22 Creative Side Dishes to Serve with Goulash | Perfect Pairing

Goulash is a classic dish that has been around for centuries, and it’s one of the most beloved comfort foods from Central and Eastern Europe. It is a traditional Hungarian dish that is hearty and flavorful. 

It has become a popular comfort food all over the world. But what to serve with goulash? 

Whether you’re looking for an appetizer, side dish, or accompaniment to your main course, there are plenty of delicious options that pair perfectly with this hearty stew. 

From pickles and roasted vegetables to bread and noodles, here are some of the best options for serving up a comforting meal with goulash.

What is goulash? What does goulash taste like?

Goulash is a traditional Hungarian soup or stew of meat and vegetables that are slowly cooked in a paprika-spiced broth. 

It most commonly includes beef, potatoes, onions, bell peppers, tomatoes and a variety of spices. The result is a hearty, savory dish full of flavor.

Depending on the region it’s made in, it can contain different ingredients like caraway seeds, sour cream or even dumplings! 

The taste of goulash varies depending on the combination of ingredients used but typically has a rich depth from the paprika and other spices.

Many people describe the flavor as being slightly smoky with hints of sweetness from the tomato-based sauce. All in all, goulash is an incredibly flavorful dish that is sure to please the taste buds.

Goulash can be served on its own as a soup or over pasta or mashed potatoes for a more filling meal. It is also often paired with crusty bread, boiled eggs and pickles for a traditional Hungarian experience. 

Enjoying goulash with these accompaniments will give you an even fuller flavor profile and make it a truly delicious meal!

Goulash is not only popular in Hungary but has become widely enjoyed throughout Europe and beyond. From Slovakia to Serbia, Austria to Croatia, this traditional dish has been embraced by many cultures around the world. 

22 Sides on What to serve with goulash

1. Pickles 

Pickles are a great option as an accompaniment to goulash. Pickled cucumbers provide a crispy texture while also adding some tartness that complements the rich beef broth. 


Pickled onions add a slight crunch and a delightful sweetness to the dish, making them an excellent choice for those looking for something a bit lighter than traditional goulash.

2. Roasted vegetables 

Roasted vegetables are another great way to serve up some flavor alongside your goulash. 

Roasted Vegetables

Roasted peppers, mushrooms, and carrots bring out the natural sweetness of this stew while also providing a touch of smoky flavor that adds depth to every bite. 

For an even heartier version, try adding potatoes or root vegetables like parsnips or turnips for extra texture and creaminess.

3. Bread

Bread is always popular when it comes to serving with goulash. 

Whether you choose breadsticks, pita wedges, or dark rye slices, these carb-filled sides are sure to satisfy your cravings for a filling and flavorful meal. 

Serve up some butter or olive oil on the side to enhance the flavor of each bite.

4. Noodles 

Noodles provide a delicious way to complete your goulash. Egg noodles are the classic choice, but you could also opt for eggless noodles or even spaetzle dumplings if you prefer something a bit more unique. 


The chewy texture of these starches provides an interesting contrast to the tender beef and vegetables in this hearty stew.

Learn More: Delicious and Creative Dishes to Serve with Cold Soba Noodles

5. Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut is a tart cabbage dish that pairs perfectly with goulash and adds a nice contrast to its richness. 


It is especially popular in Slavic countries like Poland, Belarus and Ukraine, where both dishes originate from.

6. Spaetzle

Spaetzle is a type of dumpling widely eaten in German-speaking countries such as Germany and Austria, where it is usually served with goulash for extra texture and flavor. (Recipe)

7. Rye Bread

Rye bread has been part of Central European cuisine since ancient times and goes great with goulash when used as an edible plate or cut into cubes and added to the stew itself.

8. Bacon-Wrapped Potatoes

Bacon-wrapped potatoes are always a favorite side dish to serve alongside hearty dishes like goulash due to their smoky flavor profile and crunchy exterior that helps break up any monotony in texture.

