American Goulash Recipe (2024)

Julie Clark

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Have dinner on the table in about 30 minutes with this easy American goulash. This beefy macaroni is loaded with diced tomatoes and tomato sauce….then topped with cheese.

Back when we were first married we made a lot of hamburger helper meals. Whether it was a cheesy macaroni and beef or even a tuna macaroni salad, elbow macs were cheap, so we ate a lot of it!

American Goulash Recipe (2)

What is goulash?

There are two different types of goulash. Hungarian goulash and American goulash. Hungarian goulash is a thick soup with meat and vegetables, usually seasoned with paprika. American goulash is very different. It generally has tomato sauce, macaroni and beef. It’s almost like a homemade hamburger helper.

American goulash is an easy dinner that can be prepped and ready to eat in just around 30 minutes.

This dinner is also called a slumgullion recipe and can be made in the Instant Pot.

What cut of meat is best for goulash?

We use a lean ground beef for this recipe. You could also use ground turkey if you’d like. If you want to spice it up a little, use Italian sausage. Delicious!

American Goulash Recipe (3)

What spices to put in goulash?

You’ll find that every goulash recipe is seasoned just a little differently. Ours has Italian seasoning, soy sauce, a pinch of sugar, salt & pepper and butter. It’s a very simply flavored dish. What other spices can you add to goulash? You can add garlic, bay leaves or even a little dried red pepper flakes for spice.

How do you make goulash with ground beef?

Here are some hints for making this recipe:

  • This is a great way to use up leftover cooked elbow macaroni. If you don’t have any leftovers to use up, cook the noodles the same time you are cooking the beef. Cook the noodles to al dente so they don’t get mushy.
  • Start cooking the ground beef ( we recommend 85% lean) and then when it is halfway done, add the chopped onion to cook along with it.
  • Drain off any fat, then add the tomato sauce and undrained tomatoes.
  • Add the seasonings and then allow the sauce to simmer for about 20 minutes.
  • Once the sauce has simmered, add the cooked elbow macaroni and heat through.
  • We recommend serving this easy dinner with a sprinkling of cheddar cheese. You could use parmesan cheese too!

Can you freeze goulash?

Yes! Make the recipe is it describes in the recipe, then place it in a 9×13 baking pan. Cover it with plastic wrap, then wrap it in foil. Freeze for up to 2 months.

This casserole will reheat best if it is defrosted, so thaw it before you put it in the oven. Bake uncovered at 350º Fahrenheit for about 30-40 minutes until it is heated through. You may want to add a little extra spaghetti sauce and cheese if you are choosing the freezer method.

What goes with American goulash?

We recommend serving this goulash with a side salad and a piece of Italian bread. If you’re looking for a different type of vegetable side dish besides salad, try one of these:

  • Jalapeno Corn Casserole
  • Italian Green Beans
  • Slow Cooker Creamed Corn
  • Sweet Potato Fries
  • Christmas Green Beans
American Goulash Recipe (6)

Other Pasta Dinners

  • One Pot Sausage Pasta
  • Lasagna Noodle Casserole
  • Chicken Tetrazzini
  • Chicken Alfredo Pasta

American Goulash Recipe (7)

American Goulash Recipe (8)

American Goulash Recipe

4.48 from 17 votes

Have dinner on the table in about 30 minutes with this easy American goulash. This beefy macaroni is loaded with diced tomatoes and tomato sauce….then topped with cheese.

Servings 8

Prep Time 5 minutes minutes

Cook Time 30 minutes minutes

Total Time 35 minutes minutes

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US CustomaryMetric

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/3 cup diced onion
  • 28 ounces canned diced tomatoes (undrained)
  • 28 ounces canned tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • Pinch sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 1 pound elbow macaroni (cooked al dente)
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (optional)


  • *If you don’t already have cooked macaroni, boil the macaroni and cook to al dente while the beef is cooking.*

  • In a skillet over medium heat, brown and crumble the ground beef.

  • Add onion to the skillet when ground beef is about half done, cooking the onion along with the beef.

  • Add the diced tomatoes. Mix well.

  • Add the tomato sauce.Mix well.

  • Add the butter, soy sauce, sugar and Italian seasoning.

  • Simmer over low heat for 20 minutes.

  • Add the cooked macaroni and mix well.

  • Top with cheddar if desired and serve immediately.



Calories: 469kcal | Carbohydrates: 52g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 58mg | Sodium: 929mg | Potassium: 822mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 730IU | Vitamin C: 16.7mg | Calcium: 173mg | Iron: 4.1mg

Author Julie Clark

Course Main Dish

Cuisine American

Calories 469

Keyword beefy macaroni, easy dinner idea, hamburger helper, how to make goulash

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American Goulash Recipe (9)
American Goulash Recipe (2024)
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