Classic American Goulash

Classic American Goulash: A Hearty One-Pot Meal

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Get ready to indulge in a classic American comfort food with this timeless recipe for American Goulash. With its savory ground beef, tender macaroni, and flavorful tomato sauce, this dish is sure to evoke feelings of nostalgia and satisfaction. Let’s dive into the deliciousness!

American Goulash, also known as American Chop Suey or Beefaroni, is a beloved dish that has graced dinner tables across the country for generations. This hearty one-pot meal combines simple ingredients to create a flavorful and comforting dish that’s perfect for feeding a hungry family or enjoying leftovers throughout the week. Whether you’re cooking for a crowd or simply craving a taste of home, this recipe is sure to hit the spot.


  • 2 lbs lean ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 medium green pepper, diced
  • 1 32 oz can tomato juice
  • 2 cups elbow macaroni
  • 1 16 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese


  1. Brown the Ground Beef: In a large pot or Dutch oven, brown the ground beef over medium heat until fully cooked. Drain any excess grease from the pot.
  2. Add Onion and Green Pepper: Add the diced onion and green pepper to the pot with the cooked ground beef. Cook for 3-4 minutes, or until the vegetables are softened.
  3. Combine Tomato Juice and Diced Tomatoes: Pour the tomato juice and diced tomatoes (with their juices) into the pot with the ground beef and vegetables. Stir to combine.
  4. Cook the Macaroni: Add the elbow macaroni to the pot and stir to combine with the other ingredients. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and cover. Simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until the macaroni is cooked to your desired level of tenderness.
  5. Serve Hot: Once the macaroni is cooked, remove the pot from the heat. Serve the American Goulash hot, garnished with Parmesan cheese.

Cook Notes and Variations:

  • Cheesy Variation: Stir in shredded cheddar cheese or American cheese during the last few minutes of cooking for an extra cheesy version of American Goulash.
  • Spice it Up: Add a pinch of red pepper flakes or a dash of hot sauce for a spicier kick.
  • Vegetarian Option: Substitute the ground beef with plant-based crumbles or diced mushrooms for a vegetarian-friendly version of this dish.
  • Customize the Veggies: Feel free to customize the vegetables to your liking. Try adding diced carrots, celery, or zucchini for extra flavor and nutrition.

Keto and Low Carb Versions:

For those following a keto or low-carb lifestyle, here are some modifications you can make to enjoy this recipe:

  • Substitute Pasta: Replace the elbow macaroni with low-carb alternatives such as zucchini noodles (zoodles), spaghetti squash, or shirataki noodles.
  • Tomato Reduction: Use fewer tomatoes or opt for a lower-carb tomato sauce to reduce the carb content of the dish.
  • Add Healthy Fats: Incorporate avocado, olives, or a drizzle of olive oil to add healthy fats and enhance the flavor of the dish.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

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. Simply brown the ground turkey as you would the ground beef.

Q: Can I make this dish in advance? A: Absolutely! American Goulash reheats well and can be made in advance for meal prep. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.

Q: Can I freeze leftovers? A: Yes, American Goulash freezes well. Allow the dish to cool completely before transferring it to freezer-safe containers or resealable bags. Freeze for up to 3 months and thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.

Q: What can I serve with American Goulash? A: This dish pairs well with a variety of side dishes, including garlic bread, a green salad, steamed vegetables, or cornbread.

American Goulash is a timeless comfort food that never fails to satisfy. With its simple ingredients, hearty flavors, and easy preparation, this dish is perfect for busy weeknights or lazy weekends alike. Whether you’re cooking for a crowd or enjoying a cozy meal at home, American Goulash is sure to become a family favorite. So grab your ingredients and get ready to enjoy a taste of classic Americana!

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