Some call this dish American chop suey, but in my neighborhood, there is nothing better than a good old-fashioned one pot American Goulash recipe. Perfect for slow-simmering on a lazy afternoon, this dinner features simple ingredients that come together quickly and in a single pot, making for easy prep and cleanup. Full of pantry staples and fresh vegetables, this American-style goulash is hearty, flavorful, and comfort food to enjoy all year long. Just like Grandma used to make, get ready to gather around the table for this feast of a meal, and enjoy some family time tonight!
A Family Recipe
In all honesty, I never really appreciated American goulash until I was an adult.
I was living in Mesa in a complex across from my grandparents, and one day I stopped by to visit with Granny and almost died from hunger as soon as I caught a whiff of what she was making.
It was so good, you guys. She had the pan simmering on the stove for hours, filling up the condo with warm, inviting scents of deliciousness. And since that day, over five years ago now, I’ve been trying to nail her recipe.
Goulash vs Chop Suey
In the shortest sense, they are the same dish!
- Distant cousins to Hungarian goulash, which is a dinner of thick tomato sauce with ground beef and paprika
- Modern varieties use more Italian seasonings
- American Chop Suey is generally found along the east coast, American Goulash in the midwest
American chop suey actually contained rice before pasta, giving it the vaguely Chinese flair it takes its name from.
How Do You Make American Goulash
What I really love about this dish is that you can make it in one pot!
- Brown the ground beef first
- Add the veggies and cook until soft
- Add the remaining ingredients minus the macaroni
- Simmer, simmer, simmer, and simmer some more!
Can You Freeze American Goulash?
The short answer is yes!
But, if you’re planning on freezing, there are some simple modifications you will want to make to ensure this old-fashioned goulash is truly freezer-friendly.
- Pasta turns to mush if frozen, so don’t add the pasta to the main pot
- Instead, cook pasta separately and add to the goulash later, before serving
- Seal pasta-less goulash in freezer bags or containers that are air-tight, in small batches
You could also choose to cook the pasta in the reheated goulash, to allow the pasta to absorb the flavors like it would if you weren’t making it for freezer prep. In which case I usually add a small amount of extra water (maybe 1/2 cup) to ensure there is enough moisture available to properly cook the macaroni.
One Pot American Goulash Recipe
No matter the season, this one pot American goulash recipe is a staple comfort food that comes together quickly and uses simple ingredients to make a hearty meal for a family dinner.
If you like this recipe, please give it a 5 star rating!
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Ont Pot American Goulash Recipe
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 1 cup sweet yellow onion diced
- 1 cup green bell pepper seeded and diced
- 1 cup carrot diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 14.5 oz can petite diced tomatoes
- 1 15 oz can tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon hot sauce
- 1 2/3 cup water
- 1 1/2 tablespoons golden italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- kosher salt to taste
- cracked black pepper to taste
- 1 cup elbow macaroni uncooked
- Heat a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef and cook, breaking the meat up as it cooks, until browned, about 6 minutes. Add the onion, bell pepper, and carrot, and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes.
- Add all the remaining ingredients, except the macaroni, and stir gently to combine. Cover, and let simmer for 20 minutes.
- Stir in the macaroni, cover once more, and let simmer for another additional 20 minutes, or until the macaroni is tender. Remove from heat, uncover, and let sit for 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!