Hungarian Goulash Soup Recipe – Perfect For Cold Days

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Embark on a culinary journey to Eastern Europe with our Hungarian Goulash Soup, a robust and hearty bowl of savory delight. Tender chunks of beef and vegetables bathe in a rich, paprika-infused broth, creating a symphony of flavors that is as comforting as it is complex. Every spoonful transports you to the heart of Hungary, offering a taste of tradition and the warmth of home-cooked goodness. Dive into this spice-laden masterpiece and savor the authentic taste of Hungarian hospitality!

Uncover a world of robust flavors right in your kitchen. Dive into the inviting warmth of Hungarian Goulash Soup recipe. This masterpiece recipe, straight from the heart of Hungary, offers a culinary experience like no other.

Hungarian Goulash Soup Recipe

The aromatic allure of paprika sparks your senses. Tender chunks of beef meld with vegetables to form a comforting, hearty dish. Each spoonful bursts with a medley of tastes that whisks you off to the cobblestone streets of Budapest. And the best part? 

You craft this symphony of flavors at home. Delve into the recipe, savor the process, and create your unforgettable moments. With this guide, the magic of Hungary’s traditional cuisine is just a simmer away. 

The spotlight’s on you, the maestro of your kitchen. So, roll up your sleeves, and let’s start this flavorful journey together. Happy cooking!

What Is Hungarian Goulash Soup Recipe?

Hungarian Goulash Soup is a savory, warming stew hailing from Hungary. It’s a symphony of tender beef, hearty vegetables like potatoes and carrots, and an array of spices, with paprika taking center stage. 

Slow-cooked to perfection, it combines a robust depth of flavor with an inviting texture. Traditionally enjoyed during the colder months, this versatile dish also doubles as a comforting meal year-round. 

The recipe may vary by region, but the authentic, rich taste remains a constant delight. Welcome this classic into your kitchen, and relish in its warm

Hungarian Goulash Soup Recipe

Can You Vary The Recipe With Other Ingredients? 

  • Keto: Swap potatoes for low-carb vegetables like cauliflower or radishes. Also, ensure that your beef broth is free from added sugars.
  • Paleo: The original recipe is largely paleo-friendly. Ensure your beef broth is grain-free and doesn’t contain added sugars or processed additives.
  • Gluten-Free: This recipe is inherently gluten-free as long as the beef broth used is certified gluten-free.
  • Whole30: Use organic beef and vegetables. Ensure that your broth is free from sugars, soy, or dairy. Also, skip the optional parsley garnish if it contains any non-compliant ingredients.
  • Vegetarian: Substitute the beef with hearty vegetables such as mushrooms, eggplant, or zucchini. Use vegetable broth instead of beef broth.
  • Vegan: Follow the vegetarian version and ensure that all your ingredients, especially broth, are 100% plant-based.
Ingredient tips

Recipe Directions 

  • Heat vegetable oil in a pot. Brown beef chuck.
  • Sauté onion, garlic, carrots, and celery until softened.
  • Stir in paprika and caraway seeds.
  • Add beef broth and water. Boil, then simmer for 1-1.5 hours until beef is tender.
  • Add potatoes. Simmer for 30-45 minutes until potatoes are tender.
  • Season with salt, and pepper. Serve hot, garnished with parsley.
Recipe direction

Variations, Add-Ons, And Toppings


  • Add hot paprika or a pinch of cayenne pepper for a spicier kick.
  • Use different meats like pork or mutton for a unique twist.
  • Incorporate a variety of root vegetables, such as parsnip or turnip, for added depth.


  • Stir in a dollop of sour cream for a rich, creamy finish.
  • Add red wine during the simmering process for a deeper flavor.
  • Toss in a bay leaf or two with the broth for an aromatic undertone.


