Dinner/ European/ Pasta/ Recipes/ Soup

Gulyas – Traditional Hungarian Goulash Soup with Noodles

25/05/2020
 

Gulyas is the ultimate comfort food. What’s not to love about slow-simmered beef and potatoes infused with spicy paprika and homemade galuska noodles? This Hungarian goulash is zero effort, ALL flavour.

Large white bowl of goulash soup with bread in the background.

Why We Love This Recipe

Get this dish prepped in just 15 minutes, then let your stove or slow cooker take over the hard work. Gulyas is a dish that’s full of those traditional Hungarian paprika notes, warming for the soul, but not too heavy on the belly.

You can cook up a big batch to store in the freezer for cold winter nights or when you just don’t feel like cooking.

Big bowl of gulyas with spoons and bread ready to eat.

What is Gulyas? 

Our whole lives we thought Goulash was a stew, and while the American version is, in it’s origin country of Hungary, Hungarian Goulash isn’t a stew at all. It’s actually more like a chunky soup.

For one thing, it’s got a much thinner consistency than stew, but is still packed with that rich, warming flavour that we all know and love.

The key to that flavour is paprika – it is 100% essential for this dish.

The remaining ingredients – Hungarian sausage (csabai), chunks of beef, carrots, potatoes, celeriac and onions – are slow simmered in a pot or pressure cooker until soft and tender.

Next up flicks of homemade egg noodles called Galuska are added to the gulyas soup before being served with thick slices of crusty bread.

 

What You’ll Need

While there are more than a few ingredients in this dish, most are just meat and vegetables with a couple of spices thrown in. You should be able to get all the ingredients (or the closest substitute – looking at you Hungarian Sausage) at your local supermarket. 

Celeriac may be one vegetable that may not be available or in season. If not, you can substitute with an extra potato, parsnip or turnip if you like.

For the sausage, we understand this may be a tricky one to track down, so if you can’t replace with kolbasz, Polish kielbasa, chorizo or leave out completely. (Some other traditional gulyas recipes don’t include sausage at all – it all depends on the region!)

Now with the homemade pasta, before you freak out, galuska noodles are SUUUUPER SIMPLE to make, and you definitely WON’T need to crack out the pasta machine.

All you need is a mixing bowl, your egg-based batter, a flat paddle like this (or a chopping board) and a knife to ‘flick’ small slivers of the dough into the soup while it’s bubbling away on the stove. It doesn’t need to be neat and tidy – make them big, small, thin, thick – it’s up to you. Just have fun with it.

But! Before you ask, yep, you can omit the homemade noodles if that’s more convenient for you. But when it’s so fun why would you? 

Ingredients laid out for traditional Hungarian gulyas.

How to make Traditional Hungarian Goulash Soup with Galuska Noodles:

For the Soup:

First step is to slow cook the beef. Pop it in a pot (or pressure cooker) and cover completely with water (around 3 cups). Bring to the boil then allow to simmer for 2 hours (or 1 hour if you’re using a pressure cooker). As it boils, keep topping with boiling water as needed to keep the meat covered (around 3-4 cups).  The beef may still be tough at the end of this stage, don’t worry, it will soften by the end.

Pouring water over beef, ready to boil.

While the beef is cooking, heat a medium frying pan on low-medium heat and add your vegetable oil, onions and garlic. Cook carefully until soft and translucent. Keep your eye on the onions, you want them just cooked and not burnt as it will change the flavour.

Slowly cooking the onions and garlic.

Once the beef has cooked, add in the cooked onion and garlic along with the potatoes, carrot, parsnip, celeriac, dry spices, Hungarian sausage and beef stock to the pan. Top up with water so all the ingredients are covered (around 2 cups). Bring it all to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer (uncovered) for one more hour, topping up with extra water as required to keep everything covered and maintain a soft, soupy consistency. 

Adding the remaining vegetables and sausage to the goulash.

For the Galuska Noodles:

While the soup is simmering, it’s time to create your galuska noodles. Add the white flour, egg, water and salt & pepper (optional) to a mixing bowl, mix until smooth and well combined, then allow to rest.

Making the pasta batter for the galuska noodles.

In the last 10 mins of cooking, pop a dab of dough onto a paddle and flick small slivers at a time into the soup using a knife. Dip the knife into the soup after every flick to stop the dough from sticking to the knife.
Serve immediately with hot crusty bread and butter. YUMMMM.

Flicking the galuska noodles into the goulash.

Cook’s Tips

  • Watch the onions and cook them slowly. If they burn, it will totally change the flavour, so keep your eye on ’em.
  • Serve gulyas soup with hot crusty bread and butter. YUMMMM.
  • If you want to put the lid on to boil the beef and then the soup, leave a gap, otherwise it will boil over.
  • Make sure to dip the knife into the soup after every flick to stop the dough from sticking to the knife.
  • If you need to use up the other half of celeriac, why not whip up a batch of Dutch Split Pea Soup?

