Cheesy Beef Goulash

Cheesy Beef Goulash Recipe - a family favorite that is simple, delicious and perfect for dinner any day of the week.

Gou-lash: A mixture of many different elements; a hodgepodge. Sometimes, I feel like my brain is Goulash! Do you ever feel that way? Too many things to think about and worry about, and sometimes it can feel like one big hodgepodge! And my life is pretty average compared to most. I guess we all have our different versions and levels of goulash in our lives. Having said all that, we are excited to be sharing this Cheesy Beef Goulash recipe with you today, which is a good kind of goulash. 🙂 It is filled with noodles, hamburger, tomatoes and cheese!!

I’m all about simple these days and this recipe is just that! Although it has a number of different seasonings, it is just simple enough to please all ages. The kids loved it, the husband loved it, Grandma and Papa loved it! EVERYONE loves it!! Try it out and tell us how much you and your family loved it too.

How to make goulashBeef Goulash Recipe

Look at that CHEESE!!

Such a cheesy, delicious dinner idea that everyone will enjoy!! We hope you enjoy this goulash as much as we do. 🙂

How To Make Goulash Video:


Check Out My Other Recipes


Here is the printable Hamburger Goulash recipe:

4.8 from 38 reviews
Cheesy Beef Goulash
This Cheesy Beef Goulash Recipe is a family favorite that is simple, delicious and perfect for dinner any day of the week. It's also a hit with the kids making it a hit with the whole family.
Recipe type: Main Dish
Cuisine: American
Serves: 6-7
  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 3 tsp minced garlic
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans tomato sauce
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans diced tomatoes
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3 TB soy sauce
  • 1 TB seasoned salt
  • 2 TB Italian seasoning
  • 2 cups elbow macaroni, uncooked
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  1. Saute ground beef in skillet over medium-high heat until cooked. Drain. Add garlic and saute for about 5 minutes. Add water, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, italian seasoning, bay leaves, soy sauce, and seasoned salt. Stir well. Cover and allow to cook for 15-20 minutes.
  2. Add the uncooked elbow macaroni to skillet, stir well, return the lid and simmer for about 30 minutes. Turn off heat, remove the bay leaves, and add 1 cup of cheddar cheese right before serving.


  • DIFFICULTY: Simple
  • HOW MANY DOES IT FEED: 7ish, more if you’re feeding little mouths.
  • ANY CHANGES MADE: We did not add any onions to this recipe. We typically use minced garlic and we omitted Paula Deans seasoning. We also added one cup of cheese.
  • ANY SUGGESTIONS FOR NEXT TIME: Next time, I would love to try egg noodles, for more of a stroganoff feel.

Check out this delicious pasta recipe that is another favorite:

Triple Cheddar Chicken Pasta

Triple Cheddar Chicken Pasta - this creamy, cheesy pasta dish is simple and will be a hit with the entire family!

For more great, cheesy dinner ideas, check out:


Cheesy Beef Ghoulash - a delicious, hearty and cheesy dinner recipe the entire family will love.

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Lil' Luna
Kristyn is passionate about sharing ALL things creative! From recipes and tips to crafts and DIY projects, Kristyn loves to share with her readers how to be creative and how to do things simply. When not creating, she is busy going on adventures with her 5 children (ages 9 to 2) and with her best friend/husband, Lorin.
Lil' Luna

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About Lil' Luna

Kristyn is passionate about sharing ALL things creative! From recipes and tips to crafts and DIY projects, Kristyn loves to share with her readers how to be creative and how to do things simply. When not creating, she is busy going on adventures with her 5 children (ages 9 to 2) and with her best friend/husband, Lorin.

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  1. 1

    Yum – thank you

  2. 2

    I make this a few times a month, I love it! So good!
    DessertForTwo recently posted..Love Bark: Rose + ChocolateMy Profile

  3. 3

    I actually have never made goulash so I need to try this soon! It would go over well with my family!
    Nancy | The Bitter Side of Sweet recently posted..Ratatouille PoutineMy Profile

    • 4

      it seems to be a lovely and very delicious meal, however, this is not a goulash (or authentically spelt: gulyás) in any way or on any level. you should definitely give this recipe a try as it looks great, just make sure to call it something else.

