Cheesy Baked Goulash Recipe

Cheesy Baked Goulash Recipe: A Hearty and Flavorful Comfort Food Classic

healty meal, low carbs meals, keto meal

If you’re in the mood for a satisfying and comforting meal that’s easy to make and full of flavor, look no further than our Cheesy Baked Goulash recipe. This hearty dish combines tender ground beef, savory spices, and gooey melted cheese for a meal that’s sure to please the whole family. In this blog post, we’ll guide you through the recipe step by step, along with cook notes, variations, and even keto and low-carb versions for those looking to lighten it up.


Before we begin, let’s gather all the ingredients needed for this delicious dish:

  • Meat:
    • 1 lb ground beef
  • Produce:
    • 1 medium onion, chopped
    • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Pasta:
    • 2 cups elbow macaroni (uncooked), can use other pasta though
  • Canned Goods:
    • 1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
    • 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • Spices:
    • 1 tablespoon paprika (preferably Hungarian)
    • 1 teaspoon oregano
    • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
    • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Dairy:
    • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
    • 1 cup mozzarella cheese


Let’s get cooking!

  1. Preheat Oven: Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with cooking spray or butter.
  2. Cook Ground Beef: In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the ground beef, breaking it apart with a spoon, until browned and cooked through. Drain any excess grease from the skillet.
  3. Add Aromatics: Add the chopped onion and minced garlic to the skillet with the cooked ground beef. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, until the onion is translucent and fragrant.
  4. Combine Ingredients: Add the uncooked elbow macaroni, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes (undrained), paprika, oregano, thyme, salt, and pepper to the skillet. Stir until all ingredients are well combined.
  5. Transfer to Baking Dish: Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish and spread it out evenly.
  6. Add Cheese: Sprinkle the shredded cheddar cheese evenly over the top of the goulash mixture, followed by the mozzarella cheese.
  7. Bake: Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Then, remove the foil and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbly and the edges are golden brown.
  8. Serve: Remove the goulash from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes before serving. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley, if desired.

Cook Notes and Variations:

Here are some tips and variations to customize your Cheesy Baked Goulash:

  • Vegetarian Option: Swap the ground beef for plant-based ground meat or add extra veggies like bell peppers, mushrooms, or zucchini for a vegetarian version.
  • Spicy Variation: For a bit of heat, add a pinch of red pepper flakes or a dash of hot sauce to the goulash mixture.
  • Creamy Twist: Stir in a dollop of sour cream or cream cheese for an extra creamy texture.

Keto and Low-Carb Versions:

For those following a keto or low-carb diet, here’s how you can modify the recipe:

Keto Version:

  • Pasta Substitute: Replace the elbow macaroni with spiralized zucchini noodles or shirataki noodles to reduce the carb content.
  • Sugar-Free Sauce: Choose a tomato sauce and diced tomatoes with no added sugar or make your own keto-friendly marinara sauce using fresh tomatoes and herbs.

Low-Carb Version:

  • Cauliflower Rice: Swap the pasta for cooked cauliflower rice to create a low-carb alternative.
  • Cheese Crust: Instead of mixing the cheese into the goulash, sprinkle it on top to create a cheesy crust while baking.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Let’s address some common questions about making Cheesy Baked Goulash:

Q: Can I use ground turkey instead of ground beef? A: Yes, ground turkey can be used as a leaner alternative to ground beef in this recipe.

Q: Can I make this dish ahead of time? A: Yes, you can assemble the goulash ahead of time and refrigerate it until ready to bake. Simply cover with foil and store in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours before baking.

Q: Can I freeze leftovers? A: Yes, you can freeze any leftover goulash in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

Enjoy the comfort of home-cooked goodness with our Cheesy Baked Goulash recipe. With its hearty combination of ground beef, tender pasta, flavorful spices, and gooey melted cheese, this dish is sure to become a family favorite. Plus, with keto and low-carb versions available, you can enjoy all the deliciousness without the guilt. Give it a try today and savor the satisfying flavors of this classic comfort food!

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