What to Serve with Goulash (20+ Dishes)

Goulash is just the beginning – now it’s time to choose the perfect side dish! Check out our recipes and tips to find the ideal combination for your next meal.

Here are what to serve with Goulash:

  • Csipetke
  • Caesar Salad or other kinds of fresh salad
  • Creamy Mashed Potatoes
  • Rice
  • Bread
  • Roasted Brussel Sprouts
  • Baked Apples with Cinnamon & Brown Sugar
  • And many more.
goulash bread
Hungarian Goulash and Bread. Credit: canva

This blog post will offer tips for serving it with various recommended pairings and recipes for the perfect accompaniments.

What to Serve with Goulash?

It is traditionally served with a dollop of sour cream and a jar of hot paprika at the table. Some good crusty bread is also a great call and will soak up all the delicious broth left behind in the bowl.

What other dishes to serve with it? Here are some of the most common ones:


Some Hungarians like to serve it accompanied by csipetke, which are small, fingernail-sized, pinched noodles.

Caesar Salad or Other Favorite Fresh Salad

A fresh salad is a great way to cut fat and get healthy vegetables.

You can also serve it with classic American dishes like mashed potatoes, rice, or any other starch-based side dish that will absorb lots of liquid.

Creamy Mashed Potatoes

One great choice is mashed potatoes because they help thicken the liquid.

goulash salad
Goulash, Rice, and Vegetables. Credit: canva


Another option is rice (white or brown), cooked in beef stock and water instead of water alone if you prefer a richer flavor.


Serve fresh bread on the side so guests can sop up the delicious gravy.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Bacon with Pecans

This recipe pairs well with any hearty main dish, but it’s excellent.

Classic Caesar Salad

Honey-Butter Carrots

This simple side dish is perfect for adding sweetness to your dinner table.

Green Bean Casserole

This Thanksgiving favorite will complement perfectly.

american goulash
American Goulash. Credit: canva

Garlic Knots

Garlic knots are small pieces of dough shaped like knots and covered in sauteed garlic butter. These delicious garlic knots are the perfect appetizer for your feast.


Cornbread is a quick bread made with cornmeal, flour, eggs, milk, baking powder, butter or oil, and salt. It’s perfect for soaking up the gravy.

Parmesan Roasted Broccoli

Slow Cooker Honey-Garlic Baby Back Ribs

These delicious ribs will make your guests feel genuinely dining in a restaurant. Serve them for a complete and hearty meal.

Pumpkin Pie

No holiday meal would be complete without pumpkin pie, which is easy to make in the slow cooker. An apple or a slice of pumpkin pie will round out your dinner perfectly.

Buttered Saltine Crackers

Serve these simple buttered crackers on the side for guests to enjoy.

Potato Pancakes

They’re perfect for soaking up the sauce.

Fruit Salad

It’s also a healthy option that balances the dinner’s richness.

Spaetzle Dumplings & Gravy

Creamy Polenta

Polenta is a cornmeal-based dish that can be served either creamy or solid.

Cabbage Rolls with Sour Cream Sauce

The sour cream sauce is the perfect topping for these tasty rolls.

Baked Apples with Cinnamon & Brown Sugar

These sweet and crunchy apples are the perfect dessert. They’re simple to make and taste amazing.

Rice Pilaf

This rice pilaf is a flavorful and easy side dish that goes well with almost any meal. It’s perfect for pairing.

Buttered Egg Noodles or Spaetzle

Serve these delicious egg noodles or spaetzle for a hearty and filling meal.

Garlic Cheese Bread

This simple garlic cheese bread accompanies any dish, but it’s delicious.

Blueberry Pie Bars

These blueberry pie bars are crispy and gooey on the inside. You’ll love their buttery crust and sweet blueberry filling.


What is Goulash?

Goulash is a traditional Hungarian dish. It is a soup or stew made from beef, pork, veal, and vegetables seasoned with paprika and other spices.

It’s traditionally eaten during the winter when nothing else is available.

The Hungarian dish is popular throughout Central Europe, although it’s also eaten in other parts of Europe.

What is the Difference Between Goulash and Stew?

Goulash is a stew made with beef, pork, or veal.

Stew is a generic term for dishes cooked in liquid and usually includes vegetables and meat. There are many types of stews, including beef stew, chicken stew, lamb stew, seafood stew, and vegetable stew.

What is the Difference between American Goulash and Spaghetti?