      • 5

        This recipe is American-style goulash, which is very common and popular, especially in the Mid and Southwest. Its also known as American Chop-Suey in some places. Its one of those dishes that was during poor economic times to stretch food budgets and was given a familiar, Old World style name is all.

        I myself learned to make authentic Hungarian Goulash from a Hungarian roommate I had in college, but grew up eating this style too and it is good in a totally different way. 🙂

      • 7

        If u dont like that this is called goulash, dont make it….i guess u are the food queen on what dishes are called

      • 8

        I actually call this homemade beefaroni. Sometimes I use tomato soup instead of diced. Nice and creamier

      • 11

        It’s GOULASH here in America!

      • 12

        I’m sure what you know as goulash doesn’t represent this dish… however in America, calling this goulash is extremely accurate. It also clearly says this is an American dish as well…

  4. 13

    That melty cheese…. wow it looks so good!!
    Amanda | The Chunky Chef recently posted..Glazed Chocolate Cherry CookiesMy Profile

  5. 14

    When I hear the word goulash, I think of my mom’s version which always had chunks of tomatoes and chewy beef. It was horrible. If I had this instead, I would have gobbled it up!
    tanya recently posted..Hummus Topped Irish NachosMy Profile

  6. 15

    I’ve made a variation on goulash for years, but the addition of bay leaves and soy sauce is genius! Pinning!

  7. 16

    It’s so hard to take great pictures of a cheesy casserole, but you nailed it! My stomach is growling!
    Beth recently posted..18 Football Shaped DessertsMy Profile

  8. 17

    This looks so amazing, I love the flavors in this!
    Megan Keno recently posted..Sausage and Apricot Brie Mac and CheeseMy Profile

  9. 18

    This looks amazing! The perfect cheesy comfort food. 🙂
    Carrie @Frugal Foodie Mama recently posted..Parmesan Chicken Corn ChowderMy Profile

  10. 19

    Easy to make crowd-pleasing really yummy thank you for the recipe

  11. 20

    Hi, I came across your blog post while looking for new homemade hamburger helper recipe’s, can’t wait to try out this one. I also have my own secret homemade helper recipe, feel free to try it out yourself – you can find it here I can’t wait to try out yours, it looks delicious!”

  12. 22

    Is there any disadvantage to cooking the pasta separately and adding it at the end? I was thinking it would save time to cook the pasta concurrently.

  13. 25

    I am on a restricted diet and want to make this using venison hamburger and without the cheese, as dairy is limited…. do you suggest a substitute….?

    • 26

      I’m not sure what you are restricted from eating, but you could always use less of something if it needs to be limited. Or, you don’t have to even add the cheese. It won’t be as creamy, but it will still taste good:) Some suggest tofu as a replacement for cheese? Hope that helps!

  14. 27

    What is Italian seasoning?

    • 28

      Cindy you can find dry Italian seasoning in your local super markets near soup mixes and spices I believe. It’s good for making dressings, marinades, etc 🙂

    • 29

      It is a mixture of dried herbs such as, basil, oregano, garlic, rosemary, and thyme. We use it on so many recipes. You can find it in the baking isles with all the seasonings:)

    • 30

      I actually used my bruschetta seasoning (I had a big container from Costco) and it was beyond perfect!!! I used 3tbsp of it and didn’t need the season salt. Seriously amazing 😉

  15. 31
    Sydney N Gilmore :

    Do you simmer the sauce before adding the pasta, or do you allow it to keep cooking on medium-high?

    • 32

      You’ll simmer the sauce for about 20 minutes, before adding the uncooked pasta, then you’ll continue to simmer for 30 more minutes. Hope you enjoy it, as much as we do!

  16. 33

    Made this today. Added curry to it as the weather is cold and windy and needed some warm food comfort. It was so tasty and flavourful. Will make it again for sure!!

