Classic Beef Goulash is a recipe I grew up with that others may call American Chop Suey. It is a basic, easy recipe made with ground beef, tomato sauce, macaroni, and spices. This is all simmered together making a delicious comfort food meal for your family!
I remember my mom making goulash for dinner quite often. She would serve it up with slices of warm homemade bread smothered with butter. This is comfort food that makes me wish I were young again. Those were the days and I often wonder why we can’t actually appreciate those days while we are living them! I remember my mom telling me not to wish my life away. I guess she knew what she was talking about!
Classic Beef Goulash or American Chop Suey?
The first time I heard this recipe referred to as American Chop Suey was from my mother-in-law. She was talking about how her mom would make it for their dinners. When she told me how it was made and what was in it, I realized it was the same thing my mom would make that she just called Goulash!
The great thing about this recipe is you can make it pretty much any way you want to. My mom always would put green peppers in her goulash. She never used fresh garlic back then, but I use it now so when I made this recipe I used onions, bell pepper, and fresh garlic.
I also want to use the best beef out there and to get that flavor, I always use Certified Angus Beef ® brand ground chuck 80/20 ratio. Because it has a higher fat ration, you will need to drain your beef mixture once it is cooked and before you add your remaining ingredients.
Most goulash recipes use stewed tomatoes and tomato paste. This is another change I made. Tomato paste is great, but I love to use marinara sauce. I like the extra flavor it provides in the recipe. I learned this trick a long time ago and use it in my chili and soups also!
Do you cook the pasta in the meat sauce or separately?
You can do either one really. Some people will cook the pasta right in the meat mixture. I don’t do that. I probably could and save myself one less dish to wash, but I like to cook my pasta separately. Grumpy is super picky about his pasta and I feel that I can control how much it is cooked better by cooking it separately. That could all be in my head, seriously :), however, if you want to toss your pasta into the meat mixture, go right ahead. You may want to add a little water to your mixture if you go that route because the pasta will absorb the liquid.
I always use elbow macaroni. Any other type of pasta in this recipe would make me think it was not goulash!
We also love to put shaved parmesan on our beef goulash. My mom would put out the grated parm in a can, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve progressed to grating my own!
Don’t forget to Pin and share Classic Beef Goulash!
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 small onion, diced
- 1/2 medium green bell pepper, diced
- 1-1/2 Certified Angus Beef® brand ground beef
- 1-1/2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1/2 tablespoon sweet paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2-14.5 oz cans stewed tomatoes
- 1 cup marinara sauce
- 2 cups elbow macaroni
- Cook elbow macaroni until almost done (about 2 minutes less than package directions). Drain and set aside.
- Place oil in large stock pot over medium high heat. Add peppers, onion and garlic. Simmer until onions become translucent, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add ground beef to onion mixture. Cook until beef is no longer pink and browned. Drain any excess fat from beef mixture.
- Add spices, stewed tomatoes, and marinara sauce to beef mixture and bring to a simmer. Simmer about 5 minutes.
- Add pasta and simmer a couple more minutes. Serve with parmesan cheese if desired.
Nutrition information calculated using myfitnesspal is provided as a courtesy, but will vary depending on the specific brands of ingredients you use. Please consult with your doctor regarding specific health needs.
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Serving Size:2 cups
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 276 Total Fat: 8g Saturated Fat: 5g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 520mg Carbohydrates: 35g Fiber: 4g Sugar: 4g Protein: 17g