25 Best Side Dishes to Eat with Hungarian Goulash – A Tasty Guide!

Hungarian goulash is a hearty, meaty dish that is perfect for filling up your stomach and soul. This traditional Hungarian dish typically features tender beef, paprika, and other warm spices, resulting in a flavorful and comforting meal.

The dish can be enjoyed as a standalone meal. Still, it’s always fun to experiment with side dishes that complement its flavors. So, what to serve with hungarian goulash?

Hungarian goulash is a classic comfort food that is hearty and filling. A perfect meal for the winter months, it features tender beef, nutritious vegetables, and flavorful spices.

In this blog post, we’ll be discussing some of the best side dishes you can prepare to serve with Hungarian goulash. From savory vegetables to hearty grains, these tantalizing side dishes will take your goulash experience to the next level.

In short - What to Serve with Hungarian Goulash

Mashed Potatoes, Hungarian Dumplings, Roasted Vegetables, Egg Noodles, Creamed Spinach, Bread, Salad, Sauerkraut, Rice, Rye Bread, Pickles, Cucumber Salad, Grilled Vegetables, Pasta salad, Fried Onions & Bacon Bits, Steamed Broccoli & Cauliflower, Breadsticks, Kale Chips


What is Hungarian goulash? What does Hungarian goulash taste like?

Hungarian goulash is a hearty stew that originated in Hungary. It is typically made with chunks of beef, onion and paprika, as well as other spices like garlic, caraway seeds, marjoram and bay leaves. 

The combination of these ingredients creates a delicious flavor that is both savory and smoky. Hungarian goulash has been enjoyed for centuries by the people of Hungary, but today it can be found all over the world. While each region may slightly alter the recipe, the dish remains largely true to its origins.

When it comes to eating Hungarian goulash, you should expect a rich and flavorful meal. The beef provides a great source of protein, while the vegetables give this stew some substance. The paprika and other spices give the dish its signature smoky flavor, which is balanced out by the sweetness of the onions. Depending on how it’s cooked, Hungarian goulash can be a bit spicy or milder in taste. Altogether, it creates a hearty and comforting meal that is sure to please any crowd!

Hungarian goulash is an incredibly versatile dish – you can serve it as a main course with some crusty bread or add potatoes and carrots to make a filling one-pot dinner. It also makes for excellent leftovers as the flavors continue to develop over time. With its unique flavor and texture, Hungarian goulash is sure to become a favorite in your home. Enjoy!

20+ Sides to serve with Hungarian goulash

1. Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes are a classic side dish that can almost pair with any meal, and Hungarian goulash is no exception. Creamy and fluffy mashed potatoes provide a perfect canvas for the rich and beefy flavors of the goulash.

Mashed Potatoes 

You can add some garlic, butter, or cheese to your mashed potatoes to give them a unique taste.

2. Hungarian Dumplings

Hungarian Dumplings, also known as “nokedli”, are a traditional side dish that pairs beautifully with goulash. These tender dumplings are made of flour and eggs, boiled and then lightly fried, and have a slightly chewy texture that complements the tenderness of the goulash meat.

To make nokedli from scratch, mix flour, water, and eggs until you get a sticky dough. Cut small pieces of dough and boil them in salted water. Once they rise to the top of the pot, use a strainer to remove them.

You can season your dumplings with some salt, pepper, or caraway seeds.

3. Roasted Vegetables

Roasting vegetables is one of the easiest and healthiest ways to prepare a side dish. You can roast Brussels sprouts, carrots, potatoes, parsnips, or any vegetable of your choice, and they will absorb the savory flavors of the goulash. 

Roasted Vegetable

The roasting process concentrates the vegetable’s natural flavors and caramelizes their edges, resulting in a deliciously crunchy side dish.

4. Egg Noodles

Egg noodles, also known as ‘Spätzle,’ are a classic Hungarian side dish that perfectly complements the tender beef and rich paprika sauce of the goulash. These noodles are soft, fluffy, and absorbent, allowing them to soak up the flavors of the goulash. 

