Ground Beef Goulash – An Old Fashioned Goulash Recipe With Simple Instructions

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Ground Beef Goulash might be the easiest, family-pleasing meal of all time. The combination of ground beef, tomatoes, elbow macaroni and a handful of other easy ingredients comes together to create the perfect marriage of flavors. Believe us when we say, this recipe is a keeper.

Ground Beef Goulash might be the easiest, family-pleasing meal of all time. The combination of ground beef, tomatoes, and elbow macaroni and a handful of other easy ingredients comes together to create the perfect marriage of flavors. Believe us when we say, this recipe is a keeper.

American Goulash Ingredients

  • Lean Ground Beef
  • Onion
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Minced Garlic Cloves
  • Elbow Macaroni
  • Stewed Tomatoes
  • Tomato Sauce
  • Sugar
  • Italian Seasoning

Ground Beef Goulash

Our Easy Old Fashioned Ground Beef Goulash is an American version of goulash, not the other type of Hungarian goulash consisting of beef stew meat, paprika and sour cream.

American Goulash comes in many variations but almost all have ground beef, elbow macaroni and some type of tomatoes. Truth be told, my goulash recipe is never the same.  I use whatever type of canned tomatoes I have at the time – stewed tomatoes, peeled tomatoes, petite diced tomatoes, they all work.

Classic Goulash Recipe

This classic goulash recipe is the most requested dinner from my three children.  No complaining, no refusing to eat. Everyone is scarfing it down because it’s delicious, and the leftovers get even tastier after a couple days.  My family tops our ground beef goulash with grated Parmesan cheese.

Our family loves this dish so much, I put together an Instant Pot version for those times I need to get dinner on the table even quicker! My Instant Pot American Goulash recipe is also a keeper.

We also have a taco-inspired version – Mexican Goulash. Does your family love Manwich? We have a Sloppy Joe Goulash featuring that classic too! If you want a meatless option, try our Eggplant Goulash recipe.

 

How to Make Old Fashioned Goulash Recipe

Step by Step Instructions

  1. In a large skillet, brown ground beef and diced onions over medium heat until the meat is cooked and the onions are soft; season with salt and pepper. Stir garlic and cook for an additional 30 seconds to a minute.
  2. Add undrained tomatoes to the meat mixture, and break up the tomatoes with a spoon or spatula.
  3. Add all remaining ingredients, and cook over medium heat until the macaroni noodles are cooked through.
  4. If desired, top with grated Parmesan cheese or shredded cheddar cheese. Serve with hot crusty rolls, bread and butter or garlic bread.

Storage Instructions

Let leftovers cool completely. Transfer to an airtight container, and store in the refrigerator for up to a week.

For the full recipe and ingredient list for American Chop Suey, scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

Ground Beef Goulash might be the easiest, family-pleasing meal of all time. The combination of ground beef, tomatoes, and elbow macaroni and a handful of other easy ingredients comes together to create the perfect marriage of flavors. Believe us when we say, this recipe is a keeper.

Recipe FAQs

  • This recipe has many names: goulash, American goulash, and American chop suey to name a few.
  • American goulash is a one pot meal that features ground beef, tomatoes, and elbow macaroni as the main ingredients.
  • Use whatever canned tomatoes you have on hand: stewed, diced, petite diced, peeled. If you use peeled or stewed, you may want to chop them up with a spoon so you don’t have large chunks of tomatoes.
  • Tomatoes are acidic so adding a little sugar to this dish balances it out.  It’s an old trick from Grandma, so trust us on this!
  • Add other ingredients like chopped bell pepper or corn if desired.
  • My American Chop Suey recipe calls for Italian seasoning.  What is Italian seasoning?  It’s a seasoning blend that usually contains basil, oregano, thyme. If you don’t have Italian seasoning, make your own blend at home.  I usually throw some dried parsley in with my blend.
  • Do your kids love Italian inspired dinners? Try our Crock Pot Spaghetti Sauce, Spaghetti Pie and Extra Cheesy Lasagna.

