Classic Goulash

8 servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes

Classic Goulash with ground beef, bell pepper, onions, and macaroni simmered in a seasoned tomato sauce, is ready in 45 minutes in one pot!

We’re always ready to make hearty comfort food, and if you like this goulash you’ll also love this Pot Roast, Slow Cooker Chili, Sloppy Joe, and Baked Million Dollar Spaghetti!

American Goulash

Classic Goulash is one of my favorite old fashioned recipes. It’s made with ground beef, onion, bell pepper, and macaroni noodles in a seasoned tomato sauce with diced tomatoes. It’s perfect for busy weeknight dinners because all it takes is one pot and less than 45 minutes!

You can also add more flavor to this dish with spices like paprika, or vegetables like mushrooms or spinach. This is also a great recipe to make if you have leftover Marinara Sauce. Goulash is always crowd-pleasing, which makes it a terrific option for potlucks!

Goulash is a hearty recipe the entire family will love. For a complete meal, serve Classic Goulash with a crisp, fresh Beet Salad and Garlic Bread to soak up all that extra delicious sauce.

What is American Goulash?

American goulash is a traditional mid-west dish to serve for dinner or take to a potluck. It’s made with really easy and available ingredients like pasta, ground beef, tomato sauce, and onion. You can also add some minced garlic or paprika to your American goulash, even though paprika is not traditionally used in this version.

American goulash is different from Hungarian goulash because the Hungarian goulash version is more like a stew made with ground meat, paprika, and sometimes additional vegetables and potatoes. Hungarian goulash is also referred to as Gulyas. Gulyas basically translates to cowboy in Hungarian, which is the perfect candidate to eat goulash soup.

How to Make Classic Goulash

  • Add ground beef, onions, bell peppers and garlic to a large dutch oven and cook until it is no longer pink.
  • Drain most of the fat then add in water, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, oregano, basil, and salt. Bring to a boil then reduce to a low heat and simmer.
  • Add in the macaroni, mix well then cover and simmer an additional 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

More Classic Dinner Recipes

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Freeze Classic Goulash?

You can freeze this goulash recipe, but if you’re making it ahead to freeze I recommend undercooking the macaroni slightly, then immediately removing from heat and letting it cool. That way when you go to reheat, the pasta will finish cooking all the way instead of becoming mushy. Defrost in the refrigerator the night before.

How do I thicken Goulash?

We’re not using any all purpose flour in this recipe, but if you want a thicken sauce then next time whisk 1-2 tablespoons of all purpose flour into the onions when they’re cooking, to make a roux. I wouldn’t add more than two tablespoons of flour, or the sauce may get too thick. If that happens, you can add a small amount of broth as well.

How do I make Vegetarian Goulash?

Use a meatless crumble in place of ground beef for a delicious vegetarian take on Goulash. It will still taste beefy, hearty, and delicious. Or you can substitute the ground beef for cooked lentils for a hearty vegetarian meal that’s also high in protein and fiber.

What else can you add to Goulash?

Mix in your favorite veggies like corn, beans, spinach, peas, zucchini, carrots, or mushrooms. Cheese is also a flavorful add-in, which can be melted into the sauce or served as a topping. Top Goulash with sour cream, hot sauce, red pepper flakes, fresh chopped parsley, black olives, or Parmesan cheese.

American Goulash


Key Ingredients in Classic Goulash

  • Beef: Classic Goulash is traditionally made with ground beef. We recommend 85/15 for best flavor and texture in just about every recipe. If your ground beef is sticking to the pan while browning, you can add a small amount of olive oil to the pan.
  • Macaroni Noodles: The macaroni pasta is added to the Goulash after it has simmered for about 15 minutes. When the noodles cook in the liquid, they absorb all the flavors of the tomatoes and seasonings, as well as help thicken the sauce with the starches released.
  • Vegetables: Bell peppers and onions are a classic combination that goes perfectly with beef. They are also easily found year round, which makes Classic Goulash the perfect hearty winter recipe.
  • Tomatoes: Canned diced tomatoes and tomato sauce combine with the rest of the seasonings to create a savory base sauce that soaks into the meat and pasta and softens the vegetables.

Slow Cooker Classic Goulash

  • Brown the ground beef, onions, bell peppers, and garlic in a skillet.
  • Add beef mixture to slow cooker along with the rest of the ingredients except macaroni.
  • Cook on high 2-3 hours, or on low 4-6 hours, adding the macaroni noodles to the slow cooker in the last 30-40 minutes of cooking.

Instant Pot Classic Goulash

  • In sauté mode, brown the ground beef, onions, bell peppers, and garlic. Drain most of the fat.
  • Add 1 cup water to deglaze, then add the rest of the water, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, and seasonings. Stir in macaroni.
  • Seal lid and set to high pressure for 3 minutes, then quick release. Stir and serve immediately.

Can you Make Classic Goulash Ahead?

