EASY Goulash Recipe - I Heart Naptime (2024)

EASY Goulash Recipe - I Heart Naptime (1)

Jamielyn Nye
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This easy homemade goulash recipe is a family-favorite made in one pot with ground beef, noodles and a flavorful tomato sauce. It’s aclassic comfort food dish ready in 30 minutes!

More one pot recipes that we love include homemade hamburger helper and easy hamburger casserole.

EASY Goulash Recipe - I Heart Naptime (2)

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Table of Contents

  • American Goulash Recipe
  • What is Goulash?
  • Key Ingredients
  • How to Make Goulash
  • Crockpot Version
  • Tips and Variations
  • Storing + Freezing
  • 5 star review
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • More Easy One-Pot Meals
  • Easy Goulash Recipe Printable Recipe

American Goulash Recipe

This American goulash is easy to make in one pan for a quick 30-minute meal. It’s one of our favorite ground beef recipes and it tastes just like one my mom used to make. Salisbury steak was another childhood favorite.

Just like million dollar spaghetti casserole and tater tot casserole this easy goulash recipe is a budget-friendly classic! I love that you don’t have to cook the noodles in a separate pan like my spaghetti bolognese. These one pot burrito bowls are another simple one-pot dinner!

What is Goulash?

There are two types: Hungarian goulash and American goulash. Goulash originated in Hungary and is traditionally a hearty stew that consisted of cubes of meat, vegetables and spices (usually including paprika). The Hungarian version is definitely still loved by many, however this is an Americanized version.

American goulash has more of a tomato base and typically includes ground beef and macaroni noodles as well. My version of this recipe is considered an American goulash.

Key Ingredients

EASY Goulash Recipe - I Heart Naptime (3)

Find the fullprintable recipewith specific measurements below.

  • Ground beef: This meat is the base of the recipe and adds great flavor to the dish. I like to use 80/20. You can substitute ground turkey if desired.
  • Elbow macaroni noodles: If you don’t have these on hand you can use another small noodle like small shells or ditalini.
  • Beef broth: You can also use a vegetable or chicken broth if that’s all you have on hand.
  • Tomatoes: This recipes uses tomato sauce along with petite diced tomatoes.
  • Vegetables: I like to add in onion, bell pepper and corn.
  • Seasonings: Lots of great seasonings to add great flavor to this goulash recipe.

How to Make Goulash

EASY Goulash Recipe - I Heart Naptime (4)
  1. SAUTE. In a skillet cook the beef, onion and peppers in large pot or dutch oven until brown (about 3-5 minutes) over medium-high heat. Drain the grease, then add in garlic, Italian seasoning, seasoned salt and Worcestershire sauce. Cook for 1-2 more minutes.
  2. SIMMER. Stir in diced tomatoes, corn, broth and tomato sauce and bring to light simmer. Then add in noodles, stir and cover with lid.
  3. COOK. Continue to cook for 10-12 minutes, or until noodles are tender.
  4. TOP. Salt and pepper to taste. If desired, sprinkle with cheese and cover for about 1 minute, until cheese has melted. Then top with fresh basil or parsley.

TIP: Stir goulash every couple of minutes so that the noodles don’t stick!

EASY Goulash Recipe - I Heart Naptime (5)

Crockpot Version

You can easily make this recipe in the slow cooker if you prefer. I recommend cooking the ground beef ahead of time, then add all the ingredients to your crockpot and stir. Cook on high for 1 to 2 hours or low for 3 to 4.

Add the noodles the last 30 minutes of cooking and cook until noodles are tender. Remove lid and sprinkle on cheese. Cover with lid for about 1 minute, until cheese has melted. Then add fresh basil if desired and serve!

Tips and Variations

  • Leaner: Use ground turkey in place of the ground beef to make this a leaner meal.
  • Extra veggies: Peas, green beans, shredded carrots, or chopped celery or mushrooms can be added.
  • Creamier: Add up to a cup of sour cream at the end.
  • Soupy: If you would like it a little more of a soup consistency add an extra cup of broth, water, or tomato sauce.
  • Heat: Add a sprinkle of chili flakes.
  • Instant Pot goulash: An easier hands off way to make this favorite!

Storing + Freezing

  • To store: Place any leftovers in an airtight container and store in the fridge for about 3 to 4 days. To reheat, simply microwave or heat on stove until warmed throughout.
  • To freeze: Place in an 8×8″ metal tin and wrap with foil. Then place tin inside a ziptop bag and add a freezer label with the date. When ready to eat, place in the refrigerator to thaw overnight and then cook at 350°F for 30-45 minutes, or until hot. You could also top with more cheese before baking.

