This delicious slow cooker goulash is perfect comfort food, and it's easy to make with only 10 minutes of effort in the kitchen. Goulash is a tomato based stew with chunks of beef, peppers and paprika, and it pairs perfectly with your favorite side dishes.
If you're looking for a simple Crockpot beef stew full of flavor, this goulash recipe is perfect for you. Making goulash in the slow cooker is easier than you might think, and very little work is required to make a fantastic, hearty stew.
This recipe is a British version of a Hungarian goulash, and unlike American goulash, it does not contain macaroni. It can however be served over pasta if you like!
Why you'll love it
- Really easy to make
- Healthy, comforting stew
- Perfect for fall or winter
- Customize the recipe to suit your preferences
- Serve with a variety of side dishes
- A great way to use leftover diced beef
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Canned diced tomatoes (UK: tinned chopped tomatoes): Give the sauce a delicious tomato base. You can also use plain tomato sauce instead.
Beef: Any diced beef suitable for stewing is great. You can often find diced beef in supermarkets, but you can also buy a chuck roast or braising steak and dice it into large bite sized chunks.
Bell peppers: Use any peppers that you like. Yellow bell pepper, green bell pepper or red bell peppers all work well in this recipe.
Onion: Adds flavor. Use red, white or yellow onion, or replace with shallots if you prefer.
Flour: This will make the sauce a little thicker.
Garlic: Use whole cloves, garlic powder or garlic paste.
Tomato paste: Also known as tomato puree, this ingredient will give the goulash a stronger tomato flavor.
Beef broth: You can use premade broth, or water and a bouillon cube. Use a low sodium variety if you prefer.
Seasoning: Salt, ground black pepper, paprika and caraway seeds give the slow cooker goulash a fantastic flavor. You can omit the caraway seeds if they are hard to find where you live.
You can find full instructions + ingredient measurements in the recipe card at the bottom of this page
One: Sauté the diced beef in a skillet or frying pan with salt and pepper until the meat is browned on the surface. This only takes a few minutes. If you use very lean meat, you might have to add a splash of oil to prevent it from sticking to the pan.
Three: Add the browned beef and flour to the slow cooker, and stir to combine. Cover with a lid, and set to cook on high for 4-5 hours, or on low for 6-8 hours.
Four: Add any extra seasoning to taste if needed, and serve.
- Leave the lid on the slow cooker while the stew is cooking. This will ensure that the heat is trapped, and that the goulash cooks as intended.
- Browning the meat gives the goulash a lovely flavor, but you can add raw beef directly to the slow cooker if you want to save time.
- Use a cut of beef that's suitable for slow cooking or slow roasting, like chuck roast or braising steak.
Serve Crock pot goulash as an entree for lunch or dinner. I like to pair it with a hearty side dish to make the meal more filling, but you could also serve it on its own.
Scoop up the sauce with some Garlic Bread, or serve it with Mashed Potatoes, noodles, Dumplings Without Suet, rice or Skin On Fries on the side. If you want to add some flavor to your rice, you can also try my popular Carrot Rice recipe.
Other vegetables: Feel free to add any vegetables that you like. Mushrooms, potatoes, carrots, zucchini, kale and green beans might not be very traditional in goulash, but they would be excellent additions.
Different protein: You can replace the beef with diced chicken, pork or turkey. Feel free to use your favorite protein, or any meat you have available.
Vegetarian goulash: Make a vegan version of the dish by replacing beef broth with vegetable stock. You will also have to substitute the beef with chickpeas, butter beans or any other vegan protein source.
Gluten free: Make sure to use certified gluten free beef broth. You will also have to omit the flour, or replace it with gluten free flour or an alternative thickener. If you simply omit it, the liquid will be much thinner.
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To make this easy beef goulash, you will need a 3 quart Crock pot or any other slow cooker. You can also use a larger pot, but a smaller one might not fit the whole stew.
You will also need a frying pan or skillet to brown the beef, and a spoon to stir the ingredients.
Store any leftover slow cooker beef goulash in a sealed container in a refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat the stew in a microwave, on the stove top, or in the slow cooker.
This dish is also suitable for freezing. Freeze it in one large container, or in individual serving sizes, for up to 6 months. Thaw it in a refrigerator overnight, and reheat as described above.
Goulash is a fantastic beef freezer meal or meal prep idea, and if you have a large slow cooker, you can double or triple the quantities to make a gigantic batch.
Frequently asked questions
If you want to make the goulash thicker, you can mix a teaspoon of cornstarch with a teaspoon of cold water in a small bowl to form a cornstarch slurry. Pour it into the slow cooker, and stir to combine, then allow the goulash to cook for a further 20 minutes, and it will thicken.
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Slow Cooker Goulash
- Sauté the diced beef in a skillet or frying pan with salt, pepper and caraway seeds until the meat is browned on the surface. This only takes a few minutes. If you use very lean meat, you might have to add a splash of oil to prevent it from sticking to the pan.1 pound diced beef, ½ teaspoon caraway seeds, ¼ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper
- Meanwhile, add sliced onions, diced bell peppers, finely diced or grated garlic, canned diced tomatoes, tomato puree, paprika and beef stock to your crock pot and mix well.1 (15 oz) can canned diced tomatoes, 2 bell peppers, 1 onion, 3 garlic cloves, 1 tablespoon tomato paste, 2 cups beef broth, ½ teaspoon paprika
- Add the browned beef and flour to the slow cooker, and stir to combine. Cover with a lid, and set to cook on high for 4-5 hours, or on low for 6-8 hours.1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- Add any extra seasoning to taste if needed, and serve.
- Store leftovers in a refrigerator for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 6 months. Reheat in a microwave or on the stove top, and serve.
- You will need a slow cooker that's at least 3 qt to make this recipe.
- Feel free to add more diced vegetables like potatoes, carrots or zucchini to the stew if you want to make it more filling.
- Serve your beef goulash over rice, noodles or mashed potatoes.
Food safety tips
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove