A classic comfort food, this simple goulash recipe is filled with ground beef and pasta in a rich tomato-based stew. This hearty recipe is one that the whole family can enjoy and you can have it on the table in less than an hour.
Comforting and simple to make, goulash is a savory recipe with a delicious mix of flavors and textures. Combining tender ground beef, flavorful tomato sauce, and gooey melted cheese, it’s a hearty meal that is great for any night of the week.
While traditional Hungarian goulash is typically made with stew meat and served over dumplings, this American goulash recipe cooks everything in one pot on the stovetop. Quick and easy, you can have this family favorite meal on the table in under an hour.
You can never go wrong serving a stew or a dish like goulash with some nice bread. Garlic bread, breadsticks, or dinner rolls are perfect for soaking up the wonderful flavors in the main dish. You might also serve your goulash with a lighter side dish like a green salad or some roasted vegetables.
- Ground beef - or another ground meat
- Onions - either a white or yellow onion, chopped
- Green bell pepper - yellow or red bell peppers also work well, chopped
- Garlic - minced
- Beef broth
- Tomato sauce
- Diced tomatoes - petite diced tomatoes work very well
- Tomato paste
- Worcestershire sauce
- Italian seasoning
- Salt and pepper - to taste
- Bay leaves
- Elbow macaroni - uncooked, you could also use rotini or any other small pasta
- Cheddar cheese - shredded
- Parsley - for garnish
This recipe makes a lot, so be sure that you start with a big pot. When it’s warm, goulash is a stew-like consistency, but it also thickens as it cools. If you’d like a dish that is more soup-like you can add extra beef broth to thin it out a bit.
Goulash is often made with lean ground beef, but you could also use another ground meat like turkey, chicken, pork, or even veal or bison. If you don’t have any macaroni noodles, you can swap for rotini noodles or any other small pasta you have on hand.
Customize your goulash by adding in extra veggies like diced carrots, corn peas, green beans, baby spinach, or mushrooms. For a slightly creamier dish, you can stir in a cup of sour cream at the end.
How to Make Goulash
FIRST STEP: Add ground beef, onions, bell pepper, and garlic to a large stockpot and on medium-high heat cook until meat is no longer pink. Drain any excess fat.
SECOND STEP: Add broth, water, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, Italian seasoning, bay leaves, paprika, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer with a cover on for 20 minutes.
THIRD STEP: Add the macaroni and stir well. Cover and simmer for an additional 20 minutes stirring occasionally.
FOURTH STEP: Remove from heat and remove bay leaves.
FIFTH STEP: Stir in cheddar cheese.
SIXTH STEP: Garnish with parsley
Can I make goulash ahead of time?
Goulash can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge or freezer. If you plan to make this dish more than a day ahead of time, the best place to store it is in the freezer.
Can I add extra vegetables?
Feel free to add in extra veggies like diced carrots, corn peas, green beans, baby spinach, or mushrooms.
Can I use ground turkey?
You can swap the ground beef for ground turkey or any other ground meat.
How to Store Goulash
IN THE FRIDGE: Store leftover goulash in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat using the microwave before serving.
IN THE FREEZER: Allow goulash to cool completely before storing. Place in a freezer-safe container and cover tightly with foil for up to 3 months.
- 2 lb ground beef
- 2 onions chopped
- 1 green bell pepper chopped
- 2 tsp garlic minced
- 2 cup beef broth
- 1 cup water
- 15 oz tomato sauce
- 14.5 oz diced tomatoes
- 15 oz can stewed tomatoes
- 6 oz can tomato paste
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1 tsp paprika
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 bay leaves
- 16 oz elbow macaroni uncooked
- 2 cup cheddar cheese shredded
- parsley for garnish
- Add ground beef, onions, bell pepper, and garlic to a large stockpot and on medium-high heat cook until meat is no longer pink. Drain any excess fat.
- Add broth, water, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, stewed tomatoes, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, Italian seasoning, bay leaves, paprika, salt, and pepper. Then bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat and simmer with a cover on for 15 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 cheddar cheese.
- Garnish with parsley.