Southern Goulash

Southern Goulash is a hearty and comforting dish that brings together ground chuck, tomatoes, macaroni, and a blend of spices for a flavorful meal. Topped with melted cheddar and Parmesan cheeses, this classic Southern recipe is perfect for cozy family dinners or anytime you crave a satisfying, homemade dish. Embrace the warmth and tradition of Southern cooking with this easy-to-make goulash that promises to fill your home with delicious aromas and bring smiles to the dinner table.

Ingredients :

For the goulash:

  • 1 pound ground chuck
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • ⅓ cup red or green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cups elbow macaroni, uncooked
  • 1 can stewed tomatoes (15 oz)
  • 1 can tomato sauce (15 oz)
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon seasoning salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon Cajun seasoning (optional)
  • Dash of Tabasco

For topping:

  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded


1. Brown Ground Chuck

  • In a large pan, brown ground beef with chopped onion and bell pepper until meat is cooked through and vegetables are tender.

2. Combine Ingredients

  • Add stewed tomatoes, tomato sauce, sugar, Italian seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, seasoning salt, garlic salt, black pepper, and Cajun seasoning to the pan. Stir well to combine.

3. Add Macaroni and Water

  • Pour in uncooked macaroni and 4 cups of water. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.

4. Simmer Until Tender

  • Cover and simmer until macaroni is tender and most of the water is absorbed. Adjust consistency by adding more water if too dry or allowing excess liquid to evaporate if too soupy.

5. Melt Cheeses

  • Before serving, sprinkle grated Parmesan and cheddar cheeses over the goulash. If using an ovenproof pan, place it in the oven to melt the cheese, or cover the pan and let the cheese melt on the stove.

6. Serve and Enjoy

  • Serve hot and enjoy this comforting Southern goulash with your favorite sides.

Serving and Storage Tips :

Serving Tips:

  1. Garnish Suggestions: Sprinkle chopped fresh parsley or green onions on top before serving to add a pop of color and freshness.
  2. Side Dish Pairings: Serve Southern Goulash with a side of garlic bread, cornbread, or a simple green salad to complement its hearty flavors.
  3. Family-Friendly Presentation: Serve in individual bowls or a large communal dish, allowing everyone to help themselves to this comforting meal.
  4. Customize Your Heat: Adjust the amount of Cajun seasoning or Tabasco to suit your preference for spiciness.

Storage Tips:

  1. Refrigeration: Store leftover goulash in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Reheat gently on the stove or in the microwave, adding a splash of water or broth to loosen the pasta.
  2. Freezing: Southern Goulash freezes well. Place cooled goulash in freezer-safe containers or resealable bags, ensuring to remove excess air. Freeze for up to 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
  3. Reheating: To maintain the best texture, reheat thawed goulash in a covered skillet over low heat, stirring occasionally until warmed through. Alternatively, microwave with a damp paper towel covering the dish to retain moisture.
  4. Batch Cooking: Consider doubling the recipe and freezing half for future meals. This ensures a quick and comforting dinner option on busy days.

By following these serving and storage tips, you can enjoy Southern Goulash freshly made or as a convenient leftover meal without compromising on its delicious flavors and comforting appeal.

Variations :

  1. Vegetarian Option: Replace ground chuck with plant-based ground meat or crumbled tofu. Use vegetable broth instead of water for added flavor.
  2. Mexican-Inspired Twist: Add black beans, corn, and diced green chilies to the goulash. Season with taco seasoning and top with a blend of Mexican cheeses.
  3. Italian Style: Incorporate Italian sausage instead of ground chuck. Use diced tomatoes with Italian herbs and mozzarella cheese for topping.
  4. Spicy Kick: Increase Cajun seasoning or add diced jalapeños or hot sauce to amp up the heat.
  5. Cheese Lover’s Delight: Mix in cream cheese or sour cream for a creamy texture. Top with extra shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese before serving.
  6. Mushroom Medley: Add sliced mushrooms along with the onions and bell peppers for an earthy flavor.
  7. Low-Carb Option: Substitute pasta with cauliflower rice or zucchini noodles. Adjust cooking time accordingly to avoid overcooking the vegetables.
  8. Greek-Inspired Variation: Use ground lamb or beef seasoned with Mediterranean herbs like oregano and basil. Top with crumbled feta cheese and chopped fresh parsley.
  9. Keto-Friendly Version: Replace macaroni with cooked cauliflower or shirataki noodles. Adjust the liquid and cooking time as needed.
  10. Seafood Twist: Incorporate cooked shrimp or diced fish such as cod or tilapia. Add seafood seasoning and garnish with chopped parsley.

Experiment with these variations to create unique flavors and cater to different dietary preferences while enjoying the comforting essence of Southern Goulash. Each twist adds a new dimension to this classic dish, making it versatile for any occasion or palate.

FAQs :

  1. Can I use ground turkey or chicken instead of ground chuck? Yes, ground turkey or chicken can be used as a leaner alternative. Adjust cooking times accordingly as poultry cooks faster than beef.
  2. How can I make Southern Goulash spicier? Increase the amount of Cajun seasoning, add crushed red pepper flakes, or include diced jalapeños or hot sauce to suit your spice preference.
  3. What can I substitute for elbow macaroni? You can use any pasta shape you prefer such as penne, rotini, or shells. Adjust cooking times based on the pasta type used.
  4. Is it necessary to use both stewed tomatoes and tomato sauce? Stewed tomatoes provide a chunkier texture and flavor, while tomato sauce adds thickness and richness to the sauce. Both ingredients contribute to the overall taste, but you can adjust based on personal preference.
  5. Can I prepare Southern Goulash ahead of time? Yes, Southern Goulash can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Reheat gently on the stove or microwave before serving.
  6. How do I prevent the macaroni from becoming mushy? Keep an eye on the cooking time and check the pasta frequently towards the end of cooking. Remove from heat promptly once the pasta is al dente to prevent overcooking.
  7. Can I freeze Southern Goulash? Yes, Southern Goulash freezes well. Store in an airtight container or freezer-safe bags for up to 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
  8. What side dishes pair well with Southern Goulash? Serve with garlic bread, cornbread, a simple green salad, or steamed vegetables to complement the hearty flavors of the goulash.
  9. How can I make Southern Goulash gluten-free? Use gluten-free pasta and ensure all other ingredients such as Worcestershire sauce and seasoning blends are certified gluten-free.
  10. Can I add additional vegetables to the goulash? Yes, feel free to add diced carrots, celery, or spinach for added nutrition and texture. Adjust cooking times accordingly based on the vegetables used.

These FAQs provide helpful tips and answers to common questions about preparing, storing, and customizing Southern Goulash to suit various preferences and dietary needs. Enjoy experimenting with this versatile dish and making it your own!

Southern Goulash offers a delightful combination of ground chuck, tomatoes, macaroni, and a blend of spices, topped with melted cheddar and Parmesan cheeses for a satisfying meal. Perfect for a cozy family dinner or any occasion, this hearty dish brings comfort and flavor to the table. Embrace the Southern tradition with this easy-to-make goulash recipe, and treat your loved ones to a taste of home-cooked goodness.