Delicious Southern-Style Goulash Recipe: A Must-Try!

Welcome, dear readers, to my southern-style goulash recipe. This old-fashioned goulash is a comforting and hearty dish that will remind you of home-cooked meals from your childhood.

Made with simple ingredients that are easily found in your kitchen pantry, this recipe comes together easily in just one pot. It’s perfect for those busy weeknights when you crave something filling and tasty without spending hours in the kitchen.

Goulash has its roots in Hungarian cuisine, but the Southern version incorporates classic American ingredients that we all know and love. The addition of diced tomatoes, bell peppers, and elbow macaroni noodles give it a unique texture and flavor that will keep you coming back for seconds.

This dish not only warms your stomach but also your soul. As a comfort food dish, it’s perfect for dinner on cold winter nights or even served at family gatherings. It’s a versatile recipe that can be adjusted to accommodate any dietary requirements or preference.

For anyone looking for an easy goulash recipe made with ground beef, tomato sauce and diced tomatoes to elevate their pasta game, or for those who crave traditional comfort food recipes, this southern-style goulash is the perfect solution! Join me on this culinary journey as we savor this delicious classic dish together.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Southern-Style Goulash
Southern-Style Goulash

Oh dear reader, let me tell you about a recipe that will surely bring comfort to your soul. It is the beloved southern-style goulash, an old-fashioned dish that has been cherished for years in many households.

This recipe is a perfect choice for busy evenings when you need to prepare a delicious meal without too much hassle. It’s simple and adaptable to personal tastes, yet hearty and filling enough to satisfy any appetite.

The combination of hamburger meat, tomato paste, Rotel tomatoes, and other savory ingredients make for a delightful blend of flavors that are sure to excite your taste buds with each bite. The addition of elbow macaroni noodles adds a subtle chewiness, which perfectly balances out this dish.

Not only does this southern goulash provide comfort for our stomachs, but it also provides comfort through its nostalgic effects. The simplicity of the ingredients, the ease of preparation and the classic taste brings back feelings of being at home with loved ones.

Furthermore, this southern-style goulash is highly versatile and can be customized to incorporate any preferred additions to fit individual tastes or family preferences. This recipe can be made with beef or chicken and can easily accommodate substitutions for dietary restrictions such as Gluten-Free Macaroni.

In short, if you’re looking for a comforting food dish that is both easy to make and highly customizable yet brings delicious flavors and nostalgia into your home, then this southern-style goulash is precisely what you are seeking.

Ingredient List

 A comfort food classic: Southern-Style Goulash
A comfort food classic: Southern-Style Goulash

Let’s start with the ingredients that we’ll need for this scrumptious southern-style goulash. You may already have some of these items in your pantry or refrigerator, but if not, don’t worry they are all easy to find at your local grocery store or supermarket. Here’s what you’ll need:

Ingredients 1:

  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes with juice (undrained)
  • 1 can (14 oz) Rotel tomatoes & chilies (undrained)
  • 1 28-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 cups elbow macaroni noodles
  • 2 cups frozen corn kernels
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Ingredients 2 (variation):

If you want to mix things up in your southern-style goulash, here are some suggested variations to try out:

  • Use half beef and half pork sausage to add more depth of flavor.
  • Swap elbow macaroni with egg noodles or any type of pasta you like.
  • Add more veggies like mushrooms or diced carrots to boost the nutrition.
  • Use Hungarian paprika instead of cayenne pepper for a different taste.

The Recipe How-To

 The perfect dinner for a cozy night in
The perfect dinner for a cozy night in

Now that we’ve covered the ingredients, let’s get down to business and start cooking this southern-style goulash!

Step 1: Boil Water and Cook Pasta
– Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
– Add in 1 pound of elbow macaroni and cook until al dente (around 8 to 10 minutes).
– Drain and set aside for now.

Step 2: Cook Ground Beef
– In a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, cook 2 pounds of lean ground beef until browned.
– Add in 1 large chopped onion, 3 cloves minced garlic, 1 chopped green bell pepper, and 1 chopped red bell pepper. Saute until the vegetables are softened, for around 5 minutes.

Step 3: Mix in the Rest of the Ingredients
– Stir in 1 can of Rotel tomatoes & chilies, 1 can of diced tomatoes undrained, 1 can of tomato sauce diced, as well as 1 tablespoon of tomato paste.
– Add in 1 tablespoon of salt, 1 tablespoon of cayenne pepper, and some crushed red pepper flakes to taste.
– Mix everything together thoroughly.
– Put a lid on the Dutch oven and simmer for 20 minutes.