    • 34

      What a good idea!! Curry is such a warm flavor. This is a great recipe to change up and add or take out spices, to fit any families taste! Thanks for sharing your changes!

    • 35

      Faer, I love curry, how much did you use. I am a little hesitant about the curry/soy sauce combo. Does it have a very strong spicy note? Or has anyone else used these 2 spices together?

  17. 36

    Yum Kristyn. Thank you.

  18. 38

    Thank you

  19. 40

    This was fantastic and sooooo easy! I did add a chopped onion, sautéed with the meat, because we love that flavor, and I never got to add the cheese, because we were already tasting bowls of it and loved the flavors!! (I also used 1lb ground beef and 1lb ground turkey, and just 2T of Soy sauce, because I need to cut down on my sodium) My son’s pasta choice was Cavatappi (corkscrew), which was really fun. This is a keeper! Wow! I am so impressed. 🙂

    • 41

      Yay, I’m so happy that your family loved this recipe! I wish I liked onions, because I know how much flavor they add! I like the changes you made, a little healthier and still so tasty!! Come back soon and try more recipes:)

  20. 42

    I made this tonight and we all loved it! I eat a vegetarian diet so we made this with veggie crumbles (ground beef sub). I also have celiac so we used gluten free noodles. Even with the change it was really great! Thank you for this great recipe!

  21. 44

    it looks delicious, i have a question 3 cups of wayer ?
    how much is that 3/4 of a liter.?

  22. 49
    Lynn Meakim :

    I made this recipe last night as a surprise for my husband (he loves goulash, but I always forget about it and don’t make it often). I have another recipe, but lost it while trying to get organized (go figure lol). Anyway, this was delicious and it made a lot!! Definitely a wonderful comfort food for any time of the year (but especially on chilly/cold nights)! Thanks for a great recipe! #itsakeeper

    • 50

      Ha..funny how we loose things, as we organize! Did your hubby love it, too? We sure love it anytime, but especially those chilly nights!! Glad you liked it:)

  23. 51

    today I made your recipe , and it was delicious.
    next time I ‘ll try a different cheese .
    Parmesan perhaps.?

    • 52

      Great! I’m glad you liked it. You could add whatever cheese you like, which makes this a great recipe. We love it!! Thanks for letting me know:)

  24. 53

    We call this “Red Macaroni” when I was very little. 50 yrs later, still call it red macaroni!

  25. 55

    I’m in Australia where is says can of tomato sauce does that mean can of tomato soup here in Australia?

    • 56

      They are different. You can usually find tomato sauce, where canned tomatoes are in the store. I guess if you can’t find it, then you can make your own, by blending tomatoes in a blender or food processor. Hope that helps!!

      • 57

        Following on from previous question as I am also in Australia, is your tomato sauce like tomato juice then? (like what you would use in a Bloody Mary?) Tomato sauce here is what you call ketchup. Thanks

  26. 59

    Wanna make this but need to know which soy sauce do you use? Is it dark soy sauce? Light soy sauce? Or, sweet soy sauce?

  27. 60

    Hey there,
    I was thinking about adding extra veggies in; peppers, onion, and zucchini. Would I sauté these items with the ground beef initially, or just add them when adding the tomato sauce? and let them simmer?

    • 61

      Sounds delish!! I would maybe saute them first with salt & pepper, then add them in. I haven’t tried adding different veggies, but it could probably work both ways. Sauteing them would definitely make them soft.

  28. 62

    Hi, Kristyn! I just made this for father’s day last Sunday and I thoroughly enjoyed this! Thank you so much for the recipe!

  29. 64

    Have you tried using chicken broth instead of water?

  30. 66

    Delicious and simple to make!

  31. 68

    currently making it on the stove!!

    we added 4 cups of salad macaroni (it was in on hand instead of going to the store) for the the 3C elbow mac.
    added a squeeze of Italian dressing and ketchup for more of a vinegar flavor.
    and he cook time for the noodles was 20-25 mins instead of 30 since they were smaller noodles.