9. Boiled Vegetables

Boiling vegetables such as carrots, celery, beans or cabbage gives them a soft texture that blends well with the dense consistency of goulash while adding some essential nutrients into your meal too!

10. Potato Pancakes

Potato pancakes (also known as latkes) are famous amongst Jewish communities around the world, but they also go great when served alongside Hungarian Goulashes due to their similar starchy components!

Explore More: Delicious Sides for Potato Pancakes

11. Mashed Potatoes

Mashed Potatoes 

Mashed Potatoes are a classic side dish that works just as well with Hungarian Goulashes as it does with any other stew due to their creamy consistency, which helps temper down any intense flavors present in certain ingredients such as paprika or garlic used during preparation time!

12. Grilled Sausages

Grilled sausages add an extra layer of meaty flavor which works really nicely alongside traditional Goulashes thanks to the juicy texture that stands out against all the starchiness surrounding them on your plate!

13. Sauced Eggs

Sauced eggs are usually combined with sweet paprika paste during the preparation time and then served cold on top of Goulashes so they can provide an interesting contrast between hot temperatures from any side dishes present on your table!

14. Green Salad

Green Salad

Green salad provides essential vitamins & minerals which help balance out heavy ingredients found inside most Goulashes while also adding some freshness into the mix, too, so you don’t feel overly weighed down after eating this delicious meal! 

15. Fried Onions

Fried onions add crunchy texture plus oniony aromas, which can bring even more depth into Goulashes once they’re included in the actual stew itself or sprinkled atop individual plates before the serving process begins!

Find Out: What To Eat With Liver and Onions that Complement Each Bite

16. Cucumber Salad

Cucumber salad is a light & refreshing side dish that provides much-needed contrast against the rich flavors present inside Goulashes while also packing plenty of nutrients into the mix too!

17. Dumplings

Dumplings are a classic accompaniment to goulash, providing an extra layer of carbs and texture that helps soak up all the delicious sauce. 

They can be cooked in the same stock as the goulash itself or pan-fried afterward for extra crunch!

18. Bread dumplings

Bread dumplings are a popular variation of regular dumplings that adds some extra flavor due to their use of bread instead. 

It pairs especially well with goulash due to their similar hearty ingredients and makes a great side dish!

19. Sour Cream

A dollop of sour cream helps to cool down the spiciness of the goulash while adding luxurious creaminess. 

Sour Cream

It can either be stirred into the stew or drizzled over individual plates for a beautiful finishing touch.

20. Marinated mushrooms

Mushrooms marinated in oil, garlic and herbs make a tasty side dish that brings out the earthy flavor of mushrooms and complements goulashes perfectly without being too heavy like some other accompaniments.

21. Cheese

Cheese is a classic topping for Goulshes, adding an extra layer of creaminess and flavor. 

Whether it’s grated over individual plates or stirred into the stew itself, this ingredient is sure to bring out even more deliciousness from your meal!

22. Yogurt

Yogurt adds a refreshing, tangy taste that helps to cool down any spiciness present in Hungarian goulash while also providing essential vitamins & minerals plus a creamy texture too. 

It can be served as a side or mixed directly into the stew itself.

What to serve with German goulash? 

When it comes to German goulash, a classic side dish that pairs well is potato dumplings. Potato dumplings can be boiled or pan-fried and are usually served with melted butter, parsley, and chives. 

Other great sides for German goulash include spaetzle (a type of egg noodle), red cabbage, sauerkraut, and rye bread. 

For an even heartier meal, you can also serve the goulash over mashed potatoes or rice. Depending on your choices to serve with your goulash, all will certainly bring out the rich flavors of this traditional dish. Enjoy!

Discover More: What is served with Hungarian goulash

What are the best flavors to go with goulash?

When it comes to cooking goulash, there are a number of flavors that can be added to bring out the deliciousness of the dish. Goulash is traditionally made with beef or pork and vegetables like onions, peppers, and tomatoes. 

