Goulash Recipe

Discover the rich and comforting flavors of Goulash, a beloved classic that’s perfect for family dinners. This recipe combines tender ground beef, aromatic spices, and pasta to create a dish that will warm you up on chilly evenings. Easy to make and bursting with deliciousness, it’s a must-try for any home cook!


  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 3 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans tomato sauce
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans diced tomatoes
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
  • 2 cups elbow macaroni (uncooked)
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese


  1. Cooking the Ground Beef: In a skillet over medium-high heat, sauté the ground beef until fully cooked. Drain any excess fat. Add minced garlic and sauté for about 5 minutes until fragrant.
  2. Creating the Base: Pour in water, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, Italian seasoning, bay leaves, soy sauce, and seasoned salt. Stir well to combine. Cover the skillet and simmer for 15-20 minutes, allowing flavors to meld.
  3. Adding the Pasta: Stir in uncooked elbow macaroni. Cover again and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until macaroni is tender, stirring occasionally.
  4. Final Touches: Once macaroni is cooked, turn off heat. Remove bay leaves. Sprinkle shredded cheddar cheese over goulash, allowing it to melt into the mixture.
  5. Serving: Serve hot and enjoy the comforting flavors of this delicious Goulash!

Serving and Storage Tips :

Serving Tips:

  1. Garnish Creatively: Sprinkle fresh chopped parsley or basil over each serving for a pop of color and added freshness.
  2. Pairing Suggestions: Serve alongside a crisp green salad or with crusty bread to soak up the delicious sauce.
  3. Family Style: Place the skillet directly on the table for a cozy and communal dining experience.

Storage Tips:

  1. Refrigeration: Allow leftover goulash to cool completely before transferring it to an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 3-4 days.
  2. Freezing: Goulash freezes well. Store in freezer-safe containers or resealable bags for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
  3. Reheating: Warm gently on the stovetop over low heat, stirring occasionally, until heated through. Add a splash of water or broth if needed to loosen the sauce.

By following these tips, you can enhance the enjoyment of your goulash while ensuring it stays fresh and delicious for later meals. Whether you’re serving it immediately or planning for leftovers, these simple steps will help you make the most of this comforting dish.

Variations :

Goulash is a versatile dish that can be customized to suit different tastes and preferences. Here are some creative variations to try:

  1. Vegetarian Goulash: Replace the ground beef with hearty vegetables like mushrooms, bell peppers, zucchini, and carrots. Use vegetable broth instead of water for added flavor.
  2. Spicy Goulash: Add diced jalapeños or crushed red pepper flakes to the sauce for a spicy kick. Adjust the amount according to your heat preference.
  3. Smoked Sausage Goulash: Incorporate sliced smoked sausage along with or instead of ground beef for a smoky flavor boost.
  4. Hungarian Paprika Goulash: Use Hungarian sweet paprika instead of Italian seasoning for an authentic Hungarian twist. Add a dollop of sour cream before serving for richness.
  5. Cheesy Goulash: Stir in extra shredded cheddar cheese or add cubes of cream cheese to the sauce for a creamy and indulgent variation.
  6. Mushroom Goulash: Enhance the umami flavor by adding sautéed mushrooms to the dish. They complement the beef and add depth to the sauce.
  7. Tex-Mex Goulash: Incorporate Tex-Mex flavors by adding corn, black beans, and a blend of cumin, chili powder, and oregano to the sauce. Top with avocado slices and cilantro before serving.
  8. Slow Cooker Goulash: Adapt the recipe for a slow cooker by browning the beef and garlic, then transferring everything to the slow cooker along with the remaining ingredients. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or until flavors meld and pasta is tender.
  9. Italian Goulash: Use Italian sausage instead of ground beef, and add sun-dried tomatoes, basil, and a touch of balsamic vinegar to the sauce for an Italian-inspired twist.
  10. Greek-Inspired Goulash: Substitute lamb for the ground beef, and add Mediterranean flavors such as olives, feta cheese, and oregano. Serve with a side of Greek salad for a complete meal.
  11. Seafood Goulash: Replace the beef with seafood such as shrimp, scallops, or chunks of firm fish like cod or halibut. Add seafood broth and a touch of Old Bay seasoning for a coastal twist.
  12. Indian-Inspired Goulash: Use curry powder, garam masala, and turmeric instead of traditional spices. Add chickpeas and potatoes for a flavorful, curry-infused goulash. Serve with naan bread or rice.
  13. Cabbage Roll Goulash: Incorporate flavors reminiscent of stuffed cabbage rolls by adding shredded cabbage and rice to the goulash. Cook until the cabbage is tender and serve with a dollop of sour cream.
  14. Creamy Mushroom Goulash: Enhance the dish with a creamy sauce by adding a can of cream of mushroom soup or a cup of heavy cream. Stir in sautéed mushrooms and serve over egg noodles.
  15. Greek Goulash: Use lamb or ground lamb, and add Mediterranean flavors such as olives, artichoke hearts, and a hint of lemon juice. Garnish with crumbled feta cheese and fresh parsley.

These variations allow you to experiment with different ingredients and flavors while still enjoying the comforting essence of goulash. Whether you prefer a traditional approach or want to try something new, these ideas will inspire delicious meals for any occasion.

FAQs :

  1. What is goulash? Goulash is a hearty stew or soup, typically made with meat (often beef), vegetables, and seasoned with paprika and other spices. It originated in Hungary but has variations across Central and Eastern Europe.
  2. Is goulash the same as stew? While both goulash and stew are hearty dishes made with meat and vegetables, goulash is distinct for its use of paprika and often includes tomatoes, creating a thicker sauce compared to traditional stews.
  3. Can I make goulash ahead of time? Yes, goulash actually improves in flavor when made ahead of time. Store it in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days or freeze it for longer storage. Reheat gently on the stove or in the microwave before serving.
  4. What kind of meat is best for goulash? Typically, goulash is made with beef, either stewing beef or ground beef. Some variations use pork or lamb. The meat should be tender and able to withstand slow cooking.
  5. Can I make goulash in a slow cooker? Yes, goulash adapts well to slow cooking. Brown the meat and sauté the vegetables and spices, then transfer everything to the slow cooker. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or until the flavors meld and the meat is tender.
  6. How can I make goulash spicy? To add heat, include diced jalapeños, crushed red pepper flakes, or hot paprika in the recipe. Adjust the amount according to your preference for spiciness.
  7. What are some side dishes that go well with goulash? Goulash pairs well with crusty bread, rice, mashed potatoes, or buttered noodles. A side salad or steamed vegetables also complement the dish nicely.
  8. Can I make goulash gluten-free? Yes, use gluten-free pasta or skip the pasta altogether and serve the goulash over rice or mashed potatoes. Ensure that all other ingredients, such as broth and sauces, are gluten-free.
  9. How do I thicken goulash if it’s too thin? If the goulash is too thin, you can mix a tablespoon of cornstarch with a tablespoon of cold water and stir it into the simmering sauce. Cook for a few more minutes until the sauce thickens.
  10. Can I customize goulash with different vegetables? Absolutely! Goulash is versatile, and you can add your favorite vegetables such as bell peppers, carrots, celery, or peas. Adjust cooking times to ensure vegetables are tender but not overcooked.

Goulash is not only a hearty meal but also a culinary delight that brings warmth and satisfaction to the table. With simple ingredients and straightforward preparation, this recipe is ideal for creating memorable family meals. Try it today and indulge in the comforting goodness of homemade Goulash!

Recipe Stats:

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Servings: 8