Old Fashioned Ground Beef Goulash (American Goulash): A Hearty Family Favorite

Old Fashioned Ground Beef Goulash (American Goulash)

Why You’ll Love This Recipe


Old Fashioned Ground Beef Goulash, often referred to as American Goulash, is a timeless and comforting dish that has graced family tables for generations. This classic recipe offers a perfect blend of flavors, simplicity, and heartiness that makes it a go-to for home cooks. Here’s why you’ll fall in love with this delicious goulash:

  • Budget-Friendly Comfort: Old-fashioned goulash is a budget-friendly option that doesn’t compromise on taste. With simple, affordable ingredients, it’s a great choice for families looking for a hearty and satisfying meal without breaking the bank.
  • Versatile and Adaptable: This recipe is incredibly versatile, allowing you to adjust the ingredients based on what you have in your pantry. It’s a fantastic way to use up ingredients and reduce food waste.
  • One-Pot Wonder: The beauty of Old Fashioned Ground Beef Goulash lies in its simplicity and convenience. It’s a one-pot wonder, minimizing the cleanup and making it a practical choice for busy households.
  • Kid-Friendly Flavors: The combination of ground beef, tomatoes, and pasta creates a flavor profile that’s universally loved, making it a hit with kids and adults alike. It’s a reliable choice when you want to please a variety of tastes at the family dinner table.

Now, let’s delve into the nuances of American Goulash and address some common questions.


American Goulash vs. Hungarian Goulash

While the term “goulash” might initially bring to mind the Hungarian stew, American Goulash is a distinct dish with its characteristics. Here are the key differences:

  • American Goulash:
    • Typically made with ground beef.
    • Features a tomato-based sauce.
    • Includes pasta, most commonly elbow macaroni.
    • Often incorporates vegetables like bell peppers and onions.
  • Hungarian Goulash:
    • Traditionally made with chunks of beef.
    • Has a rich and hearty paprika-infused broth.
    • Served as a stew without pasta.
    • May contain potatoes and other root vegetables.

Old-fashioned goulash is great for families on a budget.

One of the standout features of Old Fashioned Ground Beef Goulash is its affordability. The use of ground beef, which tends to be more budget-friendly than other cuts of meat, makes it an accessible option for families looking to stretch their grocery dollars.

The combination of pantry staples like canned tomatoes, pasta, and simple seasonings ensures that you can whip up a satisfying meal without the need for extravagant ingredients. It’s a testament to the resourcefulness of generations past, who created delicious and filling dishes with humble components.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can I use a different type of pasta?
    • Absolutely! While elbow macaroni is traditional, feel free to experiment with other pasta shapes like penne or rotini.
  2. Is there a way to make it vegetarian?
    • Yes, you can substitute plant-based ground meat or crumbles for ground beef. Ensure you use vegetable broth and skip any meat-based seasonings.
  3. Can I freeze Old Fashioned Goulash?
    • Certainly! Allow it to cool before transferring it to airtight containers or freezer bags. Freeze for up to three months, and thaw and reheat when ready to enjoy.
  4. What other vegetables can I add?
    • Bell peppers, onions, and tomatoes are classic choices. You can also incorporate diced carrots, celery, or green beans for added variety.
  5. Can I make it spicy?
    • Absolutely! Add a pinch of red pepper flakes or a dash of hot sauce to amp up the heat. Adjust according to your spice preference.

In conclusion, Old Fashioned Ground Beef Goulash is a delightful journey into the heart of American comfort food. Whether you’re a fan of nostalgic recipes or introducing a new generation to this classic, the simplicity and flavor of goulash make it a cherished addition to any home kitchen. Enjoy the warmth and satisfaction that comes with a bowl of this timeless dish!

Old Fashioned Ground Beef Goulash (American Goulash): A Hearty Family Favorite

Old Fashioned Ground Beef Goulash (American Goulash)

Nothing beats a bowl of warm, hearty Goulash on a chilly evening. A classic recipe that never fails to please!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Course dinner
Cuisine American
Servings 8
Calories 370 kcal


  • 2 lbs ground beef or turkey
  • 3 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 large Yellow onion diced
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 15-ounce cans tomato sauce
  • 2 15-ounce cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 T Italian seasoning
  • 1 T Adobo Seasoning
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 T seasoned salt
  • 1/2 T black pepper
  • 2 cups elbow macaroni uncooked
  • 1 cup shredded Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1/2 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese


  • In a large pan, sauté ground meat over medium-high heat until half cooked. Remove from heat.
  • Add garlic, onions, and olive oil to the pan. Continue cooking until meat is fully cooked.
  • Stir in water, beef broth, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, Italian seasoning, bay leaves, seasoned salt, pepper, and Adobo seasoning. Mix well.
  • Lower heat, cover, and cook for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add uncooked elbow macaroni to the skillet. Stir well to combine.
  • Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes.
  • Once cooked, remove bay leaves.
  • Stir in cheddar cheese until combined.
  • Add mozzarella just before serving.
  • Enjoy this comforting, hearty goulash!
Keyword Old Fashioned Ground Beef Goulash (American Goulash)


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