This easy American goulash is the most comforting of all comfort foods. It is warm, delicious, filling, hearty and easy to prepare ALL IN A SINGLE POT! Dump all of the ingredients in at once and let it cook! This is the perfect family meal for a busy night.
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This easy goulash (aka American Chop Suey) IS THE BEST, you guys. It is a ONE POT meal and one of my all-time favorite old fashioned recipes that I literally cannot control myself around. When it is in the fridge, I eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner until it is totally gone.
It is one of the easiest, most delicious and hearty comfort food recipes I make with consistency. It is jam-packed with comfort, flavor and texture.
I make this dish both for intimate family dinners and also for large gatherings. No matter the crowd, it is ALWAYS a hit. I mean, how can you go wrong with ground beef, pasta and tomatoes?! If you have an Instant Pot, give my super easy Instant Pot Goulash a try!
WHAT IS GOULASH?
American and Hungarian Goulash are two entirely different recipes. Based on this recipe I found from Taste of Home here are the ingredients you’ll find in the Hungarian version that you will not find in the American version: carrots, green peppers, stew meat (in place of ground beef), beef broth, paprika, caraway seeds and sour cream.
Keep reading for details about the American version of the delish one-pot dinner detailed in this post.
HOW TO MAKE AMERICAN GOULASH WITH GROUND BEEF
Cook 2 pounds of ground beef in a saucepan or Dutch oven until it is no longer pink. Drain the grease from the pan. Add 1 yellow onion and 3 cloves of minced garlic and cook until onions are translucent. The onions and garlic will be nice and fragrant, as well (mmm, I LOVE the smell of sauteed garlic).
Add the remaining ingredients to the ground beef onion mixture:
- Two 15-oz. cans diced tomatoes (undrained)
- Two 15-oz. cans tomato sauce
- 3 cups water
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 2 teaspoons seasoned salt
- 16-oz. box elbow macaroni
Bring to a boil over medium high heat.
Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until pasta is tender. Remove from heat and serve to hungry tummies!
- The seasoned salt in the recipe might seem odd, but don’t skip it! It adds the perfect amount of seasoning. When I’ve skipped this ingredient in the past, I’ve noticed a difference in overall flavor of the dish.
- Replace all or a portion of the water in the recipe with LOW SODIUM beef broth for an even more flavorful meal.
- Try replacing the ground meat (or a portion of it) with ground pork for an added kick of flavor.
- For a healthier version of this comforting meal, replace the beef with ground turkey or chicken.
- Sprinkle shredded cheddar cheese or Parmesan over the top just before serving for an extra cheesy version of this dish.
- Add 2 bay leaves and/or a splash of red wine to the pot before cooking for extra flavor.
- Add a chopped green bell pepper to the onion mixture for added texture and flavor. Red, yellow, orange or green peppers would all taste great.
- I recently had a friend tell me that she added 1 tablespoon of soy sauce to this recipe and that it was super yummy.
MAKE YOUR OWN TOMATO SAUCE
To add an extra touch of flavor to this meal, consider making your own tomato sauce! Homemade Tomato Sauce is SO easy to make and the flavor is out of this world.
HOW TO FREEZE AMERICAN GOULASH
This recipe can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. And good news! It freezes great! Make sure the container is sealed and wrapped tightly in foil. Freeze for no longer than 3 to 4 months for the best results.
When you are ready to enjoy, allow it to thaw completely. At this point, you can either add the contents to a lightly-greased baking dish and bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees F or heat individual servings in the microwave for 2 minutes per serving, or until desired temp has been reached.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH BEEF GOULASH
The great thing about goulash is that it’s a one-pot meal. You’ve got pasta, meat and veggies all wrapped into one easy meal. If you’re looking for something extra to serve alongside this comfort food favorite, consider any of the following:
- A delicious chopped salad complements any meal perfectly!
- You can’t go wrong with garlic bread!
- Any side of vegetables would go great with this meal. Consider steamed broccoli or cauliflower or sauteed zucchini or mushrooms. Asparagus and Brussels sprouts would be great, too!
- Add a giant heaping spoonful of goulash over a baked potato.
OTHER DELICIOUS COMFORTING MEALS
WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING ABOUT THIS OLD FASHIONED GOULASH RECIPE FROM PIP AND EBBY
My family loved this meal. I did cook the noodles separate and added at the end after simmering everything else. I used roasted tomato and garlic diced tomatoes. Will absolutely make again. Thank you for the recipe. ~KELLY
This rekinds me of my childhood. I usually use my garden stewed tomatoes which have onion, bell pepper and celery. If not, I make sure to add celery when the onion is added. Also, beef better than bouillon works nicely inplace of the broth. Bay leaf is another good flavor inhancer. I like the one pot method. ~LISA
Hands down one of my favorite recipes. I make it at least once a month but I cut everything in half because it does make a huge pot of food. I also substitute ground sausage for the beef. But again….amazing recipe. ~LILY
Best American Goulash
- 2 lbs ground beef
- 1 yellow onion chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 15-oz. cans diced tomatoes undrained
- 2 15-oz. cans tomato sauce
- 3 cups water
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
- 2 tsp seasoned salt
- 16 oz. elbow macaroni
- In a Dutch oven or large saucepan, cook ground beef over medium heat until no longer pink. Drain grease. Add onion and garlic and cook for 3 minutes, or until soft and fragrant.
- Add diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, water, Worcestershire sauce, Italian seasoning, seasoned salt and elbow macaroni to the pan. Mix well and bring to a boil. Reduce to medium-low heat, cover pan and simmer for 25-30 minutes or until pasta is cooked through.
- Remove from heat and serve immediately!