goulash
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Hearty Goulash

5.0 from 3 votes

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Goulash is a traditional stew, believed to have originated from Hungary, often made with a mix of tender meat and vegetables, simmered to perfection in a rich, paprika-infused sauce.

Our take on this classic dish is a wholesome, plant-based version that offers comfort and nutrition in every bite. This recipe focuses on simplicity, health, and affordability, without compromising on flavor.

Five Reasons Your Body Will Love This Meal:

  1. High in Fiber: Loaded with vegetables, this goulash is a fiber powerhouse, promoting digestive health and keeping you full longer.
  2. Rich in Vitamins and Minerals: A variety of vegetables means a variety of nutrients, including vitamins A, C, and K, as well as potassium and iron.
  3. Lean Protein: Using lean meat or a plant-based alternative keeps the protein content high and the fat content low.
  4. Antioxidant-Rich: The spices and vegetables, especially paprika, are high in antioxidants, fighting inflammation and supporting immune health.
  5. Heart-Healthy: With low saturated fats and cholesterol, this dish is kind to your heart and circulatory system.

Nutritional Information (per serving):

  • Calories: 250 kcal
  • Protein: 18 g
  • Carbohydrates: 35 g
  • Fiber: 8 g
  • Fat: 5 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1 g
  • Cholesterol: 30 mg
  • Sodium: 200 mg

Ingredients List:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 2 bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 lb lean beef or plant-based protein, cut into cubes
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes, no salt added
  • 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp caraway seeds
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh parsley for garnish

Step-by-Step Instructions:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and onions, sautéing until translucent, about 3 minutes.
  2. Add the carrots and bell peppers, cooking until they start to soften, approximately 5 minutes.
  3. If using meat, brown the beef cubes on all sides. For a plant-based option, add your protein now and cook for 2 minutes.
  4. Stir in the tomato paste until the vegetables and meat are well coated.
  5. Pour in the diced tomatoes and vegetable broth, then sprinkle in the smoked paprika and caraway seeds.
  6. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and let simmer for 25-30 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and the flavors have melded.
  7. Season with salt and pepper to taste. For the best flavor, let the goulash sit for about 10 minutes before serving.
  8. Serve hot, garnished with fresh parsley.

Hearty Goulash

Recipe by Dr. Hailee
5.0 from 3 votes
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

15

minutes
Cooking time

45

minutes
Total time

1

hour 

Our take on this classic goulash dish is a wholesome, plant-based version that offers comfort and nutrition in every bite.

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp 1 olive oil

  • 2 cloves 2 garlic, minced

  • 1 large 1 onion, chopped

  • 2 medium 2 carrots, diced

  • 2 2 bell peppers, chopped

  • 1 lb 1 lean beef or plant-based protein, cut into cubes

  • 2 tbsp 2 tomato paste

  • 1 can 1 (14 oz) diced tomatoes, no salt added

  • 2 cups 2 low-sodium vegetable broth

  • 2 tsp 2 smoked paprika

  • 1 tsp 1 caraway seeds

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • Fresh parsley for garnish

Directions

  • Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and onions, sautĂ©ing until translucent, about 3 minutes.
  • Add the carrots and bell peppers, cooking until they start to soften, approximately 5 minutes.
  • If using meat, brown the beef cubes on all sides. For a plant-based option, add your protein now and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Stir in the tomato paste until the vegetables and meat are well coated.
  • Pour in the diced tomatoes and vegetable broth, then sprinkle in the smoked paprika and caraway seeds.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and let simmer for 25-30 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and the flavors have melded.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste. For the best flavor, let the goulash sit for about 10 minutes before serving.
  • Serve hot, garnished with fresh parsley.

Nutrition Facts

  • Serving Size: 1g
  • Total number of serves: 4
  • Calories: 325kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 15g
  • Protein: 25g
  • Fat: 15g
  • Saturated Fat: 5g
  • Cholesterol: 80mg
  • Sodium: 600mg
  • Fiber: 3g

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is goulash sauce made of?

Goulash sauce is characterized by its rich, hearty flavor, primarily made from a base of sautéed onions, garlic, and a generous amount of paprika, which is the defining spice of this dish. The sauce typically includes:

  • Paprika: This is the most important ingredient that gives goulash its distinctive deep red color and smoky flavor. Both sweet and hot varieties can be used depending on the desired level of spiciness.
  • Tomatoes: Fresh diced tomatoes, tomato paste, or canned tomatoes are often added to provide acidity and sweetness, helping to balance and enrich the sauce.
  • Bell peppers: These are commonly used for their sweet flavor and to add a bit of texture to the sauce.
  • Onions and garlic: These aromatics are sautĂ©ed until soft and golden, forming the flavor base of the sauce.
  • Broth or water: Beef, chicken, or vegetable broth is added to create the liquid component of the sauce, allowing it to simmer and develop flavors. Water can also be used, but broth offers more depth.
  • Additional spices and herbs: Caraway seeds, bay leaves, marjoram, or thyme might be included for extra flavor complexity.
  • Salt and pepper: For seasoning, to taste.

The ingredients are simmered together until the flavors meld and the sauce thickens, creating a rich and aromatic accompaniment to the main ingredients of the goulash, typically beef or pork, and sometimes vegetables or potatoes.

What’s the difference between Hungarian goulash and American goulash?

Hungarian goulash and American goulash are quite different dishes, despite sharing a name. Hungarian goulash, or “gulyás” in Hungarian, is more of a soup or stew, traditionally made with chunks of beef, onions, tomatoes, green peppers, and seasoned predominantly with paprika, along with other spices. It’s a hearty, rustic dish with a rich, paprika-infused broth and often includes potatoes or dumplings.

American goulash, on the other hand, is more akin to a pasta dish. It usually consists of ground beef, macaroni, and is often made with a tomato-based sauce, which can include tomatoes, tomato sauce, or tomato soup. This version also typically features onions and green peppers, but it might include cheese as well, resembling a casserole or a hearty pasta dish. It’s less about the paprika and more about the tomato and beef combination.

In summary, the primary differences lie in the type of main ingredients used—chunks of beef versus ground beef—the consistency of the dish—soup/stew versus pasta—and the flavor profile, with Hungarian goulash focusing on paprika and American goulash being more tomato and meat-oriented.

How do you thicken goulash?

To thicken goulash, I typically use one of several methods, depending on what I have on hand and the desired consistency. One common approach is to allow the goulash to simmer uncovered for an extended period, which reduces the liquid through evaporation and naturally thickens the sauce. This method enhances the flavors as well.

Another way is to use a thickener like flour or cornstarch. I mix a small amount of the thickener with water to create a slurry, then stir it into the goulash, allowing it to cook and thicken the sauce. It’s important to add the slurry gradually and stir well to avoid lumps.

Alternatively, incorporating potatoes into the goulash can help thicken it. As the potatoes cook, they release starch into the stew, naturally thickening the liquid. Mashing some of the potatoes directly in the pot can also enhance this effect.

Lastly, if the goulash already contains ingredients like beans or vegetables, mashing some of these elements within the pot can contribute to a thicker consistency without altering the flavor profile significantly.

Helpful Resources

Wrap-Up:

This healthy goulash stew is a perfect example of a meal that is as nourishing as it is satisfying. It’s a versatile dish that can adapt to seasonal vegetables and is just as delicious the next day, making it ideal for meal prep or leftovers.

Enjoy this heartwarming stew with a slice of whole-grain bread for an extra dose of fiber and wholesome goodness!

5.0 from 3 votes

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