over high heat. Then reduce the heat to low and simmer covered for 1 hour and 30 minutes.
  4. Then uncover and cook for 1 more hour. Alternatively, this could be cooked in a preheated to 300F/150C oven for 1 hour 30 minutes covered and 1 hour uncovered.
  5. Serve with hot noodles, dumplings, or mashed potatoes. Swirl sour cream or plain yogurt into your beef goulash for an added creamy texture.


  • Omit the flour in step 1 if you are on a gluten-free diet and thicken the sauce with 1 can of blended butter beans. Add them 30 minutes before the goulash is done cooking.
  • Serve this wonderful stew with my homemade rye bread for an authentic Eastern European taste!


Calories: 498kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 107mg | Sodium: 818mg | Potassium: 955mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1260IU | Vitamin C: 35mg | Calcium: 76mg | Iron: 5mg

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About the Author: Rachel Michaels

A food photographer and travel blogger from New York City. Rachel's interest in cooking and travel began during her study abroad program in Italy, where she fell in love with Italian cuisine. She now captures the beauty of food and travels through her photography and blog posts.

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