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Goulash

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close up overhead shot of Goulash garnished with parsley with a wooden spoon in a pot
A no-hassle, American version of the Hungarian classic, our goulash is a simple, one-pot recipe that everyone loves, featuring tender beef, cheese, macaroni, and tomatoes.
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Table of Contents
  1. Goulash Ingredients
  2. How To Make This Goulash Recipe
  3. How To Serve
  4. Storage
  5. More Recipes You’ll Love
  6. JUMP TO RECIPE

Goulash is an old-fashioned recipe with a delicious mix of flavors, including crisp veggies, tender ground beef, and ooey-gooey melted cheese. With so many things to love about this simple recipe, it’ll be hard to decide if your favorite part is how much everyone will love it, or the quick and easy way it’s made.

For more comfort food recipes just like this classic goulash, try our Hungarian goulash and Amish casserole.

close up overhead shot of Goulash garnished with parsley in a wooden spoon hovered over goulash in a pot

Goulash Ingredients

Goulash raw ingredients that are labeled

You’ll need:

  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 onions, chopped (1 cup)
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped (¾ cup)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic cloves
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 15 ounces tomato sauce
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (15-ounce) can stewed tomatoes
  • 6 ounces tomato paste
  • ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 16 ounces elbow macaroni, uncooked
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • Parsley for garnish

PRO TIP:

Grate your own cheddar cheese instead of buying pre-shredded. Pre-shredded cheese is coated with an anti-caking agent causing it not to melt quite as well.

SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS

GROUND MEAT: Looking for a healthier alternative with just as much flavor? Swap your beef for ground turkey meat.

Lean ground turkey is a great source of healthy protein. It’s lower in calories and saturated fat than ground beef while having almost the same amount of protein. Lean ground turkey is also rich in calcium.

ROTINI: If you don’t have macaroni noodles, it’s fairly common for this easy goulash recipe to be made with rotini noodles instead, and you can substitute them as such. Egg noodles are also a popular choice for this delicious dinner recipe.

SPICE: If you would like your goulash to be a little bit spicy, you can add a dash of red pepper flakes.


How To Make This Goulash Recipe

STEP ONE: Add ground beef, onions, green pepper, paprika, and minced garlic to a large pot (5.25 quarts). On medium-high heat, cook beef until meat is no longer pink. Drain any excess fat.

PRO TIP:

Drain any excess fat so your dish will be less oily. Just pour the beef into a colander, give it a rinse, then put it back in the pot.

Goulash process shot of ingredients in a pot

STEP TWO: Add broth, water, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes (with liquid), stewed tomatoes, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, Italian seasoning, bay leaves, salt, and pepper, bring to a boil and then reduce the heat and simmer with a cover on for 30 minutes.

Goulash process shot of ingredients in a pot

STEP THREE: Add the uncooked elbow macaroni and stir well. Cover and simmer for an additional 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

PRO TIP:

If the water is running low and the pasta isn’t quite close to cooked, don’t add cold water. Add very hot tap water – or better yet, boiling water – in 1 cup increments. You don’t want to add too much!

Goulash process shot of ingredients in a pot

STEP FOUR: Remove from heat and remove bay leaves.

Goulash process shot of ingredients in a pot

STEP FIVE: Stir in sharp cheddar cheese.

Goulash process shot of sharp cheddar cheese added to the pot of goulash

STEP SIX: Garnish with parsley either dried or fresh.

How To Serve

For carb overload, you can try one of our yummy, homemade baked bread recipes to serve alongside this old-fashioned Goulash recipe for a complete meal. Our no-knead bread is a super easy and delicious artisan bread to make at home. Cheesy pull-apart bread is perfect for sharing.

Storage

IN THE FRIDGE: Make sure the container you store this beef goulash in is airtight. You can store it in the fridge for up to 4 days. It can be reheated by using the microwave. Stir in a little water before reheating.

IN THE FREEZER: This hearty dish can also be made ahead of time and frozen, or you can store leftovers in a freezer-safe airtight container for up to 3 months.

close up overhead shot of a bowl of Goulash garnished with parsley

From the seasonings and herbs that bring out the flavor of this meal, to the tender and succulent onions and peppers, this classic, old-world dish will satisfy all the hungry bellies at your table. Cheesy tomato sauce, hearty beef, and macaroni cooked right in the sauce – this beef and pasta recipe is one you’ll be reaching for over and over.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How do I know when my pasta is al dente?

To test your pasta for al dente, take a bite of the pasta a minute or two before the package instructions indicate it should be done. When you bite into it, and your teeth feel some resistance, but the pasta is still tender, your pasta is al dente.

Can I make this recipe in the slow cooker?

While we haven’t tried it, you could try this in the slow cooker instead of on the stove top.

Can I substitute another ground meat for ground beef?

This recipe is very flexible and if you would like to use ground pork, turkey or chicken, you certainly can.

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close up overhead shot of Goulash garnished with parsley with a wooden spoon in a pot

Goulash

5 from 5 votes
A no-hassle, American version of the Hungarian classic, our goulash is a simple, one-pot recipe that everyone loves, featuring tender beef, cheese, macaroni, and tomatoes.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 8

Ingredients
  

  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 onions, chopped, (1 cup)
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped, (¾ cup)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 15 ounces tomato sauce
  • 14.5 ounces diced tomatoes
  • 15 ounce can stewed tomatoes
  • 6 ounces tomato paste
  • ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 16 ounces elbow macaroni, uncooked
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • parsley for garnish

Instructions
 

  • Add ground beef, onions, bell pepper, paprika, and garlic to a large stockpot. On medium-high heat, cook until meat is no longer pink. Drain any excess fat.
  • Add broth, water, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes (with liquids), stewed tomatoes, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, Italian seasoning, bay leaves, salt, and pepper. Then bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat and simmer with a cover on for 30 minutes.
  • Add the macaroni and stir well. Cover and simmer an additional 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove from heat and remove bay leaves.
  • Stir in shredded sharp cheddar cheese.
  • Garnish with parsley.

Notes

Note: Grate your own cheddar cheese instead of buying pre-shredded. Pre-shredded cheese is coated in an anti-caking agent causing it to not melt quite as well.
 
Note: Drain any excess fat so your dish will be less oily. Just pour the beef into a colander, give it a rinse, then put it back in the pot.
 
Note: If the water is running low and the pasta isn’t quite close to cooked, don’t add cold water. Add very hot tap water – or better yet, boiling water – in 1 cup increments. You don’t want to add too much!
 

Nutrition

Calories: 695kcal | Carbohydrates: 61g | Protein: 38g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 13g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 110mg | Sodium: 1134mg | Potassium: 1251mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 1313IU | Vitamin C: 33mg | Calcium: 321mg | Iron: 7mg
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