If you are looking for a cheesy old fashioned goulash recipe, look no further! An american comfort food classic, goulash combines a seasoned tomato and ground meat sauce with elbow noodles and shredded cheese. This one pot meal is a family favorite!
This type of all in one dinner is my husband's favorite! Anything that's a casserole, whether on the stovetop or in the oven, always gets high remarks, and multiple trips up for seconds and thirds!
Cooking meals like this classic goulash recipe can also be a more cost effective to feed a large group or to simply make your meals stretch further. By adding more noodles/veggies, you can make one pound of ground meat go a lot farther than if it were on its own.
What are other names for goulash?
People call this dish by different names. Depending on the region you are from and your family of origin you may know this dish as goulash, american goulash, american chop suey, slumgullion, Johnny Marzetti. These dishes all vary slightly but most have the same basic features like elbow noodles, ground meat, tomatoes, and onions. Most have cheese in them, as well.
Hungarian goulash is a cousin of this dish but is more of a stew or a soup and has chunks of meat rather than ground. Both have beef and paprika.
What meat is used in goulash?
Traditional old fashioned goulash is generally made with ground beef. If you want you can substitute in ground turkey or ground venison for a leaner dish. I love ground venison goulash because it's very hearty and the worcestershire sauce complements the deer meat really nicely.
- ground beef
- large yellow onion
- garlic cloves
- italian seasoning
- black pepper
- beef broth
- uncooked elbow macaroni
- canned diced tomatoes
- canned tomato sauce
- bay leaf
- shredded monterey jack cheese or shredded cheddar cheese
How to make old fashioned goulash
In a large skillet or dutch oven, add ground beef and begin to brown over medium heat.
Once the meat is browned, you can drain off some of the fat that has been rendered. I like to leave just a little bit to saute the onions in and to add flavor.
Add diced onions and saute until translucent, about 3-4 minutes.
Add minced garlic, along with paprika, italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine.
Add beef broth, worcestershire sauce, canned diced tomatoes, canned tomato sauce, and bay leaf. Stir and allow to simmer for 20 minutes.
Add dry noodles and cook for an additional 10 minutes, or until pasta is cooked.
Remove bay leaf and stir in shredded cheese.
Some people prefer to cook their noodles separately and stir the dish together just before serving or serve the goulash on top of noodles like a sauce. This can allow for firmer noodles if you prefer that!
Variations and substitutions
- Add veggies. This classic american goulash recipe is great as is, but why not add more veggies and more nutrition to it! Add diced green pepper, celery, carrots, chopped spinach, broccoli, zucchini, any of your favorite vegetables.
- Double the meat. Make this ground beef goulash extra meaty by adding in an additional 1 lb. of ground beef during the browning stage.
- Make it spicy. Add 1 tsp. (or more) of red pepper flakes to give this a bit of a kick.
What should you serve goulash with
Because this is an all in one dinner, you can serve it on it's own. If you want, you could also pair it with a simple salad or steamed veggie on the side.
To top it off, add more shredded cheese or a dash of hot sauce.
Can you freeze goulash?
You sure can! Goulash freezes really well and can be reheated on the stove or in the microwave. You can even place it in a casserole dish and it would work as a great freezer meal to keep or give away.
To reheat a frozen whole casserole dish of this easy goulash recipe, cover with foil and bake at 375 for 45-55 minutes until completely heated through.
More one pot meals
Old Fashioned Goulash with Ground Beef
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 1 large yellow onion diced
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 1 tsp. paprika
- 1 tbsp. italian seasoning
- 1 tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. black pepper
- 2 cups beef broth
- 1 tbsp. worcestershire
- 2 cups. uncooked elbow pasta
- 2 15 oz. cans diced tomatoes
- 2 15 oz. cans tomato sauce
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 ½ cups shredded monterey jack cheese
- In a large skillet or dutch oven, add ground beef and begin to brown over medium heat.
- Once the meat is browned, you can drain off some of the fat that has been rendered. I like to leave just a little bit to saute the onions in and to add flavor.
- Add diced onions and saute until translucent, about 3-4 minutes.
- Add minced garlic, along with paprika, italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine.
- Add beef broth, worcestershire sauce, canned diced tomatoes, canned tomato sauce, and bay leaf. Stir and allow to simmer for 20 minutes.
- Add dry noodles and cook for an additional 10 minutes, or until pasta is cooked.
- Remove bay leaf and stir in shredded cheese.