beef and tomato goulash

I grew up on this dish and it’s still a favorite of mine on a cold winter night. There are probably hundreds of variations on this and my own recipe often changes depending on what I have on hand. The basics to this dish are ground beef, tomatoes, and pasta and, though it may be different from the goulash recipes you’re used to, give this one a try! And don’t hesitate to customize this and make it your own – it’s a very flexible recipe. It just so happens that this time around, I had a pound of ground beef and a pound of ground sweet Italian sausage, so I used them both. That’s about 1/2 pound more meat than I usually add but what the heck. The recipe that follows is how I made the goulash pictured.

lola rugula beef and tomato goulash

Beef Goulash Recipe

  • 1 lb of ground beef (or chicken, or turkey)
  • 1 lb sweet Italian sausage (optional – omit and add more ground beef, if preferred)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 10 medium mushrooms, sliced
  • 2  28-ounce cans crushed tomatoes (absolutely used fresh tomatoes if you have them)
  • 1 16-oz can low-sodium dark red kidney beans, rinsed (add any bean you like or, if you’re not a fan of beans, don’t add any)
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound of macaroni noodles, cooked according to package directions. Cook only to al dente.

In a large pan brown the beef and sausage over medium heat. Drain off fat. Back on the heat, add olive oil, onions and garlic and stir until translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Stir in mushrooms and continue cooking for 5 more minutes. Add both cans of tomatoes, along with 1 can of water. Add beans, red pepper flakes and black pepper (to taste – I like a lot ) and stir. Heat to a gentle boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

In the meantime, cook your macaroni and drain.

When sauce has simmered for 30 minutes, remove from heat, stir in noodles and serve.

We always have a bowl of this fresh from the stove but, like a lot of tomato sauce dishes, the goulash tastes best after it sits in the fridge overnight. I add the can of water for a little more tomato broth but you can certainly omit it if you prefer your goulash on the thicker side.

Stay warm and pray for an early spring!

6 thoughts on “beef and tomato goulash

  1. Just what I need after a day out on the South Downs with the wind whistling around my ears. I hope you had a great Christmas Lesley..and the New Year brings you more creative joy, happiness and peace

    • That’s so kind of you to say! I hope the New Year brings much joy, happiness & peace to us both. Your blog is one I truly enjoy and your photos often give me inspiration, along with a glimpse into amazing places. Peace.

  2. You left a like on our blog so I thought I’d check you out. It’s so funny that you posted this. I grew up in rural Michigan in the fifties eating this–where it was called ‘Beef Goulash,” one of those primal childhood comfort foods, like macaroni and cheese. I daresay “al dente” and “pasta” were decades from entering the American culinary lexicon–it was always elbow macaroni. Years later I moved to Boston for college, where the same dish, same elbow macaroni, was called “American Chop Suey.” I also remember encountering a genuine Hungarian goulash and thinking, “Well, we’ve certainly come along way from home, haven’t we?” Great post. Thanks for the reminder. Ken

    • Thanks for stopping by! I grew up knowing this as simply “Goulash” so boy was I surprised the first time I saw Hungarian Goulash, “American Chop Suey” cracks me up – I spent a number of years on the East coast but I’ve never heard it called that. Isn’t it funny how the same dish is known by different names, depending on where you live? I’m glad I could bring back a memory for you! Food has an amazing way of doing that sometimes.

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