Goulash inevitably comes into play when you think about Hungarian cuisine.
There are, indeed, a few representative dishes, but this one stands out in the crowd.
The Hungarian stew is based on a mix of ingredients, such as meat, bell peppers, tomatoes, and paprika.
The dish was originally used more than 1,000 years ago.
Overtime, its popularity grew out of Hungary, so different variations of the original recipe have been adapted for various cuisines.
Not sure what to serve with Hungarian goulash? You are not the only one – here is what you need to know to impress your family and guests.
Why Consider Serving Side Dishes with Hungarian Goulash?
Generally speaking, the Hungarian goulash is a stew.
You can eat it alone, but chances are you will not be able to have more than one serving – it will cause nausea.
You need something to complement it, but also something that annihilates its nauseous profile – just like for any other stew out there.
On the other hand, if you expect some guests, chances are you will need to put something else on the table – you just want to make a good impression.
Fortunately, there are a few good options out there.
What to Serve with Hungarian Goulash? 7 BEST Side Dishes
Here are a few matching side dishes for the Hungarian goulash.
1. Spicy Cabbage Rolls
Cabbage rolls are available in a plethora of recipes – you will normally use meat to fill them up, but you can also use mushrooms and rice as a vegetarian alternative.
The secret is in how well the flavors come together.
Cabbage rolls are a bit sour, while goulash is a mix of sweet and sour aromas.
To make the dish look even more sophisticated, add a bit of sour cream on top of your cabbage rolls.
The sour cream will become that paste that keeps everything together when you pair the goulash and rolls.
2. Roasted Brussels Sprouts
This is the type of recipe that will work well due to the unique mix of textures.
Simply put, you have the soft and watery goulash that has a bit of crunch due to the bell peppers.
Then, roasted Brussels sprouts are crunchy and crispy, especially on the outside.
Brussels sprouts can be cooked in a few different ways – just a matter of personal preferences.
They are not for everyone, though – so double check with your guests if they like them.
Besides, preparing such a dish is a matter of minutes only.
3. Crispy Biscuits
This is the type of combo that no one will really expect – biscuits are basic, yet they can work wonders if used accordingly.
Their crispiness will complement the Hungarian goulash, but they will also help soak the sauce and broth, so you leave nothing behind.
You can cook your own biscuits, purchase them or get them frozen – quite a few options there.
As for how they mix with the Hungarian goulash, you can place them at the bottom of the dish or just use them like bread – just a matter of personal preferences.
4. Freshly Baked Bread
Freshly baked bread adds a unique flavor to any meal out there – literally.
In other words, you just cannot go wrong if you put it on the table close to Hungarian goulash.
Bread is a classic side for stews, but you need to go the extra mile and do it yourself.
If freshly baked, it is warm and has a unique aroma that will almost turn it into the main dish – your guests will fight over it.
Bread adds consistency to the table and can tackle some of the nauseous stew when eaten alone.
At the same time, you can use it to grab all the leftovers and sauces at the bottom of the plate.
5. Hearty Rice Pilaf
Rice pilaf pairs amazingly with Hungarian goulash.
Rice is hearty and fulfilling, so the stew will not feel too heavy.
You can mix in different spices and condiments for a unique flavor, but stick to something similar to paprika – you do not want too many confusing aromas.
Compared to classic rice, rice pilaf has more flavor and aroma, hence its popularity.
It will enhance the taste of Hungarian goulash and can be served in a few different ways.
It can go on the side, in a different plate, but it can also be mixed into the goulash.
6. Crispy Cornbread
Crispy cornbread may feel a bit dull and boring by itself, but everything changes when mixed with Hungarian goulash.
The cornbread becomes even better when you reach the bottom of the plate, as it can help grab all the leftover sauces.
The flavor combination is unique, but the texture mix is just as appealing – the Hungarian goulash is soft and saucy, while the cornbread is crispy and will absorb those juices straight away.
It makes no difference if you make it yourself or buy it from a local grocery store.
7. Crispy Potato Pancakes
Potato pancakes are quite common in Hungarian cuisine and will work well with goulash.
They are crispy on the outside and a bit softer on the inside.
Besides, they make a good substitution for different types of bread.
The flavors and aromas will contrast the goulash, but in a pleasant way.
You will find the goulash more delicious because every aroma is more obvious.
As if all these were not enough, making potato pancakes should take less than 15 minutes – the dish is fairly simple to prepare and does not require too many ingredients.
As a short final conclusion, figuring out what to serve with Hungarian goulash is not as difficult as it may seem.
There are plenty of options out there, and each of them comes with its own particularities.
There are numerous combinations, and some of them work better than others.
Many times, it is only a matter of personal preferences.
The good news is that any of the above-mentioned side dishes will take minutes to prepare, so you will not have to waste your whole day in the kitchen.