Hamburger Goulash

Easy American Goulash recipe 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 comfort food like 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. Serve it with a salad and a few slices of garlic bread.

If you have picky eaters, they will love this and my skillet lasagna or homemade hamburger helper.

Easy Goulash 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
simple ingredients like yellow onion, macaroni pasta for a traditional goulash recipe

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.

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.

Peppers – Diced green bell peppers.

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, black 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. 

Second: To the pan with the hamburger 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 old fashioned goulash recipe

What is the difference between the American version and the Hungarian version?

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.

easy recipe for goulash in a pot

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.

pot of goulash

Can I freeze it?

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 leftover goulash in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. It tastes amazing the next day!

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

  • Use any shape pasta although elbow macaroni is traditionally used.
  • Try lean ground turkey, ground pork, Italian sausage, or stew meat instead of the ground beef.
  • Leave out the meat and add kidney beans or Cannellini beans for protein.
  • Deglaze the pan with a splash of wine or chicken broth if desired.
  • If freezing or preparing ahead of time I suggest cooking the noodles separately and only adding when ready to eat.
  • Add a sprinkle of parmesan cheese at the end if desired.
  • Mushrooms and diced green peppers are a great addition to this meal.
  • Add more broth to make it a goulash soup recipe.
  • Add a bay leaf and remove before serving for more flavor.
  • I haven’t tested this recipe in a slow cooker yet.

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 comforting meal with hearty ground beef, sausage, and tender macaroni, feeds a crowd, and is a great freezer meal!

white pot full of goulash

Easy American Goulash

This hearty hamburger pasta dish is the perfect weeknight dinner. It comes together quickly and feeds a crowd.
4.67 from 6 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Dishes
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 10 servings
Calories: 400kcal
Author: Jennifer Stewart

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the ground beef and sausage until they are no longer pink. Drain fat if desired.
  • 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.*
  • Add the onion, garlic, green pepper, and Italian seasoning. Cook for 3 more minutes until the onion is soft and the spices are fragrant.
  • Add the broth, diced tomatoes, marinara sauce, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper and stir.
  • Reduce heat to low and simmer the sauce for 10 minutes.
  • Add the cooked pasta (and reserved pasta water if desired) and stir to coat.
  • Serve warm and garnished with fresh parsley and cheese if desired.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

  • Use any shape pasta although elbow macaroni is traditionally used.
  • Try lean ground turkey, ground pork, Italian sausage, or stew meat instead of the ground beef.
  • Leave out the meat and add kidney beans or Cannellini beans for protein.
  • Deglaze the pan with a splash of wine or chicken broth if desired.
  • If freezing or preparing ahead of time I suggest cooking the noodles separately and only adding when ready to eat.
  • Add a sprinkle of parmesan cheese at the end if desired.
  • Mushrooms and diced green peppers are a great addition to this meal.
  • Add more broth to make it a goulash soup recipe.
  • Add a bay leaf and remove before serving for more flavor.
  • I haven't tested this recipe in a slow cooker yet.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 400kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 81mg | Sodium: 1141mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g

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3 Comments

  1. This goulash smells delicious πŸ˜‹ 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.

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

  2. Leah Norton says:

    I made this Goulash tonight, it was easy and tasted amazing! Thank you for sharing your recipe! 😊

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