A Versatile Version of The Hungarian Goulash

If you have ever wanted to try tasty and authentic Hungarian goulash, today is your lucky day. On the menu, we have a traditional beef goulash, which is a national soup dish of Hungary.

There are two ways of cooking a goulash. One is a modern method using a slow-cooker. The other is a traditional cooking technique, using a stovetop.

Via: Serious Eats

If you like cozy foods for special occasions or days at home, you may want to try a new cuisine, such as a Chinese feast. For those that enjoy a mix of beef and vegetables, this goulash recipe may be more to your tastebuds.

The goulash dish in Hungary has been traced back to the 9th century. Then, it was cooked slowly on a stovetop, just like this recipe will share today. Then, it consisted of many cut-up types of meat, onions, and vegetable stock.

Today, the flavors and methods are still the same making it one of the oldest Hungarian dishes that are still popular today.

Hungarian beef goulash offers soft and tender beef with immense flavors from the vegetables, meat stock, and spices. The longer you leave the goulash to simmer, the more tender the beef and the thicker the broth.

Goulash has also become increasingly popular in American culture. Instead of using spices and traditional Hungarian vegetables, Americans cook their meat with macaroni and fewer vegetables.

The taste still replicates the tomato flavor, but it uses simpler ingredients and is less rich.

Many recipes can include a long list of ingredients, which is not exactly the traditional recipe. The Hungarian recipe uses a variety of root vegetables, but only a handful at most.

If you’d like to bulk up the soup with more texture, you can add more quantity of the listed vegetables or your own preferences. This recipe is totally versatile and can be adjusted depending on your tastebuds and diet.

In recent years, diet patterns have altered which has resulted in fewer meat-eaters. The rise of veganism and vegetarianism has impacted the global food industry, meaning more people are looking for vegetable or plant-based options.

Instead of having to miss out on such amazing flavors that the Hungarian goulash can offer, you can enjoy this recipe with substitutions. This recipe is versatile and can align with anyone’s dietary requirements.

Whether you have dietary preferences or allergies, use this recipe, and follow the instructions below the method to cook the goulash to your taste.

Stove Top Hungarian Goulash

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 2 hours

Serves: 4 people


  • 70ml olive oil
  • 700g diced stewing beef
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 2 tbsp paprika
  • 2 large diced tomatoes
  • 30g plain flour
  • 1 large sliced onion
  • 2 chopped garlic gloves
  • 2 peppers sliced
  • 75ml dry white wine
  • 300ml beef stock
  • 150ml soured cream
  • A handful of parsley leaves


  1. Preheat the stovetop and heat half of the olive oil in a large stew dish
  2. Brown the diced stewing beef in the hot pan with the flour. Add more oil accordingly and ensure the beef does not burn
  3. Set the brown beef aside and heat the remaining olive oil in the same dish
  4. Add all of the following vegetables (diced and chopped) – onion, garlic, peppers – and fry until all are soft and browning
  5. When the vegetables are soft, add the beef back into the pan along with the tomato puree and paprika. Stir for 2 to 3 minutes
  6. Add the diced large tomatoes to the pan along with the wet ingredients – dry white wine and beef stock
  7. Cover the dish and allow to simmer for 2 hours
  8. Once cooked and the beef and vegetables are soft, serve with soured cream and flat-leaf parsley

This traditional recipe can be substituted with plant-based alternatives to make it suitable for vegans and vegetarians. Tofu, grains, and tempeh can be used as an alternative to meat, which will still offer a tender texture. The cooking time will be reduced according to which ingredient you choose to substitute the beef with. An hour should be long enough to cook a plant-based option.

Similarly, if you have an allergy, any of these ingredients can be substituted. For example, if you can a dairy allergy, you can use plant-based cream. For those with onion or garlic intolerances, those ingredients can be taken out or substituted. Courgette or aubergine is a great substitute for onion.

For a traditional serving, this can be served alongside brown rice, mashed potato, and salad. You can also add crusty bread or pasta. This a hearty dish that is great to serve in big batches for a more intense flavor.


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