Chef John's Beef Goulash

Chef John's Beef Goulash

Chef John 15808

"This Hungarian-style goulash is a thick beef stew that is great served over buttered noodles and garnished with sour cream."

Ingredients 2 h 30 m {{adjustedServings}} servings 573 cals

Serving size has been adjusted!

Original recipe yields 4 servings



Amount per serving ({{servings}} total)

  • Calories:
  • 573 kcal
  • 29%
  • Fat:
  • 41.2 g
  • 63%
  • Carbs:
  • 13.4g
  • 4%
  • Protein:
  • 36 g
  • 72%
  • Cholesterol:
  • 134 mg
  • 45%
  • Sodium:
  • 1757 mg
  • 70%

Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

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  1. Season beef with salt and black pepper. Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over high heat; cook and stir beef in hot oil in batches until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes per batch. Transfer to a large stockpot and reserve drippings in the skillet.
  2. Return skillet to medium heat; stir onions into the reserved drippings, drizzle olive oil over onions, season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook until onion has softened, about 5 minutes. Transfer to the stockpot with beef.
  3. Combine paprika, caraway seeds, black pepper, marjoram, thyme, and cayenne pepper in the skillet and toast over medium heat until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add 1 cup chicken broth and stir; transfer to the beef and onion mixture.
  4. Stir 3 cups chicken broth into beef mixture. Add tomato paste, garlic, vinegar, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and bay leaf; place stockpot over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until a fork inserts easily into the meat, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
Tips & Tricks
Real Hungarian Goulash

See how to make authentic, comforting Hungarian beef goulash.

Chef John’s Duck, Sausage, and Shrimp Gumbo

See how Chef John makes an intensely flavorful gumbo.


  • Chef's Note:
  • Real goulash is more like a soup, so if you want yours thinner, just add 2 or 3 extra cups of broth.
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Reviews 118

  1. 148 Ratings

Baking Nana

Boy is this a great recipe! I had the front window open and a neighbor and the UPS man stopped by to ask what was cooking! A couple of things that are not mentioned in the recipe but are in the video - first Chef John used a mortar and pestle to grin the caraway seeds - well let me tell you caraway does not like to be crushed, but this is really an essential part of the recipe, if you have a spice grinder - use it, otherwise be prepare for some heavy duty crushing with the mortar and pestle. Also, cool the skillet between doing the onions and toasting the spices - I came dangerously close to burning those preciously ground spices! The video recommends simmering with the lid off - which I did and is probably also why the neighbors came asking about dinner. This was a rich and beautiful stew - company worthy for sure, especially on a cold fall or winter evening.


Dad & I thought it was alright but it was w-a-y too zippy for the four kidlets ages 10 and under. If I ever make this again, it'll be with serious alterations.


Absolutely delicious! I added about half a green pepper, diced and sauteed along with the onion, which I had seen in other Goulash recipes. Went light on the cayenne pepper. (Chef John's nothing without his red pepper!) This was simple, delectable and even better the next day. Served over buttered egg noodles. Will make again! Thanks Chef John! Highly recommended, and I would encourage the grinding of the caraway along with the use of fresh marjoram if at all possible.