Classic American Goulash

Classic American Goulash in a white large serving plate

Site Index Goulash Ground beef Macaroni Vintage recipe

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This classic American Goulash is ground beef simmered in a tomato sauce with elbow macaroni, it’s one pot and the entire family will love it! This is comfort food to the max!

Classic American Goulash in a white large serving plate and side plate with spoon
American Goulash

I am obsessed with American Goulash. American goulash was never something that I ate growing up as a kid. My parents aren’t huge pasta eaters, meaning that this is something that my mother wouldn’t have made for us. The only pasta I can recall would be spaghetti and meatballs and the occasional tuna casserole. Which reminds me, I am making tuna casserole this winter, I swear. It’s happening. But American goulash? Not in my childhood recipe repertoire.

How to Make American Goulash

  • Fry the ground beef in a large stock pot until cooked completely then drain the fat.
  • Add in the garlic and cook until browned. Fry up the pepper at this point if using.
  • Add in all of the remaining ingredients, except the macaroni. Stir and bring to a low boil.
  • Add in the macaroni noodles and stir until mixed through.
  • Cover and simmer on low heat for 20-25 minutes, until the macaroni is soft, stirring once in a while to ensure that the macaroni doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot.
  • Remove from heat and serve with cheese sprinkled on top.

Classic American Goulash in a white large serving plate

What is American Goulash?

American goulash is called many, many names and I have made an oven version of it using whole wheat pasta – American Chop Suey. A lot of people have called my Beef & Macaroni soup goulash – but I’m afraid it ain’t so.

I DID grow up eating my Classic Beef & Tomato Macaroni Soup and while they are close in taste, they are far from the same dish. (make sure you try that soup, it’s one of the most popular recipes on my website and it’s amazing, no word of a lie!)

Beef & Tomato Macaroni Soup:

Classic Beef & Tomato Macaroni Soup

American Goulash.
a large white plate with Classic American Goulash on wood background

As you can see, the goulash is thicker, like a creamy casserole and has cheese. Not only that, red peppers can make an appearance and I use a can of tomato soup in the American Goulash as well. The taste profiles are similar, for sure, but other than than they are as different as night and day.

And you guys, my ENTIRE FAMILY ATE THIS.

Oh my word, that’s a miracle. My daughter, while getting much better, is still a selective eater, however she loves my beef and macaroni soup.

close up Classic American Goulash in a white large serving plate

She ate this like a starving wolf. Thank the gods. Now Mike I knew would love this. He ate hamburger casseroles growing up and they are one of his favourite meals. I am not sure what we call American Goulash here in Canada, but I suspect it is probably just ” Hamburger Casserole.”

Because we’re fancy like that.
large white plate with Classic American Goulash and a spoon on side

It really is so darn good and is the perfect meal for winter. It’s comfort food to the max, with the beef, the pasta and the cheese. It’s also a large enough recipe that our family of four ate it for supper and there was about 3 lunch servings left the next day.

You could imagine how irritated my daughter was when she found out that the rest of us accidentally ate it all on her. Oooops. I plead carb coma.

a fork with Classic American Goulash in white side plate

Did any of you eat American goulash growing up? Was it a favourite? Even though it wasn’t my favourite, it is now. This was one big delicious bowl o’ happy. Put this one on your winter menu and let me know what you think!

Happy cooking everyone!

Love you more than chocolate,

Karlynn

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This classic American Goulash is ground beef simmered in a tomato sauce with elbow macaroni, it's one pot and the entire family will love it! This is comfort food to the max! #goulash

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Classic American Goulash

This classic American Goulash is ground beef simmered in a tomato sauce with elbow macaroni, it's one pot and the entire family will love it! This is comfort food to the max!
5 from 13 votes
Prep Time
10 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Total Time
40 minutes
Course
Main Course
Cuisine
American
Servings
6
Calories
541
Author
Karlynn Johnston

Ingredients
  

  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 3-4 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1 cup red pepper diced
  • one 20 ounces can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 can condensed tomato soup
  • one 680 ml can of tomato sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon seasoning salt
  • 1-2 tablespoons white sugar add until desired sweetness is met
  • 2 1/2 cups of dry macaroni
  • 2 cups shredded medium or old cheddar cheese

Instructions
 

  • Fry the ground beef in a large stock pot until cooked completely then drain the fat.
  • Add in the garlic and cook until browned. Fry up the pepper at this point if using.
  • Add in all of the remaining ingredients, except the macaroni. Stir and bring to a low boil.
  • Add in the macaroni noodles and stir until mixed through.
  • Cover and simmer on low heat for 20-25 minutes, until the macaroni is soft, stirring once in a while to ensure that the macaroni doesn't stick to the bottom of the pot.
  • Remove from heat and serve with cheese sprinkled on top.

