Rich and hearty, this American goulash recipe is an easy dinner ready in just 30 minutes. The flavorful sauce is packed with veggies, herbs and gooey melted cheese to create a comforting dinner the whole family will enjoy!
Why You’ll Love This American Goulash Recipe
With juicy meat, tender macaroni, and a savory tomato sauce, this recipe for American goulash is bound to be a hit! Here’s why you’re going to love it:
- Easy: The flavors in this beefy American goulash are complex, but the recipe certainly isn’t. This is an easy-to-make weeknight dinner that only takes 30 minutes!
- Hearty: Made with ground beef and sausage, earthy tomatoes, lots of cheese, and tender noodles, this goulash recipe will fill you up on a cold night!
- Kid Friendly: Goulash is one of those recipes that everyone loves, but especially the kids! Our kids always go back for seconds and they loving call this dinner “bowl of comfort”.
What Is American Goulash?
American goulash, also sometimes called American chop suey, is a popular comfort food that’s very common in the south and the midwest. There are a bunch of different variations, but they all usually include pasta, ground meat, tomatoes, and cheese. It’s kind of like a cross between a traditional pasta and a casserole.
Made with mostly pantry staples, you may have what you need to make this American goulash recipe on hand! For full detailed directions see the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- Ground Meat: We used a combination of lean ground beef and ground sausage, however you can even use ground turkey.
- Macaroni Noodles: Pretty much any type of pasta will work in this recipe, but elbow macaroni is traditional.
- Onion: We like to use a yellow onion, but a white onion will also work.
- Bell Pepper: Use a green pepper if you want a strong pepper flavor, or a red pepper if you want a milder, sweeter flavor.
- Beef Broth: Any type of broth or stock will work, but beef broth helps make the goulash rich and beefy.
- Canned Diced Tomatoes: Do not drain the tomatoes.
- Marinara Sauce: You can use a canned marinara or use your own homemade marinara sauce.
- Soy Sauce: This gives the sauce an intense, savory flavor.
- Worcestershire Sauce: Measure carefully, too much is overpowering.
- Seasonings: Salt, freshly cracked black pepper and a little Italian seasoning.
- Cheddar Cheese: Shredded cheese is an optional ingredient, but we strongly recommend it.
How to Make Goulash
You only need 30 minutes to make the type of stick-to-your-ribs weekday meal that will put a huge smile on your face. Head to the recipe card at the bottom of the page for full detailed instructions.
- Boil: Cook the pasta according to the package instructions. Rinse and drain well.
- Brown: In a large heavy bottomed pot like a dutch oven, cook the hamburger and sausage meat until no longer pink. Sauté the bell pepper, onions, and garlic with the meat until tender.
- Simmer: Add the beef broth, diced tomatoes, marinara, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper, and stir. Bring to a simmer, stir occasionally, and cook for 10 minutes.
- Finish: Add the pasta and the cheese, stir to combine, and serve!
This classic comforting dinner couldn’t be easier to make, but here are a few tricks and variations for you to try:
- Make it Southwestern. If you want to add a Southwestern twist to this recipe, you can replace the diced tomatoes with a can of Ro-tel. You can also add canned corn and/or green chilis!
- Make it spicy. If you’re a fan of heat, this beefy pasta dish is a great recipe to spice up. You can add fresh diced jalapeños when sautéing the vegetables, or use spicy ground sausage.
- Top with parmesan. You can add a restaurant-quality finish by garnishing with grated parmesan cheese.
- Add beans. If you want to make this easy goulash recipe a little heartier, add a can or two of rinsed and drained kidney beans.
How to Store & Reheat Leftovers
American goulash is easy to store and easy to reheat. Here’s everything you need to know.
- Fridge: Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
- Reheat: Reheat a serving in the microwave in 30-second increments. You can also place it in an oven-safe dish, cover it in aluminum foil, and reheat it in a 350°F oven for 15 minutes. You may need to add a little extra broth as the noodles will soak it up when stored.
- Freeze: Let the goulash cool completely, then transfer it to an airtight container. Freeze for up to 3 months. For best results, thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating.
More Easy Ground Beef recipes
- Crockpot Sloppy Joes
- Meatloaf and Vegetables
- Beef and Noodles
- Easy Chili
- Best Taco Meat
- Crockpot Lasagna Soup
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 lb ground sausage
- 16 oz macaroni noodles
- ½ cup diced onion
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 red or green bell pepper, seeded and diced
- ½ cup beef broth
- 2 (14.5 oz) cans petite diced tomatoes
- 24 oz marinara sauce
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons Italian seasonings
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, optional
- Cook the macaroni noodles according to the directions on the package. When the pasta is done cooking, drain it and stir a few times to keep it from sticking together.
- While the pasta cooks, heat a large heavy bottomed pot, like a dutch oven, over medium-high heat, then add the ground beef and sausage meat. Cook, while breaking the meat apart, until it is no longer pink. Drain any excess grease.
- Add the onions, garlic, and bell pepper to the pot, and cook for about 5 minutes, until the veggies are tender.
- Add the beef broth, canned tomatoes, marinara sauce, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning. Stir to combine. Bring the sauce to a simmer and let it cook for 10 minutes.
- Add the cooked pasta to the sauce, and add the cheese if using. Stir to combine. Serve immediately while hot.