This site contains affiliate links. Please see Disclosure Policies for more information.This goulash recipe screams comfort on a plate! This simple goulash recipe is the perfect meal on those cool nights when you are wanting something simple but full of flavor. It makes a big batch so it’s perfect for a crowd, a potluck meal, or to make for a friend in need!
In our home we love pasta dishes this time of year so we find ourselves alternating between this simple goulash recipe and roasted tomato pasta each week on pasta night. And, our hamburger casserole is a simple beef noodle dish that you’ll love.
Simple Goulash Recipe
This easy goulash recipe is another one of my favorites to make. The flavors meld together so well and it is so easy to make.
This goulash recipe comes together so quickly. With just a little bit of prep work, we have the perfect comfort dish on cooler fall and winter nights in our home.
I love the smells that come out of the kitchen as this easy goulash recipe simmers on the stove to perfection.
If you love goulash, you’ll really enjoy our light and hearty hamburger soup recipe. It’s a family recipe passed down that we love.
My favorite part of this Easy Goulash Recipe
When it comes to this easy goulash recipe, the flavor cannot be beat. Combining these seasonings and spices together take this American Goulash to a whole new level.
I love the smells that percolate in the kitchen as this easy goulash recipe cooks on the stove. It reminds me so much of being back at home growing up.
Goulash Recipe Ingredients
- Lean Ground Beef- Ground beef is a staple in American Goulash. Pick a lean ground beef so that there is less fat and more opportunity for great flavors to come from other key ingredients in this goulash recipe.
- Ground Turkey- Not typically found in most goulash recipes is ground turkey, but to be honest, this is one of my favorite additions. Not only does it make it a little healthier, but brings even more flavor to this comfort dish.
- Onions- Onions are a staple for goulash. Choose a sweet or yellow onion to really help the other flavors pull together.
- Tomato Sauce- Tomato sauce is the base of goulash recipes. Be sure to not skimp on how much you put in. It might seem like a lot, but it will reduce down as it cooks/ simmers.
- Diced Tomatoes- Grab plain flavored diced tomatoes to take advantage of the other flavors in this dish.
- Garlic- Garlic is much needed to add a little depth to the flavors. Not only that, but garlic is very nutritious.
- Italian Season- Italian season helps make this comfort dish become goulash. Be sure to add the 2 Tablespoons in the recipe because it is needed to really make this goulash recipe pop with flavor.
- Bay Leaves- Bay leaves help transform the goulash recipe as the flavors come together. It helps add a bit of sweetness as the juices reduce down a bit. You do not want to eat the bay leaf after cooking with it, so you will want to discard it after cooking, or you can do what my mom used to do, if you find the bay leaf in your goulash dish, then you don’t have to help clean up dinner!
- Soy Sauce- Soy sauce is another flavor that just works in this simple goulash dish. I opt for the low sodium soy sauce so that it is a little healthier for you.
- Seasoned Salt- Grab your seasoned salt and add it to this dish to enhance the flavor of all the other components of this dish.
- Elbow Macaroni- A staple in goulash recipes, elbow macaroni is the perfect noodle to use.
- Salt, Pepper, and Garlic Powder- These three seasonings really pull this American Goulash dish together, so don’t forget to add them, because salt, pepper, and garlic powder can do a lot for your dish!
How to make this Goulash Recipe
Making this simple goulash recipe does not take a lot of prep time. Be sure to not skimp on the simmering time because this American Goulash really combines the flavors nicely as it simmers on the stove.
- In a large pot, you will want to saute the lean ground beef and the ground turkey over medium-high heat until no pink remains. You will want to break up the meat while this is sauteing.
- Spoon off any grease.
- Then add the onion to the pot and saute them until they are tender. This will take about 5 minutes.
- Next add 3 cups of water, the tomato sauce, tomatoes, garlic, Italian seasoning, bay leaves, soy sauce, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and seasoned salt.
- Stir to combine these flavors.
- Put the lid on your pot and allow these to cook for 20 to 25 minutes.
- Add the elbow macaroni and stir to combine.
- Place the lid on the pot, and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Turn off heat, remove bay leaves and serve.
Tips and notes for making American Goulash
- Don’t skimp on the spices/ seasoning. These are adding so much flavor to the goulash recipe. Although it might seem like a lot, add what the recipe calls for.
- If you family is not a fan of ground turkey you can substitute it for more ground beef or even ground pork. The same is true for the lean ground beef.
- Don’t forget to spoon off the extra grease. If you don’t your goulash will end up being more on the greasy side.
- Be sure you let this goulash recipe simmer for the time suggested. This allows the flavors to combine nicely with one another.
What is the difference between Hungarian goulash and American goulash?
This easy goulash recipe is also known as American goulash, or slumgullion. It is similar to American chop suey and is the ultimate comfort dish in America.
Hungarian goulash, on the other hand, does not really have much in common with American goulash except for its name and the fact that they both have ground beef and paprika (Although this goulash recipe does not).
Hungarian goulash tends to be more hearty and doesn’t typically have pasta, although you could add it in if you prefer that.
What is the difference between goulash and chili?
It might surprise you, but there are not a lot of differences between the bases of goulash and chili.
Both the goulash recipe and the chili recipe have a tomato based soup/ stew to them combined with a spices/ seasonings.
Once this base is made then goulash and chili take on different roles, goulash recipes typically add elbow macaroni noodles and chili adds in the beans.
Once these are added both the goulash and the chili simmer to combine the flavors for a comfort dish that can’t be beat.
What is different about this American Goulash?
I love this American goulash recipe not only because it is full of so much flavor, but also because it combines ground beef as well as ground turkey for a healthier version of goulash. d
By doing this, and using a lean ground beef, the calories and fat dramatically go down so I can feel good about serving my family this simple goulash recipe more often.
What should I serve with Goulash?
This goulash recipe is great by itself and has enough flavor to satisfy everyone’s taste buds, but it is great with
- A small side salad
- A dinner roll
Looking for other main dishes?
- 2 lbs ground beef lean
- 1 lb ground turkey
- 2 onions
- 3 cups water
- 1 29-ounce can tomato sauce
- 2 15-ounce cans diced tomatoes
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tbsp Italian seasoning
- 3 bay leaves
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp seasoned salt
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 2 cups elbow macaroni
- In large stock pan, saute the ground beef and turkey over medium to high heat, breaking up meat as it cooks. Cook until no pink remains.
- Spoon off excess grease.
- Chop onions and place in pot with meat. Cook 5 minutes or until onions are cooked.
- Add water, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, garlic, Italian seasoning, soy sauce, seasoned salt, garlic powder, salt, and pepper and stir. Add bay leaves and stir.
- Place lid on pot and cook for 20-25 minutes until goulash is heated through.
- Add elbow macaroni and stir. Place lid on pot and simmer for additional 20 minutes.
- Turn off heat and remove bay leaves. Let sit 5-10 minutes before serving.
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