Did you just prepare a large amount of goulash and do you have some goulash leftovers? Can you freeze it? Does it freeze well? Yes. But you should pay attention to some details. Let’s find them out!
Can You Freeze Goulash?
It all depends on what Goulash we are referring to. If we are talking about the Hungarian Goulash made from beef and vegetables then yes. It freezes well for up to 3-6 months in air-tight containers without losing its texture and taste.
If we are referring to the American-style goulash with pasta then it will not freeze well as the pasta doesn’t freeze well. For these situations, it is recommended to freeze the goulash separately.
Then when you need to eat it, thaw the goulash and prepare a plate of fresh pasta. Mix them together and you have ready a delicious macaroni goulash on your table without sacrificing the taste and the texture of the dish.
Does It Freeze Well?
Yes. The goulash freezes well in air-tight containers for up to 3 months. Both Hungarian and American-style goulash freeze well. Just cover it with plastic wrap then wrap it in foil.
How to Freeze It?
So, you made a large amount of Hungarian or American-style goulash so now you’re looking at what you can do with the leftovers. If you see that you can’t eat all the leftovers in the next 3 days, the best option for you will be to freeze them.
Wait until the goulash cools down and divide it into servings as you can’t refreeze it multiple times. In that way, you can take out from the freezer the exact amount of goulash that you plan to eat in one sitting.
After you divide the goulash into servings, put it in air-tight containers and move it into the freezer on a flat surface.
Pro Tip: During the freezing process, the goulash may expand. Because of that, consider leaving about 1” free space at the top of the container.
In the end, don’t forget to stick some freezing labels on the container so you will know the date when you freeze them and the date before you should eat the goulash.
The Best Way to Freeze Goulash
If you’re freezing the American-style goulash that comes with pasta, then freeze the goulash separately from the pasta. When needed just thaw the goulash and prepare a fresh plate of pasta. Mix them together in the end and sprinkle a little bit of fresh chopped herbs for extra freshness and color on your plate.
For How Long Can You Freeze It?
Even if you can keep it safe in the freezer for up to 6 months, it is recommended to eat the goulash within 2-3 months in order to keep its original texture. The more you leave it in the fridge the more ice crystals will break the goulash texture and you will get a mushy dish in the end after thawing it.
Other Storage Times
On the Countertop
If you plan to leave the goulash on the countertop at room temperature, you should make sure that you will eat it the next day. Otherwise, it may start spoiling, especially if you leave it on the countertop in the summertime. If it will sit in direct sunlight that period will shorten even more. Because of that, it is recommended to keep it in the fridge.
In the Fridge
If you store the goulash in the fridge, you can keep it for up to 3-4 days in the fridge in air-tight containers without losing its taste and texture.
How to Defrost It?
In order to keep the texture of the dishes, you should always defrost slowly to keep their original texture. If you force the thawing process, you will sacrifice the goulash texture.
Overnight in the Fridge (Safest)
The best and safest way to defrost the goulash is to remove it the night before from the freezer and move the frozen goulash to the fridge. Leave it overnight to thaw slowly. By thawing the goulash in the fridge overnight, you will get the best texture and taste after thawing it.
Leaving on the Countertop
If your container with goulash is small in size, you can leave the frozen goulash on the countertop to thaw it quicker. It should take around 2 hours to defrost the goulash entirely.
Quick Note: It is recommended to defrost the frozen goulash at room temperature only if the frozen amount of goulash is not too big. Otherwise, it may take too long to defrost completely and there may be a risk of growing bacteria on the goulash.
In the Microwave
If your piece of goulash is not too big, you can thaw it in the microwave. It will take you around 7-10 minutes to defrost the goulash completely.
Start cooking it
Another quick option to thaw the frozen goulash is to put it in a saucepan, on low heat and mix it from time to time. You should mix it until the goulash starts boiling.
Quick Note: The last two methods work only if you are trying to thaw a smaller amount of frozen goulash. Otherwise, you may risk that the edges will start cooking, while the inner of the goulash will remain frozen.
How to Reheat Frozen Goulash?
In the Microwave
If you want to reheat the goulash, you can reheat it in the microwave by putting it on an oven-safe plate and reheating for about 2 minutes.
On the Stove
Another great option is to reheat the goulash to put it on the stove in a saucepan, to mix continuously until the desired temperature.
Can You Refreeze It?
No. It is not recommended to refreeze the goulash as you will lose all its texture and taste. Besides that, there is a high chance that bacteria will also start growing and you may poison yourself. Because of that, it is recommended before you freeze the goulash, divide it into servings and freeze individually the amount of goulash that you plan to eat in one sitting. That way, you don’t need to thaw and refreeze again after that.
How to Use Leftovers Goulash?
If you made a large amount of Hungarian goulash, and for some reason, you don’t want to freeze it, you can prepare a plate with fresh pasta and pour the goulash over it. You will get a delicious dish that everybody will love.
Another idea is to use the goulash leftovers as a filling in some tacos or burritos. Add some additional ingredients and a few greens and you have a delicious snack ready.
And of course, you can make a delicious beef pie from the goulash leftovers.
How to Tell if It Went Bad?
First of all pay attention to how the goulash is looking. Did it change its color and smell? Did you notice some unpleasant smells? If so, it will be better and safer to throw it away.
Also, if you left the goulash for half of the day on the countertop, or even worse under direct sunlight, it will be better to avoid eating this goulash as there is a high risk of growing bacteria inside that may poison you.
Answering Your Questions:
Can You Freeze Pasta Goulash?
It is not recommended to freeze goulash with pasta as the pasta is not the best product to be frozen. I would recommend freezing only the goulash. Then when you need to serve the American-style pasta goulash, thaw the goulash, cook a fresh plate of pasta and mix them together. In that way, you will get the best taste.
Can You Freeze Goulash With Sour Cream?
I don’t recommend freezing the sour cream goulash as the sour cream will split while frozen. As a result, it will ruin the texture of the goulash. The solution will be to add a few spoons of sour cream in the end right after thawing the goulash.