To make spätzle, mix eggs, flour, and salt in a bowl until you obtain a thick and sticky dough. Then, push the dough through the holes of a colander into boiling water. Once they float to the top, remove the noodles with a slotted spoon and place them into a bowl.

You can toss your egg noodles with some butter or sour cream for a richer taste.

Know More: What to Serve with Cold Soba Noodles

5. Creamed Spinach

Adding some greens to your meal is always a good idea, and creamed spinach is one of the best ways to do just that.

This creamy side dish pairs well with almost any main course, and Hungarian goulash is no exception. The combination of the mild spinach flavor and the creamy sauce balances out the bold and spicy flavors of the goulash.

6. Bread

Bread is excellent to serve with Hungarian goulash. The crusty texture of the bread contrasts well with the stew’s soft texture. 

Ciabatta goes excellent with hungarian goulash

Bread is particularly useful in mopping up the sauce and soaking up every last drop of the delicious stew. Ciabatta, sourdough, and traditional Hungarian kalács bread are excellent choices to try alongside your goulash.

7. Salad

To add some freshness to your meal, try pairing Hungarian goulash with a salad. Simple and easy to make, a side salad can play the role of taste and texture contrast.

A light vinaigrette salad or a green salad with cucumbers, tomatoes, and onions can complement the stew’s heavy flavors.

8. Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut is Full of probiotics; this shredded cabbage dish has a strong sour taste that complements the savory flavors in the goulash perfectly.

9. Rice


A steaming bowl of white or brown rice accompanies your Goulash, and it’s sure to fill up even the hungriest eaters in your household too! Try adding some freshly chopped herbs before serving — cilantro is especially nice here.

10. Rye Bread

A hearty loaf of dark rye bread is just what you need when serving up a bowlful of hot, heavy Hungarian goulash! The sturdy slices can also be used for dipping — try lightly toasting them first for extra crispiness!

11. Pickles

Whether sweet or sour, pickles offer an intensely flavorful contrast that pairs wonderfully with a comforting bowlful of goulash — just don’t overdo it! Too many pickles can ruin this otherwise perfect meal combination!

12. Cucumber Salad

cucumber salad

Cool cucumbers combined with tart vinegar add brightness and acidity that balances nicely against heavier dishes like Hungarian Goulash — plus, they provide plenty of crunchy texture!

Know More: Best salad to serve with beef tenderloin

13. Grilled Vegetables

Grilling vegetables such as zucchini, bell peppers and mushrooms brings out their natural sweetness while giving them a smoky char that pairs perfectly with rich stews like Hungarian goulash!

Serve them hot off the grill for an unbeatable side dish experience!

14. Pasta salad

Cold pasta salads tossed together with any combination of veggies make perfect accompaniments for bigger dishes such as Goulash as their tangy dressed flavors help cut through rich sauces without overpowering them.

Bonus points if you opt for whole-grain pasta instead of regular refined ones here too!

More- 30 Best Pasta to Serve with Steak for a Memorable Meal

15. Fried Onions & Bacon Bits 

Add some crunchy salty goodness by frying thin slices of onion until golden brown, then mixing those into crispy bacon bits – these two ingredients will transform your ordinary Goulashes into something special indeed.

Plus, they look super fancy when sprinkled atop each bowlful before serving time! You can check Onion rings, also.

16. Steamed Broccoli & Cauliflower

If you want something veggie-centric with Hungarian goulash, then you can try simply steaming broccoli & cauliflower florets – add some freshly grated Parmesan cheese along with some cracked pepper & sea salt.

There’s no need for complicated cooking here – simplicity yields delicious results here too!

17. Breadsticks

Thin yet crunchy breadsticks offer tons of texture when served with goulash, plus they look great too! Make sure you choose a good quality breadstick to reap the maximum benefits!

