Europe blog and travel tips

German comfort food: Gulasch and Knödel

May 15, 2011 (Last Updated: May 18, 2020)
by Carolyn
gulasch and knoedel

If ever I’m in need of some comfort food, nothing goes down better in my household than a big plate of gulasch, served with knödel (bread dumplings).

Not only does it taste delicious, it also brings back many fond memories of meals I’ve enjoyed in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, where the dish is often served.

When at home in Australia we tend to only eat gulasch in winter but it’s often on the menu during summer time at mountain guest houses (gasthofs) in Europe and, after a hike along alpine paths, there’s nothing tastier!!

The dish is really popular in the southern German states of Bavaria and Baden-Wurttemberg, but you’ll also find it served in Austria and Switzerland. 

I have enjoyed some excellent meals of gulasch and knoedel in Fussen, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Munich and Berchtesgaden, to name just a few occasions.

With a German-born husband, the dish has become a family favourite and I cook this meal often.

Here is the recipe that’s been passed on to me by my German mother-in-law and is such a hit at my house.


  • 750g to 1kg of stewing steak
  • 2 onions
  • 1 red capsicum (optional)
  • 1 tblspn sweet paprika
  • tomato paste
  • 2 cups water

Dice onions and fry in a little oil in a large saucepan until lightly browned. Add chopped capsicum, sweet paprika, some tomato paste and the water.  Bring to boil.

Add stewing steak, return to boil, then simmer for at least two hours, adding extra water as required to ensure there is always plenty of liquid.

Season with salt and pepper and/or stock cube to taste.

Serve with brown rice, noodles or Knödel (recipe below).


  • 1 day-old breadstick cut into squares (crouton size)
  • 2 or 3 eggs
  • 1 onion
  • 4 rashers bacon
  • bunch chives/spring onions
  • plain flour
  • 1/2 cup milk

Dice onion and bacon and saute in pan.  Place in a large bowl and add chopped bread.

Warm milk in pan, then add to bread mixture with the eggs. (Start with 2 eggs and add a third if required.) If mixture is quite moist, add some flour to make a firmer dough.

Roll the mixture into balls (about tennis ball size).

Place in a large pot of boiling water for approximately 10 minutes.

Serve on a bed of gulasch.

Enjoy – or as they say in Germany, Guten Appetit!