Home > Dinner > Goulash Goulash March 30, 2020 | 41 Comments SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Jump to Recipe This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy. American Goulash: A hearty, comforting, and easy pasta and beef dish. Simmer beef, peppers, and onions in a tomato sauce, then toss with pasta and cheese for a savory meal ready in 40 minutes! Pair Goulash with some veggies! These Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Roasted Broccoli, or Italian Salad all make great side dishes. American Goulash American Goulash, also known as slumgullion, is a comforting American dish made with ground beef, elbow macaroni, and onions in a tomato-based sauce. In the Midwest, it’s often just called “goulash.” However, it should not be confused with Hungarian Goulash, which is made with stew meat and served over homemade dumplings called Nokedli. Most American Goulash recipes cook everything in one pot, but I prefer a different approach for a few reasons. One, it’s easy to overcook the pasta, resulting in an overly starchy meal. Two, leftovers tend to become less enjoyable as the pasta absorbs too much liquid and becomes mushy. Lastly, it doesn’t save much time. In this recipe, we cook the pasta separately, which I believe yields the best Goulash. QUICK TIP Elbow macaroni is the traditional pasta for American Goulash. If you’d like to experiment with different pasta shapes, opt for varieties that are thick and relatively small, such as small shells, ziti, or penne – they all work well. Goulash Ingredients Ground Beef: Ground beef provides the main protein and adds rich, savory flavor to the goulash. Elbow Macaroni: The elbow macaroni absorbs the rich, zesty tomato sauce, adding a satisfying texture. Veggies: The diced yellow onion and red pepper in this recipe enhance the overall flavor, adding depth. Seasonings: The seasonings in this goulash recipe provide a balanced blend of savory, smoky, and mildly spicy flavors. They elevate the taste of the dish. Tomato Base: The crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce provide a rich tomato flavor and create a saucy consistency. Combined, they make a delicious sauce for the pasta and beef. Cheese: The Cheddar cheese adds creaminess and a cheesy flavor, enriching the taste and texture. VARIATIONS Recipe variations Cheese: Mix mozzarella and cheddar for a cheesier option. Lactose intolerant? Enjoy without cheese! Extra Veggies: Enhance with frozen corn, carrots, or mushrooms. Add spinach at the end. Beans: Transform into chili mac with chili or kidney beans. Fresh Herbs: Sprinkle diced Italian parsley for a burst of freshness and color. How To Make American Goulash Prep: Chop onion, garlic, and red pepper. Cook Veggies: Sauté onion, red pepper, and garlic in olive oil until tender. Cook Beef: Brown beef, drain, and add spices. Tomatoes: Mix in tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, bouillon, Worcestershire sauce, and bay leaves. Simmer. Macaroni: Boil and cook macaroni, then drain. Finish: Stir Cheddar cheese into the meat mixture. Add macaroni if serving immediately, or store separately for leftovers. Adjust seasonings. Enjoy! Goulash FAQs1What Is The Difference Between American Goulash And Hungarian Goulash?American Goulash features ground beef, pasta, and a tomato-based sauce with various spices. Hungarian Goulash, on the other hand, uses stew meat in a paprika-infused broth, served with dumplings and lacks pasta or cheese. The key distinctions lie in meat, sauce, and seasoning choices. 2Is Hamburger Helper The Same As Goulash?American Goulash and Hamburger Helper both contain ground beef and pasta, but they differ in taste and texture. Goulash has a tomato-based sauce with bold spices, emphasizing a tomato-forward flavor. Hamburger Helper, in contrast, is known for its creamier and cheesier nature. While they share ingredients, they have distinct flavor profiles and consistencies. 3Can You Freeze American Goulash? The meat sauce and noodles don’t freeze and thaw together, as the noodles become mushy. To freeze, cool the meat sauce, place it in an airtight freezer-safe container, date, and label it, then freeze. To enjoy, thaw in the fridge overnight and gently reheat on the stovetop, possibly adding extra water or tomato sauce when reheating. 