If you’re making goulash ahead, cook the pasta according to package directions and set aside. Then make the ground beef according to the recipe, and store everything in an airtight container in the refrigerator. You may also want to store some extra sauce on the side, just in case it needs it when you reheat it later. When you’re ready, sauté the goulash with the pasta in a skillet over medium-low heat, adding any extra sauce as necessary. Stir as needed until heated through, then serve.

Variations on Classic Goulash

  • Cheese: Make your Goulash extra creamy and cheesy by topping it with with shredded cheddar cheese, mozzarella, Parmesan, provolone, or Swiss cheese.
  • Noodles: This goulash recipe calls for macaroni, but you can also use egg noodles for this dish if that’s what you have.
  • Meat: You can lighten this goulash up by using ground turkey or chicken instead of beef, and adding more vegetables in place of some of the pasta.
  • Broth: You can add more flavor by replacing the water in this goulash recipe with beef broth, so the pasta absorbs the flavor of the beef broth as it cooks.
  • Creamy Goulash: Add a cup of sour cream to make this goulash with a cream sauce. You can also add ½ cup of cheese while the goulash is still cooking instead.
  • Seasonings: You can replace the seasoning in this dish with simple Italian seasoning to save time. This goulash recipe is already seasoned but if you want even more flavor try adding bay leaves, a dash of paprika or garlic, or deglaze the ground beef with ¼ cup red wine.
  • Fresh Tomatoes: I’m using a can of diced tomatoes in this recipe, but you can chop fresh tomatoes if you want to.
  • Fresh Herbs: You can replace the 1 teaspoon each of dried herbs for 1 tablespoon each of fresh herbs. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley for even more fresh flavor.
  • Low Sodium: Make this recipe low sodium by omitting the salt, and using the low-sodium version of canned tomatoes and Worcestershire sauce.

More Easy Pasta Recipes

How to Store Classic Goulash

  • Serve: Do not leave Classic Goulash at room temperature longer than 2 hours.
  • Store: Store Goulash in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 4 days.
  • Freeze: Freeze Goulash in a freezer safe plastic bag for up to 3 months.
Classic American Meat and Pasta Goulash

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Classic Goulash

Classic Goulash with ground beef, bell pepper, onions, and macaroni simmered in a seasoned tomato sauce, is ready in 45 minutes in one pot!
Yield 8 servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 2 pounds ground beef , (85/15)
  • 2 yellow onions , chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper , chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic , chopped
  • 3 cups water
  • 29 ounces tomato sauce
  • 29 ounces diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 8 ounces elbow macaroni , uncooked


  • Add the ground beef, onions, bell peppers and garlic to a large dutch oven on medium-high heat and cook it breaking it apart until it is no longer pink, about 5-7 minutes.
  • Drain most of the fat then add in the remaining ingredients except the macaroni, bring to a boil then reduce to a low heat and simmer with a cover on for 15 minutes.
  • Add in the macaroni, mix well then cover and simmer an additional 20 minutes, stirring occasionally before serving


Calories: 455kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 80mg | Sodium: 965mg | Potassium: 1008mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 620IU | Vitamin C: 31.8mg | Calcium: 96mg | Iron: 5.2mg
Keyword: Goulash
Classic Goulash Collage

Photo used in a previous version of this post.

Classic Goulash

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the upcoming cookbook: Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients which is being published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


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  1. Can you use red, yellow or orange peppers instead of green bell peppers? I find that the green Bell peppers are more bitter when cooked.

  2. I used beef stock instead of water. I did not have oregano or basil, so I put in 2 tsps of Herbs de Provence. Everything else was per recipe. It is so good. I am alone so whatever I make, gets shared with a friend. She loved it!!

  3. I made a VERY similar dish, macaroni cooked with the rest of the recipe, for my family when they were growing up. I used chilli powder and cumin to season instead of Italian seasoning. My original recipe called it Chili Mac. It was so good on those cold 70’s winters in West Virginia! I generally served it with slaw and an apple dessert.

  4. I love this recipe; my take on it is to cut the amount of ground beef to 1 lb instead of 2 and increase the amount of pasta to 16oz instead of 8 to get the balance of meat to data that I prefer

  5. I made this dish according to the recipe in my crockpot. I used low sodium beef broth instead of water and I ran out of Worcestershire sauce so I googled and mixed ketchup and soy sauce. For a kick I added a dash of hot pepper flakes. I just estimated what I thought I needed for macaroni as he likes more. It was tasty, lip smacking delicious! So good I’m going to share some with a neighbor!

  6. I grew up on this wonderful goulash – this one is pretty much exactly like she made it. My mom was such a great cook. I make it but it doesn’t taste as good as hers. Love this recipe. And it gets better aging a few days in the fridge. I sometimes put cheddar cheese on top after heating and stir.

  7. This is an excellent recipe as written, I just substituted beef broth for the water for some extra beefiness and a few chili flakes for some spice. For those of you reporting soupiness, it’s probably because you are cooking the macaroni separate. If you cook it separate then you will not need all the water I would recommend cooking the pasta in the pot with everything else and it will work out fine.

