Cheesy Beef Goulash

When you need an easy dinner recipe that will please the whole family, try whipping up some old fashioned goulash! Everyone loves this hodgepodge of macaroni noodles, ground beef, tomatoes, cheese, and seasonings!

A classic dinner recipe that is loved by all. Filled with meat, cheese, seasonings and macaroni, this recipe is sure to become as loved as Beef Stroganoff and Pot Roast.

Beef Goulash in Pan

What is Goulash?

American Beef Goulash – have you tried it before? And what is goulash?

Goulash is a soup or stew of meat, usually seasoned with paprika and other spices. Originating from the medieval Hungary, goulash is a popular meal predominantly eaten in Central Europe but also in other parts of Europe.

We make goulash for dinner all the time, and although I’m sure we have a very American version of the recipe, we wanted to make sure we shared our Cheesy Beef Goulash recipe with you today – because it’s delicious! 🙂

It is filled with noodles, hamburger, tomatoes and cheese!! Although we really don’t consider our “American Goulash” (or “Old Fashioned Goulash”) a stew, we love this cheesy dish that can be easily modified based on the ingredients you love most.

This recipe has a number of different seasonings, but it is simple enough to please all ages. The whole family loves it, and I love it because it’s simple and tasty.

How to Make Goulash Process Pictures

How to Make Goulash

I’m all about simple these days and this recipe is just that! It doesn’t take long to throw this easy cheesy goulash together, but plan ahead because it does have to simmer for about 45-50 minutes total.

The hardest part of this recipe is honestly waiting patiently for it to finish simmering! See for yourself how simple this recipe is…

MEAT + SAUCE. Begin by sautéing beef/hamburger in a skillet over medium-high heat until cooked, and then drain. Add the garlic and saute for about 5 minutes. Add water, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, Italian seasoning, bay leaves, soy sauce, and seasoned salt.

SIMMER. Stir this well; cover and allow to simmer for about 15-20 minutes. Add the uncooked elbow macaroni to skillet, stir well, then return the lid and simmer for about 30 minutes.

CHEESE. Once 30 minutes is up and the noodles are all cooked, turn off the heat, and remove the bay leaves. Add 1 cup of cheddar cheese right before serving, which will make it even more irresistible.

Can goulash be made in the crock pot? Making this American Goulash in the crockpot is super easy. Just follow these steps to make it:

  • Saute the ground beef beef in a skillet until cooked.
  • Drain excess fat and add garlic. Saute for another 5 minutes.
  • Put the sauteed meat in the crock pot along with the remaining ingredients.
  • Cook on High heat for 3-4 hours or on low heat for 7-8 hours.

Cheesy Hamburger Goulash in pan

Goulash recipe tips

Can you make goulash ahead of time? Yes, you can make this easy goulash recipe ahead of time. Simply follow the recipe directions, cover, and store in the fridge until you’re ready to use.

If you plan to store the dish for more than a day the best place to keep it is in the freezer. When you’re ready to eat this delicious dish take it out of the fridge or freezer. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, cover dish with foil, and heat until it is the desired temperature.

How do you store goulash? Goulash can reheat well, but it needs to be stored properly. Be sure to place in an air-tight container and put in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat by using the microwave.

Can you freeze goulash>?Goulash can be made ahead time and frozen for up to 3 months. Place leftover goulash in a freezer safe dish and cover tightly with foil.

We also recommend placing this in a freezer-safe Ziploc bag and placing in the freezer. When you’re ready to eat it remove from the freezer, thaw, and heat in a microwave, covered in an oven, or on the stove top in a skillet until it reaches your desired temperature.

How to make Hungarian goulash? It’s a bit different than this recipe and includes more vegetables like carrots and peppers. For that recipe, CLICK HERE.