Equipment

Check out our Amazon page to find the essential kitchen utensils and pantry staples needed to make goulash at home. I highly recommend investing in a meat chopper for all your ground beef recipes.

Recipe Variations

  • If needed, use any type of pasta such as rotini or penne pasta.
  • Substitute Italian sausage for ground beef.
  • Add a bay leaf for more flavor. Be sure to remove it before eating.
  • Use seasoned salt instead of regular salt. Or, add a dash of Worcestershire sauce for more flavor.

One Pot Meal Recipes

We love meals that can be made in just one dish, and love sharing them with you. Not only is it extremely easy to make these types of meals, it also makes clean up a breeze. So try some more of our favorite One Pot Meals:

Ground Beef Recipes

Recipes featuring ground beef (or hamburger as our family calls it) are always a hit in our house. Ground beef is versatile, and it can go into casseroles, soups, one pot meals or on sandwiches! Here are some of our favorite hamburger recipes.

Vegetable Soup with Ground Beef and V8 Juice

Hamburger Vegetable Soup with V8 Juice is the perfect meal for hungry kids and adults. With 5 simple ingredients, you can have a warm, hearty, family-pleasing soup on the table.  Using a bottle of V8 and a bag of frozen vegetables makes this meal totally doable for a busy weeknight.

Low-Carb Baked Spaghetti Squash Casserole with Ground Beef

This Low-Carb Baked Spaghetti Squash is a casserole with tons of flavor thanks to the creamy cheeses, spices and tomatoes. Your family won't complain about the lack of "real" pasta and they will ask for seconds.

Stove Top Vintage Barbecue Burgers

Vintage Barbecue BurgersThese Vintage Barbecue Burgers are full of flavor and a snap to pull together when you are looking for an easy sandwich option.

Mom’s Hamburger Gravy

Mom's Hamburger Gravy is our go-to dinner when we are short of time and starving.  The ingredients are probably already in your refrigerator and pantry, and you can have dinner on the table in 20 minutes flat.  

Cheeseburger Quiche

Cheeseburger Quiche is a winning recipe for the entire family. With the flavors of a classic cheeseburger, it's a great play on your favorite sandwich.

Frisco Tater Tot Casserole with Ground Beef

Frisco Tater Tot Casserole is an updated recipe without soup, without milk and without sour cream. It's easy and cheesy.

What do you eat goulash with?

Serve goulash with crusty rolls, crescent rolls, bread and butter or garlic bread plus a side salad or simple veggie such as green beans or peas.

Is goulash a soup or a stew?

Goulash can be considered both a soup and a stew, as it is a hearty and flavorful dish that contains a substantial amount of liquid, making it similar to a soup, but it also has a thick consistency and chunky ingredients, resembling a stew.

Ground Beef Goulash might be the easiest, family-pleasing meal of all time. The combination of ground beef, tomatoes, and elbow macaroni and a handful of other easy ingredients comes together to create the perfect marriage of flavors.
Print Recipe
4.84 from 6 votes

Ground Beef Goulash – An Old Fashioned Goulash Recipe

Ground Beef Goulash might be the easiest, family-pleasing meal of all time. The combination of ground beef, tomatoes, and elbow macaroni and a handful of other easy ingredients comes together to create the perfect marriage of flavors. Believe us when we say, this recipe is a keeper.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time35 minutes
Course: Entree, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: American Chop Suey, American Goulash, Goulash, Ground BEef Goulash, ground beef recipes
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 362kcal
Author: Barbara

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 cups elbow macaroni uncooked
  • 2 cups water
  • 14.5 ounces stewed tomatoes, undrained
  • 8 ounces tomato sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Italian seasoning

