The Best Goulash Recipe (Traditional Austrian recipe)

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This traditional recipe for Viennese Beef Goulash is a real family favorite and hands down the best goulash recipe out there. A hearty, warming beef stew with lots of onions and a thick savory sauce flavored with paprika, caraway seeds and marjoram. 

Viennese Beef Goulash | This traditional Asutrian Hungarian recipe for Beef Goulash is a real family favorite and hands down the best goulash recipe out there. A hearty, warming beef stew with lots of onions and a thick savory sauce flavored with paprika, caraway seeds and marjoram. #goulash, #Austrian, #comfortfood, #realfood, #beef, #stew

This traditional Austrian Beef Goulash is the best Goulash recipe ever!

Today I share with you one of my most beloved recipes! Goulash! My whole family is crazy about this Austro-Hungarian Beef Stew and no matter how much I make, it never lasts as long as it should. Trust me, this is the best goulash recipe ever!

What is Goulash and where does it come from?

Goulash is a hearty soup or stew with pork or beef, usually seasoned with sweet paprika and other spices like caraway seeds and marjoram. Originating from medieval Hungary, goulash is an extremely popular meal in Central Europe but also in other parts of Europe.

What I show you today is not a Hungarian goulash but a traditional Austrian recipe – Yes, while goulash obviously originated in Hungary, Vienna made its own version and IT IS OUTRAGEOUS.

Indeed, the Hungarian goulash is rather thin compared to its Austrian cousin!

Why this is the best Goulash recipe ever:

What makes this Viennese Beef Goulash Recipe special is the thick, savoury sauce! The interesting thing is that the sauce is actually mostly onions – sounds weird, right? Believe me, it’s crazy good!

The secret to getting this beautiful flavorful onion sauce is to saute the onions and garlic and puree (!!) them before adding paprika and spices.

The meat is not fried but actually added raw to this onion puree. It sounds strange but I promise, you’ll end up with the most tender meat ever!

traditional goulash with beef served in a soup bowl with some parsley on top

Tips for making the best beef goulash:

The key to tender meat and a savoury, round sauce is slow cooking!
I like to cook my Viennese Beef Goulash in a Dutch oven, which I just put into a 300 F hot oven with the lid on after adding the meat.  The beef releases its delicious juices over time and after 2,5 hours of simmering in this incredible beef- and onion sauce, the beef is super tender.


The signature goulash flavour comes from a perfectly balanced mix of sweet and smoked paprika along with some caraway seeds and marjoram.


I usually cook a big portion of Goulash because it’s also one of those dishes that’s even better as a “leftover”! You can simply serve it on top of pasta or just throw in more veg to “stretch” it a bit.


Variations on this traditional goulash recipe:

  • You can use pork instead of beef but make sure to cook it only for about 1,5 hours, or until the pork is tender.
  • This goulash recipe can also be made in a slow cooker. Follow steps 1 to 3, add all ingredients to a slow cooker and cook on HIGH for 3 1/2 to 4 hours or LOW for 7 to 8 hours.
  • If you cannot find marjoram, use oregano instead!
  • Add potatoes, red bell pepper, carrots, or mushrooms to add some bulk to this beef goulash!
traditonal Viennese goulash with beef served in a rustic soup bowl


What to serve with this traditional Goulash?

This succulent beef goulash is traditionally served with bread dumplings called “Semmelknodel” (here’s a great recipe) and a green salad. I prefer to serve it with potatoes and a side salad.

Traditional Beef Goulash served on a plate with sliced bread dumplings

Can leftover goulash be frozen?

You can freeze leftover goulash in an airtight container. Use the frozen goulash up within three months. When you want to eat some, run warm water around the outside of the freezer container, and remove the frozen goulash to either a pot or microwave safe dish for heating.

Viennese Beef Goulash | This traditional Asutrian Hungarian recipe for Beef Goulash is a real family favorite and hands down the best goulash recipe out there. A hearty, warming beef stew with lots of onions and a thick savory sauce flavored with paprika, caraway seeds and marjoram. #goulash, #Austrian, #comfortfood, #realfood, #beef, #stew

Did you make and love this goulash recipe? Give it your review below! And make sure to share your creations by tagging me on Instagram!

