Grandma’s Goulash

Step into the cozy warmth of nostalgic kitchens with Grandma’s Goulash, a timeless comfort food that fills the home with irresistible aromas and flavors. This cherished recipe combines simple ingredients with effortless preparation to create a satisfying meal that’s perfect for busy weeknights or lazy Sundays. With its savory blend of ground beef, tender macaroni noodles, and rich tomato broth, this goulash promises to delight taste buds and evoke fond memories with every comforting spoonful.


1 lb ground beef
1 cup sweet onions, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
1 ½ tsp celery salt
1 ½ tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 cups macaroni noodles, uncooked
2 ½ cups tomato juice
2 cups water
2 beef bouillon cubes
Dash of pepper
Green onions, sliced (for garnish, optional)


  1. Begin by heating a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef, chopped onions, minced garlic, and salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the beef is browned and the onions are tender.
  2. In a separate bowl, dissolve the beef bouillon cubes in water to create a flavorful broth. Pour the broth into the skillet, stirring well to incorporate.
  3. Next, add the tomato juice, Worcestershire sauce, celery salt, and a dash of pepper to the skillet. Stir the mixture thoroughly and bring it to a gentle boil.
  4. Once the mixture is boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low and cover the skillet. Allow the goulash to simmer for approximately 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure even cooking.
  5. After 20 minutes, add the uncooked macaroni noodles to the skillet. Cover once again and continue to simmer the goulash on medium-low heat for an additional 20 minutes, or until the noodles are tender. Stir the mixture frequently to prevent the noodles from sticking to the bottom of the skillet.
  6. Once the noodles are cooked to perfection, remove the skillet from heat. If desired, garnish the goulash with sliced green onions for a pop of color and freshness.
  7. Serve Grandma’s Goulash hot, spooned generously into bowls for a comforting meal that’s sure to warm both body and soul.

Nutritional Information:

  • Prep Time: 5 min
  • Cooking Time: 50 min
  • Total Time: 55 min
  • Approximate Calories per Serving: 350
  • Servings: 6

Serving and Storage Tips:

  1. Serving Suggestions: When serving Grandma’s Goulash, consider pairing it with a simple side salad or some crusty bread to soak up the flavorful broth. For added indulgence, sprinkle some grated Parmesan cheese over each serving for an extra layer of richness. This hearty dish is perfect for family dinners, potlucks, or cozy gatherings with friends.
  2. Make-Ahead Convenience: Grandma’s Goulash is an excellent dish for meal prep. You can prepare it in advance and store it in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Simply reheat individual portions in the microwave or on the stovetop for a quick and satisfying meal anytime hunger strikes.
  3. Freezing Instructions: To extend the shelf life of your goulash, consider freezing individual portions in airtight containers or freezer bags. Properly stored, it can last in the freezer for up to 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating for best results.
  4. Flavor Enhancement: The flavors of Grandma’s Goulash tend to deepen and develop over time, making it even more delicious as leftovers. For an extra burst of flavor, consider adding a splash of beef broth or tomato juice when reheating to revive the rich taste of the dish.
  5. Customization Options: Feel free to customize Grandma’s Goulash to suit your taste preferences. You can add extra vegetables such as bell peppers, carrots, or mushrooms for added texture and nutrition. Additionally, you can adjust the seasoning levels to your liking by adding more salt, pepper, or herbs such as thyme or oregano.


  1. Vegetarian Twist: For a meatless version of Grandma’s Goulash, simply substitute the ground beef with plant-based alternatives such as crumbled tofu, textured vegetable protein (TVP), or cooked lentils. You can also bulk up the dish with additional vegetables like diced bell peppers, zucchini, or eggplant for added flavor and nutrition.
  2. Cheesy Delight: Give Grandma’s Goulash a cheesy upgrade by stirring in a generous amount of shredded cheddar, mozzarella, or Parmesan cheese during the final minutes of cooking. The melted cheese adds a creamy richness to the dish that is sure to please cheese lovers of all ages.
  3. Spicy Kick: Add some heat to Grandma’s Goulash by incorporating diced jalapeños, crushed red pepper flakes, or a sprinkle of cayenne pepper for a spicy twist. Adjust the amount of spice to suit your taste preferences and enjoy the fiery flavor sensation.
  4. Herbaceous Infusion: Elevate the flavor profile of Grandma’s Goulash by incorporating fresh or dried herbs such as basil, parsley, or thyme. These aromatic herbs add depth and complexity to the dish, enhancing its overall taste and aroma.
  5. Global Inspiration: Take inspiration from different cuisines around the world to put a unique spin on Grandma’s Goulash. For example, you can add Middle Eastern flavors by incorporating spices like cumin, coriander, and cinnamon. Alternatively, you can infuse Asian flair by adding soy sauce, ginger, and sesame oil.
  6. Creamy Comfort: For a creamy variation of Grandma’s Goulash, stir in a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt just before serving. The creamy tanginess adds a luxurious texture to the dish, making it even more indulgent and satisfying.
  7. Seafood Surprise: Switch up the protein in Grandma’s Goulash by replacing the ground beef with seafood such as shrimp, crab, or diced fish fillets. The seafood adds a delicious oceanic flavor to the dish, creating a delightful variation that seafood enthusiasts will adore.

Experiment with these creative variations to put your own unique spin on Grandma’s Goulash and discover new flavor combinations that will delight your taste buds and impress your dinner guests. Whether you prefer it spicy, cheesy, or packed with veggies, there’s a variation of this classic comfort food to suit every palate.

FAQs :

  1. Can I use ground turkey instead of ground beef in Grandma’s Goulash? Yes, you can definitely substitute ground turkey for ground beef in this recipe. It will alter the flavor slightly, but still yield a delicious and nutritious dish.
  2. Is there a gluten-free option for the macaroni noodles? Absolutely! You can use gluten-free macaroni noodles or any other gluten-free pasta of your choice to make this goulash suitable for those with gluten sensitivities.
  3. Can I make Grandma’s Goulash ahead of time and freeze it? Yes, Grandma’s Goulash is freezer-friendly. Simply prepare the dish as directed, let it cool completely, then portion it into freezer-safe containers or bags. It can be stored in the freezer for up to 2-3 months.
  4. How do I reheat Grandma’s Goulash? To reheat, simply thaw the frozen goulash overnight in the refrigerator if necessary, then reheat it in a microwave-safe dish or on the stovetop until heated through. Add a splash of water or broth if needed to prevent it from drying out.

Grandma’s Goulash is more than just a recipe; it’s a cherished tradition that brings families together around the dinner table. With its rich flavors and simple preparation, this comforting dish is sure to become a favorite in your household. Whether you’re seeking a quick and easy weeknight dinner or a hearty meal to savor on a lazy afternoon, this authentic goulash recipe promises to satisfy your cravings and warm your heart with every delicious bite.