Erdäpfelgulasch on a plate and in a pot, hand holding a spoon

Erdäpfelgulasch (Kartoffelgulasch) – vegetarian goulash Austrian way

February 27, 2020

Let’s continue our potato theme we’ve started last week. 
This goulash is not exactly a goulash. While the beef version you might be acquainted with has to simmer for hours in order to provide you with the softest meat possible this one is ready when the potatoes are ready. Which means the whole dish is ready in about an hour.

This goulash is naturally vegetarian, vegan even, however very, very often sausage, ham or meat are added to it. Not in this case though. I thought I will provide you with the simplest version and you can just take it from there and explore on your own. If I were to add sausage, I would’ve opted for Polish Kielbasa (known in Vienna as klobasa) or a Krainer – I think the structure and taste go best with this dish, but feel free to explore.

In 1745, a “Viennese pound” of potatoes, 560 grams, cost eight Guldens. For the same money, you could get 90 pounds of bread or 82 pounds of beef at that time. Let’s face it, they were a luxury. Nowadays it is a truly democratic dish: you can find it in fancy restaurants and you can also cooked them in a huge pot for a dinner party you are organising for your friends.

Important tips for the recipe

Onions are really the key here. I think it is unfair they are so rarely mentioned in the name of various dishes while in fact they are very often a key to a success. However, onions go with potatoes like skis with snow or chocolate with more chocolate. Dice them really small so they melt better with the potatoes. But if you are a rebel and want rings, by all means, go for it. Just be consistent and keep the size similar so you don’t end up with half of the onions burned and the other half barely translucent.
Wait with the garlic – adding it too early will only cause it to burn rather than add all those beautiful aromas it offers.

Before you attempt to peel and cut half a kilo of potatoes while the onions are roasting: it can be done. But not if you are a complete beginner. Do yourself a favour and just prepare all your ingredients in advance. You can then boast that you follow the “mise en place” philosophy while cooking.

I like harder potatoes for this recipe (Salatkartoffeln), but mehlige are the commonly agreed type – they do provide more binding for the sauce so there is something to it. You want to cut them in more or less even pieces. Not too small so they don’t fall apart. Imagine what would you like to stab on your fork and just go for it. When you reach the paprika phase, sprinkle it over onions and stir continuously from now on. Paprika will become bitter if it burns.

potato gulash in a pot, with a ladle

Erdäpfelgulasch (Kartoffelgulasch) - vegetarian goulash Austrian way

Category: Recipes

Erdäpfelgulasch on a plate and in a pot, hand holding a spoon


  • 500g peeled potatoes
  • 500g peeled onions
  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 5 tbsp oil
  • ½ tsp marjoram
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp hot paprika
  • ½-1 tsp smoked paprika
  • white wine vinegar
  • salt (more or less solid tablespoon)


  1. Cut potatoes in even pieces (not too small as you don’t want them to fall apart). Dice the onions small. Garlic also should be chopped small.
  2. Heat the oil in a pot with a thick bottom. Add onion and fry on a small heat for about 20 minutes. It has to reach light-brown colour. Add garlic and marjoram, fry shortly, add tomato paste and all the paprikas. Mix well and add a bit of water to prevent the paprika powder from burning.
  3. Add a small swig of vinegar and salt. Let simmer for about 10 minutes.
  4. Add potatoes and just about cover them with water. Keep on small fire. The potatoes should not be too soft, but they should be allowed to release the starch and bind the goulash. It takes 30-40 minutes, but also depends on potatoes and how big you cut them - can take up to 50-60 minutes. When necessary, add water.

diced onions on the cutting board
This is a recipe for those who are not of the faint heart. There is A LOT of onions.

onions with tomato paste in a pot

potato gulasch in a pot
This picture shows more or less how much potatoes should be covered. If need be you can add more water later, but don’t start with too much

served potato gulasch