Step 4: Add Macaroni Noodles
– After the goulash has been simmering for about 15 minutes, add back in the prepared macaroni noodles.
– Gently stir everything together until well combined.

That’s it! Your southern-style goulash is ready to serve. Spoon it into bowls and enjoy your comforting meal with your loved ones.

Substitutions and Variations

 Hearty and flavorful, this goulash is a crowd-pleaser
Hearty and flavorful, this goulash is a crowd-pleaser

My dear readers, as much as I adore the flavors of southern-style cuisine, I understand that not everyone has access to the same ingredients in every corner of the world. But do not fret! There are substitutions and variations you can make to still enjoy a delicious of southern-style goulash.

For instance, if you don’t have Rotel tomatoes & chilies on hand, you can substitute it with canned diced tomatoes or fire-roasted tomatoes for extra flavor. And for those who are sensitive to heat, a pinch of cayenne pepper or crushed red pepper flakes will do the trick instead.

In case you would like to give this recipe a little bit of twist, feel free to add more vegetables such as corn or bell peppers to give this dish some extra flavor and nutrition. Alternatively, switch out beef for ground turkey or chicken for a leaner protein option.

If you fancy another twist on this classic dish, then try using elbow macaroni noodles in different shapes like fusilli or bow-tie pasta for a fun, unique presentation. Or skip the pasta entirely and serve your goulash with rice to make it into an exciting one-pot meal!

Finally, I encourage you all to get creative with your goulash recipe and bring out your inner chef’s passion!

Serving and Pairing

 A dish that reminds me of my childhood in the South
A dish that reminds me of my childhood in the South

When it comes to serving and pairing this Southern-style goulash recipe, you have a variety of options to choose from. This classic comfort food dish is undoubtedly delicious on its own, but can also be accompanied by some traditional side dishes to enhance its flavors.

In the southern United States, it’s common to serve goulash with cornbread or biscuits – both of which pair exceptionally well with the rich tomato-based sauce and savory beef. The sweetness of cornbread or the flakiness of biscuits cuts through the bold flavor of this hearty goulash and adds a bit of contrast to your palate.

If you’re looking for something more substantial, you could serve your goulash with a side of mashed potatoes or rice. These starchy and mellow sides are perfect for soaking up all the delicious flavors of the sauce.

Another great option is to top your goulash with some shredded cheddar cheese or sour cream. The creaminess of these toppings balances out the spiciness and acidity of the sauce.

For those who want to stick with pasta, elbow macaroni noodles are traditionally used in goulash recipes. But if you’re feeling adventurous, try swapping out the pasta for egg noodles or even cooked spaghetti.

In conclusion, this Southern-style goulash recipe goes perfectly well with traditional comfort food sides like cornbread, biscuits, mashed potatoes or rice, as well as delicious toppings like cheddar cheese or sour cream. Whatever your preference, make sure you have some tasty sides that complement the richness of this popular comfort food dish.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Rich tomato sauce mixed with ground beef and pasta - yum!
Rich tomato sauce mixed with ground beef and pasta – yum!

One of the best things about this southern-style goulash recipe is that it can be made ahead of time and stored for later consumption. Whether you want to save time or simply enjoy leftovers, there are several ways in which you can store this dish.

To make-ahead, prepare the dish by following the recipe’s instructions up until the point of adding in the macaroni noodles. Refrigerate or freeze the sauce separately from the noodles, and when ready to cook, boil the noodles separately and mix them with the reheated sauce.

When properly refrigerated in an airtight container, this goulash can last up to four days. You can easily reheat it either in a microwave or on a stovetop over low heat. If you prefer to use a slow cooker, you can reheat it using this method as well.

Additionally, freezing this goulash for later use is also a great option. When stored correctly within an air-tight container, you can store it in your freezer for up to 2-3 months.

Lastly, when it comes to reheating this savory southern comfort food dish, I recommend reheating in small portions at a time instead of all at once to ensure even heating throughout.

Now that you’re aware of how versatile this dish is when it comes to storage and reheating options feel free to make large batches for meal prepping purposes or simply make extra for leftovers. Enjoy!

