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Slow Cooker Beef Goulash

When the weather turns cooler, stews are a popular choice for mealtimes. However, it’s sometimes nice to steer the slow cooker repertoire away from the usual choices! That’s why Slow Cooker Beef Goulash is a great dish to make. Tender chunks of beef are stewed with peppers in a tomato and paprika sauce to create a rich and warming meal.

Side view of Slow Cooker Beef Goulash

Where does Beef Goulash originate from?

Goulash is a traditional Hungarian dish which was first made by shepherds and herdsmen in the 9th century. In fact, the name Goulash is derived from the Hungarian word for cattle ‘gulya‘. Originally it was a watery textured but highly seasoned beef stew, much like a soup consistency. Over time this has changed into the more complex dish we know today with the addition of paprika, peppers and tomatoes which serve to thicken and enrich the sauce. Now you see it served throughout Central Europe where the meat can vary from Beef, to also include Pork and Lamb.

Overhead view of Slow Cooker Beef Goulash

What can I serve with Slow Cooker Beef Goulash?

There is no rule here but you commonly see Goulash served with either bread or rice and a good swirl of natural yogurt. I like the addition of the yogurt as it really compliments and mellows the slight acidity from the rich tomato sauce. I also think yogurt with a sprinkle of chopped parsley and ground paprika on top makes Goulash look pretty spectacular when serving as a centre piece in a large pot in the middle of the table!

How easy is it to make Slow Cooker Beef Goulash?

My recipe keeps the cooking as simple as possible whilst deriving the most flavour out of the ingredients! It’s definitely worth taking a few minutes at the start to season and seal the meat, toast the caraway seeds and cook off the red wine. Saying that, you will still be finished in the kitchen in around 15 minutes and the tasks involved are simple! As such, I still call this one of my ‘easy prep’ meals.

Side view of Slow Cooker Beef Goulash

How do I store Slow Cooker Beef Goulash?

The Beef Goulash will keep well in the fridge in a sealed container for up to two days. It can also be stored for up to three months in the freezer.

Is Beef Goulash gluten free?

Traditional Goulash recipes do not include flour and so naturally do not contain gluten however, when cooking this in a slow cooker (which traps in moisture during cooking) a consequence can be a thinner sauce! This is often resolved by the addition of flour. To ensure that this recipe stays gluten free you can use corn flour instead of wheat and the result is the same.

Overhead view of Slow Cooker Beef Goulash

Slow Cooker Beef Goulash

A classic Hungarian dish of tender chunks of beef stewed with peppers in a rich tomato and paprika sauce.
5 from 8 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 8 hrs
Total Time 8 hrs 15 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Hungarian



  • 1 kg beef flat cut brisket or bavette steaks
  • 1 white onion sliced
  • 1 large red pepper sliced
  • 1 large green pepper sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves crushed
  • 400 g chopped tomatoes
  • 4 tbsp tomato paste
  • beef stock cube
  • 300 ml hot water
  • 150 ml red wine
  • tsp caraway seeds
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 2 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 2 bay leaves
  • tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 4 tbsp flour corn flour
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • natural yogurt to serve


  • Cut the beef into large chunks and place in a bowl. Pour over 1 tbsp of oil and season with ½ tsp of salt and pepper then mix to ensure all of the meat is coated. Place into a hot pan and cook until the outer edges of the meat are sealed (approximately 1- 2 minutes). Transfer to the slow cooker.
  • Now pour the caraway seeds into the same pan on the stove along with 1 tbsp of oil. Toast the seeds over a high heat stirring continuously for 1 minute to release their flavour. Then add the red wine and cook for 2 minutes to 'cook off' the alcohol. Transfer the red wine and caraway to the slow cooker along with the beef.
  • Add the sliced onion, peppers and garlic to the slow cooker and sprinkle over the paprika, smoked paprika, flour and remaining salt and pepper. Stir through well to ensure the beef and vegetables are entirely coated.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, stock cubes dissolved in the hot water, sugar and bay leaves and stir through. Turn the cooker onto low and cook for 8 hours.
  • Serve with a swirl of natural yogurt and rice.



Calories: 839kcalCarbohydrates: 25gProtein: 47gFat: 59gSaturated Fat: 20gCholesterol: 178mgSodium: 1682mgPotassium: 1384mgFiber: 6gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 3964IUVitamin C: 77mgCalcium: 125mgIron: 8mg
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