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Flavorful Matches: 7 BEST Side Dishes to Serve with Goulash

Goulash is a popular dish from Central Europe that is composed of stewed meat and vegetables.

It’s served with noodles, potatoes, polenta or rice.

In Hungary, the goulash varies according to regional tastes and recipes.

Goulash can be prepared in a few minutes if you use a pressure cooker or slow cooker.

People usually serve goulash as a vegan dish or as a dish made of vegetables and beef.

Some people add pinto beans, others include different types of meat, and some use vegetables only.

Goulash is known for warming you up and making you feel satisfied regardless of lunchtime or dinnertime.

It has a rich taste and flavor.

The ingredients usually added to goulash include meat, onions, bell peppers, garlic cloves, tomatoes or tomato sauce, red wine, oregano, and bay leaves.

This dish also consists of a variety of spices such as cayenne pepper and hot paprika.

That being said, what are the best side dishes that you can serve with goulash? In this article, we will list down 7 of the best and popular side dishes that go well with goulash.

Why Consider Serving Side Dishes for Goulash?

why consider serving side dishes for goulash

Side dishes can be a perfect complement to goulash.

You want these side dishes to be flavorful, but you also want them not to overshadow the taste of this delicious Hungarian dish.

So, what types of side dishes should you consider for your goulash?

If you know the flavor of your goulash is going to be on the mild side, you may want to consider serving it with a side dish that is bold and hearty.

Try potato pancakes. These savory pancakes can add a nice touch to goulash and take your meal up several notches.

Of course, if the flavor of your goulash will be on the spicy side, you’re going to want to be careful about choosing a side dish that is mild enough in taste.

This means you may want to play it safe and go with a side dish that can serve as a neutralizer.

An example of this would be mashed potatoes.

For your next dinner party, instead of just serving goulash by itself, consider serving it alongside certain types of side dishes.

It’ll give your guests even more options for how to take their meal. Experiment and see what works.

What to Serve with Goulash – 7 BEST Side Dishes

what to serve with goulash best side dishes

Here are seven side dishes that are perfect for serving with goulash:

1 – Potato Pancakes

potato pancakes

Potato pancakes are a great side dish to serve with goulash because they can complement and contrast the flavors in your meal.

They are fantastic because they’re easy to make and can be served up quickly.

They go exceptionally well with goulash that has a sauce base.

Try serving your potato pancakes with sour cream or applesauce for added flavor.

If you like the idea of potato pancakes but don’t want one single side dish to take center stage, try serving them alongside another item like meatballs or roasted brussels sprouts.

You can even do both. You can also use different ingredients, like carrot and sweet potato pancakes.

2 – Roasted Brussels Sprouts or Spiced Carrots

roasted brussels sprouts or spiced carrots

If you want to go with a lighter side dish in terms of calories but still packs a tasty punch, roasted brussels sprouts and spiced carrots are perfect for goulash.

With brussels sprouts, you can try cooking them in a variety of ways.

You can slice them or quarter them and roast them with some olive oil.

Or, you could simmer the brussels sprouts in broth to soften them up before roasting.

Spiced carrots also work perfectly for goulash by themselves, but they’re also a great choice if you want to serve another side dish.

If you plan on serving meatballs with your goulash, for example, try pairing them with spiced carrots.

3 – Spaetzle Dumplings & Gravy

spaetzle dumplings gravy

Spaetzle is a type of dough dumpling that can be found in several European countries, including Hungary.

They’re perfect for any sauce base. They might even work better with a sauce base than potato pancakes do.

If you want to make spaetzle yourself, you can use a wide variety of ingredients.

The dough itself can be made with eggs, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and flour.

The trick to making spaetzle is getting the right consistency in your dough.

If you want them to look more like noodles than dumplings, then add enough flour that your batter looks like it has curdled milk.

This type of consistency is just right for spaetzle.

If you don’t want to go through all that trouble, you can always use a pre-made mix and follow the instructions on the back.

