Curl up with a warm, comforting bowl of American Goulash! This macaroni and beef based dish is made delicious with ingredients like tomato sauce, cheddar cheese, a medley of mouthwatering seasonings, and so much more. It’s an easy weeknight dinner that the whole family will love!

A white bowl is filled with american goulash.

American Goulash

There’s really no dinner more comforting than a big heaping serving of goulash. Tender macaroni noodles are tossed with hearty ground beef, a great amount of flavorful seasonings, and a savory sauce made with beef stock and tomato sauce. This easy dinner is insanely rich with flavor, and the consistency also makes you want to eat bowl after bowl! Truly, this stuff reminds me of a dressed up and more filling mac and cheese.

If you have a picky eater in the house, rejoice! This is going to be their new favorite dinner, and who knows? They may just eat the whole bowl. American goulash is a dish that’s beloved by kids, grandparents, and pretty much everyone in between. It’s super easy to make, tastes great when reheated, and everyone at the dinner table will be asking for seconds. When it comes to ideal weeknight dinners, it doesn’t get much better than this.

While authentic Hungarian goulash is made with stewed beef and has a more soup-like consistency, American goulash is thick and hearty. It’s made with easy ground beef instead of stewed beef, and it’s thick enough to be eaten with a fork if desired. While I do enjoy Hungarian goulash, this American version of the classic dish is way more my speed. Just ask my family – they crave it just as often as I do!

A large black skillet is filled with cooked goulash.

How to Make It

Cook the beef. In a large, deep sided skillet over medium high heat, brown the ground beef until no longer pink. Transfer the cooked beef to a bowl using a slotted spoon and drain off all but 2 tablespoons fat.

Cook the onion and garlic. Return the pan to the heat and add the onion. Cook for 5 minutes or until softened. Stir in the garlic and cook for an additional minute.

Make it flavorful. Add the tomato paste, seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder and smoked paprika. Stir to coat the onions and cook for 1-2 minutes until the tomato paste begins to darken in color. 

Create the sauce. Return the beef to the pan and stir in the tomato sauce, tomatoes and beef stock.

Add macaroni. Bring the mixture to a boil and then add the macaroni.

Simmer. Cover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 15-20 minutes until the pasta is tender and the liquid has been absorbed. Stir occasionally to keep the pasta from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Make it cheesy! Remove the lid and stir in the cheese.

Enjoy! Serve with parsley and parmesan cheese, if desired.

Goulash is being scooped from a pan and placed into two white bowls.

How long will American goulash stay fresh?

In an airtight container in the refrigerator, this goulash will stay fresh for up to 4 days. The best part? It actually reheats pretty well in the microwave! Just zap it for about 30 seconds at a time, stirring between each interval, until heated all the way through.

What kind of beef should I use to make American goulash?

Again, since this is American and not Hungarian goulash, you’ll need to get your hands on a package of ground beef. It can be lean or regular – either option is just fine. I prefer to use lean ground beef, but regular ground beef will also work! Also, if you want to use ground turkey, that’ll get the job done as well. It’ll just alter the taste a bit, but it won’t be bad.

A white bowl filled with goulash is set next to a half full pan of more goulash.

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A large black skillet is filled with cooked goulash.

Get the Recipe: American Goulash

A classic one pot dinner, American Goulash is loaded with tender pasta, ground beef, tomatoes and cheese. A family favorite!
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Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 1/2 cups diced onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Italian Seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 15 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 2 1/2 cups beef stock
  • 1 1/2 cups elbow macaroni, uncooked
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Chopped Parsley, optional

Equipment

  • deep skillet

Instructions 

  • In a large, deep sided skillet over medium high heat, brown the ground beef until no longer pink.
  • Transfer the cooked beef to a bowl using a slotted spoon and drain off all but 2 tablespoons fat.
  • Return the pan to the heat and add the onion. Cook for 5 minutes or until softened,
  • Stir in the garlic and cook for an additional minute.
  • Add the tomato paste, seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder and smoked paprika. Stir to coat the onions and cook for 1-2 minutes until the tomato paste begins to darken in color.
  • Return the beef to the pan and stir in the tomato sauce, tomatoes and beef stock.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil and then add the macaroni.
  • Cover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 15-20 minutes until the pasta is tender and the liquid has been absorbed. Stir occasionally to keep the pasta from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  • Remove the lid and stir in the cheese.
  • Serve with parsley and parmesan cheese, if desired.

Notes

Leftover Goulash can be saved in an airtight container, refrigerated, for up to 3 days.
Calories: 302kcal, Carbohydrates: 15g, Protein: 33g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 4g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 90mg, Sodium: 918mg, Potassium: 1108mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 8g, Vitamin A: 749IU, Vitamin C: 16mg, Calcium: 222mg, Iron: 5mg