  • Sprinkle freshly chopped dill or chives for a burst of freshness.
  • A handful of crumbled bacon adds a smoky crunch.
  • A squeeze of fresh lemon juice can brighten the flavors just before serving.
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Can I Make Hungarian Goulash Soup Recipe In A Slow Cooker Or Instant Pot?

  • Slow Cooker: Follow the recipe as given until you have added the beef broth and water. Transfer everything to a slow cooker instead of simmering the soup on the stove. Cook on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 4-5 hours. Add the potatoes in the last 2 hours of cooking to ensure they don’t become overly mushy.
  • Instant Pot: Use the sauté function to brown the beef and cook the vegetables as you would on the stove. After adding the broth and water, secure the lid and set the Instant Pot to manual high pressure for 35 minutes. Allow for natural release for 10 minutes, then quick release. Add the potatoes, seal again, and cook for another 5 minutes on manual high pressure, followed by a quick release.
Hungarian Goulash Soup Recipe

Can I Use Store Broth, Or Should I Make My Own?

You can certainly use store-bought broth for convenience, and many people do. When purchasing, opt for low-sodium or unsalted versions. This allows you to control the salt level in your soup better. Also, ensure the broth is high quality and free of unnecessary additives or preservatives.

If you have the time, the homemade broth will usually provide a richer, more nuanced flavor. You can make beef broth from bones and leftover scraps, simmering them with vegetables and herbs. Making your own broth also allows you to control the ingredients and the amount of salt, making it a healthier choice.

Hungarian Goulash Soup Recipe

How To Serve ?

  • Bread: Serving goulash soup with a side of crusty bread is a classic choice. The bread is perfect for dipping into the rich, flavorful broth.
  • Garnish: A sprinkle of fresh parsley on top adds a pop of color and fresh flavor. Some people also enjoy a dollop of sour cream on top for extra creaminess.
  • Salad: A simple side salad with a light vinaigrette can provide a refreshing contrast to the hearty, warming soup.
  • Wine Pairing: A medium-bodied red wine like Merlot or a Hungarian wine such as Egri Bikavér can complement the rich flavors of the soup.
  • Presentation: Serve the soup in deep bowls to showcase the beautiful blend of ingredients and colors.
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Perfect Side Dishes

  • Crusty Bread: Freshly baked, crusty bread makes a wonderful side. It’s perfect for soaking up the flavorful soup broth.
  • Green Salad: A simple green salad with a tangy vinaigrette can offer a refreshing counterpoint to the rich, hearty flavors of the soup.
  • Pickled Vegetables: Hungarian cuisine often includes pickles. Something like pickled cucumbers or beets can provide a tangy contrast to the soup.
  • Roasted Vegetables: Roasted root vegetables or Brussels sprouts could add a bit of crunch and a different flavor profile to the meal.
  • Cabbage Rolls: For a genuinely Hungarian experience, serve the soup alongside traditional stuffed cabbage rolls.
  • Noodles or Spaetzle: While not traditionally served with the soup, small noodles or German spaetzle can make the meal even heartier.
Hungarian Goulash Soup Recipe

Storage And Make Ahead

  • Storage: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. For longer storage, freeze in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months.
  • Make Ahead: Make the soup ahead of time and let it cool completely before refrigerating or freezing. The flavors will meld together, enhancing the taste. Reheat gently on the stovetop, adding a splash of water or broth if needed to maintain the soup’s consistency. Serve with fresh bread or over noodles for a comforting meal.
Hungarian Goulash Soup Recipe

What Can We Do With Leftovers?

  • Stew Transformation: Reduce the leftover soup on the stove to a thicker consistency, and you’ve got a hearty goulash stew. Serve it over noodles, rice, or mashed potatoes.
  • Filling for Pie: Use the leftovers as a savory filling for a pot pie. Add some peas and top with puff pastry for a delicious twist.
  • Pasta Sauce: Blend the soup into a smooth sauce and use it as a unique pasta topping. Sprinkle some grated cheese on top.
  • Casserole Base: Use the soup as a base for a casserole. Just add cooked pasta or rice, top with cheese, and bake.
  • Enchilada Filling: Shred the meat and veggies from the soup and use them as a filling for enchiladas or burritos.


