Dec 2, 2008

Hungarian Potato Goulash

I dislike wasting food, I really do. I suppose I got that from my mom and grandma—who both lived through world war II, when wasting food was considered a crime. Even though I’m 35 and (thank God), not ever having experienced war and hunger, I still think it’s a crime to waste food.

Pretty much everything in my fridge is used until it’s all gone. I go to the market for fresh vegetables and herbs once a week and what I don’t use up by the end of the week I simply turn into a soup, stew, chicken pot pie or even home made broth. Over the years it made for quite a few surprising flavor combinations and fantastic dishes.

This is an ideal way to use up those small hands of green beans, lonesome carrots, wandering mushrooms and halved bell peppers taking up space in your fridge. What’s even better is you’re not limited to specific meats. You can add anything you like, throw in some leftover turkey or chicken, some coarsely cut up pork chops or even bacon will do the trick.


1 pound potatoes
2 bell peppers
2 onions
2 carrots
5oz green beans
1 cup beef broth
1 can diced tomatoes (14.5oz)
1 tbsp paprika powder
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp oil

Optional: chorizo


2 bell peppers. Red makes for quite a pretty color contrast, so use at least one red pepper. Coarsely chop them, no need to be fussy about it.

Also chop two onions. I went for larger ones, but feel free to wimp out and go for medium onions :) You can also grate some garlic in there as well, I didn’t because I’m using chorizo.

I peeled and sliced two medium carrots. Don’t make the slices too thin!

Fresh, pretty green beans. Green beans are so photogenic. Trim both ends and cut them in half.

Now whatever you do, don’t use starchy potatoes. You’ll turn the whole thing into a soup. Not a pretty sight. Go for waxy ones that hold their shape. Peel, wash and chop them. Nice, big uneven chunks will do.

When it comes to your choice of meat, the sky is the limit. Even leftover beef (is there even such a thing?:), chicken, turkey, bacon, anything goes. I always have one of these Chorizo sausages in my fridge and love the flavor they give to goulash. They’re also pretty cheap here. I sliced up one sausage.

Now the next step depends on the kind of meat you’re using. If you’re going for raw meat such as pork chops, bacon or anything else that needs a bit of cooking first, heat 2 tbsp oil and cook the meat until brown. The chorizo only has to cook for a few moments—I’m mainly doing this to put some of the characteristic flavor into the oil. If you’re going to use leftover meat, just start by cooking the veggies and add the meat later on.

Transfer the chorizo to a bowl and set it aside. Now plunge in your onions, cook for 5 minutes before you add the bell pepper, carrots and green beans. Give everything a stir and cook over low heat for another 5 minutes. Looks so cheerful together.

Sprinkle a heaping tbsp paprika powder in (I went for sweet paprika), add the potatoes, thyme, salt, a good pinch of pepper, the diced tomatoes and pour in the beef broth.

Now mix it all up and bring to a boil. I kept the lid off because I wanted to reduce the liquid. Simmer over low to medium heat for about 25 minutes, until the potatoes and vegetables are done.

After 20 minutes simply add the chorizo, or whatever meat you’re going to use, and simmer for another 5 minutes to let the meat heat through.

Check the seasoning, ladle everything in pretty bowls and garnish with sour cream, parsley and a little black pepper cracked on top. Doesn’t look all too shabby for leftover vegetables, does it?

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    1. 1

      this looks delicious!
      question-does this freeze well? because i have a lot of leftover veggies and beef (yes, there IS such a thing if you are like me and always cook more than you can eat!) and only 2 people at home!

      Raj on Dec 2, 2008 @ 8:27 am Reply
    2. 2

      Raj, I can’t tell you because I’ve never frozen it. Honestly doubt it would do the potatoes any good.

      Kay on Dec 2, 2008 @ 8:42 am Reply
    3. 3

      hey, i’m from hungary and i’ve been reading your blog for a long time, i really-really like it! i’m gonna give this “hungarian goulash ala kay” a try soon. :)
      keep doing this great blog, beautiful pictures and excellent writing!!

      Nd on Dec 2, 2008 @ 9:29 am Reply
    4. 4

      I love all the goodness in this! Bookmarked!

      Mrs Ergül on Dec 2, 2008 @ 11:39 am Reply
    5. 5

      This looks absolutely delicious, and beautiful! I can’t wait to try it out.

      I love the way you do your “artboards” to show the steps. The food is all so colorful!