5 star review

“This is a recipe I’ve gone to several times. It is everything it promises, fast, easy, and delicious. Finally, if you don’t have something this recipe is forgiving and adapts easily to anything you have on hand. My picky family always gobbles it right up.”

-Leigh
EASY Goulash Recipe - I Heart Naptime (6)

Frequently Asked Questions

What is traditional goulash made of?

Classic American goulash is a main dish made of ground beef, onion, bell pepper, macaroni noodles, tomato sauce and seasonings.

Can you make goulash with other meats?

I prefer to make it with ground beef, but you could also use ground turkey, ground chicken or ground sausage.

What is the difference between American and Hungarian goulash?

American goulash is made with ground beef where Hungarian goulash is made with beef cubes and simmered in a broth seasoned with paprika.

What should I serve with goulash?

We love to serve this goulash recipe with a chopped salad and artisan bread or garlic bread. Another great side dish is roasted vegetables.

Can you make it ahead of time?

Yes, this dish is great made ahead of time. It also makes great leftovers. I love to place the leftovers in a small baking dish and sprinkle with cheese. Then bake at 350°F until hot and bubbly.

EASY Goulash Recipe - I Heart Naptime (7)

Need more comfort food dinners? Try this turkey sloppy joe recipe, beef stew or cabbage soup.

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EASY Goulash Recipe - I Heart Naptime (12)

Easy Goulash Recipe

4.95 from 126 votes

↑ Click stars to rate now!

Author: Jamielyn Nye

This easy homemade goulash is made in one pot (including the noodles) in just 30 minutes. It's aclassic, family-favorite dish packed with tons of flavor!

Prep Time: 10 minutes mins

Cook Time: 20 minutes mins

Total Time: 30 minutes mins

Servings: 8

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Ingredients

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 1 bell pepper , chopped
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 ½ teaspoons seasoned salt , such as Lawry’s
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning , plus more to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce , plus more to taste
  • 1 (15-ounce) can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 (15-ounce) can beef or chicken broth , add an extra cup if desired (see note)
  • 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 ½ cups dry elbow noodles
  • Salt , plus more to taste
  • Ground black pepper , plus more to taste
  • Bay leaf , optional

For serving (optional): Shredded cheddar cheese and Fresh basil or parsley

    Instructions

    • In a large pot, cook beef, onion, and pepper over medium heat 3 to 5 minutes, or until brown. Drain any grease, if needed. Stir in the garlic, Italian seasoning, seasoned salt, and Worcestershire sauce. Let cook an additional 1 to 2 minutes.

    • Stir in diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, corn, and broth.Season with salt and pepper. Add bay leaf, if desired. Bring to a light simmer and add noodles. Stir and cover with a lid. Let cook 10 minutes, or until the noodles are tender, stirring halfway to prevent noodles from sticking.

    • Season to taste. Sprinkle cheese over top, if desired, and cover 1 minute, or until the cheese has melted.Add fresh basil or parsley, if desired. Serve while hot!

    Notes

    Variation:

    • If you prefer more liquid, add an extra cup of broth, water, or tomato sauce.
    • Also, this recipe is easy to add in extra veggies when cooking the onions. Sometimes I’ll add in chopped celery or mushrooms.

    Crockpot Version:

    You can easily make this recipe in the slow cooker if you prefer. I recommend cooking the ground beef ahead of time, then add all the ingredients to your crockpot and stir. Cook on high for 1 to 2 hours or low for 3 to 4.

    Add the noodles the last 30 minutes of cooking. until noodles are tender. Remove lid and sprinkle on cheese. Cover with lid for about 1 minute, until cheese has melted. Then add fresh basil if desired and serve!

    Storage: Place any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge up to 4 days. To reheat, simply microwave or heat on stove until warmed throughout.

    Freezer instructions: Place any leftovers in a 8×8-inch metal tin and wrap with foil. When ready to eat, place in the refrigerator to thaw overnight and cook at 350°F for 30 to 45 minutes, or until hot. Top with cheese before baking.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 243kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 35mg | Sodium: 1036mg | Potassium: 746mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 820IU | Vitamin C: 30mg | Calcium: 69mg | Iron: 4mg

    Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.

    Course: Main Course

    Cuisine: American

    Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!

    EASY Goulash Recipe - I Heart Naptime (13)

    Categorized as: 30 Minute Meals, 30 Minute Meals, American, Beef, Dinner, Freezer-Friendly, Freezer-Friendly, One Pot, One Pot, Pasta

    EASY Goulash Recipe - I Heart Naptime (14)

    Jamielyn Nye is the founder and recipe creator at I Heart Naptime. She is also the author of the I Heart Naptime Cookbook. Here you will find easy family-friendly recipes for every occasion.

