The Hungarian Goulash Recipe

Ingredients and Cooking Tips

The authentic Hungarian Goulash recipe is a substantial, tasty soup made of beef, onions, csipetke (Hungarian home made dumplings), potatoes and tomatoes spiced up with the great flavour of paprika and green peppers. It is usually eaten as a main dish and accompanied with plain bread.

The Hungarian Goulash recipe can be prepared in many different ways, in fact, even among Hungarians there are many tasty versions of it. However, simple tricks such as not adding flour to thicken the soup and not to let the paprika burn during the cooking process are a must in all versions.

Here is one of my favorite goulash recipes, This is the way my mother in law makes it, and it is always yummy.


Makes 4 servings.

Cooking time: about 2 1/2 hours

  • 1 lb. beef or pork(thick chunks)
  • 1 large onion finely sliced,
  • 1 tbsp.oil
  • 1 tbsp.powdered Hungarian paprika
  • salt, ground pepper
  • 1 green pepper (sliced), 1 tomato (peeled and diced)
  • 2 large carrots and 2 parsnips – diced
  • a pinch of ground cumin
  • 3 large potatoes – diced
  • 1 bay leaf

For csipetke (home made pasta):

  • 3 1/2-4 oz.flour
  • 1 egg
  • salt


  1. Wash, clean and cube the meat.
  2. Stir-fry the onion in oil until transparent.
  3. Remove the pot from fire, sprinkle with paprika and stir well.
  4. Add the meat and cook over high heat for a couple of minutes, stir constantly.(prevent paprika form burning, otherwise it will give a bitter taste to the soup).
  5. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, add the garlic and the bay leaf. Add some water, just enough to cover the meat. Cover the pot with the lid and cook over low heat until the meat is half done (approximately 1 1/2 hours).
  6. Meanwhile you can make the csipetke. (see directions below).
  7. Add the dice carrots and parsnips, stir well and add 2-3 cups of water.
  8. Add the cubed potatoes. Salt to taste. A pinch of cumin is optional.
  9. Add the tomato and the green pepper cut in strings.
  10. Cook over low heat until all the ingredients are tender.
  11. Add csipetke, just few minutes before removing the pot definitely from fire. It needs only 5-6 minutes to be ready.

If you like hot spicy soups, serve crushed cherry hot peppers on a separate bowl.

In Hungary the Goulash is served with thick slices of fresh bread. Enjoy!

Csipetke Directions

0506-Nokedli-GaluskaThe Hungarian word Csipetke means “small pinched dumplings”.

Beat the egg, add salt and flour, continue beating the ingredients until you get a stiff dough. (Do not use water). Hold the dough in your hands and pinch bean-size pieces of dough and put them aside on floured board until you need to add them to the soup.

Origins and History of Hungarian Goulash

The word goulash comes from the Hungarian word “gulyás” that originally meant “herdsman” but over the time it also started to signify “soup”, the soup made by herdsman (gulyásleves). In Hungary, “goulash” is known as “gulyás” or “gulyásleves”.

The Hungarian Goulash recipe has its origins in the nomadic lifestyle of the Magyars back to the Middle Ages when herdsmen used to, traditionally cook their meals in a cauldron (bogrács in Hungarian)in open fire during their long journeys carrying their herds of cattle to the biggest Europe’s cattle markets. Since its origins until the 19th century the goulash soup was regarded as the food of herdsmen.

At the end of the 19th century, while Hungary was still under the Habsburgs regime and ruled by them in almost all questions, a general concern of loosing their cultural identity arose among Hungarians. In fact, they felt the need of protecting anything related to their cultural heritage and nation, such as their language, national dances, customs, traditions and their gastronomy.

This is when goulash started to become a popular dish, even among the wealthy.

Return from Hungarian Goulash Recipe to Hungarian Food

Return from Hungarian Goulash Recipe to Budapest Discovery Guide Home


Show Buttons
Hide Buttons