Margarita's International Recipes


American Goulash

 American Goulash

I am not totally sure that American Goulash has its origins in the Hungarian dish of the same name, but I suspect it did. This version using ground beef, commercial pasta sauce and elbow macaroni is decidedly American, however - though perhaps not as "evolved" as those that include corn and beans! It is a dish that pretty much everyone would recognize: pasta with meat sauce and shredded cheese. Indeed, I make something similar myself, though not all in one dish. It was pretty good and this recipe makes so much, that we had leftovers for several days.

I followed the recipe pretty faithfully, though I adjusted the amount of pasta and cheese - this extended how much food I got out of it, but it did make it a bit pasta-heavy. Next time I'd just use 2 cups of macaroni. I do love cheese, so I definitely was happy that I doubled it.

Though the original recipe did not call for sour cream, the photo accompanying had it, and I thought it went well with it. Of course, it made the dish even more artery-clogging. While this time I didn't make a vegetarian alternative for my daughter, I think this dish can easily be made with ground beef substitute.

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American Goulash


  • 3 Tbsp. cooking oil
  • 2 onions , chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves , minced
  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 26 oz jar pasta sauce
  • 2 14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt & black pepper to taste
  • 3 cups water
  • 2-3 cups elbow macaroni, uncooked
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • sour cream


Heat oil in a very large cooking pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic and beef and cook until the onion is soft and the meat is browned, stirring frequently. Add the green bell pepper and cook for a minute. Add the pasta sauce, the diced tomatoes, the tomato paste, the Italian seasoning, bay leaves and salt and pepper. Stir well. Add the water, bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low and let simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in the macaroni, cover and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn off heat, remove bay leaves and discard. Sprinkle with the shredded cheddar cheese and cover. Let sit for five minutes or until the cheese melts. Serve with sour cream on the side.

Adapted from Holly's recipe at Spend with Pennies

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