The 10 Best Goulash Sides

What to serve with Goulash? The ideal side dishes for a hearty, meaty, and delicious goulash include something starchy such as polenta muffins, Hungarian pinched noodles, potato rosti, and sweet potato fries. Lighter options include balsamic roasted vegetables, and cranberry salad. These side dishes enhance the flavor and texture of goulash without overpowering it.

With its qualities of both a soup and stew, goulash is sure to be on the list of ultimate comfort foods!

The Hungarian classic is perfect for chilly evenings, intimate gatherings, or days when you’re craving some soul food. Discover all the tasty and exciting side dishes that pair perfectly with a serving of goulash below!

Csipetke – Hungarian Pinched Noodles

Pair your goulash with csipetke for an authentic culinary experience. The comforting little egg noodles are simple to prepare, and their neutral flavor allows the goulash to shine while providing heartiness to the meal.

Csipetke can be made separately in boiling water or cooked directly in the goulash. In a mixing bowl, beat one large egg and add a pinch of salt. Gradually add ½ cup flour and knead to form a smooth dough. Cover and allow to rest for 15 minutes.

Roll out the dough on a floured surface and pinch off small pieces. Boil the little noodles in salted water until al dente, or add to the goulash in the final 5-10 minutes of cooking.

Herb And Cheese Polenta Muffins

An exciting and tasty side dish for all ages! Herb and cheese muffins have all the right ingredients to complement a goulash. Enjoy as a nibble on the side with a drizzle of honey or caramelized onions or to scrape up every last bit of sauce.

Preheat oven to 356°F/180°C. Place 1 cup polenta/cornmeal, 1 cup plain flour, 1.5 teaspoon salt, and 4 teaspoons baking powder into a bowl. Add 2 teaspoons dry oregano, 2 teaspoons dry thyme, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, and ½ teaspoon turmeric. Mix to combine and set aside. 

In a separate bowl, mix 1.5 cups water, 2 tablespoons honey, and 4 tablespoons olive oil before gently combining with the dry ingredients.

Stir in 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese. Pour the polenta mixture into a lined muffin tin. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until cooked through. Slice and serve warm with butter, a crack of black pepper, and finely chopped scallions.

Sweet Potato Fries

The fries’ natural sweetness and crispy texture pairs beautifully with the savory and complex flavors of goulash.

Sprinkle the fries with your favorite blend of spices, or top them with a drizzle of plain Greek yogurt and chopped cilantro. Use the goulash gravy for a delectable chip n’ dip combo!

Its best if you make a large batch of this side dish! Preheat the oven to 425°F/220°C. Slice the sweet potatoes lengthwise into thin, uniform matchsticks. Lightly coat the fries with a drizzle of olive and toss with paprika, black pepper, garlic powder, and a pinch of cinnamon.

Place the fries in an even layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the fries are golden and crispy, turning them halfway. Remove from the oven and add salt to taste.

Garlic And Cheese Sourdough Bread

This list would not be complete without warm, crusty, and comforting bread to dip and dunk. The fresh garlic and melted cheddar cheese add depth of flavor to the goulash, while the bread absorbs all of the heavenly gravy- irresistible!

Lightly butter a few slices of sourdough bread, then spread with some minced garlic. Cover with shredded cheddar or mozzarella cheese and sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Place the bread under the broiler for roughly 5 minutes or until the cheese has melted. 

The bread is best eaten fresh out of the oven alongside the goulash or dipped into the gravy to soak up all the delicious flavor. A layer of Dijon mustard would also complement this side dish.

Carrot And Pineapple Salad

This sweet and refreshing salad offsets a traditional goulash’s spicy and savory flavor. Set alongside the hearty goulash, an exciting and vibrant side dish makes the meal a celebration! Hints of warm, woody cinnamon round off the dish beautifully.

Soak ¼ cup raisins in boiled water until soft, strain, and set aside. Peel and grate 3-4 large carrots into a large mixing bowl, enough to form the base of the salad. Add ½ cup diced pineapple along with the raisins. Add salt, pepper, and cinnamon to taste.

Whisk together 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon orange or lemon juice with 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup for the dressing. Pour the mixture over the salad and toss until evenly coated. 