FAQs

Can I cook goulash in a slow cooker?

Yes. If you’re going to use the slow cooker, cook the onion and garlic in the vegetable oil first then add the remaining ingredients (except for the galuska noodles) all together. Cook on high for 8 hours. 10 minutes before serving, whip up the galuska noodle batter and start flicking the noodles in!

What cut of beef is best used for this soup?

We used and recommend gravy beef, which is also known as chuck steak. This cut is perfect for cooking in stews and soups as it gives you the melt-in-your-mouth tenderness you want in a dish. It’s also an affordable cut so it won’t break the bank.

Can I freeze gulyas?

Yes, which is fabulous. There’s nothing better than not having to cook dinner, and getting to warm up a mouth-watering chunky soup that’s ready to devour in minutes, not hours!

Variations & Substitutes

  • If you can’t find Hungarian csabai sausage, you can substitute with kolbasz, Polish kielbasa, chorizo or leave out completely.
  • Feel free to omit the galuska noodles to make this soup a little easier. Or throw in a handful or penne or macaroni in the last 20 minutes of cooking if you still want some pasta in it.
  • No celeriac? No worries. Sometimes it may not be available or in season. If that’s the case, you can substitute with an extra potato, parsnip or turnip if you like.

Bowl of hot goulash with crusty bread.

Want more Winter warmers? Give these a go:

★ Did you make this recipe? Please leave a star rating below!

Close up of meat and vegetables in a soup known as goulash.

Gulyas - Traditional Hungarian Goulash Soup with Noodles

Gulyas is the ultimate comfort food. What’s not to love about one pot slow-simmered beef and potatoes infused with spicy paprika and homemade galuska noodles? Hungarian goulash is zero effort, ALL flavour.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 15 minutes
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Hungarian
Servings: 8 serves
Calories: 499kcal
Author: Wandercooks
Cost: $20

Equipment

  • Large Cast Iron Pot or Saucepan
  • Medium Frying Pan

Ingredients

For the Noodles

Instructions

For the Soup:

  • First step is to slow cook the beef. Pop it in a pot (or pressure cooker) and cover completely with water (around 3 cups). Bring to the boil then allow to simmer for 2 hours (or 1 hour if you're using a pressure cooker). As it boils, keep topping with boiling water as needed to keep the meat covered (around 3-4 cups).  The beef may still be tough at the end of this stage, don't worry, it will soften by the end.
  • While the beef is cooking, heat a medium frying pan on low-medium heat and add your vegetable oil, onions and garlic. Cook carefully until soft and translucent. Keep your eye on the onions, you want them just cooked and not burnt as it will change the flavour.
  • Once the beef has cooked, add in the cooked onion and garlic along with the potatoes, carrot, parsnip, celeriac, dry spices, Hungarian sausage and beef stock to the pan. Top up with water so all the ingredients are covered (around 2 cups).
  • Bring it all to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer (uncovered) for one more hour, topping up with extra water as required to keep everything covered and maintain a soft, soupy consistency. 

For the Galuska Noodles:

  • While the soup is simmering, it’s time to create your galuska noodles. Add the white flour, egg, water and salt & pepper (optional) to a mixing bowl, mix until smooth and well combined, then allow to rest.
  • In the last 10 mins of cooking, pop a dab of dough onto a paddle and flick small slivers at a time into the soup using a knife. Dip the knife into the soup after every flick to stop the dough from sticking to the knife.
  • Serve immediately with hot crusty bread and butter. YUMMMM.

Video

Notes

Cook's Tips
  • Watch the onions and cook them slowly. If they burn, it will totally change the flavour, so keep your eye on 'em.
  • Serve this soup with hot crusty bread and butter. YUMMMM.
  • If you want to put the lid on to boil the beef and then the soup, leave a gap, otherwise it will boil over.
  • Make sure to dip the knife into the soup after every flick to stop the dough from sticking to the knife.
FAQs
  • Can I cook goulash in a slow cooker? Yes. If you're going to use the slow cooker, cook the onion and garlic in the vegetable oil first then add the remaining ingredients (except for the galuska noodles) all together. Cook on high for 8 hours. 10 minutes before serving, whip up the galuska noodle batter and start flicking the noodles in!
  • What cut of beef is best used for this soup? We used and recommend gravy beef, which is also known as chuck steak. This cut is perfect for cooking in stews and soups as it gives you the melt-in-your-mouth tenderness you want in a dish. It's also an affordable cut so it won't break the bank.
  • Can I freeze it? Yes, which is fabulous. There's nothing better than not having to cook dinner, and getting to warm up a mouth-watering chunky soup that's ready to devour in minutes, not hours!
Variations & Substitutes
  • If you can't find Hungarian csabai sausage, you can substitute with kolbasz, Polish kielbasa, chorizo or leave out completely.
  • Feel free to omit the galuska noodles to make this soup a little easier. Or throw in a handful or penne or macaroni in the last 20 minutes of cooking if you still want some pasta in it.
  • No celeriac? No worries. Sometimes it may not be available or in season. If that's the case, you can substitute with an extra potato, parsnip or turnip if you like.