To give your goulash an extra depth of flavor, consider adding smoked paprika, garlic, caraway seeds, or chives. 

To make the dish even more flavorful, you can also top off your goulash with cheese such as cheddar or Parmesan. 

Depending on your taste preferences, you may even want to add some sour cream for a creamy texture and an additional layer of flavor. 

Lastly, if you’re looking for a bit of heat in your dish, try adding some chili powder or cayenne pepper. With these flavorful additions, your goulash is sure to be a hit!

How do you jazz up goulash?

One way to jazz up goulash is by adding extra vegetables. Consider stirring in mushrooms, bell peppers, onions, or spinach for an added burst of flavor and crunch. 

Additionally, you can add diced tomatoes, zucchini, squash, corn kernels – whatever vegetables you like!

How do you jazz up goulash

If you’re looking for a more substantial boost of flavor and texture to your goulash dish, try adding beans such as kidney or pinto beans. Or stir in some cooked quinoa or brown rice. 

For even more umami ingredients, consider adding olives or capers.

Another great way to jazz up goulash is by adding a variety of herbs and spices. Try stirring in paprika, garlic powder, chili powder, or cumin for a punch of flavor. 

You can also add fresh herbs like parsley, oregano, basil, or thyme if you’d like.

Finally, consider stirring in some creamy dairy ingredients for a thicker and richer dish. 

Yogurt or sour cream will work great here. Additionally, cheese is always a good choice – try grated parmesan cheese or crumbled goat cheese!

With these simple tips and tricks, you can easily transform your boring goulash into an exciting and flavorful meal! Enjoy!

How do you display goulash on a platter?

Goulash is a traditional Hungarian dish that can be served in many different ways. To display it on a platter, start by arranging cooked potatoes, onions, and peppers in the center of a large flat plate or platter. 

Place cubes of cooked beef or pork shoulder around the vegetables in an attractive pattern. 

Top with slices of smoked kielbasa sausage and more diced peppers and onions for added color. Garnish the plate with fresh parsley, paprika, and sour cream to finish it off. 

When serving, make sure to include hearty chunks of rustic bread or rolls to soak up the flavorful sauce. Enjoy your goulash!

What to serve with Czech goulash?

When it comes to pairing Czech goulash with other dishes, the options are virtually limitless. Traditional sides for this hearty dish include boiled or mashed potatoes, dumplings, egg noodles, and spaetzle. 

If carbohydrates aren’t your thing, you could also serve a simple green salad or grilled vegetables on the side. 

To add a bit of crunch and additional flavor, consider serving crusty bread or warm pretzels with butter. 

For a more filling meal, many people like to pair Czech goulash with a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt to cool down the spice. 

Depending on the sides you choose to accompany this savory dish, make sure that you have plenty of bread on hand to sop up every last bit of delicious sauce. Enjoy!

What bread to serve with goulash?

1. Sourdough

Sourdough is a popular choice when pairing with goulash as it provides a pleasant balance of sweet and sour notes that contrast with the savory goulash. 

The slightly tangy flavor and chewy texture of sourdough will help to offset the richness of the stew.

2. Rye Bread

Rich, nutty rye bread brings an earthy flavor to a bowl of goulash. Its dense texture holds up well against slow-cooked dishes like goulashes, making it a great accompaniment for thick stews. 

Rye also provides a nice contrast with the sharpness of onions found in many goulashes.

3. Baguette

A crusty, airy baguette adds crunch to every bite of your bowl of stew. The lightness of the loaf pairs nicely with the heavier ingredients in a typical goulash recipe, like potatoes and carrots, while its mild flavor does not overpower the other, more intense flavors found in this hearty dish.

4. Ciabatta

Ciabatta is another Italian white bread that can be used as an accompaniment to your favorite goulash recipes. 

The open crumb structure helps absorb some of the liquid from your stew, making each spoonful even more flavorful and delicious.

