This goulash recipe is a simple stew with tomatoes, ground beef, cheese, and macaroni. The rest of the ingredients are there to build delicious flavor. It’s a comforting dish that even kids really like. American Goulash, also known as Old Fashioned Goulash is different from the Goulash that originated in Hungary. Hungarian Goulash is a stew with meat, potatoes and spices like paprika. American Goulash has some ingredients that you would put in an Italian recipe, but also includes Worcestershire sauce (how do you say that again?) and beef broth.

When I was growing up, my mom would serve us macaroni and tomatoes. She would preserve tomatoes in bottles and we had about 30-40 quarts of tomatoes sealed in a bottle each year. We would warm up the tomatoes and add macaroni to the tomatoes and eat it just like that. Sometimes she would add cooked, crumbled beef to it sometimes. It is similar to this goulash recipe, but she didn't call it goulash. Still to this day, macaroni with home preserved tomatoes is one of favorite meals. Every summer, I take a couple days and preserve farm fresh tomatoes with my mom. I take the bottled tomatoes with me in the RV, and we have the tomatoes and macaroni whenever we are craving something really simple. I add kosher salt and lots of fresh ground pepper. It is so yummy.

Comment below if you would like me to do a post on how to preserve tomatoes at home. I would be happy to show you that. You can even use the preserved tomatoes in place of canned tomatoes in my recipes.

One pound of ground beef is perfect for this American Goulash recipe, and I like to use the 85% OR 90%. I recommend draining some the fat off after browning the meat but leave a little fat in the pan for flavor.  Another step I recommend is cooking the elbow macaroni separately.  Pasta absorbs water quickly, and can make the pasta gummy and overcooked, and then after a bit it will absorb the broth in any soup and then you’ll just be left with soggy noodle sand a stew or soup that is lacking any broth. Cooking the noodles separately is especially important if you expect to have leftovers.


Serves 6-8

One pound ground beef

1 sweet yellow onion (Vidalia), chopped

½ tablespoon oregano

1 tablespoon Italian seasoning

2 teaspoons garlic salt

1.5 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 dried bay leaf

2-3 cloves of fresh garlic, minced

2 15-ounce cans fire roasted tomatoes

1 can of water, use a tomato can

1 15-ounce can beef broth

½ cup Traditional Prego®

Fresh cracked pepper, to taste

2 cups of uncooked elbow macaroni

Shredded cheddar cheese (about 2 cups), to taste





1.  Heat a non-stick deep frying pan or saucepan on medium high and add the ground beef, breaking it up into smaller chunks while cooking.  

2.  Sauté the meat for about 5-7 minutes and drain about half the fat. Return the pan to the stove and add the onions and spices. Cook for 2 more minutes.

3.  Reduce the heat to medium, and add the garlic, cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently.

4.  Add the tomatoes, can of water, beef broth and Prego® sauce to the pan and stir.

5.  Increase the heat to medium high and bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium low to simmer the sauce for 7-10 minutes.

6.  While the stew simmers, cook the pasta in a separate saucepan to al dente which means “to the tooth” so that the pasta maintains a chewy texture. Cook for about 5 minutes.

6.  To serve, scoop the warm stew into bowls, add a desired amount of macaroni in each bowl, and top with shredded cheddar cheese.  The hea tof the soup will melt the cheese.

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