Slow Cooker Foodie

Slow Cooker Hungarian Goulash (Gulyas)

Easy Hungarian goulash or Gulyas, homemade with simple ingredients. Full of chuck roast beef cubes in paprika based tomato sauce/ stew.

This is the most comforting dish full of tender beef, vegetables, and warm spices. The slow cooker allows the tangy tomatoes to help tenderize the beef while it cooks low and slow, causing it to melt in your mouth with each bite. This is the best way to cook a chuck roast and requires the least amount of hover time in the kitchen. It is different from this Slow Cooker American Goulash in that it does not contain pasta and is a little more stew like.

What’s The Difference Between American Goulash and Hungarian Goulash?

The original version from Hungary didn’t contain pasta. However, by the time the recipe reached America, pasta was added as a way to further hearty up the meal. This version of the recipe is now known as the American version while the version without pasta is seen as the Hungarian version.

What’s The Difference Between Beef Stew And Traditional Beef Goulash?

Traditional beef goulash is a type of beef stew. It classically consists of beef, vegetables, tomatoes, and a lot of paprika along with other herbs and spices.

Is Beef Stroganoff The Same As Goulash?

No, beef stroganoff is beef in a cream sauce typically served over egg noddles. Goulash is more stew like with a beef and broth base, vegetables, and paprika as the majority flavor.

What Is The Best Cut Of Meat For Goulash?

I use chuck roast for this dish because it becomes melt in your mouth tender, and it is also more economical than other cuts of beef.

What is Hungarian paprika? What Is A Good Substitute?

It is a spice made from a variety of dried and ground peppers and can vary in intensity. A good substitute would be cayenne pepper, but this will have a lot more spice so add it sparingly according to your heat preference. You can also use chili powder for a less spicy substitute.

How To Make Slow Cooker Hungarian Goulash Recipe From Scratch?

  1. Flour coat meat– Brown lightly in pan, and transfer to crockpot.
  2. Saute aromatics– Add onion, garlic, caraway seeds, ginger powder, paprika until fragrant.Transfer to crockpot.
  3. Add other ingredients– Including broth, red wine vinegar, tomato paste, salt, pepper, potatoes, carrots, bay leaf.
  4. Cover and cook– Until meat and vegetables are tender.
  5. Add cornstarch slurry– In the final 30 minutes of cooking while stirring gently.
  6. Continue cooking– Uncovered until sauce is slightly thickened.
  7. Before serving– Discard bay leaf. Garnish with roughly chopped fresh parsley. Enjoy!

What To Serve With Crockpot Gulyas?

Serve this with starches you can dip into the Gulyas such as the following:

It would pair deliciously with vegetables as simple as a green salad or as comforting as these sides:

You can serve it over rice or pasta to really soak up the delicious broth and juices.


Goulash soup– Double the amount of broth so that the consistency is thinner, resembling soup.

Make it cheesy – Add cheddar cheese or you can even mix in some cream cheese. You can further garnish with shredded mozzarella cheese too.

Add corn and other vegetables – If you love vegetables, add some extra ones that pair well with this dish such as corn, broccoli, radishes, celery, zucchini, green onions, etc.

Add chicken – If you prefer chicken to beef, swap out the beef for the same amount of chicken breast or even ground chicken. You can also use rotisserie chicken to save time. You can also do a combo of half beef and half chicken if you have different meat preferences within your household.

Make it spicy– Add red chili flakes or cayenne pepper.

Add bacon– Sprinkle cooked bacon bits in at the end.

Make it creamy– Add a little half and half, heavy cream, cheese, or even cream cheese.

Tips And Techniques

How to make goulash thicker? Keep cooking uncovered until it thickens properly or add a little more cornstarch slurry if necessary.

How to make goulash thinner? Simply add more broth to thin it out.

Lard vs. butter– Lard is traditionally used in this dish, but I used butter because I had it on hand. You can use whichever you prefer.

Don’t skip browning the meat– Because this locks the juices in the meat and adds a great texture.

