Beef Goulash with Dumplings

Comfort FoodDumplingsGoulash

Beef goulash with light, fluffy dumplings. Central European goulash, a beef stew with Hungarian paprika, onions, tomato paste, cubed chuck roast, herbs and stock.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

What better on a chilly day than a plate of steaming hot beef stew with light, fluffy dumplings?

My super-hero father decided to make goulash for us recently and when the first recipe he tried didn’t work out (go figure—it asked for a quarter pound of paprika), down the drain it went (just the base, thank goodness), and back to the drawing board went dad.

Our Favorite Videos

The recipe we did end up with dad pulled from one of his thick recipe binders, with his own notes from a Wolfgang Puck Food Network show. The dumpling recipe comes from my friend Elizabeth who brought it back with her from a summer in Prague.

The combination is a knock-out! Rich, flavorful, spicy beef stew balanced with light dumplings.

Beef Goulash with Dumplings

Beef Goulash with Dumplings Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 2 hours, 15 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 to 6

Make sure you are using fresh, flavorful paprika! Old paprika can lose its flavor.



  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large onions, thinly sliced (about 4 cups sliced onions)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced (about 1 Tbsp)
  • 1 tablespoon caraway seeds, toasted and ground
  • 6 tablespoons sweet Hungarian paprika
  • 1 teaspoon spicy Hungarian paprika
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh marjoram or oregano (or 1 Tbsp of dried)
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 1/2 pounds chuck roast, cut into 2-inch cubes (trimmed of excess fat)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter


1 Cook the onions, add garlic and caraway: Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan on medium high heat. Add the onions, sprinkle with sugar, and cook, stirring often, until the onions are browned and caramelized, about 20 minutes.

If the onions at any point look like they are drying out in the pan, lower the heat.

Add the minced garlic and ground toasted caraway seeds and cook a minute more.

2 Add spices: Sprinkle with the sweet and spicy paprikas and toss to coat. Stir in the marjoram, thyme, and bay leaf. Cook for another minute, until fragrant.

3 Stir in the tomato paste. Add the vinegar and stock and deglaze the pan, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.

4 Add the cubed beef and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bring the whole mixture to a boil on high heat, then lower the heat to low to maintain a simmer.

Cover and cook until the beef is falling apart tender, about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. Add more salt and pepper to taste.

5 Make the dumplings: To prepare the dumplings, whisk together the cake flour, baking powder and salt. Combine with the milk and melted butter, mixing lightly.

6 Drop dumplings into stew: After the stew has cooked until tender in step 4, drop the dumpling batter by (heaping) teaspoonfuls into the simmering stew. Cover and cook for 15 minutes.

Once you have covered the pan, do not uncover while the dumplings are cooking! In order for them to be light and fluffy, they must steam. If you uncover the pan, the steam will escape and the dumplings will boil instead.

After 15 minutes, test the dumplings with a toothpick. If the toothpick comes out clean, the dumplings are done.

Hello! All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use our photos without prior written permission. Thank you!

This post may contain links to Amazon or other partners; your purchases via these links can benefit Simply Recipes. Read more about our affiliate linking policy.


Pork and Sauerkraut Goulash - from No Recipes

Venison Goulash - from Hunter Angler Gardener Cook

Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

More from Elise

56 Comments / Reviews

No ImageBeef Goulash with Dumplings

Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Karen

    I halved the recipe and it ended up being really dry and salty even with an extra cup of stock. Not sure what I did wrong. The dumplings were good, and that was the part I worried about stuffing up!

    Show Replies (1)
  2. Eric Neil Koenig

    I’d never made this one before so I was really nervous. As a matter of fact, I realized, once I was cooking this for 90 minutes, I’d left out some important ingredients but put them in with an hour to go. Substituted ketchup for tomato paste; didn’t have caraway seeds; didn’t make dumplings; added sour cream on serving. Yet it was a smash hit and my wife asked me to make both this AND the Chicken paprikash recipes for dinner starting tomorrow! I couldn’t believe it; nobody’s ever given me that much of a culinary compliment. Thank you so much for these authentic Hungarian recipes.


  3. Graham

    Excellent! Easy to follow and prepare and delicious. I used paprika bought in Bratislava!


  4. Anne Sofie

    I’ve made this now, about 3 times! It’s a winner every time (except with my 8 year old, ha).
    The meat is so tender! Yum!

    Show Replies (1)
  5. Diane

    I am planning to make this recipe tomorrow. Should the broth be chicken or beef on the
    list of ingredients. Any other tips would be appreciated.

    Show Replies (1)
View More
Beef Goulash with DumplingsBeef Goulash with Dumplings