You say “goulash” and I say “yum!” But do I picture what you mean? Ahh…there’s the rub.
Are we talking about the American goulash that typically includes ground beef or hamburger, tomato sauce or tomato soup, and elbow macaroni like the recipe featured here?
Adding two kinds of cheese morphs it into the best cheesy dinner! Or perhaps you mean the original Hungarian version with chunks of meat, onion, soup vegetables, and seasonings?
And you could be thinking of goulash with venison, red wine, and dumplings!
Pictured Above: Old Fashioned Goulash from My Incredible Recipes, Scroll Below for the Recipe
There are at least a dozen continental goulash versions and many more regional variations. Whatever recipe you end up cooking stovetop, crock pot, or oven baked, one-pot goulash is an easy family meal with simple ingredients.
What is goulash?
Basic goulash is an inexpensive stew of meat and vegetables, seasoned primarily with paprika with a few other spices.
The name “goulash” comes from a Hungarian word that means “herdsman”. It came to mean a meat dish which was prepared and eaten by herdsmen. Hungarian shepherds sun-dried cooked and flavored meat which they then packed into bags made from sheep’s stomachs (where’s a plastic baggie when you need it?!).
When they were on the move with their flocks and herds, they only needed to add water, vegetables, and seasonings to make their savory meal.
What is in goulash?
That depends on what you want to put in it! A wide range of ingredients endow the recipe with diversity of flavor. Play with seasonings and add-ins to find your favorites. Here are some of the popular choices:
-ground meat such as hamburger, turkey, spicy sausage, corned beef
-typical cuts of stew meat plus shank, shin, loin, flank, chuck, shoulder
-beef, lamb, veal, pork, bacon, deer, venison (meat of wild game), wild boar
-tomatoes, green and red peppers, mushrooms, carrots, parsnip, potatoes, celery, corn, peas, green beans, zucchini, rutabaga, parsley, sauerkraut, pinto beans
-paprika, caraway seed, garlic, bay leaf, thyme, marjoram, basil, dill seed, mustard powder, chili pepper, salt, pepper, white or red wine, wine vinegar, beer, lemon zest, beef stock, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar
-elbow macaroni, rice, broad noodles, penne, dumplings, polenta, rustic bread
-sour cream, Parmesan, cheddar, mozzarella, processed cheese, olive oil, lard
You can also make goulash soup, which is similar to regular goulash but of course, it contains additional broth.
How do you make goulash?
Goulash is known as a quick and easy dish to create and it is, especially when you use a ground meat, tomato sauce, and pasta combination.
However, if you want to fix a more traditional Hungarian-type goulash with chunks of beef, plan on at least a couple of hours of simmering for tender meat. It is still a simple meal to prepare but you can’t get it on the table within 30 minutes!
Most goulash recipes call for stovetop cooking of the ingredients but anyone with a crock pot knows how wonderful they are for cooking any kind of stew. If you don’t want to or can’t keep an eye on the stove, using a crock pot is a great way to tenderize the meat.
And depending on the recipe, you can also start the ground meat and pasta on the stovetop and let it finish baking in the oven.
And what to make with hamburger?
If your refrigerator only holds hamburger, you can mix and match from the above What’s in Goulash list and still have a lot of flavor options, including:
- Combine hamburger, macaroni, cream cheese, and mushroom soup for a white-sauce goulash.
- Give your hamburger-macaroni goulash a south-of-the-border flavor by adding corn, salsa, and taco seasoning.
- Like Italian? Use prepared spaghetti sauce and Italian seasoning over hamburger and macaroni.
- Enjoy a German influence with hamburger, lots of onions, bell peppers, cayenne, paprika, garlic, caraway seeds, and lemon juice and serve it over noodles.
Doesn’t goulash offer a lot more creative potential than you thought? There’s a lot of flavor in there!
Now if I say “goulash” can you picture what I mean?
Check out all the amazing variations on goulash recipes below…
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1. Hungarian Goulash from Baked at Midnite
This goulash is surprisingly easy to make in one skillet. It’s the ultimate comfort food that’s chock full of flavorful beef, tender vegetables, and potatoes!
2. American Goulash from Gonna Want Seconds
A family favorite recipe, this dish is perfect for any time of year. You can substitute beef with ground turkey if you want to add to your healthy dinner repertoire. This goulash just may become your new go-to dinner recipe.
3. Slow Cooker Goulash from Peas and Peonies
A healthy and delicious stew packed with flavor! This goulash has amazing double smoked flavor and a nice spicy kick from smoked paprika. You don’t have to wait for cold weather to make this easy, delicious, and time-saver meal.
4. Savory Hamburger Goulash from My Sweet Mission
This goulash is one of our family’s all time favorite meals. It’s easy to make, healthy to eat, and absolutely full of flavor. This delicious dish is perfectly served with some fresh bread.
5. Goulash Soup from Healthy Delicious
This soup is a great way to warm up on a cold winter weekend. It is a simple but flavourful dish with stewed beef, paprika, and onion. If you are looking for a new comfort food recipe, look no further!
6. Old Fashioned Goulash from My Incredible Recipes
This is one of those meals that everyone always loves. It’s beefy, cheesy and filled with pasta goodness. It’s the ultimate comfort food that a hungry family will gobble right up. Best of all, it’s super easy to make.
Our family loves goulash so much, the dish has even made it on to our monthly menu planner! Speaking of meal planning, from easy casserole recipes, to pure cheesy deliciousness, you can easily find a breakfast, dinner, appetizers and dessert recipes that everyone in your family will love here on The Best Blog Recipes.
Not only do we get in the kitchen ourselves and cook up some fantastic eats for our readers… like our Million Dollar Cream Cheese and Garlic Dip — but we also feature our favorite recipes from the blogs we love, with their permission of course!