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Beef Goulash

This Beef Goulash is my take on a Hungarian classic. In it, I use lots of vegetables to make it a one dish meal. Lean ground beef, lots of fresh vegetables and a perfect blend of seasonings are simmered in a rich tomato sauce. Add the pasta to the same pot and let it cook until tender and the sauce is slightly thickened. Top it with sour cream and a sprinkle of cheese and dinner is served.

Beef Goulash

Easy Beef Goulash Recipe

Classic Goulash has Hungarian roots, but like most dishes, it has evolved over the years as each cook put their own spin on it. While admittedly this is a departure from classic goulash, it’s a very popular family friendly variation that I serve quite often. This beef goulash dish is incredibly versatile making it a frugal moms best friend. It’s a terrific choice to serve at game-day or race-day parties in place of chili, and it only requires one pot, which really makes clean-up super easy.

Beef Goulash

How to Make the BEST Southern Style Beef Goulash Recipe

  • Ingredients you’ll need to make homemade Beef Goulash: Ground beef, elbow macaroni, water, olive oil, red and green bell pepper, onion, celery, carrots, water worcestershire sauce, tomato sauce and canned tomatoes.
  • Seasonings you’ll need: Chili powder, paprika, red pepper flakes, dried thyme, oregano, salt, black pepper, bay leaves, sugar and chopped parsley.
  • You can serve goulash just as is or topped with sour cream and shredded cheddar cheese.
  • Don’t be intimidated by the ingredient list, you likely have the vegetables you need in your crisper looking for something to make with them.
  • If you don’t have carrots, no worries just leave them out. No celery? Skip it.
  • This recipe is a terrific opportunity to use one of the vegetable pastas or macaroni to get even more nutritional goodness into this pot of goulash.
  • My version is a stove top casserole of sorts, and the add-ins can be adapted to suit your family’s preferences and what you have on hand. This is another one of those “don’t sweat the small stuff” moments in cooking.
  • You can adapt the liquid according to your taste. Follow the recipe, then at the end of cooking add additional water or beef stock to thin to your personal taste.
  • Store Beef Goulash chilled in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in single servings in the microwave or in a saucepan over medium heat. You may need to add additional water to thin when reheating.


Beef Goulash

More Easy Ground Beef Recipes to Make


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Beef Goulash

Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time45 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: beef-goulash-recipe, easy-beef-goulash
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 475kcal
Author: Melissa Sperka


  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 small red bell pepper diced
  • 1 small green pepper diced
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 1 medium carrot peeled & diced
  • 1 rib celery diced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 14.5 oz cans tomato sauce
  • 1 14.5 oz can fire roasted tomatoes
  • 3 cups dry elbow macaroni or twisted elbow macaroni
  • 4 cups water
  • Seasonings:
  • 2 Tbsp dark chili powder
  • 2 Tbsp Hungarian paprika
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dry oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • At the end:
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • grated cheddar cheese and sour cream for garnishing


  • In a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, saute the ground beef, bell peppers, onion, carrot and celery in a few drizzles of olive oil. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.
  • Cook until no pink remains then drain any excess fat from the pan. Add garlic. Sauté for another 1-2 minutes.
  • To the pan add the Worcestershire, tomato sauce, fire roasted tomatoes and seasonings. Stir in the pasta and water.
  • Simmer covered over medium-low heat for 25-30 minutes or until the macaroni is cooked to al dente.
  • Uncover mix in the chopped parsley and thicken with tomato paste, if needed.
  • Serve with a sprinkle of grated sharp cheddar cheese and a dollop of sour cream.


a) This dish works equally well with ground chicken or turkey.
b) Tomato paste can be used to thicken at the end of cooking, if needed.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 475kcal | Carbohydrates: 59g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 70mg | Sodium: 1253mg | Potassium: 778mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 3326IU | Vitamin C: 25mg | Calcium: 67mg | Iron: 5mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @melissassk or tag #melissassk!



      1. Normally cooked pasta doesn’t freeze well. An alternative would be to cut a bunch of the water out of the recipe and cook the pasta separately. While the pasta can no longer absorb the flavors of the recipe, it allows for you freeze the goulash.

      2. Pasta freezes very well, I’ve done it for years. If it’s overcooked, it won’t perhaps that’s why you haven’t had luck with it. Otherwise, yes, it certainly does. This goulash is freezer friendly.

  1. Just had this for dinner tonight – incredibly flavorful! And it made plenty to freeze for a second meal. Thanks!

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