Grandma’s Delicious Goulash

Grandma's goulash was a family favorite growing up - ground beef, elbow macaroni, and a sweet tomato sauce make this skillet dish so simple to throw together in no time. Goulash feeds a crowd and is made in just one skillet.

Hungarian Goulash made in just one pot

Grandma’s Goulash

Our Grandma’s Easy Ground Beef Goulash has always been one of our favorite meals, even as kids.

When mom was out of town, our dad always whipped up a batch of his mom’s goulash and we would devour the whole pan!

This simple dish is loaded with flavor and comes together in a matter of minutes. I love skillet dinners like this that make clean-up so easy.

What is goulash?

Goulash originally came from Hungary and it was a soup or stew that consisted of meat and peppers seasoned with paprika and other herbs and seasonings.

In America, goulash is usually made with ground beef, elbow macaroni, and tomatoes (either tomato sauce, tomato soup, and/or tomato paste).

I love that this dish is hearty and comforting, but it’s also perfect if you are trying to eat on a budget.

This isn’t your typical Hungarian goulash, but it’s delicious all the same.

If you are looking for more yummy meat and pasta skillet dishes, be sure to check out our Chili Mac Skillet or 20 Minute Skillet Lasagna.

How to make Grandma’s Goulash

  • Cook the ground beef in a large skillet until it’s no longer pink.
  • Add in onion and green pepper and cook for 5 minutes more.
  • Add corn, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, brown sugar, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce and salt; let simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Add uncooked macaroni noodles, stir and cover skillet with lid.
  • Let simmer over medium heat for 20 minutes and serve.

Some people prefer a thicker goulash, so they let the liquid mixture boil down a little before adding in the noodles, but it’s completely up to you and how you like your goulash.

If there are any leftovers, store it in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the fridge – it makes great leftovers!

The noodles will absorb any extra liquid after a day or two, so if you prefer a soupier goulash, you can add a little bit of water or beef broth before you reheat it.

Additional toppings for goulash:

  • shredded cheddar cheese
  • sour cream
  • sliced green onions
  • Parmesan cheese

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What to serve with Goulash

Serves: 8

Grandma's Delicious Goulash

10 minPrep Time

35 minCook Time

45 minTotal Time

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  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 large onion (diced)
  • 1 green bell pepper (diced)
  • 1 (15 ounce) can corn (drained)
  • 1 (29 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans diced tomatoes (undrained)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups elbow macaroni


  1. In a large pot over medium heat, brown beef until no longer pink.
  2. Drain grease well and add onion and green pepper.
  3. Cook for 5 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.
  4. Add corn, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, brown sugar, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce and salt. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. Add uncooked macaroni noodles, stir and cover pot with lid.
  6. Let simmer over medium heat for 20 minutes and serve.



852 cal


3 g


170 g


32 g
Click Here For Full Nutrition, Exchanges, and My Plate Info

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23 Responses to “Grandma’s Delicious Goulash”

  1. Shawna
    I'm sure this is a perfectly wonderful dish, but could you do the Hungarians a favor and call it Turkey Surprise or something? Goulash is made with beef shank and it is actually a soup. I don't think soy sauce has ever been in a traditional Hungarian Nagymama's kitchen.
  2. Clover
    We had something very similar to this dish, and my Great Grandmother who was from Russia called it Goulash. Elbow mac with some sort of ground meat, (Many times she would grind leftover beef roast) tomatoes from the can, with lots of paprika and chili powder. Sometimes, there would be onions. When ever I make this it feels like a hug from my Great Grandma, and my Granny.
  3. Shawna I'm 55 years old I have been eating this dish all of my life its GOULASH! I have never heard it called anything else. I think your comment is nitpicky and silly. you could have shared your story without scolding the blogger I've had "Turkish Goulash" and I way perfer the American verison.....just sayin.
  4. Catherine P.
    I've had my nagymama's real Hungarian goulash, and I've had my boyfriend's mom's goulash (which is dang similar to this one) and I have news... I don't care what they're called, and they're both delicious. Grandma wouldn't have minded the name, neither. She was traditional to the core, but every now and again she'd pull a wild card. Her spaghetti sauce with hot dogs in it was met with mixed reviews LOL. ;)
  5. Shannon
    This was sooo good I made it the other day. The family said this is a keeper. It has such a good taste. At first I was not sure about making it in the summer since it looks like a fall or winter food. But this is something I will make year round for sure... Also I do have a question can you freeze this? Thanks so much !!!
  6. Stephanie
    I made this for freezer meals for my elderly parents. They said it was too sweet. My mom refused to eat it. There is a lot left. Do you have any suggestions on how to cut the sweetness after the fact? Other than that, it is good.

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