American Goulash


American goulash, also known as old-fashioned goulash, is the perfect economical family meal. The pasta cooks right in the sauce, so this satisfying dish can cook in just one pot.

Prep Time:
25 mins
Additional Time:
5 mins
Total Time:
30 mins
4 servings

How We Made American Goulash Healthy

1. To help keep saturated fat in check, we use lean ground beef. Look for beef that's at least 90% lean or leaner.

2. We reduce sodium by calling for no-salt added tomato products and reduced sodium broth.

3. To get an added boost of fiber, we use whole-wheat macaroni. The mildly nutty flavor of the pasta blends in well with the big flavors from the beef, onion and tomatoes.

What Is Goulash?

Originating in Hungary, goulash is a soup or stew that features potatoes and/or other root vegetables, stew beef and plenty of paprika. It cooks slowly, allowing the beef to tenderize and rich deep flavors to develop. American goulash draws inspiration from the original dish, but is less like a stew and more like a one-pot meal. It features ground beef, pasta (usually macaroni) and tomatoes. Unlike Hungarian goulash, American goulash cooks quickly, making it a great family-friendly option for weeknights. Both types of goulash feature the addition of paprika for spice and warmth.

How to Make American Goulash Ahead

You can make the entire recipe from start to finish up to 2 days ahead. Store in the refrigerator and reheat before serving.

Additional reporting by Hilary Meyer


  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 ½ cups chopped onion

  • 1 pound lean ground beef

  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 teaspoons paprika

  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper

  • 1 (14 ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained

  • 1 (8 ounce) can no-salt-added tomato sauce

  • 1 cup low-sodium beef or chicken broth

  • 1 1/4 cups whole-wheat elbow macaroni

  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and beef; cook, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, paprika, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper; cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes and their juices, tomato sauce and broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook for 5 minutes. Add macaroni and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until tender, 6 to 9 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with Parmesan, if desired.

    American Goulash

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

418 Calories
16g Fat
40g Carbs
31g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Serving Size 1 1/2 cups
Calories 418
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 40g 15%
Dietary Fiber 7g 24%
Total Sugars 8g
Added Sugars 1g 2%
Protein 31g 62%
Total Fat 16g 21%
Saturated Fat 5g 26%
Cholesterol 74mg 25%
Vitamin A 1225IU 24%
Vitamin C 16mg 18%
Folate 43mcg 11%
Sodium 726mg 32%
Calcium 73mg 6%
Iron 5mg 28%
Magnesium 87mg 21%
Potassium 1023mg 22%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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