American Goulash You Can Prepare For The Family

Hungarian goulash is delicious stuff, to be sure, but that's not what's on the menu today, and that's far from a problem. "I've spent some time in Hungary, and Hungarian goulash is an entirely different dish than American goulash," says chef and recipe developer Sher Castellano. "Traditional Hungarian Goulash has pieces of cut beef seasoned with paprika and has pieces of dumpling or spaetzle. American Goulash is more like a macaroni dish or thick stew with ground beef, tomato, and bell peppers."

She adds: "This is a dish that my mother used to make growing up in my Italian-American household. While not an Italian dish, it was an alternative to our typical pasta dishes. American goulash is assumed to have become popular through poor Hungarian immigrants making the most out of similar but affordable ingredients that they could source."

And, indeed, you may already have all these ingredients on hand. If not, after the first time you make American goulash, you're likely to start stocking them!

Gather your ingredients to make this American goulash

To make up six servings of American goulash, you'll need olive oil, lean ground beef, a medium yellow onion, a medium green bell pepper, diced small, crushed tomatoes, diced small, water, garlic granules or powder, dried oregano, dried basil, black pepper, fine sea salt, uncooked elbow macaroni, and grated Parmesan cheese as an optional garnish.

Castellano notes that in place of the ground beef, you could also use chicken or turkey. A vegetarian ground option would also work.

Lightly brown the beef then start adding veggies to your American goulash

One of the best things about this recipe is the easy, methodical cooking method. All of the ingredients are cooked in one large pot or pan (or a Dutch oven), and everything is added in a logical order, with nothing ever needing to be removed and set aside or handled in any special way. 

Start by heating a large sauté pan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, and then add in the olive oil and ground beef and sauté for three minutes, or until the meat has just started to brown but remains a touch pink. Then, add in the onions and bell peppers and sauté for another five minutes.

Stir in garlic, tomatoes, and spices, then add macaroni to your American goulash

After five minutes of stirring and cooking your American goulash, the onion should be growing translucent and fragrant. Add in the tomatoes, garlic, oregano, basil, salt, and pepper, and stir well to combine all of the ingredients. (If you like a spicier dish, you can increase the black pepper and even add some red pepper flakes or cayenne at this stage, for the record.)

Now, add in the water and bring the dish to a simmer. Once it's simmering, add in macaroni and cook for around 12 minutes, or until the macaroni is cooked through and tender.

Serving your American goulash

You can ladle out large servings of American goulash into bowls, and depending on each diner's preference, you can top the servings with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. "This is a very hearty dish," says Castellano, and it makes a meal in and of itself, "but it could be great paired with a big green salad and/or crusty bread."

As for any leftovers, she says it will keep "for up to three days in the refrigerator, or it can be frozen for up to six months." Re-heat chilled or frozen portions right back in the big pan, maybe with a dash of olive oil to freshen things up.

American Goulash You Can Prepare For The Family
5 from 32 ratings
You may already have all these ingredients on hand. If not, after the first time you make American goulash, you're likely to start stocking them!
Prep Time
10
minutes
Cook Time
25
minutes
Servings
6
servings
American Goulash
Total time: 35 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, diced small
  • 15 ounces crushed tomatoes, diced small
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • ½ teaspoon garlic granules
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 ounces elbow macaroni (uncooked)
Optional Ingredients
  • Grated Parmesan cheese, garnish
Directions
  1. Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, then add in the olive oil and ground beef and sauté for 3 minutes or until beef starts browning but remains a touch pink.
  2. Add in the onions and bell peppers and sauté for another 5 minutes.
  3. Add in the tomatoes, garlic, oregano, basil, salt, and pepper and stir, then add in the water and bring to simmer.
  4. Once simmering, add in macaroni and cook for 12 minutes or until the macaroni is tender.
  5. Serve warm with optional grated Parmesan cheese if desired.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 316
Total Fat 17.9 g
Saturated Fat 6.1 g
Trans Fat 0.9 g
Cholesterol 53.7 mg
Total Carbohydrates 21.9 g
Dietary Fiber 2.6 g
Total Sugars 4.8 g
Sodium 380.3 mg
Protein 17.0 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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