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Keto Ground Beef Goulash

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Easy, hearty, and nutritious, this Keto Goulash is as good as comfort food gets…AND guilt-free! This Hungarian-inspired beef stew recipe is full of rich traditional flavors and is family-friendly!

stoneware bowl with ground beef keto goulash stew

What is Goulash?

Dating back to medieval times, goulash is one of the national dishes of Hungary. Traditional goulash is a beef-based stew with onions, tomatoes, and a heaping dose of paprika.

Over the centuries, this dish has traveled around the world, and many regions have adapted their own unique versions. For example, American goulash is comprised mainly of beef, tomatoes, and pasta (usually elbow macaroni) — quite a bit different from the original, though still delicious!

Our goulash leans more towards the traditional Hungarian style, as this is much easier to make keto-friendly since there are no noodles.

keto goulash recipe with ground beef, carrots, tomatoes, and green peppers

For your convenience in re-creating this recipe at home, we’ve included shop-able ad links to some of the products and supplies used. Read our disclosure policy here.

Why I Love This Recipe:

  • Hearty and satisfying — a full meal for just 5g net carbs per serving!
  • Full of flavor, without being too spicy.
  • You can also make this in the slow cooker!

What You Need to Make Our Keto Goulash

  • Ground beef — or 1/2″ beef cubes
  • Olive oil & butter — for cooking
  • Onion — one small white or yellow onion, or half of a large onion
  • Paprika — We’ll use at least 1/4 cup…lots of paprika!
  • Garlic cloves — You can also substitute a teaspoon of garlic powder if that’s what you have on hand
  • Carrot
  • Tomatoes —  We usually buy Roma tomatoes, but you can use any kind comparable in size.
  • Green bell pepper — Not a fan of peppers? You can leave this out and the dish will still taste fabulous! You can also use red, orange, or yellow bell pepper instead.
  • Salt and pepper — to taste

A note about spices: If you want to add a kick to your goulash, try incorporating 1 teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon chipotle, and a splash of hot sauce. 

Kitchen Tools Used:

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How to Make Low Carb Goulash

Place a heavy-bottomed pan, like a Dutch oven, over medium heat. Add cooking oil and brown your beef. Season with salt and pepper and stir occasionally.

browning ground beef in Dutch oven
When meat is done cooking, remove from pan.

Add the olive oil and butter to the pan and add diced onions. Cook until the onions are tender and golden brown.

cooking diced onions in a Dutch oven pot
Add the garlic, paprika, and return the beef to the pan. 

cooking ground beef and onions in large pot

Cook for about 2 minutes, then add the sliced carrots. Add water to pan — just enough to cover the mixture.

Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover for 45 minutes.

When done cooking, skim off any grease that has accumulated on top and add the tomatoes and peppers. Stir and cook for about 5 minutes.

large Dutch oven pot filled with low carb goulash

Feel free to add a bit more seasoning before serving.

Is this traditional Hungarian goulash?

Not exactly, but it is as close as we could come while still staying low in carbs! Authentic Hungarian goulash often has potatoes, which we skipped for our keto-friendly version. We also scaled back slightly on the amount of carrots and peppers — they are on the high-carb side for veggies, but we wanted to keep those flavors.

In this recipe we used ground beef, as that’s what we had on hand. To be as authentic as possible, you’d probably want to use cubed beef. Either way tastes fantastic, so we just went with what we already had in the fridge. Quarantine times y’all!!

Where we didn’t stray from the traditional style is that we kept it very broth-based. American goulash is a noodle-heavy dish, which is not what we were going for here.

So while I hesitate to call this Hungarian goulash because there are a few marked differences, I would describe it more as Hungarian-inspired.

Hope you enjoy!

Can you make goulash in a slow cooker?

Sure! For an easy set-it-and-forget-it meal, here’s how to make low carb goulash in a slow cooker or crockpot:

  1. Brown beef and onions.
  2. Add to slow cooker with all other veggies and enough water to cover mixture.
  3. Add spices and stir to mix.
  4. Cover and cook for 2 hours on high or 4-5 hours on low.

More of our favorite keto soups and stews:

Keto Goulash Recipe (Printable Copy)

If you love this recipe, please rate it! We’d also love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Keto Low Carb Goulash

This Keto Low Carb Goulash is an easy and hearty dish for any occasion!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Total Time1 hr 10 mins
Course: Main Course, Main Dish
Cuisine: Keto
Keyword: Goulash, keto, low carb
Servings: 4
Calories: 388kcal
Cost: $6


  • 1/2 large onion diced (or one small onion)
  • 4 garlic cloves sliced
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 carrot chopped
  • 3 tomatoes chopped
  • 1/2 green bell pepper chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 cup paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin optional
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle optional
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Place a heavy-bottomed pan or Dutch oven over medium heat.
  • Season the beef with salt and pepper and add to the hot pan with a tablespoon of oil.
  • Cook until fully browned, stirring to break up any clumps as needed.
  • Remove the browned meat from pan and set aside.
  • Add olive oil and butter to the pan.
  • Once the butter is melted, add the onions. Cook the onions until golden brown, or about 6-8 minutes.
  • Add the garlic, paprika, and return the beef to the pan and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Add the carrots and just enough water to cover the mixture.
  • Bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 45 minutes.
  • Skim off any grease that has accumulated on top.
  • Add tomatoes and peppers and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Season again with additional salt, pepper, and paprika as needed before serving.


Calories: 388kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 88mg | Sodium: 120mg | Potassium: 694mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 6531IU | Vitamin C: 22mg | Calcium: 53mg | Iron: 4mg

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  1. Hi, I’d like to make this but I wanted to make sure that it’s really a 1/4 cup paprika.
    That sounds like a lot. Thanks

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