Beef Goulash with Dumplings

Soup and StewComfort 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.

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



  • 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
  • 1 1/2 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.

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Pork and Sauerkraut Goulash - from No Recipes

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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

53 Comments / Reviews

No ImageBeef Goulash with Dumplings

Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Graham

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


  2. 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)
  3. 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)
  4. SB

    I found the cooking time for 2″ cubes to be too short. I used a chuck roast per the instructions and, at an hour & half, the meat was still chewy. I added some additional time but the troops were hungry so we pressed ahead. Didn’t do the dumplings but served it with spaetzle. Anyway, the sauce is delicious! Am heating up the leftover stew for dinner tonight but giving it 5-10 min in the pressure cooker to make sure the meat is tender.


  5. Hydra

    This was great! A new favorite. I didn’t have cake flour, so I used all purpose. The 15 minutes didn’t cook the dumplings. I gave them even more time and they were still doughy. Not sure if that’s partially related to the flour I used. Overall though, the flavor of the dish was amazing. Earthy and balanced. Thank you!


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