  8. I used beef broth in place of the water. Easy to prepare. Tasted good. My problem was, in spite of how careful I was, I overcooked the pasta. Next time I will cook the pasta separately and add it before serving.

  9. This is a great meal, I made a few changes to make it more to my liking. Used 3 cups of beef broth instead of water and used diced tomatoes with jalapeños and 1lb of hot Italian sausage along with 1lb of ground beef. Not a fan of macaroni noodles so I used rotini instead. Very flavorful

  10. This was sooo good and super easy. I have always cooked my pasta and added it the goulash recipe I use but I liked it so much better cooking the noodles with the sauce

  11. Made this many many times. We love it, and it’s even better the next day. Noodles I always cook separate. Thanks for sharing??

  12. This is the closest recipe to what my Grandmother and Auntie taught me. And it was always goulash and served with white sliced bread and butter. Yum ?

    1. Oh yes! I have to have bread and butter. So good! My mom used home canned tomatoes in hers and it was the best!

  13. Shame on me for not commenting the first time I made this. Absolutely wonderful as written! Thank you for sharing this recipe! Definitely brought back memories of my childhood, and yes, we called it Goulash “way back when.” Love your recipes!

  14. We enjoyed the Goulash; however, it was not what I expected from the picture. From the picture it looked like a casserole – not a soup. In the picture there must have been more than 8 oz. of pasta. Anyway, the flavor was good and we just ate it as a soup. I had made the recipe EXACTLY as directed with the exact amounts of ingredients – even weighed the pasta. Guess I should have doubled the pasta.

  15. Sabrina, this is the best goulash I have ever had or made!!! We just got done eating and it was a big hit! My fiancée kept making good comments all while we were eating!! Thank you so much for sharing!!

  16. Made this today, all loved it. Very easy. Added the sour cream at the end and this made it perfect! Will make this again for sure.

  17. Wow- it turned out delicious, and my family loved it. Very similar to the goulash my mom made. I used lean ground beef and just added a little olive oil to cook the meat and veggies. I used fire roasted tomatoes for the diced tomatoes. And I doubled the macaroni and cooked for only 15 minutes. It was perfect. Thank you!

  18. Wow- it turned out delicious, and my family loved it. Very similar to the ghoulish my mom made. I used lean ground beef and just added a little olive oil to cook the meat and veggies. I used fire roasted tomatoes for the diced tomatoes. And I doubled the macaroni and cooked for only 15 minutes. It was perfect. Thank you!

  19. Good dish but a few tips from me.
    – do not use lean ground beef. There will not me enough fat to cook the vegetables in.
    -DO NOT use small elbow macaroni. It will get “lost” in the recipe (which is what I used). It also became mushy so maybe Rotini or Cavatappi will work better.
    -Chop pepper and onion into small pieces unless you like chunks. Will remember this for next time.
    -8 servings filled up my 4.5 quart bowl. It’s a LOT.

  20. I decided to try a different version and picked yours…very yummy! My mom always called it slumgullion growing up. But her version didn’t have Worcestershire sauce. But here in Ohio a lot call this Johnny Marzetti and it varies on how it’s made depending on what part of Ohio you’re from!

  21. Made the goulash last night. It was delicious! I cooked the pasta separately and cut down on the water. I am so looking forward to the leftovers. Thank you.

    1. Really Loved this. Very tasty and satisfying. I served with green salad and garlic knot rolls for a healthy balanced meal.

  22. Made the goulash and it was delicious! I ran out of elbow macaroni so I had to use penne and it still came out great. I’m looking forward to the leftovers. Thank you.

  23. Probably a stupid question. Do I precook the the elbows before adding them or will they get cooked by just following the instructions. Thanks Paaul

  24. Are you in my brain for cooking? I have made this my whole life I cooked for my family I was 10 and would use what I thought would work together why I never shared my dinner’s idk I bet we have the same skills I use things U don’t but sometimes too much is TOOO MUCH OVER SALTING SUCKS. NO Kosher salt not in my baked dishes.

  25. Sabrina – I have quite a few of your recipes saved. Made this one for dinner tonight – it’s just as delish as all of the others I have tried from your site and has also been saved. Thank you for sharing your talent with us!

    1. I always struggle with measuring pasta in ounces. Is 8 oz just a measuring cup filled to the 8 oz mark with uncooked pasta? That sure doesn’t look like much.

    2. I have not had goulash since my dad passed away almost 30 years ago. I made this and it brought me right back to my youth. I had small elbows so I used the whole box (16oz) and it was perfect! Thank you for their perfect comfort food recipe!

  26. We love this recipe ??Great tasting & easy to make! Thank you!! My friend has made goulash for over 40 years. This is how she makes it too. The only thing she uses sometimes is sage sausage. With that, you don’t put in oregano & basil. She also puts in a little brown sugar!!

  27. We love this recipe ??Great tasting & easy to make! Thank you!! My friend has made goulash for over 40 years. This is how she makes it too. The only thing she uses sometimes is sage sausage. With that, you don’t put in oregano & basil. She also puts in a little brown sugar!! Yummy ?

