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Hamburger Goulash

Easy American Goulash is a simple skillet dinner that is flavor-packed and the perfect way to feed a crowd. A comforting budget-friendly dish full of hearty lean ground beef, spicy sausage, and tender elbow macaroni, all in a rich tomato broth.

white pot of goulash

Serve with my traditional cast iron skillet cornbread for a perfect cold weather meal that is sure to warm you from your head to your toes!

What is Goulash?

American Goulash, also known as American Chop Suey, is an easy flavorful dish that the whole family will love!

During the hustle and bustle of the winter season, I’m always looking for comforting quick to whip up dishes that will satisfy everyone in my house.

And one-pot meals, like this American Goulash, check all the boxes. Perfect for meal prep, it only takes 20 minutes to make, and is hearty enough when your family is craving a meal that needs to warm them from the inside out.

If you like this you will love my skillet lasagna!

Why my family loves this recipe:

  • Easy to make (only takes 20 minutes from start to dinner table!)
  • Cleanup is a breeze because it only requires 2 pots to make
  • Inexpensive way to feed a crowd or hungry family
  • A hearty meaty dish enveloped in a savory delicious tomato base
This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Read my disclosure policy here.
labeled picture of goulash ingredients

Ingredients Needed

Meats – This goulash recipe uses a combination of ground beef and pork sausage. Feel free to use all ground beef or all ground sausage if you’d like.

You can even substitute ground turkey or even sweet Italian sausage for either the beef or sausage.

Macaroni – Traditionally made with elbow macaroni, feel free to use whatever shape pasta you have on hand. I love using mini shells!

Marinara Sauce – Use your favorite! I like a spicy arrabbiata sauce personally.

Onion – A medium sized sweet onion works best but use your favorite.

Tomatoes – This recipe calls for a can of petite diced tomatoes, but you can substitute the diced tomatoes for Rotel.

Broth – I use low-sodium beef broth for this goulash recipe but feel free to use water and beef bouillon.

Seasonings – This recipe uses salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning. If you don’t have fresh garlic you can also add garlic powder.

Pantry Staples – Worcestershire sauce, fresh parsley, soy sauce.

Looking for more leftover worthy dishes? Follow LTB on Pinterest and pin to a board!

How to Make Hamburger Goulash

First: In a large skillet, brown ground beef and sausage over medium high heat until no longer pink. Drain fat if desired. 

While ground beef and sausage are cooking, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain (do not rinse) and set aside.

Second: To the pan with the meat, add the onion, garlic, and green pepper. Cook for 3 minutes or until the onion is tender.

Third: Add broth, diced tomatoes, marinara sauce, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning. Stir to combine.

Fourth: Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes stirring occasionally. Add in cooked pasta and stir to coat. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve immediately.

For the full recipe and detailed baking instructions, please see the recipe card at the end of this post.

pot of american goulash

What is the difference between Hungarian goulash and American goulash?

American Goulash is a one-pot meal that’s made with ground beef, elbow macaroni in a rich savory tomato sauce. It is very similar to Chili Mac, Beefaroni, American Chop Suey, or a dish called Johnny Marzetti.

Hungarian Goulash is a traditional Hungarian soup or stew that is made with chunks of meat and vegetables that’s seasoned with paprika and other spices.

Is paprika found in American goulash?

Traditionally, paprika is not found in American Goulash but is a staple seasoning in the Hungarian stew. I have added it on occasion to deepen the red flavor.

Just be careful to not use smoked paprika or it will change the flavor entirely.

pot of goulash

Can I cook the noodles separately?

Yes, I actually recommend cooking the pasta separately and adding once cooked according to package directions.

You can keep 1/4 cup of the pasta water and add to the goulash when you add the pasta. It will help thicken the sauce and help it stick to the noodle.

Can I make this ahead of time?

Yes, you can make ahead of time! Prepare the goulash according to directions on recipe card with the exception of cooking the pasta and store in fridge up to 5 days.

