Grandma’s (American) Goulash

Now, don’t let the title fool you… Grandma definitely made traditional Hungarian goulash (complete with smoky Hungarian paprika), but this American adaptation was a favorite of mine as a child. Many might not realize that the dish was brought over to America by way of Hungarian immigrants, where it morphed from a stew into a one-pot noodle dish made with readily available ingredients. There’s lots of room for adding your own spices or vegetarian options, too!


1 – 16 oz. pkg of macaroni (or favorite pasta shape!)

2 lbs. (32 oz.) ground beef/hamburger (or meatless veggie crumbles)

1 yellow or white onion (chopped)

2 – 15 oz. cans of canned tomatoes (whole or diced)

3 cups water

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. pepper

OPTIONAL flavors to add (to taste): soy sauce, paprika, Italian seasonings, garlic


  1. Brown the meat (or meat substitute!) in a large pot. Drain off excess grease, leaving 2-3 Tbsp in the pot.
  2. Add chopped onion to the pot, and continue to cook for 5 minutes (or until onions become slightly translucent).
  3. Add pasta, tomatoes, water, salt and pepper, and any other spices or flavorings that you might like to add!
  4. Simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until pasta is cooked and water has mostly been absorbed.

PRO TIP: Try adding your favorite shredded cheese on top just before serving!

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