  28. You bet Hungarian Goulash is a totally different dish than American Goulash. Thank you Sabrina for covering that in your intro. I started testing pasta at 15 minutes and removed from heat at “very” al dente. The pasta continued cooking in the sauce and was just right for my taste after resting.

  29. My Mom made this with homemade bread for sopping. She called it GOULASH. Sorry you are offended by our roots. If we call it goulash then it is goulash–get over yourself.

  30. The recipe was great but the beginning instruction of putting everything in a dutch oven, browning the meat, then draining it and Then adding the other ingredients was a little bit confusing

  31. I have nevere had Goulash Before I married my husband and he would periodically ask for it. I make this all the time in the winter and have been for years. Love it. I do change out the water for broth and use a little mor worchester sauce.

  32. This was phenomenal, so simple for busy weeknights and just like mom used to make. Only criticism is that I actually can’t stop eating it (ha). Thank you so much! 🙂

  33. This is about as much goulash, much less classic, as dry toast smeared with tomato puree is pizza.

    I’m sure this is tasty…but goulash it isn’t.
    Goulash contains paprika. It is a s made with beef chunks or cubes. It does NOT contain Worcestershire sauce, ground beef, or, most particularly, pasta.

    Make your own dish, by all means, but don’t go calling it what it isn’t.

    1. This recipe is most definitely the *American* goulash I grew up eating. If you read any of the post – she even explained that it’s not traditional Hungarian goulash, that it’s classic American goulash. You don’t have to be rude – you could just keep your negativity to yourself.

      1. I’m going to make this. I have made something similar before. This is American Goulash. I have had Hungarian Goulash, that’s a whole different ball game. They are totally different. What’s wrong with some people.?

        1. This recipe looks delicious I’ll be making it today I didn’t read anything that said you have to follow it exactly you can alter it to your own taste people should keep their rude comments to themselves

    2. This definitely is American Goulash We had it as kids growing up Just like most large families on a small budget it is adjusted per household

    1. This is so yummy. I also use the broth instead of water and for a yummy twist, add canned corn in with it, it gives us a lot of texture and really goes well with a goulash. My mom used to make something very similar to this and used the corn. Thank you for helping me find a recipe for Goulash again

  34. I made the Classic Goulash for dinner the other night and it was fabulous ! My husband is a VERY picky eater and even he loved it. Thank you for sharing this recipe. Definitely a keeper.

  35. Excellent! I don’t eat red meat so I used fake ground beef and cooked it separately and used Italian seasoning & liquid smoke and a dash of Worcestershire sauce to flavor the “meat”, then added it to the rest of the recipe later so the “meat” wouldn’t be mushy. So so so good!

  36. I’ve made this recipe a ton since I’ve found it and it’s delicious! Only thing I altered was doubled the macaroni. It’s one of our family favs.

  37. I have been making a version of this for years. I probably never make it the same way twice. It’s my go-to when I want a one pot meal. Yummy!

  38. I made this tonight. It brought back memories of my Mom. She had the same recipe except she added chopped celery. The flavor is delicious ?. It came together beautifully. I made the noodles separate as my husband is Slovak and his family always separated the noodles from the main dish. That’s good because I a. Going to freeze individual servings so when my kids visit they will get to taste some nostalgia from my parents. Thank you for this wonderful recipe ?.

  39. I made this and couldn’t stop eating it. It tasted like my mom used to make. I’ve been making it too much like a spaghetti sauce, so it never satisfied me. This was so good I ate it for several days. Thanks for sharing.

      1. Sabrina this is delicious. As many said reminds me of what my mother mad when I was young and I made it for my kids. I recently made this and gave half to my son who owns a high end restaurant and he loved it. Thanks for sharing

  40. Looks & Smells Amazing! I made this today & we will eat this for dinner the next few nights. I used 1.25 lb ground Turkey, 1 Vidalia Onion & 1 Bell Pepper in tbe 1st step. I added 1 Green Zucchini & 2 small yellow squash into the 2nd step + used beef broth not water & later added 2/3 of a pound elbows then once that cooked I added a pound of mushrooms. Mine is the perfect consistency not soupy at all. Hope everyone loves it ?

  41. I was looking for a recipe that was from my past. Easy to make however 20 minutes and the macaroni was mushy (nasty) and it had no taste… It was not what we made in the South so a bit disappointing. I did notice from past that you do not publish negative comments or low ratings or even a learning experience. However I will post on facebook for you. Try to learn from the negative comments. I want taste that explode in my mouth and not mushy macaroni….

    1. Hi L.A. I actually do take note and post the negative comments. If you didn’t like the macaroni mushy, you can take it off the stove a bit sooner than the 20 minutes, some stoves/ovens cook at slightly different temperatures and I can’t adjust every recipe ion that fact. Hope you try again to your liking.

