Hungarian Goulash: Slow Cooker or Stovetop - Dr. Axe

Hungarian Goulash: A Traditional Beef Stew with Paprika

Hungarian goulash

What do you get when you combine tender grass-fed beef with delicious vegetables, herbs, spices and noodles? In this case, you end up with some mouth-watering Hungarian goulash!

That’s right, this is a slow cooker Hungarian goulash recipe so get ready for minimal work yet loads of flavor. Could this turn out to be the best Hungarian goulash recipe you’ve ever tasted? Give it a try today and find out!

What Is Goulash?

Goulash can be defined as a stew of meat and vegetables seasoned with paprika and other spices. Goulash has Hungarian origins, which is why it’s often referred to as Hungarian goulash. To this day, it remains a popular dish in Central Europe.

Authentic Hungarian goulash is said to have first been consumed by Magyar shepherds in Hungary in the 9th century. Back then, goulash or Hungarian gulyás, was dried in the sun and stored in bags made from sheep’s stomach so the shepherds could easily transport it around with them. When they were ready to eat the Hungarian goulash again, they would simply add water to it.  It was the perfect way for them to have this hearty soup/stew delight on hand. The signature spice of more recent goulash recipes is paprika, but this spice made from Capsicum annuum peppers actually did not exist until the 18th century.

This Hungarian goulash recipe is for Hungarian beef goulash, but you can also use other meats like free-range chicken to make Hungarian goulash recipes. Centuries ago, they most certainly did not have the kitchen tools (such as a slow cooker) that make this recipe so easy and delicious.


This slow cooker Hungarian goulash is perfect for weekly meal planning and is especially comforting and delicious during the colder months.

Hungarian goulash ingredients - Dr. Axe

How to Make Hungarian Goulash

For this recipe, you’ll need a slow cooker. These devices use moist heat to cook food over a long period of time and are the perfect choice for tender meat and an overall flavor-packed goulash.

For this Hungarian goulash slow cooker recipe, you can go the extra mile and make my beef bone broth recipe for the key liquid component of this stew. It’s possible to buy high-quality bone broth in stores these days, but making homemade bone broth is so delicious.

To prep for this recipe, cut up the potatoes, red pepper, tomatoes, garlic and onions as specified. Also, make sure to de-stem the whole mushrooms. Now you’re ready to braise the beef, deglaze the pan with wine and then simply throw everything into one pot for a low and slow cooking session.

In a large pan over medium-high heat, braise the beef in avocado oil with both paprikas, nutmeg, coriander, cloves, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, mustard, salt and pepper. This should take about five to 10 minutes, or until slightly brown.

Hungarian goulash step 1 - Dr. Axe

Add red wine to deglaze the pan.

Hungarian goulash step 2 - Dr. Axe

Have all of the veggies rinsed, cut and ready to go.

Add the raw veggies to the slow cooker, along with the tomato paste.

Hungarian goulash step 5 - Dr. Axe

Add the braised beef. Last but not least, add the hearty beef bone broth.

Hungarian goulash step 7 - Dr. Axe

Once everything is in the slow cooker, cook on low for six to eight hours.

Hungarian goulash step 8 - Dr. Axe

Serve over your favorite noodles, perhaps gluten-free.

Hungarian goulash recipe - Dr. Axe

In the mood to create another great Hungarian dish? Try our Hungarian chicken paprikash.

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Hungarian goulash

Hungarian Goulash Recipe

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  • Author: Dr. Josh Axe
  • Total Time: 6 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free


A hearty stew popular in Hungary and other Eastern European countries, this Hungarian goulash is a crowd pleaser and also loaded with nutrition, particular vitamin A. Enjoy over your favorite noodles or have as a soup with some crusty bread.


  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 23 cups fingerling potatoes, chopped
  • 1 pound stew beef
  • ½ onion, sliced
  • 1 cup baby carrots
  • 6 cups beef bone broth, low sodium
  • 10 small mushrooms, whole and de-stemmed
  • ¾ cup (6 ounces) tomato paste
  • 4 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 red pepper, sliced
  • ½ cup red wine
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon coriander
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cloves, whole
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon mustard powder
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper


  1. In a large pan over medium-high heat, braise beef in avocado oil with both paprikas, nutmeg, coriander, cloves, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, mustard, salt and pepper for about 5–10 minutes or until slightly brown.
  2. Add wine to deglaze pan.
  3. Combine all ingredients in slow cooker and cook on low for 6 hours. Alternatively, cook in a large pot on the stovetop. Bring mixture to a boil, cover, then reduce to a simmer for about 90 minutes or 2 hours, until tender.
  4. Serve on your favorite noodle of choice, such as gluten-free noodles or flat noodles.
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 6 hours
  • Category: Main Dishes
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: Hungarian


  • Serving Size: 1 bowl (881g)
  • Calories: 415
  • Sugar: 14.9g
  • Sodium: 414mg
  • Fat: 13.6g
  • Saturated Fat: 3.1g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 9.5g
  • Trans Fat: 0.2g
  • Carbohydrates: 43.9g
  • Fiber: 8.7g
  • Protein: 34.9g
  • Cholesterol: 82mg

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