Instructions

  • Brown ground beef and diced onions in a large skillet. Drain excess grease if needed and add back to skillet. Season beef with salt and pepper.
    Ground Beef Goulash might be the easiest, family-pleasing meal of all time. The combination of ground beef, tomatoes, and elbow macaroni and a handful of other easy ingredients comes together to create the perfect marriage of flavors. Believe us when we say, this recipe is a keeper.
  • Add garlic, uncooked elbow macaroni, water, stewed tomatoes, tomato sauce, sugar and Italian seasoning to the skillet with the ground beef. Stir until mixed.
    Ground Beef Goulash might be the easiest, family-pleasing meal of all time. The combination of ground beef, tomatoes, and elbow macaroni and a handful of other easy ingredients comes together to create the perfect marriage of flavors. Believe us when we say, this recipe is a keeper.
  • Cook over medium low heat at a low simmer until the elbow macaroni is cooked to desired texture, approximately 10 minutes. If the pasta soaks up all the liquid and isn't cooked through, add a little bit more water.
    Ground Beef Goulash might be the easiest, family-pleasing meal of all time. The combination of ground beef, tomatoes, and elbow macaroni and a handful of other easy ingredients comes together to create the perfect marriage of flavors. Believe us when we say, this recipe is a keeper.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste. Top with grated Parmesan if desired.
    Ground Beef Goulash might be the easiest, family-pleasing meal of all time. The combination of ground beef, tomatoes, and elbow macaroni and a handful of other easy ingredients comes together to create the perfect marriage of flavors. Believe us when we say, this recipe is a keeper.

Notes

  • This recipe has many names: goulash, american goulash, and american chop suey to name a few.  
  • American goulash is a one pot meal that features ground beef, tomatoes, and elbow macaroni as the main ingredients.
  • Use whatever canned tomatoes you have on hand: stewed, diced, petite diced, peeled. If you use peeled or stewed, you may want to chop them up with a spoon so you don’t have large chunks of tomatoes.
  • Tomatoes are acidic so adding a little sugar to this dish balances it out.  It’s an old trick from Grandma. 
  • If the elbow macaroni absorbs all the cooking liquid is still isn’t tender, add 1/4 cup more water.
  • Add other ingredients like chopped bell pepper or corn if desired.
  • My American Chop Suey recipe calls for Italian seasoning.  What is Italian seasoning?  It’s a seasoning blend that usually contains basil, oregano, thyme. If you don’t have Italian seasoning, make your own blend at home.  I usually throw some dried parsley in with my blend.
  • Do your kids love Italian inspired dinners? Try our Crock Pot Spaghetti Sauce, Spaghetti Pie and Extra Cheesy Lasagna

Nutrition

Calories: 362kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 54mg | Sodium: 795mg | Potassium: 577mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 296IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 68mg | Iron: 4mg

Linking up to Meal Plan Monday.

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25 Comments

  1. I couldn’t find a list of ingredients with this recipe. What are “all the other ingredients” do you add?

    1. Lynda – The recipe card is at the bottom of the post! You can use the “Jump to Recipe” at the top of the post to get there if you don’t feel like scrolling all the way down. Thanks.

  2. 14,5 ounces stewed tomatoes, undrained – im not sure what this means. does this mean 14 5oz stewed tomatoes? that seems too many

    1. It’s a 14.5 oz can of stewed tomatoes. Sorry, we must have used a comma instead of a period in the recipe card. It’s updated now. That’s a fairly standard size for a can of stewed tomatoes. Hope this helps.

  3. This is so similiar to my recipe except I believe it’s quicker than mine. Sounds so delicious that as soon as my son gets out of the hospital I am going to fix this!

  4. I remembered this recipe today and looked it up and found yours just to be sure I remembered the ingredients correctly. Used to cook this for my family 50family 50 ago. One of their favorites. I think it was the stewed tomatoes.And it may have been in old cookbook, 101 Ways to Cook Hamburger. Just cooked in Instant pot for first time. Delicious. Can’t mess this one up.

  5. I didn’t have macaroni so I used Penne pasta. Also the very idea of not having paprikash in anything called gulyas is almost sacrilegious go those of us of Magyar descent so I slipped some of that in. But it was great. I love one pot recipes.

  6. Yummy, I have been trying to find a recipe that reminded me of the way my grandmas goulash tasted. This is the closest I have found. I used stewed tomatoes and I had tomato sauce with garlic and oregano so I used that and a little less Italian seasoning. It was wonderful. Thank you

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