5. Focaccia

Focaccia has been enjoyed by Italians for centuries. It is still popular today when paired with traditional European dishes like goulash! 

Focaccia Bread

This flatbread has a crispy exterior and soft center that provide texture variations when eating your stew, while its subtle herb-infused flavor complements the earthiness of any good goulash recipe perfectly!

6. Cornbread

Cornbread is perfect when eating any type of thick stew because its sweetness helps to balance out all the savory elements in your dish! 

Choose yellow or white cornmeal for an extra boost of flavor, or add some fresh jalapenos to give it an extra kick!

7. Pumpernickel Bread

Pumpernickel bread makes an excellent sidekick to pair with many classic German dishes like Grosse Gulaschsuppe (gazpacho soup). 

Its deep brown color stands out against lighter-colored dishes like stews and soups, while its robust taste creates an interesting depth in every spoonful you take!

8. French Bread

French bread has been enjoyed since ancient times and continues to be one of the most popular choices for creating mealtime memories! 

Its salty crunchiness contrasts nicely with creamy sauces found within many traditional recipes for goulash – such as paprikash – creating layers upon layers of flavor in every bite!

9. Oat Bread

Oat bread is becoming increasingly popular due to its sweet yet nutty taste profile, making it a great companion for those who enjoy sweeter vegetables such as carrots or parsnips often used within Goulash recipes! 

Its coarse texture helps soak up some of those delicious sauces that make this meal so satisfying!

10. Challah Bread

If you are looking for something extra special alongside your bowl of Goulash, try challah bread – made from enriched dough containing eggs which give it its distinctive golden hue! 

Its slightly sweet flavor complements spicier variations on this classic dish but stands up just as well against milder varieties, too – try it today and see what you think!

What salad goes with goulash?

1. Greek Salad

A classic accompaniment to goulash, Greek salad provides a cool burst of flavor and texture thanks to the combination of feta cheese, olives, tomatoes, cucumbers, and red onions tossed in a light vinaigrette.

2. Arugula Salad

The peppery notes of fresh arugula add a pleasant kick when paired with the smoky paprika flavors in goulash. Topping it off with shaved Parmesan cheese lends an additional layer of savory goodness to this dish that’s sure to be a hit.

3. Tomato-Cucumber Salad

Light and refreshing, this simple salad is ideal for balancing out the heavier flavors in goulash. Simply mix together chopped cucumbers, tomatoes, onion slices and herbs like parsley or dill before dressing it with some extra virgin olive oil and vinegar or lemon juice.

4. Potato Salad

An excellent side dish for goulash that’s sure to please even the pickiest eaters! 

Potato Salad

Boil potatoes until just tender, then toss them in a creamy dressing made from mayonnaise, Dijon mustard and chives for extra flavor. Serve chilled alongside your favorite goulash recipe for a comforting meal that’s sure to satisfy you.

5. Apple Coleslaw

Sweet apples add a unique twist to classic coleslaw when paired with tangy buttermilk dressing and crunchy cabbage slaw mix. 

Topped with salty bacon bits for added texture and richness, this is one salad that goes perfectly with Hungarian goulash!

6. Carrot-Raisin Salad

Sweet and savory, this delightful side dish is a great way to add some more excitement to your plate when serving goulash. 

To make it, mix together shredded carrots, raisins, and chopped walnuts with a tangy dressing of mayonnaise, honey and cider vinegar for an unforgettable bite.

7. Greek Yogurt Tzatziki Sauce

Creamy Greek yogurt mixed with cucumbers, garlic, lemon juice and fresh dill makes the perfect accompaniment to goulash. 

Simply serve it up as a dip or spoon over the top for a delicious finishing touch that’s sure to turn heads!


How much goulash per person?

The amount of goulash you need per person depends on how hungry your guests are. 

Generally, a good rule of thumb is to plan for about 1/2 cup of cooked goulash per person, though this can be adjusted based on the size of the servings being served and whether other accompaniments will be part of the meal. 