  32. 70

    i also added 3 slices of american cheese and pepperjack in to the dish! it melted great and added another layer of flavor

  33. 72
    William Rhodes :

    Made this following the recipe except for: I didn’t have any seasoned salt so I substituted Goya Sazòn. I included the onions with the garlic and cooked until translucent. It came out fantastic, if I do say so myself. Thanks for the awesome recipe.

  34. 74

    I had my mothers goulash as a kid and was nervous to try this but was looking for quick dinners since I’m in my 5th pregnancy and short on energy! I can’t believe how much flavor it has with as few ingredients! Thanks for a great recipe everyone likes!!

  35. 76

    W……..who cares what this is called, if u dont like that its called goulash, dont fix it. This recipe sounds wonderful, I am making it right now

  36. 77
    Kristin Brubaker :

    Can you halve this?

  37. 79

    This sounds yummy,but I have to ask your viewers if they know of a goulash recipe that was on the back of a Skinners macaroni bag in the early 70’s. I remember it had ranch style beans and green peas along with most of the things in the above recipe. I think it had Worcestershire sauce instead of soy sauce and I don’t remember a bay leaf or Italian seasonings. Please email me if you are in your 60’s and over, and you have this recipe. It was a favorite among men of that time (and me). Thanks!

  38. 82

    Thanks for the recipe!
    I was really surprised when it coocked faster then you mentioned.
    By the way it seems to me it’ll be great to add some mushrooms =)
    Daria recently posted..Книжные покупки августаMy Profile

  39. 84

    made the cheesy beef goulash today. didn’t put in garlic and only used salt instead of seasoned salt. also mozzerella cheese instead of cheddar. everyone loved it!! Thanks.

  40. 86

    can this be done in a slow cooker instead of the stove top?

  41. 88

    We (kids, hubby and I ) all loved this recipe! I love that you can cook in 1 pan. I wondered about the onions, then I read your “about me”. I may put onions in next time.. 🙂

  42. 90

    Trying this recipe out tonight, it’s on the stovetop now and smells so good. Added a few extra seasonings….chili powder & chopped onions. Also I added a chili starter and used Turkey burger. Can’t wait to try it. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  43. 92

    This was a hit! My 16 year old daughter took a bite, closed her eyes and moaned “this is sooo good.” I had some leftover broccoli that I had cooked the night before so I threw that in during the last 6 min. Will definitely be making this again!

  44. 94

    Yummy!! Really enjoyed this recipe, thank you. Will be making again.

  45. 96

    If you make the pasta separately do you still add all the water to the dish?

  46. 97

    This might be a dumb question but when do you put the meat back in?

  47. 99

    Both my mother and my husband’s mother made us dishes similar to this when we were growing up in the 60s & 70s. I made a half recipe of this tonight with small penne pasta, and we LOVED it! Like our mom’s versions, only better!

  48. 101

    I grew up in mid- Indiana and we had this at least once a month. A true comfort dish and a good way to stretch a meal!

  49. 103

    I just made this tonight. Very good! But next time I would cut back on the salt. I used less than what it called for but still found it pretty salty. Will definitely make this again!

  50. 105

    We completely loved this!!!!!! I used 3 tablespoons of garlic instead of teaspoons since I use preminced from a jar but made no other substitutions. I will cook it for 20 minutes on the final cook next time, I made a double batch since it looks perfect for reheating and the noodles continued to absorb liquid and soften in the hot juices as they sat. Wonderful recipe!!!!

  51. 107
    Linda Anderson :

    I don’t like tomatoes what can I substitute for the canned tomatoes? Or do i just leave them out ?

  52. 109

    My family LOVED IT !!!!
    End of story will be making again I added onions green peppers and used beef broth instead of water….

  53. 111

    Made this for dinnner tonight and everyone one loved it! It was so easy to 👍🏻Thanks

  54. 112

    I made this tonight and everyone loved it! So easy to make 👍🏻

  55. 114

    Made this easy goulash for dinner tonight….it is AMAZING, we all enjoyed it. Thanks for this super tasty recipe, will be made many more times in this household.

