Goulash is a perfect complement to a cold day outside and a cozy day inside! This hearty dish is easy to make and only requires a few ingredients. Make this easy, hearty, and yummy dish for your family, or have it all to yourself!
What Is Goulash?
Goulash comes in two main forms – Hungarian and American. These two types of goulash vary, but in the simplest sense, goulash is essentially a meat and vegetable stew.
Hungarian goulash is seasoned mainly with paprika and contains noodles, broth, potatoes, vegetables, onions, and meat. It is a historical dish of the country and is so beloved that it is one of the national dishes of Hungary.
American goulash is a popular recipe mentioned in cookbooks as early as 1914. In its original form, it was a seasoned beef dish, but now includes elbow macaroni noodles, ground beef, and tomatoes in some form. Most recipes call for canned diced tomatoes or a tomato sauce like Prego Sauce.
Most American goulash recipes include the same ingredients. Ingredients include:
- Ground beef (or hamburger meat)
- Elbow macaroni
- Rich and zesty tomato sauce
- Tomato paste
- Italian seasoning
It is up to you to make the tomato sauce that you prefer. If you have a homemade recipe that is to die for, use that. If you’d like, you can scoop up a Prego Sauce from the store. The store-bought sauce works just as well! Combine the store-bought jar of tomato sauce with a can of diced tomatoes for the perfect consistency.
The elbow macaroni is the typical pasta included in a goulash, but you can also use bowties or small shells to create the dish with the same end result. While any small pasta will work, steer clear of longer types of pasta like spaghetti or fettuccine.
The tomato pasta and Italian seasoning are the perfect compliments to the goulash. You can also mix it up and add your own spices as you cook to create a unique blend that you know your guests with love.
Optional ingredients include:
- Shredded Carrots
- Chopped Bell Peppers
- Worcestershire Sauce or Chili Flakes
- A Can of Drained Kidney Beans
- Cheese for Topping
The carrots and bell peppers will add a bit of sweetness to the savory dish. Plus, you can sneak a few more veggies into the meal! Adding Worcestershire sauce or chili flakes amps up the goulash’s flavor profile, and the kidney beans add more protein and substance to the dish.
- 700 grams Ground beef (or hamburger meat)
- 2 cups Elbow macaroni
- 2.15 oz Rich and zesty tomato sauce
- 1 Tbsp Tomato paste
- 2 Tbsp Italian seasoning
- 2 Garlic
- 1 Onion
- Begin by browning the ground beef and onion in a dutch oven or large poton the stove. If you want to add bell peppers, add them in now.
- Drain the fat from the meat, then add the garlic. Stir until fragrant.
- Pour in the entire jar of tomato sauce plus the can of diced tomatoes.If you choose to add Worcestershire sauce, add it now.
- Add in the Italian seasoning and dried macaroni noodles. Let it simmeruntil the noodles cook through.
- Stir in the cheddar cheese (Optional)
- Serve! It pairs best with rolls or other bread to add carbs to the mealand help you get every last drop of the liquid!
Tips & Tricks for the Perfect Goulash
Though this is an easy recipe, there are a few tricks you can use to ensure it comes out to perfection every time. The first is to use a reliable dutch oven or large pot. If you want to make this a lean meal, use ground turkey instead of ground beef.
If you want extra veggies, add in corn, carrots, peas, or even spinach! They all taste delicious with the flavors in the goulash and will make it more hearty and vitamin-enriched. If you want to make this recipe for fewer people, cut the recipe in half for a smaller outcome. It works just the same and turns out just as delicious!
One trick to create a creamier base is to add sour cream to the sauce at the end before serving. If you prefer a more soup-like consistency, add beef broth to make it soupier.
Nutrition Information of Goulash Recipe
Goulash is an inherently nutritious meal. Below are the nutrition facts for the base of this recipe, but if you add cheese, sour cream, or other vegetables, the nutrition facts will change, so be aware of that. These facts are an estimate. The recipe makes about 10 servings, so the nutrition facts are based on one serving.
Note: these nutrition facts are an estimate. Labels from various brands can be slightly different, containing more or less than what is listed here.
- 388 kcal
- 20 grams Carbohydrates
- 22 grams Protein
- 24 grams Fat
- 10 grams Saturated Fats
- 76 mg Cholesterol
- 918 mg Sodium
- 439 mg Potassium
- 2 grams Fiber
- 2 grams Sugar
- 174 IU Vitamin A
- 12 mg Vitamin C
- 134 mg Calcium
- 3 mg Iron
The optional additions will increase the total kcal count and will increase most other metrics, but if you keep track, add in the information from each ingredient depending on how much you use.
Whether you make a traditional Hungarian goulash or opt for the Americanized version, it is sure to be a meal your friends and family will ask for again and again! It is budget-friendly, time efficient, and a great way to warm up your night on a cold day. Try this recipe, and let us know what you think!
This is a big hit! I usually stick to the recipe
This is a wonderful keeper.
This was fantastic! Thanks so much for posting!