American Goulash is a fun, old fashioned family recipe that’s easy to make with just a few ingredients. 

Make this American Goulash Recipe for after the game, or to feed a crowd at a party or potluck. Made with ground beef, a few spices and some tasty pasta sauce it can be whipped up quickly and easily. 

American Goulash served in a white bowl, with a white pan in the background,

American Goulash


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What Is Goulash?

  • Popular in the Midwest and southern American states, goulash is also known by the fun name ‘slumgullion.’ It’s a favorite with the kids and it’s easy to sneak it a few healthy veggies, too!
  • Cook American goulash in one pot on the stove top, crock pot, or instant pot!
  • Goulash is a perfect comfort food dish for chilly Fall days!

American Goulash Ingredients

Goulash Ingredients & Variations

MEAT: Seasoned ground beef gives American goulash it’s rich and savory flavor, but it’s also a perfect way to use up leftover turkey, chicken, sausage, even meatballs! For a vegetarian goulash, switch out the meat for tofu and add some mushrooms, diced bell peppers, or diced potatoes!

PASTA: Traditional American goulash is made with elbow macaroni, but thicker kinds of pasta like penne, shells, or rotini will work, too!

SAUCE: A jar of pre-made pasta sauce is a real-time saver! Add some tomatoes and seasonings to make a signature dish!

How To Make American Goulash

  1. Brown the beef, drain & then add the sauce, diced tomatoes, & seasonings.
  2. Add noodles to sauce and heat through.
  3. Serve immediately.

In the Crock Pot: Sauté the onion with beef in a skillet. Place all ingredients in a crock pot and cook on low for 2 hours on low or 1 hour on high, or until the pasta is tender.

In the Instant Pot: Set the Instant pot to sauté and cook the onion with the beef. Drain and then add the remaining ingredients. Seal and cook on high for 25 minutes. Allow for a natural steam release. Stir and serve.

American Goulash ingredients being combined in a pan.

What Do You Eat With Goulash?

Goulash can be a whole meal in itself if veggies are added but you can also serve it with some of the best cheesy bread ever and a spinach and strawberry salad.

Recipe Tips – Can You Freeze Goulash with Pasta?

Leftover American Goulash tastes better the next day! Keep it covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days and reheat it on the stovetop, oven or in the microwave. It’s great as a next day lunch at school or work.  

American Goulash with a serving spoon

Other Easy Pasta Recipes

American Goulash served in a white bowl, with a white pan in the background,
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American Goulash

American Goulash is quick and easy using simple ingredients and flavorful spices. It's a hearty dinner ready in under 45 minutes!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Author Holly


  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 16 oz elbow macaroni
  • 14 oz diced tomatoes
  • 28 ounce pasta sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning


  • Brown beef and onions in a large skillet. Drain fat.
  • Add the pasta sauce, diced tomatoes, and seasonings to the beef. Simmer 15 minutes.
  • While sauce is simmering cook elbow noodles according to package directions.
  • Stir noodles into the ground beef sauce. Simmer 2-3 minutes. Season with salt & pepper to taste.


Optional additions
1 green bell pepper to cook with the beef and onions
5 from 6 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Nutrition Information

Calories: 327kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 35mg | Sodium: 927mg | Potassium: 772mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 566IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 53mg | Iron: 4mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American

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A bowl of American Goulash with text.

A serving of American Goulash with text.
Top image - bowls of prepared American Goulash. bottom image - American Goulash ingredients


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