Recipe Notes

The sugar in this is the key to reducing that acidic taste you get when you cook with tomatoes. Sprinkle it in and taste test until it's perfect for you!

Nutrition Information

Calories: 541kcal, Carbohydrates: 37g, Protein: 48g, Fat: 20g, Saturated Fat: 11g, Cholesterol: 133mg, Sodium: 1283mg, Potassium: 723mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 425IU, Vitamin C: 2.3mg, Calcium: 320mg, Iron: 5.2mg

All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

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Karlynn Johnston

I’m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the Canadian prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a cocktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

Learn more about me

Site Index Goulash Ground beef Macaroni Vintage recipe

Reader Interactions

Comments & Recipe Tips Share a tip or comment!

  1. Linda Wetch says

    Goulash, was what my dad made when my mom was out of town,this didnt happen often. our recipe went like this: The grn Beef and elbow noodles., like the above description Corn, celery, peas, and carrots, maybe even some shreaded cabbage. lots of paprika, lots of garlic, Never any sugar. and if mom was cooking it came wth corn bread. Always wonderful, by either mom or dad. Yours looks great and am, now putting on next week’s menu. thank you for sharing

  2. Sue says

    I grew up eating a “hamburger casserole” very similar to this. Mom’s recipe did not have soy sauce and the sugar was in teaspoons not tablespoons. It had a few additions that your recipe is missing; chopped onion (I assume the lack of onions in your recipe is a proofreading error ☺) and celery, and finely diced or grated carrot. We would usually also add a cup of another vegetable like frozen corn or peas.
    My husband’s family did not have hamburger casserole in their rotation and it was the first meal I ever made for him. I’ve expanded my recipe repertoire a lot over the last 3 decades but this is still a frequent request.

    • Elisabeth says

      I agree that this recipe is a little different; but may be due to geography of origination. My family’s recipe is similar to yours,but simpler- Grd Beef, Stewed Tomatoes, Tomato Soup, tiny amt Sugar & broken Spaghetti. slow cooker or stove top. I have always wondered if this came from the South (tomatoes); as parents spent early years in AL.,then came north (giving me a northern accent & southern innards) However it’s made, it’s pure comfort food!

  3. Bob says

    Should the diced tomatoes be 28 ounce instead of 20 ounces? I can’t find a 20 ounce can.

  4. Terri says

    This was delicious, but your recipes have a flaw that drive me a little nuts. Please avoid using numerals together. It can be confusing if you write “1 20 oz can of diced tomatoes” but then later correctly write “2 1/2 cups of dry macaroni”. The 20 oz should be in parentheses so it reads “1 (20 oz) can of diced tomatoes”. Any recipe writing guideline lists this as a basic principle. Thanks for listening to my rant! This was a very tasty dish!5 stars

  5. BERNADETTE BENTO says

    Thank you for your amazing recipes. I had some ground beef last week and elbow macaroni and just did a mashup of a Paula Dean recipe, It was “ok”, and my husband has been eating it all week, but your recipes are so much better. I also made your cheddar cheese and beef/macaroni soup and OMG, my husband and kids DEVOURED it. Thank you from NY!!!!5 stars

    • Geraldine Williams says

      Never brown the meat in a,stock pot or sauce pan, the meat just boils, use a large skillet for your one pot goulash. I’ve been eating this for 60 years.

  6. Wendy says

    I ate goulash growing up and now all 4 of my kids love it

  7. Robin Leggett says

    Read your bio and I think we may be sister separated at birth ?

  8. AngelaMitchell says

    I just made this tonight and my picky eater asked for seconds. I’m putting in rotation, thanks.

  9. gekkafem says

    You   could   imagine   how   irritated   my  daughter  was   when   she   found   out  that   the rest of us accidentally ate it all on her. Oooops. I plead carb coma>>>>>


    see more.


    http://tinyurl.com/z5m5hl3

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