  42. Super easy to make and soooo good. I use 1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning instead of the individual herbs, and a teaspoon of garlic salt instead if garlic cloves, because I’m lazy, but other than that, this recipe is flawless. I use Worcestershire sauce in a lot more stuff now, too. It lends a nice depth to the flavor of lots of beef dishes.

  43. Thank you! My husband said this is more like his mom’s. And I agree totally more like my mom’s also. And they have both passed away so this was a nice reminder. And I’ve been looking for years for this.

    I added celery (fried in butter separately because I forgot to add it with the onions) and bay leaf. Did not add Basil due to allergy issues. We also used beef broth instead of water. My can’s of tomatoes were only 28 oz so I added a little water for the loss of juice.

  44. your classsic goulash listed amount of calories per serving ….etc, but did not say what size the serving is—-due to trying to put weight on due to cancer would really like to know what the serving size is —-thanks

  45. I give it 5 stars. It was so good followed the recipe and the family lived it .i will be making this again thank you

  46. I cut the recipe in half since it’s only for one person. It is delicious however and definitely a repeater.

  47. This looks like a great recipe. Do you have any suggestions for using a slow cooker with this? Thank you.

    1. Once you’ve done step 1, I’d add everything else (except the macaroni) to a slow cooker and cook on low 4-5 hours. Mix in the cooked macaroni and cook and additional 10 minutes. Hope this helps!

  48. DO you cook the macaroni before putting it in? Followed the directions and put in uncooked. I think it made it starchy and they didn’t have a good texture. Might try the recipe again and cook macaroni seperately.

  49. My partner is allergic to onions, but otherwise this recipe looks perfect! Do you have any recommendations for a substitute for the onion?

    1. You can just leave it out if you’d like. If they’re not allergic or sensitive to chives, that would be the next best substitute or even celery. I hope you both enjoy the dish.

  50. So good!! I added some frozen corn and half of a can of green olives. Also used tomato paste instead of sauce and my own favorite seasonings. Delicious!!

    1. I love that this recipe is so versatile and customizable to what you have on hand. Thanks for the 5 stars, Samantha.

  51. I lost my recipe for my family’s favorite goulash and ran across this one while looking online for it. I decided to give it a try. If you want a goulash that tastes like veggie soup, this is for you, but it does not taste like old fashion goulash. Disappointed.

  52. Made this recipe because i wanted to recreate my great aunts recipe. This did not disappoint! Followed the recipe and it was excellent. Definitely keeping it for easy dinner rotation and i had all the ingredients on hand. Very filling and easy, quick dinner. The leftovers make a great lunch the next day. Love this site and all the great recipes Sabrina sends to my inbox. Ive made a few of them and really like them all!

  53. This was a major hit with my husband! I added two cups of beef broth. It was very filling and there was enough to freeze some for later. Love it!

      1. There is sign up on the side bar of the page. Simply add your email and sign up. I’m so glad you’re loving the site.

  54. loved the recipe made a few changes after reading others comments. I added I can of rotel and substituted the water for college in beef broth. I topped it with shredded cheddar cheese. So good, so much this would easily feed a family of 4. I have a whole pot full left because its only me and my husband, but this will make a great lunch, and I will freeze the rest. I like this recipe easy to make and taste great.

  55. My husband and I loved this! We did make some changes I would like to share – not because they change the flavor much, but to let others know that what we tried worked great. We halved the recipe since it’s just the 2 of us. Used one bag of Gardein veggie ground instead of meat. Also used garlic powder (1/4 tsp for each clove) since I forgot to buy fresh. I think in the future I will also separate in half, and then add half the pasta. We can then take the other half and use it for leftovers and cook the pasta “fresh” since it got a bit soggy when we put leftovers in the fridge. Also used veggie broth instead of water because the extra flavor is always welcome!

  56. For folks complaining about this being bland, just remember, you’re allowed to doctor recipes you come across. I like heavily seasoned dishes and knew I’d need to add to this. I’m pretty sure she mentioned adding and modifying to taste above. This was a starting point, but I started with bacon in sautéing the veggies then the beef, added beef boullion, about a third a cup of paprika, another tablespoon of smoked paprika, dash of white pepper, some red wine, and a couple other odds and ends. Turned out great.

    1. Agreed. Everyone has a different palette so it’s important to know what you like and adjust to fit that. So glad you enjoyed it.

  57. This recipe was amazing; very simple to follow for someone whose not a good cook like myself and the flavour was amazing. I missed a few minor ingredients but it still tasted great. I am so happy to have stumbled on it and recommend it to any beginner cooks or anyone who wants a flavourful, hardy stew.

  58. Just like grandma used to make. I added celery and substituted V8 for the 3 cups of water. But perfect recipe as is?

    1. Delicious as is. Basic comfort food. I did not have macaroni so I opened a box of Velveeta mac and cheese and used the macaroni, exactly 8 oz in there. Then I thought it might be good with the cheese sauce added in. I didn’t add it to the whole pot, but had it on the side if anyone wanted to squirt some in. It was a nice addition but good without as well.
      Thank you for the recipe

  59. We all loved it…myself, hubby, and the boys!! I added some mozzarella because we love cheese! This recipe is a keeper!

