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Mom’s Goulash

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I never learned to make goulash – I just knew it had noodles, ground beef, and tomatoey stuff going on in it, according to my Mom’s memories of what her mother made. But she never made it so I just came up with my own way of making it which was sort of like the same way I made spaghetti with meat sauce, but just with macaroni noodles instead.  I have my favorite version of my own version posted here.

I finally had real (real as in the Americanized real, not the Hungarian real) goulash at my in-law’s house.  I’d been wanting to get my MIL’s recipe for a long time, because although Dennis never says “this isn’t like Mom used to make,” I’ve always wanted to cook his favorite meals that he grew up eating and goulash topped that list.  His Mom’s goulash is really, really good!  After enjoying it on Easter, I asked her exactly what she put in it so I could recreate it at home.  I’ve never turned out better goulash and Den’s favorite is now one of my absolute favorites as well. We could eat this almost every week!

Mom’s Goulash

Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

1/2 lb macaroni
1 1/2 lbs ground beef
1 large onion, diced
garlic salt, pepper, chili powder, & hot sauce to taste
2 (14.5 oz) cans whole stewed tomatoes, undrained
2 tablespoons ketchup
Tomato juice as needed

Cook the macaroni to al dente according to package directions. While it’s cooking, brown the ground beef and onion together in an extra-large skillet or in a dutch oven. Drain and season with spices to taste. In a large bowl, mash tomatoes with potato masher and add to beef along with the ketchup. Drain macaroni and add to the beef mixture, stirring well. Taste and add additional seasoning as needed. I didn’t need to add any tomato juice to mine, but if you like yours very juicy you can add as much tomato juice as you like. Phyllis adds it to her leftovers, which I would also recommend, because the noodles tend to soak up all the juice with time.

Recipe source: Phyllis Miller

P.S. Happy anniversary to my hubby! These have been the best 14 years of my life.

Simple Goulash {aka American Chop Suey}

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Growing up, I always made goulash with an Italian flare because I did not understand what goulash was supposed to be.  (Obviously I was a self-taught cook–Mom and I did not get along well together in the kitchen so I did things my way!)  I equated pasta and tomatoes with Italian, so I added in Italian spices and used spaghetti sauce to coat the noodles. I have finally come to understand that goulash has Hungarian roots and although my latest concoction is more how most Americans make it, I can’t claim that it has any resemblance to the original dish it was named for. All I can say is that it’s fast, it’s delicious, and satisfying!

Simple Goulash


Printable recipe

Printable recipe with picture

1 cup whole wheat elbow macaroni
1 1/2 lbs 97% lean ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
2 (14.5 oz) cans stewed tomatoes
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
1 teaspoon paprika (Hungarian if you have it!)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
fresh cracked pepper

Boil macaroni until al dente. Meanwhile, cook hamburger along with onion and green pepper in skillet over medium-high heat until cooked through; drain. Add in remaining ingredients, stirring until the tomato paste is dissolved, and stir in macaroni. Serve hot.

Makes 8 servings: 271 cal; 6.8 g fat; 32.3 carb; 5 g fiber; 23.8 g protein

Recipe source: adapted from my friend, Sandy S.

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