Cover and chill for at least 4 hours or overnight. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro, chives, or scallions, if desired. You can stir in a dollop of sour cream or mayonnaise for a creamier consistency.

Homemade Flatbread

For a hug on your plate (and the belly!), wrap up your goulash inside a warm and fluffy flatbread. Homemade flatbread is simple to prepare and fun to eat. Put down your cutlery and tuck into the goulash wraps with your hands, or enjoy on the side to scoop up gravy.

Add 3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt, 1 cup flour, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, a pinch of salt, and 2 tseaspoons baking powder to a large bowl. Gently mix until you form a dough. Add more yogurt if the mixture is too dry. Replace the flour with chickpea flour for a gluten-free option.

Divide the dough into equally-sized balls on a floured surface and roll as thin as possible to form flat rounds. Lightly brush a large skillet with melted butter. Cook flatbread for about 2-3 minutes until golden and crispy on each side. Top with butter and chopped herbs, if desired.

Cranberry Avo And Leafy Green Salad

A light, crisp, and healthy salad is an excellent accompaniment to hearty meat dishes. Peppery arugula and tart cranberries spruce up the goulash without masking its flavor, while the cooling lettuce and cucumber counteract the dish’s warm and spicy notes.

Place roughly chopped lettuce, baby spinach leaves, and arugula into a large mixing bowl. Top with diced cucumber, avocado, dried cranberries, and feta. Add a splash of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and dried oregano to taste. Gently toss to combine. For added crunch, top the salad with chopped walnuts or roasted seeds.

Crispy Potato Rosti

Potatoes of any shape and style are always a winner! Crispy and cheesy potato rostis pair exceptionally well with goulash. They are delightful served on the side or topped with a spoonful of meat, veggies, and gravy from the goulash.

Grate 400-450g potatoes into a large mixing bowl. Add ½ onion (finely chopped and sautéed) and ¾ cup grated cheddar cheese. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika to taste.

Stir ingredients until thoroughly combined and shape mixture into balls. Heat butter in a large frying pan and cook 2-3 balls at a time. Flatten each ball to form rostis and fry for about 2 minutes on either side, until golden and crisp. Top rostis with a dollop of sour cream or plain yogurt.

Balsamic Roasted Vegetables

Veggies are even more appealing when roasted to perfection and served with a delicious meal like goulash! Carrots, peppers, and green beans bring color and crunch to the plate. Balsamic vinegar and aromatics further enhance the taste of meat.

Preheat oven to 400°F/200°C. Roughly chop up some carrots, red onion, garlic, peppers, and green beans. Toss the veggies with a drizzle of honey, olive oil, and a generous splash of balsamic vinegar. Season with salt, pepper, chopped thyme, and rosemary.

Arrange the vegetables on a greased roasting pan. Roast for 35-40 minutes, turning every 10 minutes. Serve warm with a sprinkle of honey-mustard and toasted seeds, if desired.

Brown And Wild Rice 

For double the comfort, a simple dish of warm and fluffy rice creates the perfect base for goulash. Brown and wild rice have a wonderful chewy texture and a slightly nutty flavor. You can top this with goulash so that it can soak up the incredible flavor.

Toast 1 cup brown and wild rice blend with a knob of butter for a few minutes to enhance the nutty flavor. Then add 1 ¼ cups water and a pinch of salt. Cover and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes until the rice has softened and absorbed all the water.

Remove from the heat and fluff rice with a fork. Season with salt, pepper, and a sprinkle of paprika. You can stir in a drizzle of olive oil, chopped parsley, or nuts for extra flavor.

The Best Beverage Pairings For Goulash

A rich, meaty, and delectable dish like goulash calls for something special to sip on. Opt for full-bodied red wines with fruity and bold flavors. Our top picks include Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese, or Pinot-Noir.

A cold glass of beer also goes down well with goulash. We recommend a brown ale, Double/Imperial IPA, or Pale Ale.

The Best Toppings For Goulash

As goulash is already bursting with saucy goodness and brilliant flavor, a sauce is not typically required. Instead, serve goulash with a topping of sour cream, thick Greek yogurt, or Crème Fraiche.