Slow Cooker American Goulash
Easy slow cooker American goulash recipe, homemade with simple ingredients. Loaded with tomatoes, ground beef, macaroni, cheese and lots of dried herbs. Also known as hamburger goulash.
This recipe is filling, satisfying, and one of the best comfort foods out there. It’s a pretty classic dish and has been around for a long time because it’s too good not to pass up. Each family seems to have its own special twist.
What is goulash?
It is a dish that originated in medieval Hungary and is quite popular throughout Europe. It is considered a stew or soup and is often heavy on meat, vegetables, along with paprika and other similar spices. Depending on the version (Hungarian or American) you make, pasta may or may not be present.
How to make goulash on crockpot (slow cooker)?
- Cook and drain beef: In a nonstick skillet, brown the meat and drain it.
- the cooking pot: add beef, onions, peppers, garlic, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, broth, water, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce and bay leaves, then stir well
- Top and cook – Over high heat for 3.5 hours.
- – After 3.5 hours, add the raw pasta and stir. The paste will absorb the extra liquid you may notice at this point.
- Cover and cook again – For another 20 minutes or until pasta is al dente
- Enjoy – Discard bay leaves. Add the cheese. Garnish with parsley and cava!
Add most ingredients in
Add the paste
goulash vs. American goulash
The original Hungarian version contained no pasta. However, when the recipe arrived in America (or when it arrived in America), pasta was added as a way to further increase the food. This version of the recipe is now known as the American version, while the paste-free version looks like the Hungarian version.
What sides to serve with the old-fashioned beef goulash recipe?
This comfort food is a heavy meal on its own. However, if you still want to serve a side dish, try the following
- Simple green salad
- Rolls Breadsticks
Make it a soup
: double the amount of broth so that the consistency is thinner, similar to soup. Make
it cheesy – Add more cheddar cheese or you can even mix some cream cheese. You can also garnish with grated mozzarella cheese.
Add corn and other vegetables: If you like vegetables, go further and add some extra vegetables that pair well with this dish. Some of these are corn, broccoli, radishes, carrots, green onions, etc.
Add chicken: If you prefer chicken to beef, swap the meat for the same amount of chicken breast or even ground chicken. You can also use roast chicken to save time.
vegetarian – If you prefer not to eat meat at all, don’t worry, just skip the suggested meat and add vegan meat or just add more vegetables
. Make it
spicy– Add red chili flakes
. Add bacon-
Sprinkle pieces of cooked bacon at the end
Make it creamy– Add a little half and half, heavy cream or even more cheese.
Refrigerated Storage– Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days
Froze– I do not recommend this because the pasta does not thaw well and decomposes and becomes “soft”.
Reheating: This dish can be easily reheated in the microwave.
Tips & Techniques
What is the best meat for American goulash? Ground beef that is 70-80% lean is best. Boneless meat also works well.
How to store this dish? The best way to store this particular recipe is to place it in safe freezer bags, remove air, flatten them, and reheat them in the microwave as needed. It freezes for up to three months. As for the refrigerator, place the dish in airtight containers and keep it for up to a week.
Use whole cheese: This will make the dish creamier and add a more robust flavor from the added cheese
Broth substitute – use water in a pinch, if absolutely necessary. Although, it’s important to note that meat broth adds an extra flavor component that water won’t have.
What type of pasta to use? – I used elbow macaroni in this recipe, but any short pasta will work fine. This can include bow tie paste, penne, rigatoni, etc.
Drain the fat: because it prevents the food from becoming too oily and greasy.
Do I need to cook pasta first? No, that’s not necessary. The pasta is cooked in the slow cooker as it absorbs all the flavor of the liquids.
Use low-sodium ingredients, as this prevents the dish from becoming too salty.
How to make a thicker pasta dish? Cook uncapped until excess liquid is absorbed into the paste or evaporates.
How to make a thinner pasta dish? Mix in a little broth or water.