My hamburger goulash recipe is one-pot magic at its finest! This hearty pasta recipe of seasoned beef and onions is packed with every angle of flavor — from salty soy sauce (yes, soy sauce!) to sweet Hungarian paprika, to creamy, gooey cheese. Your mouth will be satisfied, promise!
Plus, if you’ve got some picky eaters in your midst, you can even tempt to try goulash (an admittedly weird-sounding dish!) by just saying it’s spaghetti. The elbow macaroni carries the tomatoey meat sauce like any other one-pot pasta recipes.
There’s no downside with this hamburger goulash recipe! Let’s get to it!
Sometimes, I want to break out of the same old routine of flavor — and paprika is one of my go-to spices! Give one meal, and I’ll make you a believer too.
- One pot! Minimal clean-up.
- Rich, filling meal
- Leftovers! For! Days!
Goulash soup can make a lot of people shudder, thinking it’s too complex for them to make for a weeknight dish. Fear not! That’s why I have this hamburger goulash recipe — so you can get all the punchy flavor of goulash with half the time.
Hamburger Goulash With Macaroni Ingredient Notes
Check that Fat: Since my hamburger goulash with elbow macaroni is a one-pot dish, I prefer using a lean ground beef — which means it has a higher meat-to-fat ratio. This ensures that my final dish isn’t swimming in beef fat.
Caraway Seeds: This funny little spice often gets overlooked, brushed off as a staple of the seasoning shelf. But take a closer look! Caraway seeds aren’t actually seeds at all — they’re a fruit. This anise-flavored spice has long been valued for its intestinal healing properties. So load up on this fruit!
Crushed? Diced? This hamburger goulash recipe uses crushed tomatoes, which helps ramp up the shortcut angle of this time-sensitive dish. Crushed tomatoes are halfway between diced and sauced, giving enough of a smooth sauce without foregoing all those yummy chunks entirely.
I love making enough of my hamburger goulash recipe to feed a small army — so you’d better believe I’ve got storage tips down!
Can You Freeze This?
Absolutely! My hamburger goulash recipe not only cooks up fast, but it also stores like a dream.
If you’re planning on freezing large portions, I recommend you invest in a solid airtight container. That, combined with thoroughly cooling your soup, will guarantee nothing nasty develops, like freezer burn.
Yes, there’s a but.
Because my hamburger goulash recipe has noodles cooked right in the sauce, it can’t camp out in your freezer as long as traditional goulash. The noodles will rapidly lose their structure if they stay too long, so only plan to keep your hamburger goulash in your freezer for two to three months.
If you know you’re going to be crunched for time but you still want my hamburger goulash recipe on the table, you can always prep Step 1 and store it in the fridge for up to four days.
You can always take it to Step 2 as well, and similarly, store your premade goulash base in the fridge for up to four days!
How Long Can You Keep This In The Fridge?
My fully cooked hamburger goulash recipe makes mouthwatering fridge leftovers — but only for up to four days! After that, the noodles get unappetizingly mushy, and you also risk nasty bacteria growing. Better safe than sorry!
Hungry for more goulash? I always am!
How Do Other Countries Make Their Goulash?
Goulash is a worldwide beloved dish originally developed in Hungary as a humble beef and vegetable stew. This origin gives Hungarian goulash the most traditional roots, evoking images of hearty peasant fare. American goulash, very reminiscent of my hamburger goulash recipe, is a less spice-packed version. German goulash is another European favorite — it often includes wine!
Can I Cook This In A Crock Pot?
Yes! I love dumping and forgetting dinners — crockpot goulash is one of my favorites. I recommend withholding the noodles, though. Check out my recipe to see what I mean!
Can I Cook This In An Instant Pot?
What can go in a crockpot can easily go into an Instant Pot! Instant pot goulash is delicious — and so simple! You can even cook the noodles straight in the pot in most cases. Instant YUM!
Can I Turn This Recipe Into A Cheesy Goulash?
Yes! So many traditional goulash recipes include a type of dairy, be it heavy cream, sour cream, or cheese. Get inventive!
Add a splash of cream to the sauce right before serving, or let people dollop sour cream on top of their own dishes. I love sprinkling fresh dill over the sour cream — dill complements my hamburger goulash recipe just perfectly!
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups onion chopped
- 4 large cloves garlic minced
- 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 3 cups water
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons sweet Hungarian paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon hot Hungarian paprika, optional-add more if you want a spicy goulash!
- 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 1 bay leaf
- 12 ounces elbow pasta
- 1 1/2 cups sharp cheese shredded
- In a large pot, over medium-high heat, add oil. Add the beef, salt, and black pepper then brown beef, breaking it up into large chunky pieces. Add onion and garlic then saute until onion is soft.
- Stir in crushed tomatoes, water, soy sauce, both paprikas, caraway seeds, Italian seasoning, salt, black pepper, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, reduce heat immediately and simmer, partially covered, 30 minutes.
- Stir in the elbow pasta, cover, and simmer on low heat, stirring occasionally until the pasta is tender about 25 minutes. Remove bay leaf and adjust seasoning. Ladle into bowls, top with cheese and serve.
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Whether you proudly present my hamburger goulash recipe as an international mouth-vacation or you humbly call it spaghetti, you’ll see cleaned bowls all across the table. Noodles, beef, tomato sauce, cheese — what’s not to love? The addition of paprika really just gives it that zesty boost to spice up your weeknight meal!
What add-ons did you try in your goulash? Let me know in the comments!