Hungarian Goulash {Crockpot Recipe}

I never seem to follow a recipe exactly but instead take a bit of this and little of that and throw it all together.  This week I want to share my variation of Crock Pot Hungarian Goulash.  The original recipe came from the Complete Slow Cooker Cookbook by Carol Hedding and is titled “Hungarian-Style Goulash”  It is described as a stew.   I think of it as more of a saucy dish served over noodles, but Ms. Hedding’s version is more like a broth with chunks of meat and vegetables. If I created her recipe, I would be tempted to put the noodles in the crock pot or to put the noodles in a bowl and ladle the Goulash.

But here is “Tess’s Hungarian-Style Goulash”

What you need:

  • 2 pounds of beef such as cheap roast or round steak or stewing meat, trimmed and cubed
  • 2-3 medium onions thinly sliced (Ms. Hedding’s variation said 6 onions.  That’s too much for my husband <grin>)
  • 2 cups slicked mushrooms (I used regular white but portobello appears in some variations)
  • 1 1/2 large green peppers sliced into strips
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon paprika (or to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper (or to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste ~ I think 1 teaspoon or 1 1/2 would be better. I  know I added more salt)
  • 2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes ~ DO NOT drain
  • 1 teaspoon browning sauce (optional)
  • about 3 heaping tablespoons cornstarch
  • about 1/4 cup cold water
  • sour cream (optional)
  • Egg or broad noodles (enough to feed your family)


Here you can see most of what you need.  I realized too late that I hadn’t put the tomatoes in the picture.  This was the meat after being trimmed but before I cubed it into bite size pieces.  I only used 2 cups of the mushrooms and the rest of those babies are in the crock pot right now for tonight’s dinner. (Chicken Stroganoff).

What to do:

  • This first step is, in my opinion, completely optional.  Most of the time I skip it because I am so lazy or running out of time.  But you can brown the meat in oil, then put the meat in the crockpot and saut√© the onions and mushrooms together.  Add those to the crock pot and then pour the water into the skillet, bring water to boil and scrape up all those tasty brown bits.  This does add a little something to the recipe but I usually don’t do this.
  • If skipping the above step put everything into the crock pot *except* the last five ingredients (from browning sauce through egg noodles).  Stir well, cover and cook on low for 8 hours or do as I do and cook in high for about 4 –5 hours until meat is tender.


  • When there is about 3/4 of an hour until serving time, you can add the browning sauce if you like.  I didn’t measure; I just put some in.  I do not always use this but it does give the dish a nice brown color that I find more appealing.  It doesn’t affect the taste and my family doesn’t care if I put it in or leave it out.
  • Between 3/4 of an hour left and 1/2 hour left before serving mix the cornstarch with the water until the cornstarch is smooth and fully dissolved.  Stir this into the crock pot to thicken.  This gives it more of a gravy feel.


  • I like to time things so that the noodles and crock pot are done at very close to the same time. I’m not always successful. You’ll want to cook the egg noodles, drain and keep warm when it gets close to serving time.

To Serve: Spoon over egg noodles, top with a dollop of sour cream (totally optional!) and serve with a salad.  I also serve it with green beans. 


Notes: my version adds the green peppers, more tomatoes, more water, thickening, and sour cream.  I’m thinking of adding carrots next time.  I may even add green beans, too, leave out the thickening and serve it in a bowl with crusty bread and a salad on the side.  This recipe feeds all 6 of us with leftovers that would feed 2-3 people for lunch.  This would easily feed 8 people and no one would go hungry!  One more very important note: you’ll want to make sure your paprika and pepper are not so old that they’ve lost their zip.  I discovered my paprika needs to be replaced.  I used 3 times as much and still didn’t get the flavor I wanted.  So I’m adding Paprika to my grocery list.

  This post is linked up to Try a New Recipe Tuesday over at Home to 4 Kiddos.


  1. This sounds so good! Crockpot meals are such a blessing on busy homeschooling days and a hearty meal like this would be great on a cold day like today. Thanks so much for linking up "Try a New Recipe Tuesday!" Hope to see you again this week. :-) Many blessings, Lisa


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