Chef John's Beef Goulash

Chef John's Beef Goulash

Chef John 21735

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


2 h 30 m servings 573 cals
Serving size has been adjusted!

Original recipe yields 4 servings



  • 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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  • Prep

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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.


  • 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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  1. 153 Ratings


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 th...

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...

We loved this! It's true it is a little spicy, so if you're sensitive to heat just cut back on the cayenne pepper a bit. We think the noodles and sour cream tamed the spice for us. I was afra...

Merriam-Webster's definition of "goulash": (1) a dish of meat, vegetables, and paprika that is slowly cooked in liquid; (2) a mixture of different things. And that's exactly what this recipe is...

Another winner from Chef John! . It is simply delicious with many layers of flavor and interest. I left out the cayenne because I didn't want it spicy. And really loved the flavor. Thanks Chef J...

This recipe is phenomenal! I printed out the recipe and my husband was the one who wanted to make it - the beef turned out so tender and my 15yr old son called the sauce "pure flavour" and "int...

This is a great recipe. Since it did not specify whether to use spicy or sweet paprika, I used a bit of both. Also, made sure I used traditional Szeged Hungarian Paprika (lucky for me it was o...

Exceptional recipe for a cold winter's night! I made this recipe as Chef John recommended, but I also added 1 more onion, 5 stalks of celery (chopped), 2-14 oz. cans stewed tomatoes, 5 medium p...