  60. Great recipe! Made it tonight and my husband and I loved it. Added cheddar cheese and it was delicious ?

  61. This is excellent “as is” but if you want to make it even better, use one pound beef and one pound Italian sausage. If you want to kick it up even more, use beef broth in place of water and fresh basil instead of dried. But even without those substitutions, this is still wonderful comfort food. Thank you so much for the recipe.

  62. Thank you for this recipe! We love it. I added a can of white beans and sauteed zucchini to ours – super yummy. Also, I cook the pasta separately and we add it as desired. Such a homey, comforting dish!

  63. I love goulash, but this surely isn’t. This receipe might be tasty as well and is much quicker to make, but you can’t just replace chuck roast slow cooked for 2 hours with minced beef and then call it goulash, or even classic.

    1. This is American Goulash, not Hungarian Goulash, both are great…this is even better when you add Sharp Cheddar Cheese after it’s cooked.

  64. Hi Sabrina, Just love your site…In this recipe is the macaroni 8 oz. weighed out or is it 1 cup? I made a recipe one time and weighed it out and it was an over abundance of noodles. Thanks for your help.

    1. I weighed it out so I’m surprised to hear it was too much. Feel free to adjust more to your liking. I’m so glad you’re loving the site.

  65. I just made it today and it was too tomatoey if that’s a word. How do I tweek that. Less tomato sauce or less diced tomatoes?

  66. My very favorite Goulash recipe, just like Ma used to make but better. I’ve used this recipe a bunch of times. Thanks for sharing.

  67. I love this recipe and usually cook the pasta on the side because I end up freezing the leftovers and its better making more pasta than the original getting mushy. Thank you

  68. I halved the recipe, except for the macaroni. I used 10 oz of dry gluten free macaroni, and added 1 can of whole kernel corn. We also put shredded cheddar cheese on top as we served it. Delicious! My husband liked it, but said he would prefer more meat to the same amount of other ingredients. As I described, it made 6 generous servings.

  69. I was searching Pinterest for a recipe using pasta, and hamburger, but not ordinary spaghetti at my husband’s request. I found this recipe and was delighted to have almost all the ingredients on hand. I had to make some adjustments, using fresh cut grape tomatoes and adding celery because I just knew it would make the dish taste that much better. I was right on all counts. It was delicious and I will try some other changes in the future, but I won’t be boring my husband with “spaghetti again”! An added benefit was that there were plenty of leftovers and we all know pasta dishes taste better the next day! This is a keeper for sure

  70. Thank you for this. I think this is the best recipe/web site for Goulash because (1) I’ve been making various goulashes for 50 years, and I know a great recipe when I see one; and (2) I’ve spent a couple of days, off and on, researching Goulash recipes other recipe web sites on the Internet. You win hands down! LOVE the ‘Tips’! I am making this tomorrow! (Love the ‘comments’ too. Readers can be so creative!)

  71. I had a grandma that would cook goulash she would never give her recipe to anyone and passed taking it with her. My dad would also make it every now and then but I never got a recipe and I can’t remember how they tasted it has been to long ago. I’m a little nervous cooking new recipes like this or bigger more complex recipes but I tried yours for the first time and accidentally scorched the bottom not stirring enough. It was still really good and I just made another pot today waiting for it to cool a little.

  72. Great recipe! Used home made tomatoe soup for liquid and added two jelapeno. We added parmesan cheese and grated cheddar on top. Very nicely spicy. We also cooked gluten free noodles separate as they get mushy. We really enjoyed this. Thanks

  73. I didn’t have the oregano and it was still the best goulash I’ve ever had! Five stars for sure.

      1. Best recipe ever. I don’t eat leftovers but I ate this 3 times. Making it again tonight again for friends. Thank you

  74. Made this tonight and it was a hit. I didn’t have any canned tomatos or sauce but had a jar of chunky marinara so used that and also used chicken stock instead of water. Didn’t have green peppers but added in chopped carrots and an extra garlic clove. Used gluten free noodles that looked small so added am extra 4 ounces of those and it didnt dry out at all. The kids loved it! Husband added some cayenne and chowed. Will definately be making this more often!

  75. Like everyone else said it’s just like Mom use to make, in Illinois. The only ingredient I didn’t have was the Worcester sauce.
    Because it’s just for 2, I try to make a meals that will last for only one days. So on the 3rd day I will add sour cream and cheddar cheese as suggested for a completely different meal.
    I’m in the process of making bread to sop up the wonderful juices.
    Thank you Sabrina, you’ve made my day.

  76. I’ve made this many times. Everyone in the family likes it! I tried adding a teaspoon of smoked paprika. Great Flavor!

  77. I made this, and I absolutely love it. I halved the recipe because I knew it would be too much, and it still made quite a lot. I also made it vegan by using Beyond Beef crumbles in place of ground beef, and I used vegetable broth to add flavor in place of the water. It turned out very well, and my dinner guests could hardly believe it when I revealed that it was vegan. I added chopped baby carrots and roasted corn to the recipe as well. It’s easy, inexpensive, and very delicious. I definitely recommend it!