Nutrition

Calories: 499kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 109mg | Sodium: 547mg | Potassium: 1219mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 4763IU | Vitamin C: 23mg | Calcium: 105mg | Iron: 7mg
Hey hey – Did you make this recipe?We’d love it if you could give a star rating below ★★★★★ and show us your creations on Instagram! Snap a pic and tag @wandercooks / #Wandercooks
Gulyas – Traditional Hungarian Goulash Soup with Noodles

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14 Comments

  • Reply
    Erika
    08/08/2016 at 9:31 pm

    Hi,

    I liked your recipe,it is not authentic, but close and I liked much more better than other one. I would like to tell you it is a galuska that you made and not csipetke. We use to make csipetke our pulp and the dough is different. Hungarian Goulash made by just beef without sausage,and chili depend on personal taste. I miss bay-leave as well. You don’t need to use beef stock, just water. Unfortunately the cooking techniques is not proper at all. Authentic Hungarian Goulash spices are salt, bay-leave, garlic, sweet peppers, caraway, (black peppers either, but we use in it often.) Good recipe, thank you! Erika

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      15/08/2016 at 11:32 am

      Hey Erika, thanks for stopping by. Interesting about galuska and csipetke dough. The way we made this goulash and csipetke was taught to us by our Hungarian friends in Budapest. We’d love to experiment with your method as well!

  • Reply
    Bintu - Recipes From A Pantry
    23/06/2016 at 10:23 pm

    What a perfect dish for a cold day. Could you also serve this with a jacket potato or mash as well?

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      28/06/2016 at 8:10 am

      Oooh yes why not? You could omit the potatoes from the dish itself and serve alongside as mash or buttery jacket-potatoes instead. Yum!

  • Reply
    Gloria @ Homemade & Yummy
    23/06/2016 at 8:40 pm

    It has been a long time since I made a pot of goulash. This sounds wonderful. Perfect comfort food, and makes great leftovers too.

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      28/06/2016 at 8:06 am

      Yep! The flavours are even better the next day, or even after frozen. This is a good one to cook up a big batch and treat yourself to a nice easy dinner at another time. 😛

  • Reply
    Florentina
    23/06/2016 at 4:06 pm

    5 stars
    What a hearty comforting meal. It will have to wait until the temperature drops a bit though, but then it has to be made!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      28/06/2016 at 8:05 am

      Yep, it’s a perfect dish on a cold winter’s night, especially with crusty bread and a nice glass of wine. 😉

  • Reply
    Heather
    23/06/2016 at 11:51 am

    5 stars
    What an awesome dish! My step father is from Hungary and my mother would make this for him all the time when I was growing up… let me tell you this … hers never looked anywhere near so delicious (sorry Mom) !!!! I love this recipe and can’t wait to share it with my step dad 🙂 Thanks!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      23/06/2016 at 1:14 pm

      Haha thanks Heather! Have to say though, with recipes like these appearance means nothing… flavour is everything! Hope you guys enjoy. 😀

  • Reply
    Cindy Gordon (Vegetarian Mamma)
    23/06/2016 at 12:44 am

    This looks delicious! Seriously, your pictures make me want to dive in! Love your light hearted humor and grace that shows through each of your posts! Always a pleasure to stop by!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      23/06/2016 at 10:01 am

      Aww thanks Cindy that means so much to hear. It’s so much fun cooking, photographing and sharing our story with our awesome readers, even more than eating our creations haha. We’re really glad you enjoyed the post! 🙂

  • Reply
    Stella @ Stellicious Life
    21/06/2016 at 10:13 pm

    5 stars
    When I received your newsletter today and saw that it claimed to feature the recipe for the Authentic Hungarian Goulash I was curious to see whether it truly was authentic (you see I’m Hungarian ;-), and I have to report that except for the sausage (never ate it with sausage -> but I can see how in some parts of Hungary they might add some sausage for extra flavour), it really is the real deal!! You don’t know how happy this makes me, because most of the world calls something completely different (usually a stew -> pörkölt in Hungarian) goulash.

    So kudos to you Ladies and yep, it is delicious and comforting, and now you made me crave a big bowl of goulash even though it’s summer here 🙂

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      22/06/2016 at 8:24 am

      Phew! So glad it passed the test!! That is interesting about the sausage, we were surprised we even managed to find it in our little part of town. So glad to have stumbled across this on our travels though, it really is such an awesome dish. Just turn your air-conditioner up to the max and pretend it’s winter 😛 Thanks for getting in touch Stella! 😀

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