  • Paprika Power: Use high-quality Hungarian sweet paprika for the authentic flavor that defines this dish.
  • Slow Simmer: Allow the soup to simmer slowly to develop rich flavors, ensuring the meat is tender and the broth is flavorful.
  • Vegetable Variety: Add a mix of vegetables like bell peppers, carrots, and onions for a colorful and nutritious soup.
  • Tomato Twist: Enhance the richness with a small amount of tomato paste or diced tomatoes for a subtle tang.
  • Herb Harmony: Finish with a sprinkle of fresh parsley or dill for a burst of freshness and color.
Hungarian Goulash Soup Recipe - Perfect For Cold Days

Hungarian Goulash Soup Recipe – Perfect For Cold Days

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Hungarian Goulash Soup is a robust and flavorful dish, a culinary treasure from Hungary. This rich, hearty soup features tender beef and vegetables bathed in a warming broth infused with sweet paprika and caraway seeds. Its depth of flavor and comforting nature makes it a beloved meal worldwide, perfect for cold days or when in need of some culinary comfort.


  • 2 Tablespoons 2 Vegetable Oil

  • 2 Lbs 2 Beef Chuck (cut into 1-inch cubes)

  • 1 Small 1 Onion (chopped)

  • 2 2 Garlic Cloves (minced)

  • 2 2 Carrots (peeled and chopped)

  • 2 2 Celery Stalks (chopped)

  • 2 Tablespoons 2 Sweet Paprika

  • 1 Teaspoon 1 Caraway Seeds

  • 4 Cups 4 Beef Broth

  • 2 Cups 2 Water

  • 2 Large 2 Potatoes (peeled and chopped)

  • Salt (to taste)

  • Pepper (to taste)

  • Fresh Parsley for Garnish (optional) (as needed)

Step-By-Step Directions

  • Start by heating 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large pot over medium heat.
  • Add 2 lbs of cubed beef chuck to the hot oil. Brown, the beef on all sides, turning regularly.
  • Once the beef is browned, add the chopped onion, minced garlic, chopped carrots, and chopped celery to the pot.
  • Sauté the vegetables with the beef until they soften and the onions turn translucent.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of sweet paprika and 1 teaspoon of caraway seeds to the pot.
  • Stir everything together, ensuring the spices are well incorporated into the mixture.
  • Pour in 4 cups of beef broth and 2 cups of water. Increase the heat and bring the mixture to a boil.
  • Once boiling, reduce the heat and let the soup simmer for 1 to 1.5 hours or until the beef becomes tender.
  • Add the chopped potatoes to the pot, stirring them into the soup.
  • Continue to simmer the soup for an additional 30-45 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
  • Season your goulash soup with salt and pepper according to your taste.
  • Ladle the hot soup into bowls. If desired, garnish with freshly chopped parsley before serving. Enjoy your homemade Hungarian Goulash Soup!
  • Large Pot
  • Sharp Knife
  • Cutting Board
  • Wooden Spoon
  • Ladle


  • Spice Adaptation: Feel free to adapt the spices to your liking. If you prefer a smokier flavor, you can use smoked paprika. Add cayenne pepper or chili for a kick of heat.
  • Vegetable Variation: While traditional goulash soup includes certain vegetables, you can add others you have on hand or prefer. Bell peppers, parsnips, or tomatoes can work well.
  • Slow Cooking: This soup is an excellent candidate for slow cooking. You can prepare it in a slow cooker or Instant Pot following the same steps, adjusting the cooking time as needed.
  • Leftovers and Storage: Leftovers keep well and can be repurposed. The soup’s flavor often deepens after a day or two, enhancing its taste when reheated.

Nutrition Table 

Nutrition Table 

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