4How Long Does It Take To Make Goulash? This recipe is efficiently prepared and requires a total of 40 minutes. Goulash Recipe Tips Good tomatoes make all the difference in this recipe. I recommend San Marzano® or Muir Glen® fire-roasted. Alternatively, swap tomato sauce with 15 oz Rao’s® marinara for richer flavor. Grate the cheese freshly. Pre-grated cheese contains a cellulose coating to prevent clumping and does not melt as smoothly. Generously salt the pasta water. While we don’t add salt directly to the Goulash due to its salty ingredients, it’s important to season the water in which the macaroni cooks. (Read about how to properly salt your pasta water here.) Sauté seasonings with meat and veggies before adding tomatoes; it intensifies flavors. Don’t skip this step. If you have extra time, allow the meat sauce to simmer for 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally. While totally optional, it does intensify the flavors and result in a richer and deeply savory sauce. More Ground Beef Recipes: Beef Tacos best beef taco mixture Taco Pasta in one skillet Beef Lettuce Wraps with coconut rice Taco Lasagna with pasta Egg Roll in a Bowl keto friendly! FOLLOW ALONG! Subscribe to my newsletter and follow along on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram for the latest updates, recipes and content. American Goulash 4.55 from 24 votes - Review this recipe American Goulash: A hearty, comforting, and easy pasta and beef dish. Simmer beef, peppers, and onions in a tomato sauce, then toss with pasta and cheese for a savory meal ready in 40 minutes! SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Print Recipe American Goulash 4.55 from 24 votes - Review this recipe SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Print Recipe American Goulash: A hearty, comforting, and easy pasta and beef dish. Simmer beef, peppers, and onions in a tomato sauce, then toss with pasta and cheese for a savory meal ready in 40 minutes! Course Dinner, Main Course Cuisine American Keyword goulash Prep Time 20 minutes minutes Cook Time 20 minutes minutes Total Time 40 minutes minutes Servings 6 -8 servings Chelsea Lords Calories 336kcal Author Chelsea Lords Cost $10.38 Ingredients▢ 2 tablespoons olive oil▢ 1 cup diced yellow onion (~1 onion)▢ 1 cup diced red pepper (~1 pepper)▢ 1 tablespoon finely minced garlic (~3-4 cloves)▢ 1 pound lean (93/7) ground beef▢ 2 tablespoons tomato paste▢ 1 tablespoon italian seasoning▢ 1 teaspoon EACH: paprika and chili powder▢ 1/4 teaspoon EACH: garlic and onion powder▢ Salt and pepper▢ 1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce▢ 2 cans (14.5 ounces EACH) fire-roasted crushed tomatoes▢ 2 teaspoons beef bouillon powder ▢ 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce▢ 2 bay leaves▢ 1 cup freshly grated sharp Cheddar cheese▢ 3 cups uncooked macaroni US - Metric USMetric InstructionsPREP: Finely dice the onion and red pepper, and mince the garlic.COOK VEGGIES: In a large cast-iron pot, heat olive oil over medium-high. Once shimmering, add finely diced onion, red pepper, and minced garlic. Sauté until tender, adjusting heat if needed. Simultaneously, bring a separate pot of water to boil on high heat.COOK BEEF: Turn the heat to high and push veggies aside in the pot. Add beef to the middle of the pot, letting each side sear for 30 seconds. Crumble and cook until no pink remains, then drain excess grease. Reduce heat to medium. Mix in tomato paste, Italian seasoning, paprika, chili powder, garlic and onion powders, and season with pepper to taste. Stir until spices release their aroma, about 1-2 minutes.TOMATOES: Pour in the tomato sauce, scraping the pot's bottom for any browned bits. Mix in fire-roasted crushed tomatoes. Add beef bouillon cubes, Worcestershire sauce, and bay leaves; stir gently. Bring to a boil, then reduce to low, partially covering the pot. Simmer until fragrant and tender, ideally 30-45 minutes for a richer sauce or until pasta is cooked. While simmering, shred the cheese.MACARONI: Once the water boils, season with salt (roughly 3/4 tablespoon). Add macaroni and cook as per package instructions. Drain when done.FINISHING: Off the heat, mix in the Cheddar cheese until melted. If eating immediately, combine meat mixture with cooked macaroni. For leftovers, add macaroni to bowls and top with meat mixture to prevent noodles from bloating in storage. Adjust seasoning to taste, and enjoy! Video Nutrition FactsServing: 1serving | Calories: 336kcal | Carbohydrates: 35.7g | Protein: 22.4g | Fat: 11.6g | Cholesterol: 50.3mg | Sodium: 271.7mg | Fiber: 3.2g | Sugar: 6.4g We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed. 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