American Goulash and Spaghetti are my favorite dishes with some similar ingredients. The noodles and sauce are cooked separately and then combined when served in spaghetti.

On the other hand, the American version is made by cooking the noodles and sauce together in a pot.

Why is American goulash different?

The American version is a spin-off of the Hungarian recipe but much simpler and quicker.

The Hungarian version involves beef, tomatoes, paprika, onions, and usually, potatoes and carrots. Beyond that, you can add anything to make the dish great.

On the other hand, the American version usually includes elbow macaroni, cubed steak, ground beef (or hamburger), and tomatoes.

The tomatoes can be canned whole in tomato sauce, soup, or paste. It also has cheese, typically not in the Hungarian version, but still delicious.

What is the Best Cut of Meat for Goulash?

Lean ground beef chuck will give you the best results and flavors to make this recipe.

How to Make Goulash

Hungarian Goulash Recipe (Gulyás) Recipe

Meat chunks are thickened with paprika and cooked in a tasty broth.


  • 2 ½ pounds chuck roast, trimmed from excess fat and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • Salt and The Spice Hunter Black Pepper to taste
  • Two tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • Three large onions, chopped or sliced.
  • Two celery ribs, chopped.
  • Two red bell peppers, diced
  • Six cloves garlic, minced
  • Three tablespoons sweet paprika
  • ½ teaspoon caraway seeds, crushed or ground
  • ½ cup tomato passata (pureed tomatoes)
  • Three bay leaves
  • 6 cups beef broth
  • Four large Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes.
  • Two large carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces.


  1. Season the beef chunks generously with salt and pepper.
  2. In a large Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat and brown the beef on all sides, about 1 to 2 minutes per side, working in batches. Remove to a platter and set aside.
  3. Lower the heat to medium. Add the onions and cook until translucent, 2-3 minutes.
  4. Then, stir in the celery and red bell peppers, cooking until softened, about 5 minutes. Finally, add the garlic and cook for a minute until fragrant.
  5. Stir in the paprika and mix to combine, letting it cook for a few seconds so it can release its flavors and aroma.
  6. Pour the beef broth and tomato sauce, and add the caraway seeds, bay leaves, and a small pinch of salt and pepper.
  7. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 1 to 1½ hours or until the beef is soft but not falling apart when cut with a fork.
  8. Stir in the potatoes and carrots, cover, and continue cooking for 30 to 45 minutes, or until the root vegetables are tender and the beef is fall-apart. Add more broth if needed.
  9. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed.

Easy American Goulash Recipe

The Old Fashioned recipe is the same American style you grew up with. This a hearty recipe that the entire family can enjoy any night of the week. 


  • 1 pound elbow macaroni
  • 2 pounds of ground beef
  • One onion, finely chopped
  • Three cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 (15 oz) cans of tomato sauce
  • 2 (14.5 oz) cans of petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 Tbls Italian seasoning
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Reduce the time it takes for the macaroni to cook by 3 minutes. Drain and place in an ice bath until completely cool, about 30 minutes.
  3. Put the ground beef in a large pan and sauté, occasionally stirring, for 6-7 minutes or until browned. Remove any fat from the pan.
  4. Mix in garlic and cook for 1 minute until fragrant.
  5. Add in Worcestershire sauce, tomato sauce, and diced tomatoes. Mix until combined.
  6. Stir in Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings to taste.
  7. Mix in cooked macaroni and cheddar cheese. If the skillet is heat safe, place it in the oven for 20-25 minutes until bubbly and cheese are melted. Or transfer to the casserole dish and bake.


Making ahead of time

As the recipe is written, this meal is excellently prepared ahead of time. It gets even better as it sits. The flavors intensify and meld together.

How to Store Goulash

Leftovers should be refrigerated. If you’ve made so much, you can’t eat it all within 4 days. Then, you can turn to your freezer for some help.

Can You Freeze Goulash?

Yes! Simply cool before transferring it into a freezer bag or container. It will keep for three months in the freezer.

How to Reheat Frozen Goulash

It would be best to thaw in the refrigerator overnight before cooking it. It may then be reheated on the stovetop, carefully stirring occasionally.


What is Goulash eaten with?

It is typically eaten with crusty bread, giving it an extra flavor.

Where is Goulash served?

It is a popular dish in Hungary and Slovakia. It can also be found throughout Austria, Germany, Italy, Romania, and the Czech Republic.

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