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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

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:

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!





  • 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.


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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  1. Going to be making this soon, but would love to use fresh garden tomatoes. Can you recommend how many to use?

    1. Yum! I would recommend 4-6 paste tomatoes (like roma, san marzano, etc.) and I would skin and seed them first. Enjoy!

  2. 5 stars
    Really tasty! I used tomato soup instead of water, added a good sized tablespoon of beef bouillon, and added frozen peas at the end. The only change I will make is to add celery next time. Highly recommend!

  3. My mom made goulash all the time and I’ve been looking for a recipe like hers. Every recipe I have come across has cheddar cheese in it and that’s not what I grew up with. This is perfect just like I remember. Thank you

  4. Teaching my 14yo grandson to cook…
    He handled this one perfectly! I was his sous chef. Thanks for this delicious recipe!

    1. Gosh. I wish I could remember the volume. I just knew it fed my family of four with enough leftovers for two more servings.

  5. 5 stars
    I added mushrooms and green chili’s. I used beef broth instead of water. Delicious! So simple and no leftovers. Thank you.

  6. This is such a great recipe! I made a few modifications based on what was in my pantry:

    1. 32 oz home canned tomatoes instead of the diced tomatoes
    2. Can of tomato soup in place of the tomato sauce
    3. 1 1/2 lbs of hamburger
    4. One beef bouillon cube in with the water

    I’ll make this again!

    1. 5 stars
      This is my go to goulash recipe. Mom made something very similar when I was a kid. I use half the Italian seasoning because that isn’t my favorite. I am also single with kids grown so instead of adding the water and pasta. I leave the water out and just cook pasta on the side because I love fresh pasta and not leftover. I separate into portions and freeze also. Ty for all your beautiful recipes.

  7. 5 stars
    Easy to put together. We don’t care for garlic, added cumin. subbed a can of tomato soup instead of sauce because that is what I had. Along with the diced tomatoes, I added 1/2 a can of Rotel tomatoes, we like heat. Instead of water added 1 C chicken stock for more flavor. Husband enjoyed. Thank you

  8. 5 stars
    This is a Great recipe! Making again tonight. Just the two of us, so I won’t have to cook tomorrow night! Love leftovers!