18. Garlic Bread

Garlic Bread is a classic side dish that never fails when paired with a big bowl of hearty goulash — just make sure you don’t skimp on the butter, as that will bring out all its flavor! Plus, who doesn’t love garlic bread? It’s always a winner!

19. Kale Chips

Crispy and flavorful kale chips make a great addition to your goulash meal! Try making them with olive oil, salt, and any herbs or spices you desire for an extra zesty kick!

20. Baked Apples

Sweet yet tangy apples that have been baked until golden brown not only taste delicious, but they’re also a nutritious choice when served alongside Goulash.

Plus, kids love them too! Just make sure that you don’t bake them for too long, as they can become mushy if left in the oven for too long.

21. Baked Fries 

French fries always make a great accompaniment to Goulash — but why not take things up a notch by baking them instead? Just add some garlic powder, paprika, and rosemary before popping them in the oven for extra flavor!

25. Fresh Fruit Salad

Simple yet delicious, nothing screams summertime like fresh fruit salad — try adding pineapple chunks or pomegranate seeds to your Goulash meal for some added color and flavor! Bonus points if you opt for whole-grain pasta instead of regular refined ones here too!

Hungarian goulash made of

Hungarian goulash is a hearty and flavorful stew traditionally made with beef, onions, paprika, garlic, diced tomatoes and potatoes. The meat is browned in a large pot before adding the other ingredients. 

The combination of paprika, garlic and tomatoes creates a warm, comforting flavor that is both sweet and savory. Hungarian goulash is typically served over egg noodles or boiled potatoes for an extra dose of heartiness. This stew can also be topped with sour cream to give it a cool and creamy finish.

What are the best flavors to go with Hungarian goulash?

When it comes to Hungarian goulash, many people believe that the traditional paprika flavor is a must. Paprika is used to add a sweet but spicy flavor to the dish. However, other bold flavors such as garlic, caraway seeds, and fresh herbs can also be added to enhance the taste of your goulash. 

Fresh vegetables like onion, carrot and peppers are often used as well, adding some crunch and color to the dish. For an even richer flavor, you could also try using smoked bacon or ham in your goulash. 

Lastly, for a really unique flavor combination, try adding sour cream or Greek yogurt at the end of cooking for some extra creamy texture and tanginess. With these additional ingredients and flavors combined with the classic taste of Hungarian goulash, you’re sure to have a dish that’s full of flavor and deliciousness. Enjoy!

How do you jazz up Hungarian goulash?

There are many creative ways to jazz up Hungarian goulash. Here are a few ideas:

1. Add diced vegetables such as bell peppers, carrots, or potatoes for added nutrition and flavor.

2. Stir in some sour cream just before serving for an extra creamy texture.

3. For more spice, add a dash of paprika or cayenne pepper.

4. Incorporate some tomato paste for a richer flavor and deeper color.

5. Toss in chopped fresh herbs like parsley or dill to brighten the flavor profile and give it a fresh finish.

6. Top with crispy fried onions for a crunchy texture to contrast against the soft stew.

7. Add some crumbled bacon for a smoky, salty kick.

8. Sprinkle with shredded cheese just before serving for an extra cheesy boost.

No matter how you choose to jazz up your Hungarian goulash, it’s sure to be delicious! Enjoy!

How do you display Hungarian goulash on a platter?

To display Hungarian goulash on a platter, create a bed of cooked egg noodles or spaetzle. Place the warm goulash in the middle and decorate with fresh parsley and thinly sliced onion. 

Serve with pickled vegetables such as cucumber, peppers, carrots and beets to add texture and color. To finish off your presentation, sprinkle smoked paprika over the top for an added flavor boost. Enjoy!

Wrap Up on What to eat with Hungarian Goulash

Hungarian goulash is a tasty and hearty meal that you can enjoy any time of the year. By pairing it with some amazing side dishes like mashed potatoes, Hungarian dumplings, roasted vegetables, egg noodles, and creamed spinach, you can take the experience to a whole new level.

