The recipe for this savory soup comes from Katalin Bánfalvi, food writer Carolyn Bánfalvi’s mother-in-law, who lives in the village of Bõny in northwestern Hungary. Hungarian sweet paprika confers a singularly deep, rich color and flavor. Serve with rye bread, sour cream, and fresh dill on the side, if desired.

Featured in: “The Key to Mastering Goulash, the World’s Most Famous Stew.”

Hungarian Goulash Hungarian Goulash
This authentic goulash recipe comes from northwestern Hungary and relies on sweet paprika for that singularly deep, rich russet color and earthy flavor.
Yield: serves 6
Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes


  • ¼ cups vegetable oil
  • 2 medium yellow onions, coarsely chopped
  • 1½ lb. trimmed beef chuck, cut into ½-in. chunks
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cups Hungarian sweet paprika
  • 2 tsp. caraway seeds
  • 2 tsp. dried marjoram
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, cut into ½-in. chunks
  • 2 medium parsnips, cut into ½-in. chunks
  • 1½ lb. medium new potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-in. chunks
  • 1 medium tomato, coarsely chopped
  • 1 Italian frying pepper, coarsely chopped


  1. To a large Dutch oven set over medium heat, add the oil and onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. Turn the heat to high, add the beef, and season generously with salt and black pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until the meat is lightly browned, about 6 minutes. Stir in the paprika, caraway, marjoram, and garlic, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the carrots, parsnips, and 5 cups of water. When the liquid boils, turn the heat to medium-low and cook, covered, until the beef is nearly tender, 40–50 minutes.
  2. Uncover the pot, add the potatoes, and cook until tender when pierced with a fork, about 25 minutes. Add the tomato and frying pepper, cook 10 minutes more, and serve.