Keto Goulash

From Vienna via Budapest to the Adriatic coast – Keto Goulash

Keto Goulash is an ideal dish for the upcoming winter days. Have you ever heard about Goulash? I know, it’s not something traditionally Greek, but it’s quite similar to Stifado! The difference, of course, is in the fat source and spices. Veal, in particular, is more typical to the northern Balkan territory than to Greece or countries of the south. Even in Italy, they use veal more in the north than in the south.

Keto Goulash idea

As cloudy, cold, and rainy days bring the announcement of winter, it’s the best time for warm and fragrant comfort foods. If you haven’t already heard about Goulash, allow me to introduce you to this gem of central and southern European cuisine. There is some romance in the Goulash aroma. It is perfectly describing the time, atmosphere and contrast between the historical Epoques!

When the reminiscent of the fall and the cosy warmth of the kitchen create the perfect inspiration – it’s time for Keto Goulash. Unlike my Greek husband, I like autumn and winter time. This is why I ketonised a perfect Goulash recipe that could be older than the arrival of potatoes in Europe! But before that, the story of Goulash is waiting for you, so if you are interested, keep reading!

The everlasting inspiration

It could be said that almost no meal has inspired the Viennese (Austrian) cuisine so much as Goulash did. Preparation alone does not require some major cooking skills. In fact, the proto-recipe was created by simple shepherds. Their simple preparation methods are unmatchable. However, the chefs wanted to bring it to another level. Thanks to this, a space for “food theorists” was opened and many versions appeared around the continent.

Hungarian origins

The dish and word originate from Hungary. Gulyá means the herd of cattle, of which a Goulash was derived. The meat preparation that the shepherds boiled in the Hungarian countryside is called gulyás hús. The proper translation would be the shepherd’s meat dish.

This word came to Vienna via Bratislava at the beginning of the 19th century. That is why in the early Viennese cookbooks the Hungarian Goulash and the Gollasch (later Gulasch) are distinguished. This is not just about the linguistic distinction, but primarily about the preparation method. The Hungarian Goulash does not at all imply what the Austrians call Gulasch. Interestingly, Hungarian Gulyás soup is served in a deep plate and eaten with a spoon. On the other side, Austrians serve it as the main dish and it’s eaten with a fork. In Hungary, they use not only beef but also veal and pork. The meat is the first sautéd and then cooked in its own juice or some water. If the cream is added, then it’s brought to another level.

The Goulash fear

The Austrians have been afraid of Goulash hot paprika content. Namely, it was often said that the Hungarian belly can easily withstand a spoonful of hot paprika powder. On the other side, this would sound like a trip to hell for the Austrians. Only when the Goulash became moderately seasoned with sweet paprika, people started ordering it more. It was already in the 1860s that the Goulash conquered the whole of Europe.

It could also be found in canned food (as it is known, the cans have been used since Napoleon’s time). Goulash has become an extremely popular meal, suitable for the taverns. It could be prepared in large quantities and then served for several days. In the Adriatic coast, they serve at least 10 different versions of Gulaš!

Why classical Goulash is not Keto?

As with everything from the carb dominating world, when the meals and recipes are stolen from the shepherds, they usually are destroyed. In this case, they added a lot of wheat flour to make the sauce thicker. But this is not the only problem. In many traditional recipes, Goulash is prepared with an equal amount of onion and meat. Well, we know that onion contains loads of sugar and therefore has to be consumed wisely on Keto. Furthermore, a classical Goulash recipe calls for red wine and sometimes potatoes.

How shall we ketonise this?

Quite easy and simple! Follow this detailed Keto recipe and prepare the best Keto Goulash that both the noble Viennese, as well as Hungarian shepherds would adore! Stay Ketonised to the full potential!

Let’s make the perfect Keto Goulash

Keto Goulash

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Keto European
Servings 6


  • 4 tbsp lard purified
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 small red bell pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 500 g (1.7 Lb) veal (alternatively use beef) cut into cubes (Ideally Bottom Sirloin Flap)
  • 4 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp red sweet paprika powder (alternatively use 1 tbsp red hot paprika powder)
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 whole bay leaves
  • 1 tsp black pepper freshly ground
  • 1 tbsp dried parsley
  • 3 tbsp sour cream
  • 1 cup sparkling mineral water


  • On medium temperature, in a large pot melt the lard and add chopped onion and garlic. Let it brown lightly and then add red bell pepper cut into strips or cubes. Add 1 tbsp red paprika powder and keep stirring.
  • Now add the meat and constantly stir until the meat turns brown. Add vinegar and cover the pot. Let it cook for 3 minutes and then add sea salt.
  • Pour half a cup of sparkling mineral water, add bay leaves, dried parsley, cumin and cover the pot. Cook for 10 minutes over medium temperature. Now, add the rest of sparkling mineral water and add another tbsp of red paprika powder. You can use sweet or hot paprika. This depends on whether you feel more Hungarian or Austrian 😉 Cook for another 10 minutes.
  • At this point, add sour cream and stir. Cover the pot and cook for another 5 minutes. 
  • In the end, add freshly ground black pepper and serve your Keto Goulash in a deep plate while it's still hot! You can serve it with a slice of this Keto bread 
Keyword Goulash

Keto Goulash

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