If serving over rice or noodles, you may want to increase the quantity a bit. You may also want to prepare extra if your guests are particularly fond of goulash.

For larger gatherings, it is important to calculate how much goulash you will need accurately so that you don’t run out before everyone has had their fill! 

To do this, multiply the number of people by the amount of goulash per person and then multiply that number by 1.5 to account for leftovers or second helpings. 

This will ensure that everyone gets a generous portion and there is enough to go around!

What do you traditionally eat with goulash?

Traditionally, goulash is served with a side of egg noodles or dumplings.

Other popular accompaniments include potatoes, rice, and even spaetzle (a type of German egg noodle). 

A Fresh green salad and crusty bread are also popular dishes to serve alongside goulash.

For a more nutritious meal, you can add additional vegetables such as bell peppers, carrots, and mushrooms.
If desired, sour cream can be added for an extra creamy texture. Enjoying your goulash with a glass of sweet Hungarian wine is a great way to complete the experience!

What noodles to serve with goulash? 

1. Egg Noodles
Egg noodles are a traditional accompaniment to goulash, offering a smooth texture and unobtrusive flavor. 

Their delicate structure helps to balance the hearty and savory components of the goulash, making it a great choice for those looking for an uncomplicated side dish. 

Plus, egg noodles are affordable and widely available in supermarkets.

2. Spätzle
Spätzle is a German-style pasta composed of small pieces of dough and is traditionally served with goulash in that region. 

The spongy texture absorbs all of the flavorful spices found in goulash – like paprika, cumin, marjoram and garlic – as well as its rich tomato broth base.

3. Fusilli
Fusilli’s unique spiral shape allows it to hold onto the sauce better than other types of pasta, making it an ideal choice for goulash. 

This type of noodle works best when served with creamy variations of goulash that include sour cream or yogurt for added richness and flavor complexity.

4. Rigatoni
Rigatoni offers more bite than other types of pasta thanks to its tubular shape and ridged exterior, adding some texture to your dish without distracting from the flavors present in the sauce itself. 

Plus, rigatoni can be served both warm or cold, depending on your preference – perfect for leftovers!

5. Linguine
Whether you choose regular or whole wheat linguine, its flat construction allows it to take on all the delicious flavors found in any variety of goulash without overpowering them. 

Mixing vegetables into your plate is also easy due to linguine’s wider surface area – making it both nourishing and delicious!

What wine to serve with goulash? 

When it comes to pairing wines with goulash, there are a variety of options. Here is a list of five great wines that work well with this Hungarian classic:

1. Tokaji Aszú 
A sweet dessert wine from Hungary made from grapes affected by noble rot, this sweet and complex wine is an ideal match for the savory flavors of the goulash.

2. Sauvignon Blanc
Sauvignon Blanc is a crisp and acidic white wine that will cut through the natural fattiness of the goulash while also refreshing your palate between bites.

3. Zinfandel
For those who prefer red wines, try a glass of Zinfandel with your goulash. The jammy fruit flavors will help to balance out the bold spices in the dish while adding some extra sweetness to each bite.

4. Pinot Noir
Another great red option, Pinot Noir, has bright acidity and subtle fruit notes, which can help to bring out the flavors in the goulash without overwhelming them.

5. Riesling
If you’re looking for something a bit sweeter, Riesling is an excellent choice for pairing with goulash since its inherent sweetness balances nicely against the spicier notes in the dish.

Can you serve goulash with rice? 

Yes, you can serve goulash with rice. Goulash is a hearty stew-like dish traditionally made with beef, potatoes, and other vegetables in a tomato-based sauce. 

The flavors of goulash pair well with the nuttiness of cooked long-grain white or brown rice. 

You can prepare your goulash as normal and then simply stir in cooked rice at the end for a delicious one-pot meal. Be sure to adjust any seasoning that may be needed before serving. Enjoy!

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