This recipe for Grandma’s American Goulash is pure comfort food made all in one pot. Made with simple ingredients: ground beef, canned tomatoes and macaroni.
A HEARTY AND TRADITIONAL AMERICAN MEAL
We call this recipe “American Goulash” because even though it is called goulash, it’s not the Hungarian version with paprika and whole cuts of meat. It goes by a lot of different names: Slumgullion, American Chop Suey, Johnny Marzetti (just to name a few.) This is my husband’s Grandma’s recipe for this classic favorite.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS :
They are actually very different. Hungarian goulash and American goulash are both hearty, one-pot dishes made with meat, vegetables, and spices, but they differ in a few key ways.
Firstly, the meat used in Hungarian goulash is typically beef or pork, while American goulash usually calls for ground beef.
Secondly, Hungarian goulash often contains paprika, which is a spice made from ground sweet or hot peppers, and gives the dish a distinctive reddish-orange color and smoky flavor. American goulash, on the other hand, typically uses canned tomatoes and tomato sauce for its base, which gives it a more tomato-forward flavor.
Lastly, the texture and consistency of the two dishes also differ. Hungarian goulash is usually more of a stew, with tender chunks of meat and vegetables, while American goulash has a thicker sauce and is more like a pasta dish with ground meat and macaroni.
If you are looking for a slow cooker version, be sure to check out my Crock Pot American Goulash recipe.
Yes, in fact I have a recipe for Instant Pot American Goulash here.
Yes, American Goulash can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator for up to three days. It can also be frozen for up to three months.
Absolutely! Ground Italian sausage, turkey, chicken or pork will all work. You could even use a meat substitute like Beyond or Impossible meats or soy crumbles.
I would pretty much serve the same side dishes I would with any other Italian pasta dish. A green salad, garlic bread, or steamed vegetables such as broccoli or green beans all work well here.
Just substitute with a similar sized pasta (like shells.)
INGREDIENTS NEEDED: (SEE RECIPE CARD BELOW FOR THE FULL RECIPE)
- ground beef
- crushed tomatoes
- tomato sauce
- Italian seasoning
- salt and pepper
- macaroni noodles
- grated Parmesan cheese (for serving)
HOW TO MAKE AMERICAN GOULASH:
In a large saucepan over medium heat, brown beef along with onion and garlic.
Drain excess grease. Stir in tomatoes (with juices) and tomato sauce.
Season with sugar, Italian seasoning and salt and pepper. Stir well and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.
Then add in cooked pasta and stir.
Allow to simmer for another 5 minutes. Sprinkle with a little grated Parmesan cheese.
CRAVING MORE RECIPES?
American Goulash (+Video)
- In a large saucepan, over medium heat, brown and crumble 1 pound ground beef along with 1 small onion, diced and 1 teaspoon minced garlic. Drain excess grease.
- Stir in 15 ounce can crushed tomatoes (with juices) and 8 ounce can tomato sauce.
- Season with 1 teaspoon sugar, 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning and salt and pepper, to taste. Stir well and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.
- Then add in 1 cup elbow macaroni pasta, cooked and stir. Allow to simmer for another 5 minutes then serve.
- Serve and sprinkle with a little grated Parmesan cheese.
- Add in additional veggies your family enjoys! Green peppers, diced tomatoes or mushrooms would all be great additions.
- Shredded cheddar cheese can also be added.
- A tad of sugar is added to cut the acidity from the tomatoes.
“The Country Cook” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.
Originally published: August 2013
Updated & republished: April 2020