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Simple Goulash

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Since this ends up on my meal plan nearly every week, I decided to share my Simple Goulash recipe :)

What you need:

2 1/2 cups elbow macaroni
1/2 lb. ground beef
15 oz. can tomato sauce
Salt & Pepper to taste

What to do:

  1. Cook and drain macaroni.  Meanwhile, brown hamburger in skillet*
  2. Combine macaroni, ground beef, and tomato sauce in pan.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

That’s it.  You’re done.  I’ve seen TONS of goulash recipes that are fancier, with all sorts of peppers, onions, and spices…but that’s not for me.  I’m a goulash purist.  Or, maybe this is just the “hillbilly” version.  I don’t know.  What I do know is that I grew up on this stuff, and it’s major comfort food for me, even in its simplicity. 

*Note:  If you’re like me, and use a lot of ground hamburger, you can make your life a lot simpler if you buy and cook it in bulk.  Buy in family packs, brown in a skillet all at once.  Allow it to cool, then freeze in quart sized freezer bags.  When you need ground beef, just thaw out the amount needed for your recipe.  I can’t tell you how much of a convenience this is, and your hamburger still tastes fine.

(For more recipe ideas, check out: Tasty Tuesday, Delicious Dish, The Country Cook, For the Mommas, Family Table Friday)

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  1. We make a version of this and it is definitely a comfort!

  2. Gosh! This takes me back to school lunches! :) Thanks for sharing it.

  3. I use a similar recipe but we add a 1/2 bag frozen corn and then melt cheddar cheese on top of each serving. Simply divine!

  4. Looks fantastic, and easy (my FAVORITE)!!! :)
    Thanks for linking up last week!

  5. We make this too. I add a bit on onion to ours because my husband likes it better. I also sometimes add a bit of cheese if we have some. Serve this with corn bread and a green salad for a good meal.
    I too cook ground meat all at once and then put into quart size bags. I also shape some for patties and just freeze them (uncooked) till we are ready for a burger night. I have also mixed up a meat loaf and frozen it in a pan covered in foil. Then when it is frozen I remove it from the pan and put it into freezer bag. Then when I want meatloaf on a week night it is a simple thing to pull out of the freezer and bake with some potatoes on the side to add to the meal.

  6. THANK YOU for this! I have been searching for this sort of goulash recipe for about 20 minutes. Im not fancy or wanting celery or soy sauce in my goulash, LOL. Can't wait for dinner tonight!

    • Crystal says:

      Julie, you’ve come to the right place! lol I’m definitely a bit of a minimalist when it comes to cooking.


  8. Paula Markle Ozmun says:

    My mother has been making this forever. But she added cooked rice to it also. Yum!

  9. Anonymous says:

    I use tomato soup in mine and just a small can of tomato sauce. It gives it a better flavor.
    The corn makes it good!!!

  10. O the memories this brings!

  11. O the memories this brings!

  12. I grew up on this also, my Mother called in sketti-red

  13. I put salsa in mine and cheese

  14. Glenn Thom says:

    Good goulash recipe — easy to add to for personal preferences.

  15. Glenn Thom says:


  16. I grew up on this! And, we called it goulash, too. This is the first time, besides in my family, that I have seen it called goulash in a recipe. We also had it with hot dogs instead of hamburger sometimes, and we used canned tomatoes and onions.

  17. made this for supper tonight…I added onion and corn…FYI.

  18. Beth Keith Dobbs says:

    This is my favorite way to make goulash. What a great tip on buying in bulk & cooking then freezing the meat. Thank you for sharing!


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