  78. This is the first time I’ve ever commented on a food site and while I make all sorts recipes I felt I needed to say something about this. It was delicious! I made it completely as written but ended up making macaroni in another pot to add to the goulash because it was slightly soupy. Other than that it reminded of my grandmothers cooking. I haven’t had it in years and didn’t think I’d eat it again since grandmother is no longer with us. Remember how the food critic on the movie ratatouille reacted to eating the ratatouille? It took him back to a simpler time and this goulash did that for me. Thank you so much for sharing!

  79. Wow, what a great recipe, I will make this again and again. Only change I made was doubling the macaroni. Recipe calls for 8oz uncooked macaroni. I used a 500g (just a bit over 16 oz) uncooked package and the consistency was perfect. Reading other comments on it being soupy, I added more pasta and it was perfect! Great flavor. If you like goulash, this is a must try!

  80. A local restaurant makes goulash soup and my son loves it. I’d like to do that with this recipe by adding beef stock instead of water, plus extra stock until there’s enough to call it a soup. I’d also make the pasta separate and add a little to each bowl instead of the whole pot only because I love leftovers and the pasta has a tendency to become mushy in leftover soup. Besides these changes, would you recommend anything else that would make my soup a success? Thanks!

  81. Any idea what serving size is? Love it! Did add a little more garlic and oregeno but it turned out amazing

  82. Great recipe! Husband loved it. I cut this recipe in half and it could feed 6 with a healthy portion. So the regular recipe can probably feed a larger crowd or family.

  83. My Mom used to make this. She called it Friday night soup. Because she would add all the leftovers in the fridge from the week. Usually very good. Once in a while she put something really weird in it and no one wanted it.(for example the left over tuna fish?)

  84. I made this tonight. I used diced tomatoes with green chilies because that was what I had. Gave it a nice little kick.
    I cut back on the recipe because it was just 2 of us.
    Very easy and very good

  85. Outside in cold most of the day. Christmas decorating and making room in garage for my car for a possible 18” of snow. This is tasting really good right now! Brings back memories.
    Will have another bowl while watching the Patriots game. Yum!!!

  86. Omg! This is how my mom used to make it when we were kids growing up in Wisconsin! It was the PERFECT one pot dish! I have been wanting to make this for a while know but my mom couldn’t remember all the ingredients. So so so SOOOOOOO happy I found this recipe! The only difference to how my mom used to make is by adding is a couple cans of mexicorn which is so good but I can’t find it here in Texas where we now live. But honestly this tastes just how my mom made it. Her being Korean she could never figure out what is Americans called it lol so she always referred to it as one pot! Lol. Thank you so much for this amazing recipe!!

    1. I forgot to add the other difference with my moms recipe, she just added the “cheese” from the macaroni to give it that cheesy flavor!

    2. I’m so happy you were able to find this recipe and it brought back memories! You’re so welcome and I’d love to hear how you and your mom like it!

      1. Would you suggest cutting down on the water to make it less soupy as some have commented? And cut down how much? I don’t want it to be dry.

        1. I never had an issue with it being soupy. Remember you’re cooking the macaroni in this liquid too and that will soak up some. You may just have to eyeball it and adjust to your liking.

  87. Delicious!! I used shell pasta, added mushrooms and lots of cheese and baked it until the cheese was melted. I know-another step and dirty pan but everyone loved it. Thank you! Can’t wait to try your other recipes! Oh, can I freeze this? Looking to put dishes in the freezer for my daughter who just gave birth.??

    1. Extra cheese is never a bad idea :):) You can absolutely freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Congrats on the new baby in the family!

  88. This was a hit at my house! My husband (who is a super picky eater) couldn’t stop talking about how yummy this was. Definitely will a cold weather staple. Thanks for the awesome recipe ??

  89. I used lean ground beef 96/4 & added beef broth to keep it from sticking. Then added the rest of the broth to thin the whole dish. I remember it from school 30+ years ago. It was served as a soup with sandwiches. I thinned it with the broth and water, made a big cast iron pan of corn bread, and about 2 gallons were gone in just a few minutes with my bunch.

  90. I used lean ground beef 96/4 & added beef broth to keep it from sticking. Then added the rest of the broth to thin the whole dish. I remember it from school 30+ years ago. It was served as a soup with sandwiches. I thinned it with the broth and water, made a big cast iron pan of corn bread, and about 2 gallons were gone in just a few minutes with my bunch.

  91. I made this tonight for dinner. I halved the recipe because it’s just my husband and I. Made exactly per directions with the exception thus I used corkscrew pasta instead of macaroni, because it’s what I had on hand, and added a can of green beans. Really good comfort food! Thanks for a great recipe! Will be making again for sure!

  92. Sorry, Sabrina, but this is not goulash. This is a 1950s US concoction. Spend some time in Eastern Europe for the real thing.

