I had the pleasure of going to Prague recently, and one of my favorite ways to revisit (without breaking my bank account) is by making my beef goulash recipe! This is the dish they serve at open-air restaurants on cobbled squares facing centuries-old buildings. The stovetop way of making my beef goulash recipe takes a bit of time, but the simmering is worth the wait!
If you’re in a hurry, I have shortcuts for goulash you can take that shorten the time without sacrificing the flavor.
Get ready — we’re going on a flavor vacation!
Besides the delicious, spiced-up burst of hearty flavor, my beef goulash recipe is the ultimate in stick-to-your-ribs goodness!
- One pot!
- Flavor depth and richness
- Even tastier the next day!
- Packed with veggies
The version of this dish famously served in Central Europe like Prague is beef goulash with dumplings. Making traditional dumplings is quite an undertaking (anything involving yeast is intense), but this goulash is delicious enough on its own! Plus, you can serve it over pasta, egg noodles or rice just like beef goulash Gordon Ramsay!
Easy Beef Goulash Ingredient Notes
What’s in a Potato? My beef goulash recipe calls for russet potatoes — and believe it or not, there is a difference in all the varieties at the grocery store! Russet is best for slow-simmering dishes like this, as it has a high starch content and holds its shape.
Flank Steak: Part of what makes this beef goulash recipe so thick and hearty is the beef! I use flank steak, because I love the texture of this leaner cut. But feel free to swap it out for other cuts — skirt, stew, whatever you like!
Why Plum? Plum tomatoes give the iconic tomatoey sauce of goulash its stand-up, stick-to-your-ribs boost. They have thicker flesh and lower water count than other types of tomatoes. Yes, there’s a reason for these tomatoes, too!
Paprika! Of course, it isn’t goulash without paprika! There are three main kinds of paprika — sweet, hot, and smoked — and for this recipe, I couldn’t choose just one! Yep, I use all three –which gives my beef goulash recipe such an umph of zesty deliciousness that I find myself licking the bowl! You may think it’s too much paprika, but trust me — this spice works best in large quantities!
Goulash Soup Storing Tips
Part of the appeal of making dishes like this is that you have tons of leftovers to store for later! Goulash soup is a wonderful freezer meal. Let me show you how best to prep your meals!
Can You Freeze This?
Yes indeed! My beef goulash recipe is a pro at freezing. Make sure you have an airtight container to seal it in, and also give it plenty of time to cool off before you freeze it. Any residual heat will lead to condensation, which is the enemy of freezer flavor!
Cool that soup down. But make sure you get it in the freezer no more than two hours after you finish cooking. Stew isn’t something that can be left at room temperature for very long!
Beef goulash and other beef stews with vegetables can be frozen for two to three months. That’s way longer than any European vacation!
Make Ahead Tips
If you’re wanting to cut some of the time on this meal, you can prepare and brown your meat beforehand, and store it in the fridge in an airtight container up to five days.
I’m also a big fan of pre-chopping veggies. Every Sunday, I try to set aside an hour to chop, chop, chop, and store, store, store. Most chopped veggies like carrots, if stored properly, can last up to two to three weeks in the fridge!
How Long Can You Keep This In The Fridge?
My fully cooked beef goulash recipe will be a-okay for up to four days at the fridge’s temperatures. So if you’re planning to have it for lunches in the days after you make it, no worries!
Can I Turn This Recipe Into A Crockpot Goulash?
Yes! This is one of my favorite ways to cut down the time. If I know I want to make my beef goulash recipe into a beef goulash slow cooker recipe one night, I switch over to my crockpot goulash recipe. Easy peasy, dump it and forget it!
Can I Turn This Recipe Into An Instant Pot Goulash?
The only thing better than crockpot version is the instant pot version! If I didn’t know I’d want to make my Beef Goulash recipe for dinner (maybe I got a 4 o’clock craving!), I can dump all of the ingredients into my instant pot goulash recipe. Same great taste, minimal time!
How Do Other Countries Make Their Goulash?
For every country, there is a goulash! American Goulash tends to be milder in flavor and often has noodles cooked right in the sauce. German goulash tends to use beef chuck along with white wine. Hungarian goulash is the mother of all these recipes — the first goulash recipe came from Hungary! — so it uses lots of paprika as well as copious amounts of cream. Yum!
Can I Make This Recipe Into A Ground Beef Goulash?
One of my favorite quick-fixes for a goulash craving is my Hamburger Goulash recipe! All the best parts of this flavor profile with quick cooks like ground beef and elbow macaroni.
The hamburger version is much closer to the American version, so it won’t have all the paprika punch of this recipe, but it’ll still fill your belly and soothe your soul with comfort food delights.
- 2 pounds flank steak, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 teaspoons salt divided
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil divided
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 4 large cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 tablespoons sweet Hungarian paprika
- 1 teaspoon hot Hungarian paprika
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 2 cups beef broth
- 1 tablespoon beef better than bouillon
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can tomato puree
- 1 (28-ounce) can whole plum tomatoes, with liquid
- 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
- 2 carrots, cut into 1/2 pieces
- 2 russet potatoes, cut into 1/2 pieces
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2 pieces
- 2 tablespoons parsley chopped
- Mrs. Weiss' egg noodle cooked, drained and lightly buttered
- In a large mixing bowl, add the beef and toss with 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper. Let sit for 15 minutes.
- In a large pot, add 2 tablespoons oil. Stir in beef and brown on both sides. Remove to a plate.
- Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil to the pot and saute onions and garlic on medium-low until onions are soft about 7 minutes. Increase heat to medium and add all 3 paprikas. Cook, stirring constantly, until the spices become fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.
- Add water, beef broth, better than bullion, tomato puree, plum tomatoes with liquid, caraway seeds, 1 teaspoon salt and browned beef along with any juices accumulated on plate. Bring to a boil then reduce heat immediately and simmer for 2-2 1/2 hours or until beef is tender.
- Add carrot and potato and simmer for 10 minutes, increasing heat as necessary to maintain a simmer. Add red pepper and continue to simmer until all vegetables are fork-tender. Adjust seasoning, sprinkle with parsley and serve over cooked and lightly butter egg noodles.
Whether you’re making my beef goulash recipe to reminisce about bygone European adventures, or you just want to try a globally beloved comfort food, I guarantee you’re in for a winning dinner dish. And don’t forget to add a dollop of sour cream on top — goulash and sour cream are like peanut butter and jelly!