The best Beef Goulash recipe

This traditional beef goulash from Austria is THE BEST GOULASH RECIPE EVER! The secret? Many onions and slow cooking in a dutch oven or slow cooker! 

Course Main Course
Cuisine Austrian, German, Hungarian
Keyword Austria, beef, best, easy, goulash, Hungary, onions, slow cooker
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 25 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 340 kcal


  • 800 onions
  • 2 -3  cloves garlic
  • tbsp clarified butter ghee
  • tbsp tomato paste
  • 100 ml red wine
  • 1 1/2 tsp caraway seeds
  • 4 tbsp paprika sweet
  • 1/2 tbsp paprika smoked
  • 1 tbsp marjoram
  • 100 ml beef broth
  • tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 kg beef stewing beef, cut into cubes
  • salt to taste


  1. Chop onions and garlic, heat the clarified butter in a dutch oven or a big pot and fry on low heat for about 10 minutes. Now, turn down the heat and puree the onion-garlic mix with an immersion blender. Add the tomato paste and turn the heat up again. Roast the tomato-onion-puree for about 2 minutes, then add the wine and let reduce.
  2. Add all the spices and the vinegar as well as 100 ml of beef broth. Turn heat to low and let simmer for 5 minutes. Now add the meat. The beef should be just barely covered with liquid. If you are lacking liquid, you can add more broth at this point.
  3. Cover the pot with a lid an let the Viennese Beef Goulash simmer on low heat for 2-3 hours until the meat is tender and the sauce nice and thick. Season with salt to taste.
  4. Serve with potatoes and a green salad.

Recipe Notes

Note: Use Hungarian paprika powder - and add your liquids right after adding the paprika - it will get bitter if fried for too long. Also, even if you're not a fan of caraway seeds, add at least a bit. It does not stand out at all but is quintessential for flavour! (Plus, it helps with digestion and eventual gas from the onions)

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  1. Liebe Kiki,

    das hört sich Oberhammer lecker an!! Gulasch ist total mein Ding und muss ich auch unbedingt mal wieder machen. In der Art mit den vielen Zwiebeln kannte ich das noch gar nicht, aber ich finde die Zutaten hören sich sehr harmonisch an. Habe ich mir gleich mal abgespeichert :).

    Liebe Grüße,

  2. Wooooahhh… Kiki!!!
    Das klingt omnomnös ♡
    So ganz ohne Anbraten habe ich mein Gulasch noch nie gemacht, das muss ich unbedingt einmal testen.
    Dank dir für das tolle Rezept.
    Liebste Grüße

  3. Liebe Kiki,

    als Wienerin bin ich natürlich mit dem Gulasch groß geworden….
    Und jedem, dem ich sage, dass die Zwiebel-Fleisch-Menge 1:1 beträgt, bekommt erstmal ganz große Augen! Aber ich finde, dass man ja nie zu viel davon verwenden kann!
    Gulasch for the win! Das ist wahrlich ein gutes Mittel gegen Kater! Am liebsten esse ich Semmelknödel dazu…


  4. Hahaha, ach Kiki – die Fleischeslust der Studentenzeit, ich musste gerade sehr lachen und fühle mich ein ganz klein wenig an mich selbst erinnert 😉 Ab und an braucht man als Student einfach etwas richtig Deftiges und da kommt dein Gulasch gerade Recht. Wie gut, dass die Zwiebeln nur grob gehackt werden müssen – 800 g Zwiebeln fein zu würfeln macht mit Sicherheit nur wenig Freude haha
    Ganz liebe Grüße zu dir, Mia

  5. Welches Fleisch nimmt man denn für Gulaschfleisch? Ich kenne mich nicht so gut aus und möchte natürlich beim Metzger das richtige bestellen… Danke!

  6. 5 stars
    Das beste Gulasch! So zart, so superlecker. Ich war auch skeptisch, denn bisher habe ich das Fleisch immer portionsweise angebraten. Schmeckt aber so viel besser! Es ist unglaublich zart (ich habe Wade genommen), die Sauce intensiv und braucht auch keine zusätzliche Bindung. Habs im Ofen gemacht. Genial unkompliziert. Danke für den Tipp.

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