hungarian mushroom goulash recipe

spring has sprung…almost ::::


Even with the inherent lack of much seasonal change here in California, I can tell when spring has lifted up through the wintry ground. The birdsong, the budding trees, the smell of rain on green, they all signify that start. A rebirth, again, is here. And so I must feel productive, winter excuses staving off those to-do lists no more. But enter in the family with young children. What energy I can muster up to do just a little bit more changes swiftly, my relative reserve tempered by the knowledge that if I stay up until 1AM to get something “important” done, I’ll pay for it for days. No sleeping in. No quiet afternoon nap on the weekend. It’s go, go, go.


As such, I am in a state of perpetual “almost done” these days. I almost finish folding the laundry then Sky-Girl interrupts with the need to breastfeed (9 months old today!). I almost finish cleaning the kitchen then find that Grub just wet his pants — on the carpeting. And Peach wants me to put her hair in a ponytail RIGHT NOW. There is always paperwork from work to address, which I try not to do after-hours (after-hours? for a physician? a joke…). “Almost done” becomes “half-assed” when I try to do some of these things one-handed or when distracted. We can settle some of this by a progressive meal prep. Yes, this I can do!


Enter in a cusp-of-spring cozy mushroom goulash. One can chop the onions, peppers, and mushrooms in a progressive fashion, taking long breaks in between each for baby care, toddler care, or for the kindergartener. So long as you reserve an hour or so to cook and about 30 total minutes of prep time (staggered as you wish throughout the day), you’re in good shape. And the leftovers give you a quick reheated meal option the next day. Enjoy the spring, your goulash, your important interruptions.


One year ago: big sur bakery hide bread and vegetable slaw with gorgonzola

Two years ago: mung bean porridge with coconut milk and strata story

Three years ago: vegan banana bread with not-vegan cream cheese frosting and oat apple cider bread


5.0 from 2 reviews
hungarian mushroom goulash recipe
Recipe type: vegetable
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
  • 1 pound Hungarian wax peppers or Italian frying peppers—cored, seeded and chopped
  • 1½ pounds wild mushrooms, cut into 1-inch pieces*
  • 1½ pounds cremini or white button mushrooms, quartered
  • salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • ¼ cup sweet Hungarian paprika
  • 1 tablespoon hot Hungarian paprika (I left this out, given the kids where going to eat this dish)
  • One 28-ounce can diced tomatoes (the fire-roasted variety are nice here)
  • 2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 pound zucchini, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons fresh bread crumbs
  • Sour cream and chopped fresh parsley, for serving (or skip the sour cream if going vegan)
  1. In a large enameled cast-iron pot (I used my lovely 6-quart Le Creuset), heat the oil. Add the onions and peppers and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, about 6 minutes. Add all of the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and cook until browned, about 10 minutes.
  2. Using the side of a large knife, mash the garlic to a paste with the caraway seeds and a generous pinch of salt (or just use a garlic press), then scrape into the pot. Stir in both paprikas (if using the spicy), the tomatoes, potatoes and zucchini. Add the broth and bay leaves, season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat to allow all the flavors to meld, about 1 hour.
  3. Stir the bread crumbs into the stew and cook until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes; serve with sour cream and parsley.
  4. I felt this dish improved in time, making wonderful leftovers the next day.
* This amount of wild mushrooms is what the original recipe calls for, but I did not use. At the time of my goulash foray, I did not like the looks of the wild mushrooms at the local market and so decided to stick with the more domestic and boring varieties for the dish. I doubled the amount of cremini and white button mushrooms for a total of 3 pounds of 'shrooms for the recipe. I expect, though, the wild mushrooms would make the dish more complex and hearty. I suggest to go all out for the wild mushrooms if you have access to them.


  • Melissa May 23, 2017 Reply

    Made this recipe last night and it was fantastic !!

    • story kitchen May 23, 2017 Reply

      Great! It’s hearty and a satisfying meal.

  • Amy S. May 27, 2018 Reply

    I made this a month or so ago, and it was AMAZING. Couldn’t find Hungarian wax peppers so used Anaheims instead—they worked well, and used mushroom broth instead of veggie because that’s what I had on hand. Otherwise stuck exactly to the recipe and served it over wide egg noodles. One of the best comfort food meals I’ve ever made. So easy! Most of it is just chopping and prepping. I will DEFINITELY make it again.

    • story kitchen May 27, 2018 Reply

      Thanks for the feedback! It’s pretty delicious.

  • Ina February 20, 2021 Reply

    Smells and tastes AMAZING! Will make it again and again…

    • story kitchen February 20, 2021 Reply

      I’m so glad you like it! It’s a great recipe.

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