Whether you choose to stick to tradition or try something new, these side dishes will make your Hungarian goulash meal an unforgettable experience. So, try our recommendations and let us know which one is your favorite!


How much Hungarian goulash per person?

When it comes to serving Hungarian goulash, the general rule of thumb is one cup per person. However, this can vary depending on how many side dishes are served alongside the goulash. 

If you’re serving a light side dish, such as a salad or small potatoes, then you could increase the portion size slightly. It’s always best to err on the side of caution and make sure that everyone has enough for their meal! You can always add more if need be. 

Don’t forget to include some fresh, crusty bread and a dollop of sour cream for the perfect accompaniment! Enjoy your Hungarian goulash meal!

What vegetables can you eat with goulash?

Some great vegetables to enjoy with goulash include potatoes, bell peppers, carrots, celery, onions, and garlic. 

You can also add mushrooms for extra flavor. If you’re looking for a healthier option, consider adding fresh leafy greens such as spinach or kale. Other root vegetables like turnips or parsnips would also work nicely in this dish. 

Be sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly when adding these types of veggies since they take longer to cook than the others listed above.

Finally, if you want to make your goulash even more filling and hearty, try stirring in some cooked beans or lentils! Enjoy!

What is the difference between Hungarian goulash and regular goulash?

Hungarian goulash is a thick soup or stew of beef, pork, vegetables, and spices that is common in Central Europe. It is traditionally served with dumplings or noodles. Regular goulash is similar to Hungarian goulash but usually contains more tomato-based ingredients. 

This dish can be made with ground beef instead of chunks of meat. Additionally, regular goulash typically uses bell peppers, onions, garlic, paprika, and caraway seeds for flavor. These ingredients are not found in traditional Hungarian goulash recipes. 

Furthermore, the texture of regular goulash tends to be smoother than the rustic texture associated with Hungarian goulash due to the usage of tomato-based sauces. 

Finally, regular goulash is often served over egg noodles or macaroni, whereas Hungarian goulash is traditionally served with dumplings.

Overall, the main difference between Hungarian goulash and regular goulash lies in the ingredients used to make them, as well as their typical accompaniments.

What is the traditional side of goulash?

Goulash is traditionally served with bread dumplings, boiled potatoes, Spätzle (a type of pasta), or rice. Pickled cucumber and red onion are also popular accompaniments for the dish. A dollop of sour cream is often added just before serving to add creamy richness, as well as some astringency from the acidity of the milk proteins in the sour cream. 

Other traditional sides include sauerkraut or cabbage salad, rye bread, and cooked vegetables like carrots or peas. The basic components of goulash can be altered to fit any seasonings you like – adding herbs such as thyme, rosemary, oregano and bay leaves can help create an even more flavorful dish. 

Goulash is also customizable to fit dietary restrictions – vegan versions can be made with lentils or mushrooms as a protein source, and gluten-free options can replace wheat flour for thickening the sauce. For a satisfying meal, no matter what your preferences are, goulash is an easy and delicious option!

What is the difference between stroganoff and goulash?

Stroganoff and goulash are both comfort food dishes of Russian origin that have become popular around the world. Although they may appear to be similar, these two dishes have a few key differences.

Goulash is a stew-like dish made with meat (usually beef or pork), vegetables, and sometimes tomatoes. The ingredients are cooked together in liquid until tender, creating a hearty soup-like dish. Goulash is usually served over noodles or potatoes and topped with sour cream for added richness.

Stroganoff is typically made with thin strips of beef or pork sautéed in butter and seasoned with paprika and other spices. The meat is then combined with mushrooms, onions, and a creamy sauce and served over noodles or mashed potatoes. Stroganoff is usually a thicker dish than goulash, and the flavors are richer and more intense.

Overall, goulash is a thick soup-like dish made with vegetables, while stroganoff is a sautéed meat dish served in a creamy sauce. Both dishes are delicious in their own ways and make for tasty comfort food meals.

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