Instant Pot Goulash

Instant Pot goulash

The Spruce

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 19 mins
Total: 24 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Yield: 1 pot
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
441 Calories
18g Fat
38g Carbs
31g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 441
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 18g 24%
Saturated Fat 6g 30%
Cholesterol 72mg 24%
Sodium 750mg 33%
Total Carbohydrate 38g 14%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 31g
Vitamin C 20mg 98%
Calcium 76mg 6%
Iron 5mg 28%
Potassium 761mg 16%
*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.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Goulash is a traditional paprika-heavy Hungarian stew made out of veal, pork, beef, or lamb, with a variety of vegetables ranging from carrots and onions to celery and peppers. The American version of goulash keeps some of the wholesome flavors, but adds short pasta into the mix, relying on tomatoes to make a tangy and vibrant sauce that coats the pasta.

Comforting and easy, American goulash is a wonderful one-pot dish that is flavorful and customizable. The recipe can take on any other veggies of your liking—like bell peppers, mushrooms, or celery—and can be topped with cheese for an extra layer of goodness. Use ground pork, meatloaf mix, or plant-based protein (TVP, seitan, or extra firm tofu) instead of the beef the recipe calls for. Use our recipe as a template to make this tasty dish your own.

With the help of an Instant Pot, the whole process comes down to 25 minutes, from prepping to serving. It's ideal for a busy weeknight, and you can freeze the leftovers for other last-minute meals.


  • 1 pound ground beef

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced

  • 1 green bell pepper, diced

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 6 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 teaspoons dried basil

  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano

  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika

  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste

  • 4 cups chicken stock, or water

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes

  • 1 pound elbow macaroni

  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley, optional

  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, optional

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    instant pot goulash ingredients

    The Spruce

  2. Press the "Sauté" function to heat up the Instant Pot. Once the machine reads "Hot" add the ground beef. Cook, stirring until browned.

    beef browned in an instant pot

    The Spruce

  3. Remove the beef from the pot, leaving behind some of the fat. Add the olive oil, onions, bell peppers, salt, and pepper. Sauté until the onions and green peppers have softened but are not browned.

    onions and green peppers sautéed in an instant pot

    The Spruce

  4. Add the garlic, basil, oregano, paprika, and tomato paste. Sauté for one more minute, or until the spices become fragrant but have not browned.

    tomato paste and vegetables in an instant pot

    The Spruce

  5. Add the chicken stock or water, soy sauce, and Worcestershire sauce, stirring until all are well combined. Add the crushed tomatoes, macaroni, and the previously reserved ground beef. Make sure the macaroni is totally submerged under the sauce and chicken stock. Cover and cook on high pressure for four minutes.

    instant pot goulash before cooking

    The Spruce

  6. Quick release the pressure valve. Once the steam is completely released, carefully remove the lid. Stir, and top with the optional freshly chopped parsley and Parmesan cheese, if using. Serve immediately.

    cooked instant pot goulash

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  7. Enjoy!

Substitutions and Additional Ingredients

  • Pasta shape: Choose your favorite pasta shape, but just make sure that it is short and thick, like a ditalini, short penne, or small shells. Thinner pasta like spaghetti or angel hair will cook too quickly and will become mushy. This pasta is meant to be scooped like a soup or chili so short pasta works best. 
  • Vegetables: Try adding other veggies when you sauté the onions and green peppers. Mushrooms (cremini, maitake, shiitake, portobello), red bell peppers, carrots, shredded kale, and diced zucchini are great additions.
  • Protein: Substitute the beef with ground pork, veal, or turkey. Or use a plant-based protein instead to make a wonderful vegan dish (you'd need to use vegetable stock for this variation).