      Lizzybee on Dec 2, 2008 @ 3:14 pm Reply
    6. 6

      Wow… This looks amazing. I have some beef tips in the freezer that’s really not enough for a meal on their own.. I bet it would be great in this.

      While I’m typing, I wondering if I could ask a favor. My husband brought me home a piece of cookie/cake (I’m not exactly sure what to call it) last week that was out of this world. I made him ask the guy he works with what it was and if I could have the recipe. His wife is from Holland and said it’s called Boterkoek, but it’s a recipe that’s been handed down in her family and she wouldn’t give it up. :( Do you make this? Is it hard? I’ve googled it but figured you might be the expert in this field :)

      Samantha on Dec 2, 2008 @ 7:27 pm Reply
    7. 7

      … YUM! I do the same thing with all my veggies when it gets fall/winter. Time to clean out the veggie drawer this week in fact.

      Kristy on Dec 2, 2008 @ 7:47 pm Reply
    8. 8

      Samantha, you might as well stick it on your hips straight away, because that’s where it’ll end up anyway :)

      Sure I make boterkoek, it’s one of the most fattening ‘cakes’ around but sooooo darn good. One of my favorites.

      I’ll make a photo posting out of it sometime soon.

      Kay on Dec 2, 2008 @ 7:50 pm Reply
    9. 9

      Looks yummy as usual. I love that you use the same veggies that I love to cook with too.

      I love coming to your site for new ideas. Bedankt!

      I’m still totally in love with the chicken lemongrass skewers. I’m telling everyone about them!!

      The Topiary Lady on Dec 3, 2008 @ 12:30 am Reply
    10. 10

      This looks SOOO good! Honestly, I need to make this sometime this week. Right up my alley.

      The Italian Dish on Dec 3, 2008 @ 5:38 am Reply
    11. 11

      Wow, you’ve turned some leftover ingredients into bowls of yummy and great looking stew!

      Btw, I’ve tried out your recipe of tuna sandwich, I love it so much that I’m going to make it again tomorrow. :-)

      Piggy on Dec 3, 2008 @ 5:05 pm Reply
    12. 12

      I thought i was signed up for your site so I am not a “stranger”. Love your recipes and photos. It is so wonderful to communicate all over the world. I live in Georgia in the U.S.
      Keep up the good work!

      Charlotte in Georgia

      Charlotte Wilson on Dec 3, 2008 @ 8:03 pm Reply
    13. 13

      I was mulling over what to feed some guests who coming for dinner on Wednesday while checking on some of my fav sites (yours included) and thought that this looked really good, so we had it for dinner that night. Actually had all the ingredients! Only changes were to use chicken and fresh tomatoes and this was a great dinner that everyone enjoyed – thanks Kay!

      Otherwise love this site and will keep on coming back to look at all the lovely pics!

      Oddly, my husband was in the Netherlands just last week.

      Louise on Dec 5, 2008 @ 8:23 am Reply
    14. 14

      Charlotte, no clue what wordpress does at times! Usually it goes automatically.

      Kay on Dec 5, 2008 @ 7:39 pm Reply
    15. 15

      Found your blog through Pioneer Women. My husband is Hungarian and since his parents are deceased he loves when I cook things like this for him. Now I am wondering what you meant about starchy vs. waxy potatoes. Looks like you were using Yukons, is that right?

      Sheila on Dec 11, 2008 @ 12:47 am Reply
    16. 16

      Yes, this looks wonderful! I recently made my first Hungarian dish and LOVED it. I like the beautiful photos and colors of this dish – job well done!!

      Home with Mandy on Dec 11, 2008 @ 11:25 pm Reply
    17. 17

      Nice writing. You are on my RSS reader now so I can read more from you down the road.

      jason kenny on Jan 16, 2009 @ 10:01 am Reply
    18. 18

      fVs5dI ssnrhxdjeywg, [url=]rfeijzebkxwn[/url], [link=]xykdhxddbqvq[/link],

      phtrtrub on Apr 21, 2010 @ 1:09 am Reply
    19. 19

      What a fabulous find this recipe was!
      I seem to have a habit of renting vegetables and throwing them out at the end of the week. I had already chopped the chorizo before I found your recipe.
      I really love using paprika, especially the smoky variety and this just tastes delicious. Thank you

      roger askew on Jul 17, 2015 @ 4:35 pm Reply

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