Recipe: Hungarian Goulash

One of my absolute favorite things to do when traveling is to research traditional food and try everything I possibly can. Food is such a simple pleasure, but it’s by far one of the most rewarding (in my humble opinion). There’s an excitement that comes when trying something new, and it’s addicting.

Budapest, Hungary

My first year in Barcelona, my then-boyfriend/now-husband knew about my passion for food and decided to make me a romantic, homemade meal in an attempt to impress me (spoiler: it worked). He got the recipe from a cooking blog made by his aunt, uncle and cousin: “Els Fogons de Casa i Altres Desastres” (roughly translates to “Stoves and Other Disasters”).

Every time we have gone to their house to eat, we’ve left stuffed and fully satisfied. The word satisfied doesn’t even do it justice, their cooking is beyond incredible! They also travel all around the world, collecting recipes and experiences to add to their blog. It is written in Catalan, and I have their permission to translate this delicious Hungarian Goulash for you! They got the recipe from a Hungarian friend of theirs, so it is authentic and sure to give you a craving to travel to Hungary! It is definitely one of my favorite recipes of theirs, and my husband and I continue to make it once a month or so because we love it that much.

Goulash, if you haven’t tried it before, is a traditional Hungarian dish made with beef, potatoes and vegetables in a rich, hearty paprika sauce. There are tons of variations of Goulash from family to family, but they all have the same base. This recipe is tried and true, and you’re sure to love it! It is fantastic in the winter to keep you warm and full. If you really want to be fancy, you can serve it in bread bowls.

Traditional Hungarian Goulash

A delicious and hearty Hungarian beef stew, perfect for autumn and winter.

  • 2 onions (chopped)
  • olive oil (enough to saute the onions, and then add as needed for the other vegetables)
  • 4 carrots (diced (& peeled, if you prefer))
  • 2 parsnips (peeled & diced)
  • 4 celery stalks & leaves (chopped)
  • 1 kg beef (chuck, or you favorite beef for stew)
  • 4 cups boiling water (you can add more or less according to your personal preferences)
  • 2-3 tbsp cumin (or to taste, we generally like a strong flavor)
  • 2-3 tbsp paprika (preferably Hungarian, if you have access to it)
  • 3 potatoes (peeled and chopped)
  • 3 tbsp flour (you can add more or less depending on how thick you'd like it)
  • salt & pepper (to taste)
  1. Prepare and chop/dice all of the vegetables and meat.

  2. Put a big pot on medium heat, and add a couple tablespoons of olive oil. Once warm, add in the onion and cook for a few minutes until the onion is soft (2-3 minutes).

  3. Add the rest of the vegetables, and cook until a little soft, stirring occasionally (about 6-8 minutes).

  4. Add the beef, already cubed, and then add salt, pepper and cumin to taste. Let it cook for a few minutes, and once the beef is browned on the outside (or done to your liking – keep in mind that the stew will cook for awhile more, so don’t overdo it), add the paprika and 4 cups of boiling water. Stir.

  5. Add in the potatoes. Let it simmer for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once the potatoes are cooked through (check with a fork), you can continue with the next step. 

  6. Add the flour in slowly, stirring as you go so that it isn’t lumpy. You can put in more or less based on your preferences, but be careful not to add in too much or put it in too quickly. Let it continue to simmer a few minutes more until it thickens. 

  7. Give it a taste, and add salt and pepper if necessary. Ladle it into a bowl, or to add some extra flair, serve in bread bowls. Enjoy!

Going to try making it? Let me know how it turns out! Happy food tripping 😉

Have you made Goulash before? Do you use any other ingredients, or have a different method? I’d love to hear from you!

Don’t forget to check out my family’s cooking blog, “Els Fogons de Casa i Altres Desastres,” for other incredible recipes!

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Hi Jessica!
That’s a very lovely explanation about our and your Hungarian goulash. Thank you very much for your advert about our humble blog (We’ve learnt the word “humble” from your text, and we love it).
Congratulations for your wonderful blog!
We promise to read your posts and collaborate proposing new places to see in Barcelona. To start with it, we recommend to explore the streets and squares of Gràcia, for instance the Verdi street. An other proposal: The Palau Dalmases, where you can have a drink and listen to music in an amazing building.

Lluís and Marta


Looking at your post, makes me want to make gulyás tonight. My kids will be happy if I do, it’s their favorite dish. Since I am Hungarian, I make it often. I never used a written recipe for it, although I recently wrote it down for my kids who are becoming adults. Your recipe looks great, you did it justice 🙂

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