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Can You Freeze Goulash?

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By Olivia Sheppard

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One of Hungary’s most famous dishes, goulash, is a delicious meal that is midway between a soup and a stew, usually consisting of a medley of vegetables and beef. However, there are two different types of goulash; Hungarian goulash and American goulash. But how do you store either of these?

Can You Freeze Goulash?

Yes, you can freeze goulash for up to 3 months. Both Hungarian and American-style goulash can be frozen in airtight containers. It’s vital that they are stored airtight.

Does Goulash Freeze Well? Yes

Can You Refreeze Goulash? No

How to Freeze Goulash

Both styles of goulash are a wonderfully warming meal and are so easy to make in bulk, and whilst you may want to eat it all in one go, sometimes it’s simply not possible!

This is why it is such a great meal to freeze so that you can quickly grab a portion and have a nutritious meal when you’re short on time.

Below are some simple steps you can take to freeze either style of goulash and ensure that you preserve the deliciousness. 

How to Freeze Hungarian Goulash

  1. Make Goulash
    Make your favourite goulash recipe in a large saucepan. This is the Hungarian style, so expect a stew style dish with beef and vegetables. 
  2. Cool the Pot
    Place the pot of cooked goulash into the fridge to cool down. 
  3. Portion
    Remove the cooled goulash from the fridge and set on the counter. Then ladle out individual portions of the goulash into pre-prepared freezer safe containers. 
  4. Freeze
    Seal the containers and place into the freezer on a flat surface. 

How to Freeze American Goulash

  1. Make Goulash
    Make your favourite goulash recipe in a large saucepan. This is the American style, so this has a tomato base and macaroni.  
  2. Prepare a Baking Sheet
    Grab a baking tray, preferably 9×13 inches, and grease the bottom to prevent sticking. You could also line with parchment or plastic wrap. 
  3. Spread out the Goulash
    Ladle out the left over goulash and spread across the baking sheet. This will allow it to cool quickly and be easier to freeze. 
  4. Cover
    Wrap the baking sheet in cling film or aluminum foil, making sure that no edges or surfaces are exposed to limit freezer burn. 
  5. Freeze
    Slide the baking tray into the freezer, keeping it flat, and freeze the goulash for up to 2 months. 

3 Tips for Freezing Goulash

Now you know how to freeze it, we’ve got our 3 top tips which we strongly recommend following when freezing goulash to have the best results:

Leave an Inch of Space
When portioning your goulash into freezer-safe containers, make sure to leave around 1 inch of space to the top to allow room for expansion as the goulash freezes. 

Use Fresh Ingredients
When making your goulash, use the freshest ingredients you can. This will prevent spoilage after the dish is frozen and it will still retain its delicious flavour and nutrition.

Add Additional Sauce and Cheese
If you have chosen the freeze and then reheat the American style goulash, you may want to add some additional sauce and cheese to ensure the dish doesn’t become too dry when it is thawed and reheated. 

How Long Can You Freeze Goulash?

It’s best to eat your goulash sooner rather than later. The longer it is kept in the freezer, the more the flavour will degrade and texture will change. Ideally, eat it within 2 months but it will be fine for 3 months or so.

You Can Freeze Goulash for up to 3 Months

How Do You Defrost Goulash?

If you have frozen your goulash in a plastic freezer-safe container, when you are ready to use it, simply remove it from the fridge and start by running some warm water around the outside of the container.

This will gently loosen the sides of the frozen goulash, and you can then remove the frozen dish and place it into a microwave-safe bowl or dish. Place into the microwave and cook for at least 3 minutes on high. 

For goulash that has been frozen on a baking tray, just remove the tray from the freezer and let thaw in the fridge. You can then cook or reheat the goulash in the oven at 350F for 30-40 minutes and enjoy!

Can You Refreeze Goulash?

No, you cannot refreeze goulash as this can cause bacteria to grow that may be harmful if consumed. It will also degrade in taste and texture, so it’s advisable to freeze in individual portions to prevent any food wastage.

Does Goulash Freeze Well?

Yes, goulash is a great meal to freeze! The texture of goulash, regardless if it’s American style or traditional Hungarian style, is great for ensuring it freezes well and is easy to use when you’re ready to cook it again. 

If you’ve still got questions about freezing goulash or goulash in general, then these may help:

Can You Freeze Freeze Goulash with Pasta?

No, we would suggest not freezing goulash with pasta as the pasta can ruin the texture of the goulash. Instead, cook pasta fresh to serve with it.

Can You Freeze Goulash with Potatoes?

Yes, you can freeze goulash with potatoes. The potatoes can disintegrate during the freezing process, however, so just be aware of some minor textural changes.

Can You Freeze Goulash with Sour Cream?

We would avoid freezing goulash with sour cream. Sour cream, like a lot of dairy products, will split when frozen which can make goulash grainy. Instead, add sour cream after thawing it.

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