Old Fashioned Goulash

Old Fashioned Goulash

Old Fashioned Goulash 

Old fashioned goulash is my latest and greatest recipe. It is something that takes me back to my childhood, and I love that. 

This old fashioned goulash recipe is the perfect one pot weekday night dinner that doesn’t take long to make, and there will be leftovers! It is also budget friendly and can be made without an extra trip to the store if you have even a decently stocked freezer and pantry. 

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I was trying to describe this dish to Nathan when I explained what I was making yesterday. The only thing that came to mind was homemade Hamburger Helper. After eating it, he readily agreed that is what it is. 

Now I am not a fan of processed food, so anything homemade is always better. This old fashioned goulash recipe was certainly no exception! 

I remember my aunt making this dish as a kid, and it was amazing. I wish I had paid a lot more attention to her recipes when I was younger. Now I am left to experiment until I come up with my own delicious version. This old fashioned goulash recipe is perfect. 

Recipes that bring back nostalgic memories always hold a special place for me. What about you? 

Old Fashioned Goulash Ingredients

Ground beef (2 pounds)

Beef broth (3 cans)

Diced tomatoes (2 cans) 

Stewed tomatoes (1 can)

Tomato paste (1 large can) 

Elbow macaroni (1 box) 

Garlic (3 cloves, minced) 

Mushrooms (6, diced) 

Onion (medium size, diced) 

Fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme, basil, bay leaf) 

Spices (salt, pepper, steak seasoning, to taste) 

Cheddar cheese (shredded, for garnish. Mozzarella can also be used) 

Old Fashioned Goulash Directions

In a dutch oven add the ground beef, mushrooms, garlic, onions, and spices. Brown the meat and saute the vegetables. 

Once that is done, add in the tomato products, undrained and the fresh herbs. This will create a pretty healthy amount of liquid, but don’t worry. Simmer this for 15-20 minutes. 

Add in the beef broth and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add in the noodles and cook until fork-tender, stirring often. 


The noodles will absorb the liquid in this as they cook, so it will not be soupy. I am a huge fan of the fact this can be made in one single pot, and not dirty up a bunch of dishes. 

Cooking the noodles in the broth also adds another depth of flavor because they are absorbing all the flavor in the pot instead of just water. I do the same thing when cooking rice in my stuffed pepper recipe. 

This old fashioned goulash recipe is even better the following day, and there will be leftovers. Some recipes are even better as leftovers. Nathan thought the same thing. 

The recipe can easily be cut in half if you’re not serving a large group. 

If you plan on making it ahead and freezing it, leave out the noodles. They become mushy and lose texture when frozen. They can easily be added once unthawed and heated up easily. 

Substitutions & Additions

There are multiple ways to tweak this recipe into ways that fit into anyone’s taste! 

I frequently use one pound of ground beef and one pound of mild italian sausage when cooking beef meals. The sausage means I don’t need to use any added oil in a dish, and gives it an added depth of flavor. 

Cheese can also be swapped out based on preference. I used cheddar, but mozzarella, parmesan, or even provolone would be delicious in this recipe. 

You can use dried herbs and canned mushrooms if that is what is on hand, without a problem. Use what you have and don’t make an extra trip to the store. Save yourself the time and effort. 

Add Texture

If you want to add a bit of texture to this old fashioned goulash, sprinkle cheese on top and put in the oven under the broil setting. That will melt the cheese and brown it as well. Browning the cheese adds a delicious melty cheese texture that is just wonderful. Who doesn’t like browned melty cheese? 

Kid & Budget Friendly

This old fashioned goulash recipe is both kid and budget friendly! Both are big wins in my book! I love that it does not require an extra trip to the grocery store either, even when the freezer or pantry are running low. 

Because it can be made with ingredients we all generally have on hand in the freezer and pantry, it is easily a very budget friendly meal. The fact there are always leftovers means that one meal and money spent on it will stretch quite a ways. 

This is a perfect weeknight meal for a busy family on the go, or just have really hungry kids and husbands. Nathan and I ate this meal almost all week when I made it, and there are just the two of us. For a family, it will go a very long way. 


Have you made this old fashioned goulash before? What is your favorite childhood meal that brings back memories? Tell me about it in the comments! 

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  • Arti

    This looks yumm but as i am a vegetarian, is there a way I could make it without beef? What can i use instead of that?

    • The Prepping Wife

      That is an easy fix, Arti! Replace the beef with mushrooms, and the beef broth with vegetable broth. Those are the only animal products in this recipe, making it a really easy swap for both vegetarians and vegans.

  • Lyosha

    it reminds me of childhood as well. I actually didn’t have it for years now: I always hated goulash when I was little, preferring traditional national dishes (I still do). but the way you write this post I kinda want to try cooking it again

    • Lyosha

      I actually tried cooking it. well, it was nice but reminded me why I prefer other recipes. also you recipe was so much alike with what I ate as a child, I didn’t even have to ask anyone, I just followed the recipe

  • Subhashish Roy

    Sounds fabulous and looks fabulous too. Only thing is that I would probably love to have it with mutton instead as all my family members abstain from beef. And hence so do I. I’ll ask my wife who has just got over her Covid-19 after almost a month to try it out. Only today she was telling me that she was sick of not doing anything and wanted to try cooking a new recipe.

  • Kelly Martin

    This Old fashioned goulash sounds so hearty and warming. It would be a nice easy dish for winter and I like that it only takes one pot to make it.

  • Britt K

    This was a regular meal in our house growing up – although we called it ‘Shipwreck’ lol My mother used to use this as an opportunity to use up vegetables that were in the fridge as well, adding random veggies each time that she made it. It was never the same meal twice hahaha

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