Simple Goulash

goulash 2

Since this ends up on my meal plan quite often, I decided to share my Simple Goulash recipe :) It’s very quick, simple, and frugal–a combination I LOVE for those busy nights.

It’s also comfort food for me.

I’ve seen lots of goulash recipes that are fancier, with all sorts of peppers, onions, and spices…but that’s not for me.  I love a good pasta dish with all that stuff, but when it comes to goulash, I’m a 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.

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.

*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.


  1. says

    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!

  2. Roxie says

    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.

  3. says

    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.

  4. 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!!!

  5. SMc says

    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.

  6. 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!

  7. says

    making this tonight for dinner…I like the minimalist approach. I don’t have the money to go and buy all kinds of ingredients so I definitely appreciate the simplicity of this recipe. thanks for sharing I can’t wait to try this!

    • Crystal Brothers says

      So glad Ally! I hope you like it. It’s one of our family’s favorite “comfort food” meals.

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