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Recipe: Old Fashioned American Goulash

When I was growing up my mom never really used any meal starters like Hamburger Helper, she always cooked things from scratch. Obviously she used helpers like canned tomatoes, pasta, etc. I often make goulash for my kids. I tend to make it different each time, as sometimes I’ll add some chili powder and rotel instead of regular tomatoes. That makes a “taco goulash” and the kids love it topped with cheddar cheese and a dollop of sour cream.

Goulash is a comfort food for me, and I love how easy it is to make, especially with only one pan. One pan dishes are the best as it’s easy clean up. This recipe is a bit versatile as you can add anything you want to kick it up a notch. BAM! Some people call this American Goulash, American Chop Suey, Beef Macaroni Dinner, Slumgullion, Johnny Marzetti, and who knows what else.


1 lb ground beef
1 TB garlic
1 c water
1 29oz can tomato sauce
1 15oz can diced tomatoes 
1 tsp Basil 
1 TB seasoned salt
1 TB Italian seasoning
2 c elbow macaroni uncooked
1 c shredded cheddar cheese


  1. Saute ground beef in large skillet. Drain grease. Add garlic and saute for about one more minute. Add water, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, Italian seasoning, basil, and seasoned salt.

2. Stir well.

3. Add the uncooked elbow macaroni to skillet, stir well, return the lid and simmer for about 30 minutes. 

4. Turn off heat, and add 1 cup of cheddar cheese right before serving.

Tamra Phelps

Tuesday 31st of March 2020

I think this dish was a standard in every American home, lol. We had this a lot when I was growing up. It's still a great comfort food,


Monday 14th of October 2019

I haven't had goulash in a long time. I'd forgotten how easy it is to make.


Monday 14th of October 2019

I have never had this but would love to. I really like recipes that have ingredients you have on hand.

Sandra Watts

Monday 14th of October 2019

Who doesn't love Goulash?! A great recipe staple that has been around forever!


Monday 14th of October 2019

I've been looking for a good Goulash recipe.