There’s nothing quite like a hearty bowl of Old Fashioned Goulash for dinner. And it’s so easy to make all in one pot! Ground beef, green peppers, onions and tomato sauce in elbow macaroni makes for delicious family dinner any night of the week! And we’ve also included a Slow Cooker Goulash Recipe as well!
What is Goulash?
This is technically American Goulash, which is quite a bit different than Hungarian Goulash. Hungarian Goulash consists of stew meat, vegetables and is spiced with Paprika. American Goulash has ground beef, vegetables, pasta and usually a TON of tomatoes. American Goulash goes by a TON of names, including Johnny Marzetti, American Chop Suey and Slumgullion… just to name a few!
How to Make Old Fashioned Goulash
Like all classic comfort food recipes, this is SO SIMPLE and EASY and just takes a few common ingredients that you probably already have on hand! Just throw in all in your Stock Pot or Dutch Oven and let the delicious aromas gather in your kitchen! See the full instructions in the recipe card below.
INGREDIENTS YOU’LL NEED FOR THIS RECIPE:
- GROUND BEEF – We used 80/20 ground beef, but you can use any ground meat you’d like. If you want to try to lighten this dish up a bit, you can sub for ground chicken or ground turkey.
- GREEN PEPPER – Chopped. Make sure that you wash it well and remove all the seeds.
- ONION – Red or yellow onion will work. Whatever you have on hand. This is a very forgiving recipe!
- GARLIC – You’ll be sauteing this with the onions and ground beef. The smell will be amazing!
- TOMATO SAUCE – Add this with the stewed tomatoes to create your tomato stew.
- STEWED TOMATOES – Don’t drain before adding. Just dump the whole can in and let it all simmer!
- WATER – H2O!
- WORCESTERSHIRE SAUCE – Helps give your tomatoes a little boost of flavor.
- ITALIAN SEASONING – The strongest flavors in Italian Seasoning are Basil and Oregano. So, if you don’t have Italian Seasoning, but have those spices, you can probably get away with just using them.
- SALT AND BLACK PEPPER – To taste
- ELBOW MACARONI – We used 2 cups elbow macaroni noodles, and it seems like that is the most common pasta to use in this recipe. But you could sub for other smaller pasta if you’d like. I’ve also seen people use egg noodles.
Storage and Freezing Goulash
This is one of the recipes that tastes just as good, maybe even better, for leftovers! Store leftovers in an airtight container in your refrigerator. It will be good for up to 5 days.
You can freeze Goulash. Just allow it to cool completely and put it in a freezer friendly container. It will be good in your Freezer for 3-4 months. You can thaw it out overnight in your fridge and reheat it in your oven at 350 degrees until heated through.
One of the great things about forgiving recipes like this is that you can generally add and subtract ingredients to your tastes. Our version is a pretty basic Old Fashioned Goulash Recipe. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get creative! Some ideas of things to add are:
- Canned whole kernel corn.
- Beans – Black, Kidney Beans or Chili Beans. If using Chili Beans, you can leave the sauce from the can to add even more flavor!
- Bell Peppers
- Green Beans
Slow Cooker Goulash Recipe
Can you make Goulash in a Slow Cooker? You bet! This is a great idea if you want to make it ahead of time and have it waiting for you when you are ready to eat it. It’s a pretty simple recipe. Just brown your ground beef in a non-stick skillet. Then add the ground beef and all the other ingredients (except your noodles!) into your Slow Cooker. Cook on high for 2 hours or low for 4-6 hours.
When adding the noodles, you have two options. You can cook them on the side and keep them in the fridge until the final 10-20 minutes of cooking. Then add them in to warm them up. Or, you can add them uncooked in the final 30-40 minutes of cooking.
What To Serve With Goulash?
You could also serve it with a salad, like this Grilled Vegetable Salad.
Other Notes, Tips and Variations
- TOPPINGS – When ready to serve, consider adding some toppings to enhance the meal. Such as: Saltine Crackers, Oyster Crackers or Fritos.
- ADD CHEESE – Cheddar Cheese works great! Or Pepper Jack to give it a little kick! And Mozzarella cheese would also be delicious!
- ADD SOME SPICE – With dishes like this, I love to stir in some Sriracha Sauce or any other hot sauce!
- CAN YOU USE DICED TOMATOES INSTEAD OF STEWED TOMATOES? – Yes. You should be able to substitute diced for stewed tomatoes.
- BEEF BROTH – To make a richer soup, substitute beef broth for the water.
We hope you love this recipe for Old Fashioned Goulash and brings back happy memories from your childhood!
Tools To Help With This Recipe
FOR OTHER CLASSIC FAMILY DINNERS, CHECK OUT:
- TUNA NOODLE CASSEROLE
- BISQUICK CHICKEN AND DUMPLINGS
- CROCKPOT RANCH PORK CHOPS
- HOMEMADE BEEFARONI
- JOHN WAYNE CASSEROLE
Old Fashioned Goulash
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 green pepper seeds removed and chopped
- 1 small onion diced
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 can 15 oz, tomato sauce
- 1 can 14.5 oz, stewed tomatoes (do not drain)
- 3 cups water
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 cups elbow macaroni uncooked
- In a large stock pot, add beef, pepper, garlic and onion.
- Heat over medium high heat, stirring frequently until meat is browned. Drain grease. Return meat to pot.
- Add tomato sauce, tomatoes, water, Worcestershire sauce and seasonings and mix well. Heat over medium high heat until boiling.
- Add pasta and continue to cook over a strong boil for 8-12 minutes or until pasta is cooked to your liking.
- Remove from heat and serve.