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Amercian Goulash is a delicious and easy one pot dinner recipe that combines ground beef with elbow macaroni, peppers, onions, tomatoes and tons of flavor!

This easy recipe is a family favorite in our house. The easiest way to describe it (according to my family) might be chili with pasta instead of beans, spaghetti with extra meat and not much sauce, or a homemade Hamburger Helper. Whatever you want to call it, this goulash is pure comfort food!

beef goulash recipe
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Granny’s Classic Amercian Goulash is one of those recipes that just tastes like home. It has a little bit of everything a satisfying meal should have – meat, carbs, veggies. This easy goulash recipe is the kind of meal you can make for your family for dinner and then then stuff into the kids thermos for their lunch the next day.

What is Goulash?

You either grew up eating goulash or you didn’t. Everyone pretty much falls into either of those categories.

Goulash is a stew with meat. The defining spice in traditional Hungarian Goulash, where the original recipe originated, is paprika.

This Goulash recipe has been completely Americanized. We’re talking ground beef, macaroni, a flavorful tomato sauce, and the convenience of the entire meal being made in one pot.

This meal is not only delicious and satisfying, it’s an easy dinner recipe that will save any busy extra curricular and homework filled weeknight.

goulash recipe with ground beef and elbow macaroni

How easy is it to make Goulash?

I’m not sure about traditional Hungarian Goulash, but this American Goulash is super simple to make. Since it is a one-pot recipe, the clean up ain’t too bad either!

This recipe starts by browning ground beef in a heavy bottom dutch oven. You can use a stockpot as well. You’ll add the onion and bell pepper to the ground beef and continue cooking until the meat is browned and crumbly and the vegetables are tender.

Next you’ll add all of the remaining ingredients except the macaroni. You don’t want to add the pasta this early. If you did, it would get super mushy. Let that wonderful stew simmer for a good 20 minutes to develop the flavor.

Finally, add the uncooked macaroni, cover, and simmer until the macaroni is tender. Give it a good stir and serve it up!

The best way to reheat it:

When I reheat dinners like this, I’ll either reheat them on the stove or in the microwave.

If you choose to reheat goulash on the stove, use a saucepan, cover, and heat on low. If your goulash looks like it could benefit from a bit of moisture, you can add a small amount of broth or even some pasta sauce.

If you reheat this goulash recipe in the microwave, I always recommend covering with a plate or paper towel (it will splatter) and heat on 50% power. The last thing you want to do is hit it full blast. Ground beef that’s been microwaved too long is just gross.

easy american goulash recipe with ground beef

Love ground beef dinner recipes?

You’ll have to try these family friend ground beef recipes:

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Granny’s Classic Amercian Goulash

Prep15 minutes
Cook45 minutes
Total1 hour
Servings 6 servings
Amercian Goulash is a delicious and easy one pot dinner recipe that combines ground beef with elbow macaroni, peppers, onions, tomatoes and tons of flavor!

Video

Equipment

Ingredients 

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 large yellow onion diced
  • 1 green bell pepper diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 15 oz can tomato sauce
  • 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 4 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Hot Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 cup elbow macaroni uncooked
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt more if needed
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper more if needed
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Instructions 

  • Heat large Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the beef, and brown for 10 minutes, breaking up with the back of your wooden spoon as you stir. Add the onion and bell pepper and continue to cook, while stirring, until tender, about 5 minutes.
  • Add all the remaining ingredients, except the macaroni, and cover with a lid, and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Stir in the macaroni, cover with the lid, and simmer for another 15-20 minutes until pasta is tender. Remove from heat
    one pot recipe for easy american goulash
  • Let mixture stand for 5 minutes before serving. Serve with a green salad and garnish with fresh parsley.

Nutrition

Calories: 331kcal, Carbohydrates: 29g, Protein: 18g, Fat: 15g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 53mg, Sodium: 1207mg, Potassium: 747mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 7g, Vitamin A: 485IU, Vitamin C: 31.6mg, Calcium: 86mg, Iron: 4mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Did you make this? Leave me a comment below

Hi! I’m Krissy.

I love to create the BEST versions of your favorite recipes. If you love to cook, love to eat, or just have a deep appreciation for good food, you're in the right place! Stick around... I have hundreds of recipes for you to make.

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66 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I doubled the noodles so it wasn’t as soupy but otherwise followed instructions. So good and full of flavor.

  2. 5 stars
    Have made this several times and have on occasion substituted the Hamburger with Sweet Italian Sausage and Fusilli (Spiral) Pasta for the Macaroni. Great either way and one of our favorites…

  3. 5 stars
    I made this tonight and it was excellent! I’m so glad that I doubled the recipe so that I could put some down in the freezer. I just didn’t add the noodles until I’m ready to take it out of the freezer. But what we had tonight was amazing. Thank you so much.

  4. 5 stars
    You are right, Krissy, I am trying to watch my carbs in January, thank-you for spoiling that with this wonderful simple dish we can’t get enough of.

  5. 5 stars
    Really good! Only change I make is to cook the pasta separately as I make enough for several nights of leftovers. That way, the pasta stays al dente for each serving. Adjust water accordingly.