The key is to “cook low and slow”– Because this allows the beef to break down properly so that it becomes melt in your mouth tender. Cooking high and fast will cause the meet to be chewy and inedible.

Trim and cube the chuck roast– This ensures that you don’t bite into a chunk of straight fat instead of beef. Also, cutting the beef into cubes makes serving much easier and also allows the meat to cook more evenly.

Roughly grind Caraway seeds– This allows the flavor to intensify. I highly recommend a rough grind of these seeds.

Discard the bay leaf before serving– They are large and unpleasant to bite into so make sure to remove it before serving your family or guests.

Use low sodium ingredients– To prevent the dish from becoming too salty.


Refrigerate– In a sealed container for up to 3 days.

Freeze– I do not recommend freezing this dish because the cornstarch slurry may cause it to separate when thawed and the potatoes will become grainy and mushy.

Reheat– In the microwave or on the stovetop.

More Slow Cooker Beef Recipes

Easy Hungarian Goulash With Beef in Black Slow Cooker

Slow Cooker Hungarian Goulash (Gulyas)

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 hours
Total Time: 5 hours 10 minutes
Easy Hungarian goulash or Gulyas, homemade with simple ingredients. Full of chuck roast beef cubes in paprika based tomato sauce/ stew.
Yield: 6 People


  • 2 pounds Chuck roast, Trimmed of fat and cut into 1.5 inch cubes
  • 1.5 tbsp All-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp Oil
  • 1 tbsp Butter, Unsalted
  • 1 Onion, Large, Finely chopped
  • 3 cloves Garlic, Finely minced
  • 1.5 tsp Caraway seeds, Can be roughly ground for a more intense flavor, which I highly recommend
  • 1 tsp Ginger powder
  • 1/4 cup Hungarian paprika
  • 2-3 cups Beef broth, Low sodium, Start with 2 cups and add more if necessary
  • 1 tbsp Red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Tomato paste
  • Salt, To taste
  • Pepper, To taste
  • 2 Potatoes, Medium size, Cut into 2 inch cubes
  • 2 Carrots, Medium size, Washed, Peeled, Diced into 2 inch pieces, I omitted them this time
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 2 tbsp Cornstarch , Dissolved in 1/4 cup liquid/ juices from crockpot


  • In a Ziploc bag, add the roast cubes and flour. Seal bag and toss until meat is fully coated.
  • Heat half the butter and half the oil in a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat.
  • Add the floured meat and cook until lightly browned.
  • Transfer meat to large crockpot (6.5 quart or larger).
  • Heat remaining butter and oil in the same nonstick pan.
  • Add onion, garlic, caraway seeds, ginger powder, paprika and saute until onion is partially softened and garlic plus caraway seeds are fragrant.
  • Transfer this mixture to crockpot too.
  • Add broth, red wine vinegar, tomato paste, salt, pepper, potatoes, carrots, bay leaf.
  • Mix until combined.
  • Cover and cook on High heat for 4-5 hours or on Low heat for 6-7 hours, or until meat and vegetables are tender.
  • In the final 30 minutes of cooking, make a cornstarch slurry by mixing together cornstarch and liquid/juices from crockpot in a small bowl.
  • Pour this slurry in the crockpot, while gently stirring so as to not break the potatoes and carrots.
  • Continue cooking uncovered until sauce is slightly thickened.
  • Discard bay leaf and garnish with roughly chopped fresh parsley (if you like). Enjoy!


  • Read all my tips above.
  • Leftovers can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days reheated in the microwave. 


Calories: 451kcal, Carbohydrates: 24g, Protein: 35g, Fat: 25g, Saturated Fat: 9g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 12g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 109mg, Sodium: 232mg, Potassium: 1070mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 5777IU, Vitamin C: 18mg, Calcium: 65mg, Iron: 5mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Hungarian
Calories: 451
Author: Abeer Rizvi
Spoonful of Beef Goulash or Hungarian Gulyas- Closeup Shot

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