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American Goulash

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American goulash is a simple, one pot meal made with macaroni noodles simmered in a delicious homemade meat sauce. Top it with cheddar cheese for an american goulash that rivals grandma’s! 

We love serving american goulash during the busy weekdays, all you really need is a side of caesar salad and some garlic bread for a complete meal. 

Two bowls full of american goulash topped with cheddar cheese and parsley.

American Chop Suey vs Goulash

The difference in american chop suey vs goulash lies in the additions. Both dishes are made with elbow macaroni simmered in a tomato sauce with ground beef, but that’s where american chop suey ends. 

American goulash ingredients include the addition of spices, and veggies like green peppers and onions. It is also topped with cheese. It’s similar to a chili mac skillet, but definitely stands alone as it’s own dish.

4 process shots showing american goulash being made in a stock pot.

How To Make American Goulash

Make sure you use a large stock pot, or you won’t fit all the ingredients. If you’re serving 4 people, halving the recipe will suffice. 

To make the best ever american goulash:

  1. Saute: cook the ground beef, then add green pepper and onions until translucent. 
  2. Simmer: Add everything but the macaroni and cheese, and simmer for about 20 minutes. 
  3. Serve: add the macaroni noodles 10-15 minutes before serving to cook. The goulash will finish thickening while the pasta cooks. Remove the bay leaves, and serve with cheddar cheese. 

American goulash is quick and easy, and definitely kid friendly. We love topping ours with a dollop of sour cream too! 

A pot of american goulash next to two serving bowls.

What To Do With Leftover Amercian Goulash

Leftovers? Perfect! They last up to 4 days in the fridge. 

American goulash can be reheated in the microwave or on the stovetop easily. It’s a great packed lunch for kids too, just add it to a thermos and you’re good to go! 

American goulash can be frozen, but it will lose some of it’s flavor and texture.

Other Delicious Additions:

Some of our favorite additions to american goulash include:

  • Meat: try substituting for pork, turkey, or Italian sausage. Bacon is a great addition too! 
  • Veggies: anything you need to use up works. We love adding celery, carrots, broccoli, and mushrooms.
  • Other: mozzarella cheese, parmesan, sour cream, and green onions are all delicious. 

A stock pot of american goulash topped with cheese.

Slow Cooker American Goulash

American goulash is simple to make in the slow cooker! 

  • Brown the meat and saute the onions and peppers as per the recipe
  • Add all ingredients to a slow cooker except the pasta. Reduce the amount of water to 1 cup. 
  • Cook on high for 4-5 hours or low for 8-10 hours. 
  • An hour before serving, add the macaroni noodles.

More Easy Pasta Recipes

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American Goulash

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 50 mins
Total Time: 1 hr
Servings: 10 servings
Author: Bailey
American goulash is an easy, one pot dinner made with macaroni noodles simmered in a flavorful ground beef sauce.
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Tried this recipe?I'd love to hear what you think. Leave a comment and rating below!


  • 2 pounds ground beef lean
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 1 green bell pepper diced
  • 5 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 jar tomato pasta sauce
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes with liquid
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper each
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 dashes worcestershire
  • 2 cups macaroni noodles dry
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese for serving


  • In a large stock pot, cook ground beef for 5 minutes or until browned. Stir in onions, garlic, and peppers. Cook until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.
  • Add pasta sauce, tomato paste, diced tomatoes with liquid, and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low to simmer. Add Italian seasoning, cayenne pepper, salt & pepper, worcestershire, and bay leaves. Simmer for 15-20 minutes.
  • Stir in dry macaroni noodles, and cook for an additional 20 minutes or until pasta is al dente. Serve garnished with cheddar cheese.
Calories: 426kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 78mg | Sodium: 818mg | Potassium: 954mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 857IU | Vitamin C: 27mg | Calcium: 158mg | Iron: 4mg

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A serving bowl of american goulash.

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