This savory one-pot comfort-food – The Best American Beef Goulash recipe will be one to save in your personal recipe planner. It hits the mark on everything you’d want in a recipe. You can make it exactly as is in my recipe or you can shake it up and add your own flavors. You will love this dish and so will your loved ones!
Who came up with this dish?
Well, Hungarian immigrants familiarized Americans with this make-a-mom’s-life-easier dish! Hungarian goulash is a stew (also liquefied to be a soup) made with any kind of meat like veal, beef shanks, or pork. They also included peppers, root vegetables, and seasoned with paprika and a few other spices. Finally, they served it with a side of carbs including rice, noodles, or barley. I kept this recipe very simple by adding onions, paprika, and tomato to this delicious goulash soup.
Americans took this dish and put their own spin on it and took on the form of ground beef, onions, peppers, seasonings, and tomatoes. We serve with a side of macaroni or mix them in together. Often, this meal is considered very similar to kid-favorites “Beef-a-roni” and “Chili Mac”. I’ve also heard that it is reminiscent of olden-day school lunches when hearty delicious meals were a priority for students.
Why should you make The Best American Beef Goulash?
Originally, even as an old-fashioned Hungarian goulash, this recipe calls for affordable, usually on-hand ingredients. This makes this meal affordable because its ingredients aren’t expensive and can easily feed a large family for a couple days. The ingredients are almost always in your fridge and pantry so when you stumped, it’s a great go-to.
Another great reason to make this beef and macaroni goulash which is a classic staple meal that is a one-pot dinner since your pasta cooks right in the sauce. Less mess is always a yes which also make this the best ever goulash! You can make it on a Sunday evening to kickstart your meal prep for the first two days of the week. It’s also a great quick prep for a potluck. Get this, it’s also freezable for those hectic days when you need something super quick! More on that below.
Furthermore, this is a flavor-flexible dish. You can simply add the seasonings I’ve given you in the recipe below, OR you can add the flavors you and your family personally love. You can kick it up a notch by adding extra garlic, fresh ground pepper, or chili powder.
Taco Seasoning with Goulash?
If your kids love tacos, throw in some taco seasoning to accentuate the flavors. Some moms use a secret ingredient- (whispering) 2 tablespoons of sugar, if you don’t mind the extra calories! Others love to add their favorite cheeses on top: mozzarella, cheddar, edamame, etc., or even a mix of them. YUM!
This traditional simple goulash recipe is the perfect comfort food with its rich and savory flavors. It is ground beef goulash that is filling and replenishing during colder months and because it’s simple to make, it’s a worry-free option. It’s not time consuming! So, when you come home from a hard day of work or shuffling the kids around from rehearsals and practices, you don’t have to worry about a long drawn-out cooking process and preparation.
How can you properly freeze this dish?
- this dish is freezable for up to three months, Pack in freezer bags
- to thaw, run cool water over the bag of frozen pasta or you can boil water and put the pasta directly into it
- remove from freezer to refrigerator to thaw overnight
- preheat in microwave or saucepan
- be careful because when you freeze this dish, the pasta will continue to absorb liquid so it can become mushy when reheated
- if you choose to cook the pasta separately, be sure to strain it well and throw out excess water (not to be used in the goulash)
- if the pasta is cooked separately, you can freeze it separately
- after cooling the pasta completely, add one tablespoon of olive oil for every eight ounces of cooked pasta, and toss so that pasta doesn’t stick together
- the cooked dish also lasts in the fridge for 2-3 days
How can this classic American dish be served?
There’s nothing more compatible with a warm hearty meal such as this like a good piece of bread! Especially The Best American Minced Beef Goulash! What kind of bread you ask? Your choice! Garlic bread obviously works great with any macaroni and tomato sauce dish. You can also go with corn bread for more added texture. It’s a great idea to simply slather a thick piece of white toast or homemade bread with some butter. You can also take that bread and crumble over your dish, dip into the sauce, or swish it around until it absorbs all the good stuff and bite right into it! Yumminess overload!!
Any sides would accentuate this meal well. If you ask me, though, such a savory and warm meal works best with a cool side dish. Something like a salad of your choice, maybe with an Italian dressing. You can also opt for a slaw or a Mexican corn on the cob. Vegetables marry well with this dish, too. They can be steamed, roasted, mashed, or caramelized. Whatever makes you happy!
Want a low-sodium take on this traditional Goulash dish?
A great way to cut back on the salt in this recipe is to choose to make your own homemade tomato sauce base. Instead of using canned diced tomatoes or tomato sauce, you can create a broken down version. Peel a few tomatoes, dice them, and throw them over some low heat. Then, you can take out a portion and put it aside to use for texture and mash the rest and simmer on low heat to create a sauce. Sure, it takes much longer, but you’ll be saving on sodium!
Ingredients found in The Best American Beef Goulash
- ground beef
- olive oil
- yellow onions
- 2 Bouillon
- 1 green bell pepper
- cloves garlic
- tomato sauce
- diced tomatoes
- Worcestershire sauce
- dried oregano
- dried or fresh basil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- elbow macaroni
- Bay Leaves
How to make Goulash
PREP: add the ground beef, onions, bell peppers and garlic to a medium sized pot on medium-high heat and cook it, breaking it apart; about 5-7 minutes.
COMBINE: Now add the bay leaves, bouillon cubes, oregano, salt, Worcestershire, tomatoes, tomato sauce, fresh basil and water.
SIMMER: Bring to a boil, simmer for 10 minutes, then add in the elbow macaroni and reduce to low heat and simmer with a cover on for another 10 minutes.
Other recipes you might enjoy
- Easy Lebanese Spinach Pies
- Seven Spices Recipe
- Mloukhieh with Chicken
- Freekeh with Ginger Chicken
- Honey Mustard Harvest Salad
The Best American Beef Goulash
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 yellow onions chopped
- 2 bouillon cubes
- 1 green bell pepper chopped
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 3 cups water
- 3 cups tomato sauce
- 2 medium diced tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried or fresh basil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup elbow macaroni uncooked
- 2 bay leaves
- Add the ground beef, onions, bell peppers and garlic to a medium sized pot on medium-high heat and cook it, breaking it apart; about 5-7 minutes.
- Now add the bay leaves, bouillon cubes, oregano, salt, Worcestershire, tomatoes, tomato sauce, fresh basil and water.
- Bring to a boil, simmer for 10 minutes then add in the elbow macaroni and reduce to low heat and simmer with a cover on for another 10 minutes.