  56. 116

    Very good! While family loves it… definitely will be making it again. Big hit

  57. 118
    Lillie Russell :

    Loved the cheesy beef goulash. It was delicious.

  58. 120

    Made this tonight and it was a huge hit with the family! Almost followed the recipe to a “T” except I added 1 11/2 tablespoons of sugar to bring out the sweetness in the tomatoes. I would highly recommend this dish, with or without the added sugar. Thank you!

  59. 122

    Add 1/2 a block of cream cheese or more before the cheddar cheese it will change your life! Trust me

  60. 124

    I made this today,my son and I loved it,thanks.

  61. 126

    Could you freeze this after you make it? Put it in a freezer bag? Reheat on the stove top? Would that work or would it get watery or anything?

    • 127

      That should work!! I haven’t put it in the freezer yet, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t turn out. Let me know how it comes out 🙂 Thanks so much!

  62. 128

    Great recipe! Omit the salt and add a little chili powder

  63. 130

    To me the soy sauce ruins the taste of this, I liked everything else about it. I’d maybe leave it out or reduce it next time.

  64. 132

    Yum, the cheesy beef goulash was so good! I made this tonight for my husband. He loved it. It was easy peasy to make and oh so tasty. :o)

  65. 134

    Yummy, made this tonight for dinner & I’m so glad I did! It was gooey, cheesy, beefy goodness! Thanks for a wonderful & quick recipe!

  66. 136

    Excellent dinner!!! Defiantly going to make agai.

  67. 138

    How can I make with 1 pound of meat only 2 people

    • 139

      You can half all the ingredients in the recipe, if you don’t want to make as much or just store all your leftovers and you can eat it throughout the week 🙂

  68. 140

    How can I cut in half 1# meat for 2 people!!!

  69. 142

    I made this last night but I left out the tomatoes and it was fabulous my husband ate 4 servings and my daughter 2 I have to make it again so I can have some

  70. 144

    Good recipe. Great grammar. My kind of blog. 🙂

  71. 146

    Just made this tonight and it was a huge hit with my husband. I grew up with 2 versions of goulash and this was one of them. I had not this in years and so thank you for an awesome recipe. I did make changes as my husband and I are spicy lovers. I added only 1 can 540 ml itialian tomatoes whole, I 420ml jar of Guy Fieri’s 7 pepper salsa, 3 cups beef broth, and added franks seasoning, Mrs. Dash in replacement of some of the original seasonings you mentioned and omitted the bay leave as I am not a fan. How ever I used Casarecce noodles (can be found at Costco) I added at the end was Parmsen cheese, so omit adding salt to the cooking as it is salty. I love this dish and for me it’s a keeper and in my recipe box it went. Thank you

  72. 148

    This is one of my favorites!

  73. 150

    If I want to omit the tomatoes, how much should I increase the amount of sauce I use? Thanks!

    • 151

      Hmm..I’m not quite sure. I haven’t made it without using the tomatoes. You could just make it without the cans of tomatoes & if you taste it & you feel it needs more, maybe add a small (8oz) can of tomato sauce? Just a guess. Let me know what you do! Thanks!

  74. 152

    I thought it had to much Italian seasoning in it! Next time I will cut that in half. Otherwise it was good.

  75. 154

    I real find it funny that people feel the need to comment on such things as the name of the dish in a negative fashion. I think it is fantastic that people like Kristyn are willing to share their favourite recipes with others! It makes the world a happier place and I for one don’t care what it’s called. I am actually preparing it now as I type (just defrosting my ground beef!).

    Thanks so much and I look forward to trying your others!

  76. 158

    My mom made something like this as a quick meal. She called it goulash too. My husband likes it with zuccini & parmesan cheese. My sister likes it with corn. That’s something I noticed in the comments. It’s one of those recipes that everyone makes their own family favorite. Thanks for reminder. Think I will make it tonight.