When ready to serve, reheat on stovetop over medium heat until warmed through. While goulash is heating, prepare pasta according to directions and add when base is warmed through.

You can also freeze the goulash base in the freezer for up to 3 months. When ready to eat, thaw overnight in the fridge.

Reheat in the microwave, oven, or on stovetop over medium heat until warmed through.

While goulash is heating, prepare pasta according to directions and add when ground beef and macaroni is warmed through.

How to Store

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. It tastes great the next day as the flavors intensify!

When ready to eat, reheat in the microwave, oven, or on stovetop over medium heat until warmed through.

wood spoon with heap of goulash

Tips for No Leftovers

  • you can use any shape pasta although elbow macaroni is traditionally used
  • use lean ground turkey instead of beef, or even Italian sausage
  • leave out the meat and add kidney beans or Cannellini beans for protein
  • deglaze the pan with a splash of wine if desired
  • if freezing or preparing ahead of time I suggest cooking the noodles separately and only adding when ready to eat.
  • use Taco seasoning for a Mexican version!
  • best pot to use for American goulash: a Dutch oven
  • add a sprinkle of parmesan cheese at the end if desired
  • mushrooms are a great addition to this meal
  • add more broth to make it a goulash soup recipe

If you love this recipe as much as I do, please write a five-star review in the comment section below (or on Pinterest with the “tried it” button – you can now add pictures into reviews, too!), and be sure to help me share on facebook!

scoop of macaroni with text "easy american goulash"

This American Goulash Recipe is easy to make, budget friendly comfort food with ground beef, sausage, and tender macaroni, feeds a crowd, and is a great freezer meal!

white pot full of goulash

Easy American Goulash

Yield: 10
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

This hearty hamburger pasta dish is the perfect weeknight dinner. It comes together quickly and feeds a crowd.


  • 1 pound ground beef (85/15 or leaner)
  • 1 pound ground pork sausage
  • 16 ounces macaroni noodles
  • 1/2 cup onion (diced)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 green pepper (stemmed, seeded, and diced)
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans canned petite diced tomatoes
  • 24 ounces marinara sauce (use your favorite)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons fresh minced parsley


  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the ground beef and sausage until they are no longer pink. Drain fat if desired.
  2. While the hamburger and sausage is cooking, cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain, do not rinse, and stir a few times to keep it from sticking together. *Tip- Reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta water and mix in with pasta at the end.*
  3. Add the onion, garlic, green pepper, and Italian seasoning. Cook for 3 more minutes until the onion is soft and the spices are fragrant.
  4. Add the broth, diced tomatoes, marinara sauce, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper and stir.
  5. Reduce heat to low and simmer the sauce for 10 minutes.
  6. Add the cooked pasta (and reserved pasta water if desired) and stir to coat.
  7. Serve warm and garnished with fresh parsley and cheese if desired.
  8. Enjoy!


    You can use ground venison, hamburger, pork, chicken, turkey or sausage for this dish.

    *If you love this recipe as much as I do, please leave me a comment and rate it 5 stars. Thank you!

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    This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Read my disclosure policy here.

    Nutrition Information:
    Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 400Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 81mgSodium: 1141mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 3gSugar: 6gProtein: 25g

    This nutrition information was generated via a third party, Nutritionix, and can not be held liable for any discrepancies in the information provided.

    More Easy Dinners Content and photographs are copyright protected. Sharing of this recipe is both encourages and appreciated. Copying and/or pasting full recipes to any social media is strictly prohibited.

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    Leah Norton

    Thursday 11th of May 2023

    I made this Goulash tonight, it was easy and tasted amazing! Thank you for sharing your recipe! ๐Ÿ˜Š


    Friday 5th of May 2023

    This goulash smells delicious ๐Ÿ˜‹ already, making it now for dinner for my family and I know it's gonna taste spectacular. It was really super simple and quick to make. Even shared the recipe with my sister and she's making it for her family tonight as well. Thank you for the recipe. I will be checking out some of your other recipes as well.


    Friday 5th of May 2023

    Thank you so much! Let me know how you and the family likes it:)

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