|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Servings: 4 to 6|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 23g||29%|
|Saturated Fat 9g||45%|
|Total Carbohydrate 18g||7%|
|Dietary Fiber 5g||17%|
|Total Sugars 7g|
|Vitamin C 25mg||123%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
American goulash is a comforting, satisfying dish of macaroni, beef, tomatoes, and seasonings, and it has many regional variations. In New England, it's called American chop suey, while in other areas, it's known as Johnny Marzetti, beefaroni, or slumgullion. Whatever you call it, goulash is one of America's favorite comfort foods. Macaroni is combined with ground beef and a tomato-based sauce, and it often includes cheese. It's a well-balanced pasta dish you'll find on family dinner tables and at potluck events across America.
This version of family-friendly goulash is a basic one, including elbow macaroni, ground beef, onions, peppers, seasonings, and cheese. One of the best things about this goulash is that it's a one-pot meal. Everything, including the pasta, is cooked in one pot. You won't need an extra cooking pot or colander for the pasta, so cleanup is a breeze.
Goulash is a versatile dish as well. Omit the cheese or use a different one, or make the sauce creamier with a spoonful or two of cream cheese. If you don't have elbow macaroni, feel free to use whatever pasta you may have on hand. Try making it with shells, wheels, rotini, or bows.
Serve the goulash with some garlic bread, breadsticks, or cornbread, or add a tossed salad to round out the meal. Add a side vegetable if you like—roasted asparagus, steamed corn, or broccoli are excellent choices.
"Another amazing recipe that the entire family can enjoy. Basically, all the ingredients get cooked in one pot so cleanup is no effort. It's very rich and the cheese adds a great texture to it. Another great thing is that the leftovers taste even better the next day." —Tara Omidvar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1 pound ground beef
4 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 small bell pepper, diced, optional
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 large bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, or to taste
1 1/2 cups beef broth
15 ounces tomato sauce
29 ounces diced tomatoes
4 ounces elbow macaroni
4 ounces (1 cup) grated cheddar cheese, or to taste
Chopped parsley, for optional garnish
Gather the ingredients.
Add the olive oil to a large Dutch oven or sauté pan and place the pan over medium-high heat. When the olive oil is hot and shimmering, add the ground beef and onion. Sauté, occasionally stirring with a spatula to break up the beef, until the meat is no longer pink, about 5 to 7 minutes.
Add the garlic, bell pepper (if using), Italian seasoning, bay leaf, kosher salt, and black pepper. Continue to cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
Add the beef broth, tomato sauce, and diced tomatoes, and bring to a boil. Cover the pan and reduce the heat to low; simmer for 20 minutes.
Add the macaroni to the sauce mixture and increase the heat to medium-low. Cover the pan and cook, occasionally stirring, until the pasta is tender, about 12 to 15 minutes.
Add the cheese and stir until melted. Taste the goulash and adjust the salt and pepper, if needed. Remove from the heat and garnish with parsley, if desired.
- Make-Ahead: To streamline the cooking process, you can make the ground beef and tomato sauce—steps 2 through 4—a day in advance and refrigerate it until about 20 minutes before serving time. Bring the sauce mixture to a boil and add the macaroni. Continue to cook, covered, over medium-low heat, following steps 5 and 6.
- To make goulash in a slow cooker, brown the ground beef and onions as directed, then combine it in a slow cooker with the garlic, bell pepper, Italian seasoning, bay leaf, salt, pepper, beef broth, tomato sauce, and diced tomatoes. Cover and cook on low for 3 to 5 hours. Cook the macaroni separately; drain and add it to the slow cooker along with the cheese. Stir until the cheese is melted and serve.
How to Store
- Transfer leftover goulash to a shallow covered container and refrigerate for 3 to 4 days.
- To freeze, transfer the goulash to freezer containers or zip-close freezer bags. Freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost frozen goulash in the refrigerator overnight.
- To reheat, put the goulash in a saucepan or skillet with a few tablespoons of water to keep it moist. Cook, stirring, until hot. Alternatively, reheat it in the microwave with a tablespoon or two of water, stirring occasionally to ensure even cooking.
What is the difference between Hungarian goulash and American goulash?
While both share the name goulash, that appears to be the only similarity. Hungarian goulash is a stew or soup made with meat and vegetables seasoned with paprika and various spices. American goulash is made with ground beef, macaroni, onions, tomatoes, and seasonings, and sometimes, cheese.