  77. 160

    I sent the recipe to my hubby, who is the cook in our household (he’s a definite keeper). It was DELICIOUS! I am betting we will ad this to our go to list of meals when we need something simple and tasty. Thank you for sharing!

  78. 162

    I have to tell you that I’ve made this a few times before and it is absolutely delicious. We’ve been quite busy in the evenings lately and I like to prep as much as I can ahead of time for the next day’s dinner. I prepped this meal (doing everything except adding the pasta) and left it on the counter to cool before putting in the fridge. My husband came home late and thought it was soup for dinner. He said it was one of the best soups I’ve ever made. LOL!

  79. 164

    I make something very similar which is an adaptation of something my Mom made. She always called it chop suey and I call it goulash, although I suspect American Chop Suey is closer to what I make. I don’t care what name you put on it, it’s good. I use tomato soup, onions, cheddar cheese, macaroni and ground beef. So simple and yet tasty.

  80. 166

    This was very good however, I made this with 1 lb venis on burg and 1 lb venison sausage. Added a quart of my homemade chunky salsa and 3 1/2 cups of noodles. Incredible! I love to take recipes and make them my very own. Thanks for sharing your’s to help make my family a great meal!

  81. 168

    I made this tonight and it is delicious. I had an extra 1 Lb ground beef so I included 1 1/2 of the ingredients. I think I added too much water for the extra macaroni. It wasn’t really waterery but not thick. I will add onion next time. Thank you for Sharing the recipe. Husband loved it also.

  82. 170

    Very good recipe! I used whole grain elbows and added diced onions and green peppers. I also added some chopped spinach towards the end.

  83. 172

    This is delicious, my family loves it. The only thing I added was a can of corn (drained)

  84. 174

    A new firm favorite in this house. I make the full rmam out and am able to feed 4 with it and still freeze half of it for another day. Perfect when you need to atock up the freezer with a bulk batch for the times when your unable to cook or in a hurry.

  85. 176

    This will get eaten up, no doubt, but I found it to be too salty. I think I would use 1/2 tbspn of seasoned salt next time. I also would have liked a warning as to the size pot to use…. I used one that just barely worked. Also a “stir occasionally” needs to be added for those 30 minutes. I had to give my son a bath and when I came back the bottom was burnt, didnt affect the taste but clean up is going to be a bother. Thanks for the recipe, it is a great one to give little tweaks to.

  86. 177

    I LOVE IT the came out better than I thought and this is my first time I made Goulash 😅😅😂😂

  87. 179

    Made this GOULASH, have my own recipe as well I always use which everyone likes, BUT this was a real homerun, I did add onion, bell pepper, as well as a can of rotel instead of 2 cans of tomatoes, and next time I will use only 1 bay leaf…..Very very good though!!

  88. 181

    This recipe is very similar to what my mom taught me to make that she learned from my grandma. I’ve always called it Hamburger Macaroni. It’s basically a mexican style version of this recipe made to feed a crowd of 8. 1LB ground beef/turkey, 4 cups elbow macaroni, 8-10 cups water, 2T chicken bouillon, 1 can tomato sauce, 1 can el pato tomato sauce (mexican hot style), 2T crushed garlic, 1T cumin, 1/2t chili powder (ancho or california). Brown the meat in a skillet. in a 6qt pot, toast the elbow macaroni in some olive oil, then add the meat & remaining ingredients. bring to a boil & simmer for 20-30mins. Top it off with some shredded cheese. Very easy to make this recipe stretch by adding more water and making it “soupy”

  89. 183

    This is a great dish but gulash (gulyas) as I know is a Hungarian soup with potatoes, diced meat, and carrots and That looks and tastes nothing like this.

  90. 184

    I’ve made this several times and it’s a hit. I don’t use water but beef broth for a richer flavor and we do use onions. Really simple and delish. Rolls and salad. Bam

  91. 186

    Really good! Everyone loved it! Used stewed tomatoes instead of diced as thats what my mom always used. Really hit the spot 😀 and reminded me of home.