Goulash

Goulash

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I enjoy making Goulash on weeknights when I want a dish that is easy to make, that will fill hungry bellies, and will leave everyone satisfied.

This is an old-fashioned dish I grew up with as a girl. It was an easy meal to make, especially in the summer when you never knew what time supper would be served. I’ve mentioned before on here that I made a lot of our evening meals as a girl, when my mom and dad were working in the fields until late at night. This dish could sit on the stove and be warmed up, if necessary.

Serving Goulash with Peas

My mom served fried potatoes and fresh garden creamed peas with her goulash. And that’s how I serve mine. The flavors just seem to work well together. Along with a nice slice of wheat bread with butter. Yum.

Simple. Hearty. Satisfying. 

This recipe has seen a few transitions through the years. The addition of paprika and the decrease of chili powder.

I’ve seen recipes similar to this one that use macaroni and cheese. That would change both the texture and the taste.

American Goulash - Vintage Recipe - Weeknight Dinner

I’m not sure why it’s called Goulash. Goulash is technically a dish that comes from Hungary. A stew of sorts. This is apparently the American version.

 

Ingredients Needed to Make Goulash

  • lean ground beef – 80/20 – (or ground venison) 
  • yellow onion
  • minced garlic
  • chili powder
  • paprika
  • onion powder
  • garlic powder
  • tomato paste
  • whole plum tomatoes (crushed by hand)
  • elbow macaroni (uncooked)
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • water

 

Instructions for Making This Recipe

Ingredients for this Recipe

Gather your ingredients so that you have everything close at hand on the counter or table.

 

Prepare Ingredients

Using a Chef’s knife and cutting board, chop the yellow onion. Mince the garlic.

In a large bowl, crush the tomatoes by hand until reduced to small pieces of tomato.

If you don’t have whole plum tomatoes in your pantry, you may substitute diced or crushed tomatoes, or even a mixture of the two. I prefer the consistency of the hand-crushed tomatoes, which lends a thicker sauce as well as bits of tomatoes to the dish. 

 

Making Goulash

Browning the Ground Beef with Onion and Garlic

In a large skillet or shallow Dutch oven, brown the ground beef on medium heat. Add the chopped onion and minced garlic and cook until tender. If necessary, drain off any excess grease. 

This recipe works really well for using with ground venison (deer or elk). Simply substitute equal amounts of venison for the ground beef. If the ground venison is especially lean, you may need to add a few tablespoons of olive oil while browning.

Create a hole in the center of the pan and add the tomato paste. Stir into the paste the chili powder, paprika, onion powder, and garlic powder. Cook on medium-low heat for 2-3 minutes, pressing it into the pan and stirring so that it doesn’t burn.

Cooking tomato paste with other seasonings and herbs for a few minutes before mixing it with liquid is a great way to enhance your recipe. The bright red paste will caramelize into a dark rust color and will impart loads of flavor into the dish. 

Adding Hand Crushed Tomatoes to the Ground Beef

Add the hand-crushed tomatoes to the seasoned tomato paste and mix into the browned burger. Mix until all is incorporated. Continue to cook on medium-low heat for 5-7 minutes. 

Adding Water and Macaroni to the Dish

 

Adding Elbow Macaroni to the Dish

Stir in the elbow macaroni and 1 1/2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, stirring often.

Goulash ready to Serve

Cover and let simmer 20-30 minutes until the macaroni is tender, stirring occasionally and adding more water as needed. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper as desired.

Goulash with Ketchup

This recipe will serve 4-6 people. Serve with Pan Fried Country Potatoes and Fresh Garden Creamed Peas or mixed vegetables. (I like adding ketchup to my serving, but my husband thinks I’m weird that way.)

See more Main Dishes Here. Browse Weeknight Dinner Ideas Here.

New photos and changes were made to this recipe on 9/7/21.

Recipe for Goulash

Goulash

Here's a recipe I enjoy making for weeknight dinners. Some might refer to this as American Goulash. I like serving it with fried potatoes and new creamed peas.
4.34 from 3 votes
Print Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Lean Ground Beef, Macaroni, Plum Tomatoes, Quick and Easy, Venison Meat, Weeknight Dinners
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 6

Equipment

Knife Set
Cutting Board
Dutch Oven 3 qt
Spurtle Set

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef 80/20 or ground venison
  • 1/3 cup yellow onion chopped
  • 2 teaspoons garlic minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 28 oz. whole plum tomatos hand crushed
  • 1 1/2 cups elbow macaroni raw
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2-3 cups water add as needed

Instructions

  • Gather your ingredients so that you have everything close at hand on the counter or table.
  • Using a Chef's knife and cutting board, chop the yellow onion. Mince the garlic.
    In a large bowl, crush the tomatoes by hand until reduced to small pieces of tomato. 
  • In a large skillet or shallow Dutch oven, brown the ground beef on medium heat. Add the chopped onion and minced garlic and cook until tender. If necessary, drain off any excess grease. 
    This recipe works really well for using with ground venison (deer or elk). Simply substitute equal amounts of venison for the ground beef. If the ground venison is especially lean, you may need to add a few tablespoons of olive oil while browning.
  • Create a hole in the center of the pan and add the tomato paste. Stir into the paste the chili powder, paprika, onion powder, and garlic powder. Cook on medium-low heat for 2-3 minutes, pressing it into the pan and stirring so that it doesn't burn.
  • Add the crushed tomatoes to the seasoned tomato paste and mix into the browned burger. Mix until all is incorporated. Continue to cook on medium-low heat for 5-7 minutes. 
  • Stir in the elbow macaroni and 1 1/2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, stirring often.
  • Cover and let simmer 20-30 minutes until the macaroni is tender, stirring occasionally and adding more water as needed.
  • Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper as desired. This recipe will serve 4-6 people.

Nutrition

Calories: 374kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 54mg | Sodium: 628mg | Potassium: 710mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 460IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 77mg | Iron: 4mg
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4 thoughts on “Goulash”

    • I’m glad you made the dish your own. I like mine spicier as well, but hubby doesn’t, so I understand completely! Thanks for sharing.

  • 3 stars
    No minced garlic mentioned in ingredients but mentioned in directions. Calls for 1 1/2 cups cups of water in ingredients but 1 cup in directions. Extremely frustrating for someone new to cooking.

    • Hi Luke, I’m so sorry for the confusion of this recipe. Thank you for calling my attention to the missing garlic amounts in the ingredients. It should be 2 teaspoons of minced garlic. As for the water, I have included in the ingredients and the directions for amounts 1-1 1/2 cups of water, beginning with 1 cup of water and adding more as needed to make the desired consistency of the goulash. Again, thank you for your comment.

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