Classic American Goulash sometimes called Macaroni Beef or Chili Mac.

Mom’s Classic American Goulash

Goulash - such comfort food! Easy & fast from pantry ingredients.

Goulash is an old American standby dish from pantry ingredients. Wikipedia notes Goulash celebrated its 100th birthday last year, being published in cookbooks as early as 1914. Simple, tasty, cheap and filling, Goulash is familiar to generations of Americans. Talk about comfort food!

Classic American Goulash sometimes called Macaroni Beef or Chili Mac.
Classic American Goulash sometimes called Macaroni Beef or Chili Mac.

We revisited this old recipe last week. It’s a basic boil the noodles, cook up the ground beef, toss everything in a pan and top with a little cheese recipe. It was actually a welcome change to some of our holiday cooking and preparations – and the perfect dish for a busy weeknight.

I’m guessing most people of my Mom’s generation never had a “recipe” for Goulash; every family has their own little twists. I learned how to make it by watching Mom, and when I was older, she watched me, lol! Her version’s my fave, and to me, the “right” way to make it.

Classic American Goulash sometimes called Macaroni Beef or Chili Mac.
Classic American Goulash sometimes called Macaroni Beef or Chili Mac.

We always topped the casserole with a little Parmesan (and yes, it really should be from a “can” – it’s all a part of the spirit of the dish) that cooks into a bubbly little crust as the casserole bakes.

A lot of families I knew cubed up cheese & stirred throughout to melt into little pockets of cheesy goodness, or added Cheddar to the top. And since this is such plain cooking, the flavor’s pretty generic, just down-home goodness. Feel free to add more garlic & chili powder or morph it into something else. Maybe a little taco seasoning?

Classic American Goulash sometimes called Macaroni Beef or Chili Mac.
Classic American Goulash sometimes called Macaroni Beef or Chili Mac.

Mom's Classic American Goulash

  • Servings: 6 - 8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 3/4 cup of dry macaroni, small-sized, cooked al dente
  • 1 to 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 28 ounce can of whole tomatoes with juice, crush tomatoes by hand
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan or Cheddar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a Dutch oven or large casserole, add hamburger, onion and green onion. Cook, breaking up the beef until cooked through, drain. Add garlic and stir together. Add tomatoes and chili powder, stir and heat through. Add in macaroni noodles and toss together. Taste – add salt if desired.

Sprinkle top with cheese. Bake 20 to 25 minutes until bubbly and the top has began to brown a bit.

Classic American Goulash sometimes called Macaroni Beef or Chili Mac.
Classic American Goulash sometimes called Macaroni Beef or Chili Mac.
Let’s talk about how to save money/time on this recipe:
  • Use a coupon matching site. Do not discount the savings even if you mostly cook from scratch! I check a site every week, even if I don’t “need” to go to the store and often find bargains I can’t pass up.
  • Follow my 12 Strategies – You’ll see them on the upper drop down menu of every page and how I apply them, below.
  • Don’t get discouraged if your prices don’t match mine! Keep shopping at the best prices and your fridge/freezer and pantry will be stocked with sales priced ingredients.
  • Read {Strategies Applied} for additional tips as well as throughout the recipe, for saving time and managing food.
Postings:

So how about you? Is this a recipe that sparks any family memories? It’s the antithesis of “gourmet” but think I’ll take it to both Throwback Thursday (I am so happy to be a co-host – yay!) and Fiesta Friday this week – FF is hosted by two of my favorite bloggers, Johanne@French Gardener Dishes andLiz@spades, spatulas & spoons.

Please stop by and check out ALL the postings! With the upcoming holidays there are bound to be many posts from many bloggers – and from all over the world, celebrating their own holidays with their own foods and traditions!

17 thoughts on “Mom’s Classic American Goulash”

  1. Hahaha! I have tried taking the plates and everything in my room (light is better from there) and my brother’s mother-in-law caught me and asked ‘Uh, what are you going to do with those?’ 😀 Blogging is really fun!

    This dish sounds amazing, Mollie. Yum! xx

  2. Oh Mollie I am still laughing at the visual of you running out with the skillet! The things we do for blogging! The goulash looks like a perfect weeknight dinner. Quintessential American fare but can’t say I have ever made one. You might have inspired me….after all I made my first beef stroganoff this week.

    1. Oooh, I LOVE beef Stroganoff! I hope it’s on your blog coz I wanna see! I am having quite a time at the folk’s with the cooking because of all the dietary restrictions and an ongoing issue with dentures! Goulash fit the bill. I am NEVER skipping my flossing after seeing what the folks are going thru!

  3. I love that these recipes have a huge margin for error and can be made many different ways with different substitutions. Many of us grew up with similar meals and remember them fondly. What I love about these hearty meals is they make great leftovers for lunch the next day too.

    This post would make a great submission to Our Growing Edge, which is a link up party for new food adventures. This month’s theme is “Nostalgia”. More info here: http://bunnyeatsdesign.com/our-growing-edge/

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