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    187 comments

      • Rachelle Liddiard
      • EASY Goulash Recipe - I Heart Naptime (19)

      Completely obsessed with this recipe! It’s so yummy and truly so perfect, it’s on our monthly repeat meals!

      • Reply
      • LYNN OTTO
      • EASY Goulash Recipe - I Heart Naptime (20)

      My son and I just wanted to make goulash and found this recipe and made it together. It was wonderful and easy with most ingredients we had on hand. We LOVED the taste and will make it again. Thank you for the well laid out recipe!

      • Reply
        • I Heart Naptime

        That is great to hear! I am so glad that you loved this goulash so much!

        • Reply
      • Susan
      • EASY Goulash Recipe - I Heart Naptime (21)

      So flavorful! Loved

      • Reply
      • Gary

      American, my style. Diced tomatoes with lime and green chilies, beef broth for the noodles and hickory BBQ sause, no tomatoes.sauce

      • Reply
      • Svetlana
      • EASY Goulash Recipe - I Heart Naptime (22)

      Total comfort food right here, my kids devoured this!

      • Reply
      • Jennifer
      • EASY Goulash Recipe - I Heart Naptime (23)

      One of my families favorite dinner recipes. I love that I can make it on the stove or in the crockpot!

      • Reply
      • Dana
      • EASY Goulash Recipe - I Heart Naptime (24)

      Goulash is one of my ultimate comfort foods, it always makes me feel warm and cozy. I loved that this was all one pot to make for easy clean up and it was ready in a half hour. A great dinner for busy nights.

      • Reply
        • Jamielyn Nye

        I agree! Easy clean up for the win :)

        • Reply
          • Patricia Tester

          I have looked around for years for a recipe that was like my grandma’s recipe and I finally found it! Thanks

            • I Heart Naptime Community

            Thank you! I’m glad you came across this recipe :)

          • Dana G
          • EASY Goulash Recipe - I Heart Naptime (25)

          This is on our regular rotation here- my family loves it!

          • Reply
          • Sharina
          • EASY Goulash Recipe - I Heart Naptime (26)

          This is a new comfort food! So grateful that this goulash is so simple and easy to make, I could have them in just 30 minutes whenever I want.

          • Reply
            • Joyce P King

            Very true Granny an Mom recipe

            • Reply
          • Lois
          • EASY Goulash Recipe - I Heart Naptime (27)

          Delicious! I used no yolk noodles because that’s what I had. Thank you!

          • Reply
            • Jamielyn Nye

            So glad you enjoyed the goulash recipe :)

            • Reply
          • Rachelle
          • EASY Goulash Recipe - I Heart Naptime (28)

          So yummy!! I had no idea what Goulash was before, but now having tried it…obsessed! So cozy for Fall!

          • Reply
            • Taylor @ I Heart Naptime

            Isn’t it delicious? Definitely the perfect fall comfort meal. So glad you enjoyed the recipe, Rachelle :)

            • Reply
              • Joyce P King

              Yes of course

            • Sylvia Y
            • EASY Goulash Recipe - I Heart Naptime (29)

            I should have added more flavor because it was really bland.
            We like spicy but I didn’t add it thinking this would bring out full flavor.
            Any suggestions for next time.
            I will make again in few weeks.
            This time I won’t add just plain stewed tomatoes or Italian stewed tomatoes.
            I will add Mexican stewed tomatoes and green chili together.
            It’s okay for some that don’t like it hot..
            I just need to switch it up with being from Albuquerque I knew better than to make it without spicy seasoning.

            • Reply
              • I Heart Naptime

              Hi Sylvia, for additional spice you can try adding in some hot sauce or red pepper flakes. Fire roasted tomatoes (instead of regular diced tomatoes) are another good option.

              • Reply
                • Sylvia Y
                • EASY Goulash Recipe - I Heart Naptime (30)

                Thank you I will do that next time let you know how it turned out.
                Thanks for sharing your recipe.

              • Lisa
              • EASY Goulash Recipe - I Heart Naptime (31)

              I made this recipe tonight and it was sooo good!!!! I will make this again for my family. I had leftover sloppy joe meat and used this for the meat. It turned out fantastic.

              • Reply
                • I Heart Naptime

                What a great way to use leftovers! So happy to hear your family loved the recipe, Lisa :)

                • Reply
                • Joyce King

                Great idea!

                • Reply
              • Linda
              • EASY Goulash Recipe - I Heart Naptime (32)

              I love this recipe! My son lives about 3 1/2 hours away and works a lot he called home last night and wants me to make some up and send it home with his fiancé. The only thing I do different is I add black olives and of course a big dollop of sour cream on top.

              • Reply
                • I Heart Naptime

                So happy to hear you and your son both love this recipe! :)

                • Reply

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