Authentic German Goulash Soup Recipe (quick & easy) – tender chunks of beef and potatoes are cooked in a hearty seasoned broth. When I first researched what goes in this dish it was a little overwhelming. Some had green bell pepper, red bell pepper and even dry red wine, but some didn’t. Others had potatoes and others didn’t. There were some with comments on them that this or that wasn’t supposed to be in it.
Welp, I love meat and potatoes and so that is what went into my recipe. I don’t drink wine and I don’t really know much about it so I decided I would leave it out of mine.
Also, my particular recipe is adapted from German Girl in America and she makes it the way her mom made it. I only made a couple of changes so I am comfortable calling it my version of traditional German goulash soup. You really can find anything on the internet so I will take the word of an actual German person as being factual.
We love goulash and I make three different types of goulash.
- American goulash – there are many versions of this dish as well. We make ours by browning ground beef with onions and green pepper. Then we add canned tomatoes, cooked elbow macaroni and seasonings. Lee’s sister makes her version using a specific brand of chili seasoning so that is how we make ours. It is probably more like chili-mac. We eat this as a stand alone dish. We sometimes serve it with garlic bread.
- Traditional Hungarian Goulash – I first had this dish at Lee’s sisters house. Not the same sister that makes her goulash with chili seasoning, a different one (he has four sisters). We make this by browning beef chunks, onions, mushrooms and red pepper, then adding beef stock, tomato sauce and a good amount of smoked paprika. We serve it over egg noodles or mashed potatoes and we top it with a dollop of sour cream.
- German beef goulash soup, of course. It is similar to Hungarian goulash but has a thicker stew like consistency. It is a stand alone dish that we serve with crusty bread or even crackers.
What makes our authentic German goulash recipe quicker than other versions?
If you have read any of my posts in the last 5 or so years then you might know that Lee and I work full time. While we enjoy being in the kitchen we simply don’t have that much spare time. We don’t let that stop us from making dishes such as this one that are supposed to cook a long time. I try to come up with ways to shorten the cook time of a particular dish and that is what I have done with this one.
Would it be better if it cooked for 1 1/2 – 2 hours? Maybe, but I will probably never find out. This dish works just fine for me the way it is and I have cut the cooking time down to about 35 – 40 minutes. We use the tenderest cut of meat we can find to make this relatively quick. I still end up with a flavorful soup that I can make any night of the week.
See recipe card for exact amounts.
Beef – I use the most tender cut of meat I can find that isn’t too expensive. Usually top sirloin but I have used London Broil.
Onion – yellow onion is what we use.
Carrot – most hearty stew recipes have carrots and we love them in this recipe.
Potatoes – I like Russet potatoes for this recipe, any will work.
Beef Broth – we use low sodium. Use your favorite brand, low sodium or not.
Beef Bouillon – this gives our soup richer beef favor.
Tomato Paste – another ingredient that gives our soup rich flavor.
Garlic – we almost always use the minced garlic that comes in the jar.
Spices – smoked paprika, caraway seeds, marjoram, salt and black pepper.
How to Make the Best German Goulash Soup
- Cut beef, onion, carrots and potatoes into chunks.
- Add olive oil to a Dutch oven or large pot over medium-high heat and cook pieces of beef and onion until the beef begins to brown, about 5 minutes.
- Next add the garlic, spices, and tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes. Lastly add the beef broth, potatoes and carrots and simmer for 25 – 30 minutes or until veggies are tender.
A simmer is usually medium low heat to medium heat, depending on your stove.
What cut of meat is best for goulash?
Top sirloin, beef chuck roast or London broil will all work. I find that pre-cut stew meat is more fatty than I like so we buy a large piece of meat and cut it into chunks ourself. As I stated above, we use the most tender cut of meat we can find that won’t break the bank. Masterclass has a great article about tender cuts of beef.
Storage & Reheating
Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave or on top of the stove.
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German Goulash Soup
- 2 tablspoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 pounds beef
- 1 onion
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon garlic
- 1 1/2 tablespoons smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon marjoram
- 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 4 cups beef broth or stock
- 3 cups diced potatoes
- 1/2 cup sliced carrots
- 1 cube beef bouillon
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- Cut beef, onion, carrots and potatoes into chunks.
- Add olive oil to a Dutch oven or large pot over medium-high heat and cook beef and onion until the beef begins to brown, about 5 minutes.
- Add garlic, spices, and tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes. Add beef broth, potatoes and carrots; simmer for 25 – 30 minutes or until veggies are tender.