Just add your ingredients in with your goulash and heat it together to make a creamy sauce with gravy.

It’s sure to taste amazing.

4 – Cabbage Rolls with Sour Cream Sauce

cabbage rolls with sour cream sauce

Cabbage rolls are about as solid of a side dish choice as you can make for goulash.

You need only two ingredients to make cabbage rolls.

You will need about three pounds of ground beef and one head of cabbage, shredded.

If you want to go the extra mile, though, you may also want to add chopped onion, salt, pepper, and sliced carrots.

Once you’ve got your cabbage rolls together, they’re ready for cooking.

You can simmer them in sauce or fry them up with some butter.

Of course, how you cook your cabbage rolls is entirely up to you.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different techniques until you find the one that suits you.

Cabbage rolls are especially good with sour cream sauce.

You can use the same mix for your spaetzle or gravy to mix up a creamy sauce that pairs perfectly with cabbage rolls.

5 – Creamy Buttery Mashed Potato

creamy buttery mashed potato

Perfect for goulash, mashed potatoes pair up particularly well with a sauce base because the gravy helps flavor the potatoes themselves.

Not only that, but aside from creamy mashed potatoes can create a fantastic contrast to spicy Hungarian cuisine.

Mashed potatoes are also easy to make. All you need is some potato chunks, butter, salt, and pepper.

Boil the potatoes until they’re tender.

Then, to get that creamy texture, use a mixer or masher to mix in that butter and your seasonings.

If you don’t have a mixer or masher, feel free to use a bowl and elbow grease.

With just a bit of effort, you’ll be enjoying perfectly creamy mashed potatoes in no time at all.

6 – Rice Pilaf

rice pilaf

If you want a little variety on the side, consider making rice pilaf.

It’s straightforward to make, especially if you have a rice cooker, and it also works as an excellent base for other dishes.

You can mix up your rice pilaf with some beef broth to give it some extra flavor.

And depending on how you prepare it, you can add some vegetables to your rice pilaf (celery, onion, and peas).

You can also use your rice to make a beef-and-rice dish by adding some cut-up beef.

The leftover juices from the goulash will soak into the rice for an extra tasty meal.

Rice pilaf is quick and easy to make (especially in a rice cooker), so it’s a great side to whip up when you’re in a hurry.

7 – Buttered Egg Noodles or Spaetzle

buttered egg noodles or spaetzle

Spaetzle and egg noodles go together like peas and carrots.

Not only do they work well with a lot of different dishes, but you can also whip up some tasty sauces that complement them almost perfectly.

Both egg noodles and spaetzle take only a few minutes to cook, so feel free to make a big batch of them.

You can eat them hot or cold, and they work well as leftovers the next day for lunch or dinner.

Pasta recipes are also effortless to customize depending on what ingredients you have on hand.

If you don’t have any eggs, then feel free to use water.

If you want to add onions or other vegetables, then go for it.

You can also whip up a simple mushroom sauce by sauteeing some mushrooms with butter and adding them to your pasta.

It’s a great way to change things up.


In conclusion, goulash is a great dish to add to your diet.

It’s hearty and tasty, and it can pair well with a lot of different side dishes.

If you’re looking for something new to try out, then consider these top seven side dishes that go well with goulash.

Each of these side dishes is quick and easy to make.

You can whip them up in no time at all, so if you’re looking for something that will accompany your meal without too much preparation, then give one of these recipes a shot.

what to serve with goulash

What to Serve with Goulash? 7 BEST Side Dishes

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Side Dishes
Servings 1 Serving


  • Potato Pancakes
  • Roasted Brussels Sprouts or Spiced Carrots
  • Spaetzle Dumplings u0026 Gravy
  • Cabbage Rolls with Sour Cream Sauce
  • Creamy Buttery Mashed Potato
  • Rice Pilaf
  • Buttered Egg Noodles or Spaetzle


  • Choose your favorite recipe from the list of options.
  • Organize all required ingredients and prepare a delicious meal in 30 minutes or less!
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