Beef, tomatoes, noodles, and seasoning are all you need for my easy and delicious goulash recipe! It’s been a family favorite for nearly 20 years!
The first time I watched my husband make his easy goulash recipe, the Italian in me cringed. The conversation before he started went like this.
Him: “I’ll cook dinner tonight honey”
Me: “Ok great! What are you making?”
Him: “It’s just tomato soup, noodles, and hamburger meat”
Me: “Oh (long pause) ok (long pause) that sounds good (lies)”
As you can probably guess, since you’re looking at this recipe…it was delicious and has now been in our regular dinner rotation for nearly 20 years. My kids, sisters, nieces, and nephews all make it now too. Everyone loves it!
This is American goulash. Grandma’s goulash – and it’s not meant to be fancied up. This is the kind of recipe you want on lazy days when you’re craving comfort food and don’t feel like cooking. You can have it done in about 20 minutes!
What’s the difference between American and Hungarian goulash?
Hungarian goulash is more like a beef soup or stew with larger chunks of beef, vegetables, paprika, caraway seeds, and sour cream. It’s delicious. American goulash is a simple dish, usually consisting of ground beef and pasta in a tomato-based sauce, which can be anything from canned tomatoes to tomato juice. My husband, however, swears that tomato soup is the only way to go.
If you’re on a budget, this goulash recipe is for you.
Assuming you shop sales and stock up on beef when it’s the right price, you can make a huge pot of this for less than ten bucks. Add my oven-roasted broccoli as a side, and you’ve got yourself an easy, nutritious, affordable meal that will easily feed a family of four!
We don’t serve anything fancy with this. If the kids want bread, they grab good ‘ole sandwich bread and make “goulash sandwiches”. This is comfort food, after all 😉
How to make goulash:
Get the pasta cooking in a large stockpot.
While the pasta is cooking, in a separate skillet, cook the meat with all of the seasonings.
You’ve got a simple and comforting meal in about 20 minutes!
Tips for making goulash:
Always cook the pasta al dente before adding it to the meat and soup mixture. Once it’s all mixed up, the residual heat will continue to cook the pasta, and this ensures it’s not overcooked.
Use any pasta you want. Elbow macaroni is traditional but my family loves cavatappi noodles
Replace the water with beef broth for a little extra flavor.
Feel free to add veggies. Diced peppers, onions, and carrots can be cooked with the meat.
Change the flavors up by adding chili powder, cumin, and a can of kidney beans.
We like it Italian style with a little Parmesan cheese, but feel free to use cheddar, Monterey jack – whatever you like!
Serve this with:
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Quick & Easy Beef & Tomato Goulash Recipe
- Cook the pasta according to the package.
- While the pasta is cooking, brown the ground beef with all the seasonings.
- Add both cans of soup plus one can of water to the meat mixture.
- When the pasta is al dente, drain it well, and add it to the meat and soup mixture.
- Mix thoroughly, taste, and adjust the seasoning.
- Serve immediately with fresh basil, crushed red pepper, Parmesan cheese - if desired.