What to serve with goulash? What do you serve with goulash? There are so many great sides that go with this recipe, but some of our favorites include:

Beef Goulash Recipe spooned out of pan

Such a cheesy, delicious dinner idea that everyone will enjoy!! This recipe does make a whole pot full, so if you end up with extra, know that the leftovers are just as delicious! We hope you enjoy this beef goulash as much as we do. 🙂

For more easy ground beef recipes, try:

Goulash Recipe

4.78 from 205 votes
When you need an easy dinner recipe that will please the whole family, try whipping up some old fashioned goulash! Everyone loves this hodgepodge of macaroni noodles, ground beef, tomatoes, cheese, and seasonings! This easy goulash recipe is the perfect go-to for any night of the week.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 8
Calories 542 kcal
Author Lil' Luna

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 3 tsp minced garlic
  • 3 c water
  • 2 cans tomato sauce 15 oz cans
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes 15 oz cans
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3 TB soy sauce
  • 1 tsp seasoned salt
  • 2 TB Italian seasoning
  • 2 c elbow macaroni uncooked
  • 1 c shredded cheddar cheese

Instructions
 

  • 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.
  • 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.

Video

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About Kristyn

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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Comments:

  1. 1 star
    The Italian seasoning was over powering. 2 Tbsps has got to be a typo. I used 1 tbsp and it was awful. Threw it out and wasted a lot of $.

    1. Sorry to hear you didn’t enjoy the recipe. 2 Tbsp is what the recipe calls for, but you could definitely adjust the amount for yours and your family’s liking.

    1. I haven’t tried this dish with drained tomatoes but I would think if you do drain the tomatoes that the goulash might not end up to be as moist. Hope this helps!

  2. 5 stars
    I’ve made this recipe time and time again and always love it. Thank you so much for providing me with such a simple yet delicious recipe.

  3. 5 stars
    This is very close to the version I usually make with the exception of swapping soy for Worcestershire. Maybe everyone that posts a recipe should put a disclaimer(in all caps) for people that don’t cook/beginners stating, “as per every recipe on the planet, please taste as cooking & feel free to adjust spices accordingly”. 😆 🤣 Never knew that needed to be said, but there’s always one person in the reviews on every recipe online! I read the reviews to see what people changed…before I start cooking.

    1. That is so true! Everyone has their own preferences of how much and what type of seasonings and spices they like to use in a recipe. Thanks for the suggestion! 🙂

  4. 5 stars
    I absolutely love this recipe. I have shared it with my mom and they all love it too it’s super easy and bonus my two year old likes it too. I did have one question. Everytime I cook it, I have a different outcome. Sometimes I burn the noodles sometimes I don’t. So when your done with the meat and you start adding everything, what temperature does the heat need to be when cooking covered?

    1. I usually simmer it at a medium-low heat. Every stove top is a little different with the amount of heat they put out but medium-low seems to be the best spot to cook it at. Hope this helps!

  5. 5 stars
    🔥🔥😋😙 this stuff is the 💣 absolutely amazing! I added a little touch and added one yellow onion to the recipe… Thank you Lil Luna! I can’t wait to try all your other recipes 😊

  6. Hi! Your recipe looks yummy =) I’m working on creating some freezer meals for my family, which is a first for me; and so I’m guessing if I want to make this into a freezer meal, then I would omit the 3 c. of water and add the pasta already cooked to the freezer bag? Thanks a bunch if anyone answers =)

    1. Here are our instructions for freezing:
      Goulash can be made ahead time and frozen for up to 3 months. We also recommend placing this in a freezer-safe Ziploc bag and placing in the freezer. When you’re ready to eat it remove from the freezer, thaw, and heat in a microwave, covered in an oven, or on the stove top in a skillet until it reaches your desired temperature.

      So yes, you’d pretty much make the full recipe when preparing it, freeze and then reheat when you are ready to eat it rather than cooking it from scratch. Hope you enjoy the goulash!

  7. 5 stars
    The best recipe for this dish. Since the hamburger cooks in water with the noodles its texture is tender. Sometimes i add a can of concentrated tomato soup.

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