    1. Snippy and you don’t seem to realize that there are other variations of the Hungarian one that’s why this is called American!

      This recipe is wonderful and a go to recipe in my household that all the children and adults love?

    2. @ Adam

      I am a chef and your comment was absolutely unnecessary. She is just trying to help others enjoy a dish that she likes to cook. Cooking and recipes are always evolving and it’s ok to twist a recipe to ones liking.

      Sabrina thanks for being the bigger person! Loved seeing your kind response!

  93. I followed the recipe completely. I thought the Worcester sauce taste was SO strong. Too strong. I’d add a splash at best because it overwhelms the entire dish

    1. It can be a bit much for some tastes. Definitely feel free to hold back next time you make it and adjust to your taste! 🙂

  94. Absolutely scrumptious! It’s exactly what goulash is supposed to taste like ? I love using Cavatappi noodles for added entertainment in every bite!

      1. It has been a looooong time since i have had goulash. Mom was the goulash queen but i never got her recipe before she passed away. I have a question: since i like some zip in my meals, big bold flavors, do you suppose i could substitute one jar of salsa for an equal amount of the diced tomatoes?

        1. That sounds like a great swap! I’m sorry you weren’t able to get her recipe, but here’s hoping this is a good base to getting the flavors how your mom used to make.

        2. I’m sorry for your loss. I’ve been trying to find recipies like my mom made too. Try a can of diced tomatoes with chili’s for heat!

  95. This isn’t real goulash. I’m sure it may taste perfectly fine but it’s NOT goulash nor would it taste as such.
    For one thing, macaroni isn’t in goulash. In my home country, this stuff would be passed over and laughed at if it were claimed to be “goulash.”

    1. This isn’t your home country. This is what we’ve always called it. Comfort food. Why feel the need to make such a negative comment?

      1. This recipe was just what I was looking for! I did substitute beef broth for the water and reduced the Worcestershire sauce- it was fabulous! Thank you!!

    1. Thank you Lynn. I was thinking about using V8 juice myself. Now I know I will. I’m going to make this next week.

  96. So I doubled this recipe to have leftovers for my family of 5, but it made a very big batch! And it was very soupy, wondering what I can add to it now that it’s cooked to thicken it up, thanks!

    1. So sorry I’m just now seeing this. If that happens again, you can add cornstarch to water and stir until smooth. SLOWLY stir cornstarch mixture into the goulash until reaching desired consistency. I hope you still enjoyed it!

  97. I used tomato soup instead of sauce, beef bouillon in the water and rotel tomatoes. Delicious!!! Great flavor! Highly recommend.

  98. If one does not have (or really even know about) a Dutch Oven, what is a useable substitute? Just to be more challenging, this one (does know about but…) does not have any cast iron. Thank you for great recipe.

    1. You can use a skillet for the cast iron. Also as far as a dutch oven, you can use a big pot that you have. Hope this helps!

      1. Always someone trying to correct others?. This AMERICAN goulash is great and thank you so much for posting recipes for those of us whom need a lil help from time to time !!! Your amazing !

    1. Actually many different cultures have different versions of what “ goulash” is.
      Here in Newfoundland, Canada we used canned corned beef rather than ground…it was one of our family’s favorite meals! ??

    1. You can blend up canned or stewed tomatoes, mix tomato paste with water or use tomato juice in a pinch. Hope this helps!

  99. I too noticed how close to American chop suey this recipe sounded – I grew up in Maine and that’s what we call it. The only difference for me is using a store-bought sauce (I know, I know, but it saves on time). Top with some grated Parmesan, serve with a salad and garlic bread – comfort food at its best!!

    1. So glad you love it! No judgement on the store bought sauce at all. Sometimes we all need a little help in the kitchen.

      1. If anyone had taken the time they would have found out that goulash actually originates in Hungary I see no reason for a bunch of grown ups to argue about where a dish comes from, if you enjoy it you enjoy it, and I’m pretty sure when your eating it your not sitting there wondering where this dish came from, be kind people life’s to short for silly disagreement’s. Have a blessed day?

  100. Delicious! I cut the recipe in half and it fed our family of four, with some leftovers used for lunch the next day. Also used turkey burger instead of beef. So good, easy and cheap to make! Love the one-pot recipes!

    1. Ik this might be an odd question but do you cook the noodles first or do they cook in the sauce mix. Thanks

  101. This is the best!!! So would love a big bowl for lunch today. Love that you added bell peppers. YUM!!!

    1. This is the recipe I’ve been looking for. It’s what my mom use to make. Kids loved it thank you for sharing!

  102. I live alone and don’t need to make so much, so I cut the recipe in half. I added green chilies and it came out great. The recipe was so easy to follow. I will be making this again. Thanks for such a wonderful supper.

  103. Wouldn’t it be great if nutritional information was given for each recipe!? It’d be helpful for me.

    1. The nutritional information is available for this recipe at the bottom of the recipe card. We are currently working through all of recipes to update to show them. We appreciate your patience.