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Easy American Goulash Recipe with Macaroni and Beef

Goulash is an easy dinner recipe that the whole family will love. Ground beef, onion, bell pepper and tomatoes are added to a cheesy macaroni mixture for a delicious and easy homemade pasta recipe.

American Goulash in a white bowl

Easy dinner recipes don’t have to be plain. Upgrade your macaroni and cheese by adding beef, vegetables and seasoning. This cheesy and savory dish is one of the best ground beef recipes. 

What is Goulash?

The goulash that you see here is referred to as American Goulash. American goulash is mostly common in the mid-west and consists of elbow macaroni, tomato sauce, ground beef, peppers, and onion.

It is not to be confused with a Hungarian goulash version that looks and tastes more like a stew with meat, vegetables, and paprika. The Hungarian version is also referred to as Gulyas or “cowboy” in Hungarian.

Macaroni and beef recipe in a white bowl

Goulash Ingredients

To make this beef goulash recipe, you will need the following ingredients (go to the recipe below for exact quantities and instructions):

  • Ground beef
  • Yellow onion
  • Bell pepper: Any type and color of bell pepper will work for this goulash. I like my onion and bell pepper a little on the chunkier side, but if you would like the vegetables to be better hidden, you can finely dice them.
  • Garlic
  • Low sodium chicken broth: If you choose to use regular chicken broth, I recommend omitting the salt in this recipe and only add it once you have tasted it.
  • Tomato sauce
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Italian seasoning
  • Salt
  • Elbow macaroni: Although goulash is traditionally made with elbow macaroni, any small pasta will work. Consider using rigatoni, bowtie, cellentani, penne, or fusilli.
  • Cheese: I used shredded sharp cheddar cheese, but feel free to experiment with what cheese you would like to use. For a lower fat version, you can always omit the cheese, but I love the creamy goodness that it brings to this goulash recipe.

Macaroni noodles with beef, cheese and vegetables in a large pot

How to Make Goulash

If you are looking for simple ground beef recipes, then one pot recipes are the way to go. You don’t even need to boil water to cook the noodles. 

  1. Cook the beef. In a pot or large skillet, cook ground beef, onion, bell pepper, and garlic over medium heat until meat is no longer pink, about 5-7 minutes. The onion and bell pepper do not need to be cooked through all the way. They will finish cooking later.
  2. Cook rest of ingredients (except macaroni and cheese). Drain the fat and add in chicken broth, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, Italian seasoning, and salt (everything EXCEPT the macaroni and cheese) and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to low and simmer covered for 15 minutes.
  3. Add macaroni. Stir in macaroni and cover. Simmer for an additional 15 minutes or until macaroni is al dente.
  4. Add cheese. Take pan off heat and stir in cheddar cheese until melted.
  5. Garnish with parsley before serving, optional.

Easy American Goulash Recipe with Macaroni and Beef

Storage Instructions

You can store goulash in the refrigerator for up to one week.

If you would like to freeze your goulash, I recommend undercooking the pasta just slightly so that it does not turn to mush while it’s being reheated. It can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months for best quality.

Thaw it in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.

Easy American Goulash Recipe with Macaroni and Beef

Goulash Recipe

Goulash Recipe

Yield: 5 cups
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 37 minutes
Total Time: 47 minutes

Goulash is an easy dinner recipe that the whole family will love. Ground beef, onion, bell pepper and tomatoes are added to a cheesy macaroni mixture for a delicious and easy homemade pasta recipe.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth or stock
  • 14.5 ounces canned tomato sauce
  • 14.5 ounces canned diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 ½ cups elbow macaroni, uncooked
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Parsley, optional garnish

Instructions

  1. In a pot or large skillet, cook ground beef, onion, bell pepper, and garlic over medium heat until meat is no longer pink, about 5-7 minutes. The onion and bell pepper do not need to be cooked through all the way. They will finish cooking later.
  2. Drain the fat and add in chicken broth, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, Italian seasoning, and salt (everything EXCEPT the macaroni and cheese) and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to low and simmer covered for 15 minutes.
  3. Stir in macaroni and cover. Simmer for an additional 15 minutes or until macaroni is al dente.
  4. Take pan off heat and stir in cheddar cheese until melted.Garnish with parsley before serving, optional.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 605Total Fat: 32gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 131mgSodium: 1627mgCarbohydrates: 34gFiber: 5gSugar: 11gProtein: 47g

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