Tips for Perfect Results

 The ultimate comfort food trifecta: meat, carbs, and veggies
The ultimate comfort food trifecta: meat, carbs, and veggies

As a chef specializing in Southern-style cuisine, I know just how important it is for your dish to come out perfect. So, I’ve compiled a list of tips to help ensure that your Southern-Style Goulash Recipe turns out just right.

1. Be Mindful of Your Spices

One of the keys to a great goulash is balancing the spices: cayenne pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, garlic cloves, and salt. Be mindful when measuring out each spice and make sure they are well distributed throughout the dish.

2. Don’t Overcook the Pasta

Don’t let your elbow macaroni overcook! Cook until al-dente according to package instructions and avoid adding more time to the cooking process when combining with other ingredients.

3. Use Fresh Beef

For best results, go with fresh beef instead of frozen. Fresh ground beef optimizes flavor and texture which may alter if using frozen replacements.

4. Make Good Use of Tomato Paste and Rotel Tomatoes & Chilies

Tomato paste serves as a thickener while Rotel brings a spicy kick with tomatoes and chilies. Make sure to use both tomato paste and Rotel tomatoes & chilies to get the most flavors out of your Southern-style goulash recipe.

5. Simmer on Low Heat

Simmering your goulash slowly and at a low temperature will bring out all those delicious flavors you worked so hard to attain. Low heat also helps prevent overcooking your pasta noodles.

By following these tips, you’ll end up with a delicious bowl of Southern-Style Goulash that Grandma would be proud of!


And now, it’s time to address some frequently asked questions about this delectable southern-style Goulash recipe. Whether you’re a seasoned cook or new to the kitchen, these answers will help you navigate any potential roadblocks and make your cooking experience a success. So, let’s dive in and answer some of the most common inquiries about this comforting dish.

What is goulash called in the South?

This dish is known as American goulash and is a beloved comfort-food in the Midwest and South. While it shares a name with Hungarian goulash, there are no actual similarities in taste or ingredients. Other regional names for this dish include Slumgullion, American Chop Suey, and Beef-a-Roni.

What is the difference between Hungarian goulash and regular goulash?

Goulash is a type of stew that comes in different variations depending on the country. Hungarian Goulash is a hearty stew made of meats and vegetables with a rich paprika-infused broth, while American Goulash, also known as American Chop Suey, is a simpler dish made of ground beef, tomato sauce, herbs, and elbow macaroni.

What are the two types of goulash?

You can find goulash served in two different ways: the Hungarian version involves simmering beef and serving it with egg noodles, while the American version combines ground beef with noodles cooked in the same pot as the sauce.

What is traditional goulash made of?

Goulash is an old-fashioned recipe that I absolutely adore. This dish is simple to make, as it only requires one pot and less than three quarters of an hour! It features ground beef, onion, bell pepper, macaroni noodles, and a delectably seasoned tomato sauce with diced tomatoes. It’s ideal for busy weeknights when time is tight.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this Southern-Style Goulash Recipe is truly a comfort food dish that will soothe your soul and fill your belly with warmth and love. The combination of ground beef, elbow macaroni, and tangy tomato sauce makes it a classic meal that is easy to make and perfect for any occasion. Whether you’re at home or entertaining guests, this goulash recipe is versatile enough to fit all your needs.

So go ahead and give it a try! With these ingredients at hand, you’ll be making the best old-fashioned goulash in no time. And don’t worry about leftovers; this dish stores and reheats wonderfully, so you can enjoy it for days to come. Plus, with the helpful tips and substitutions provided, you can customize this recipe to suit your personal preferences.

Remember, food is not just about sustenance but also about pleasure and enjoyment. A well-prepared meal can bring people together and create cherished memories. So why not bring a taste of Southern comfort to your dinner table with this delectable goulash recipe? Trust me; your taste buds will thank you!

Southern-Style Goulash

Southern-Style Goulash Recipe

This is just the way my grandma used to make it and is by far the best one-dish meal ever. My kids love it and so does my husband!
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Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Calories 453.6 kcal


  • 1 (16 ounce) bag elbow macaroni
  • 4 (8 ounce) cans corn, drained
  • 2 (8 1/2 ounce) cans peeled diced tomatoes
  • 4 (4 1/2 ounce) cans tomato sauce
  • 2 lbs hamburger meat
  • 1 white onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 (10 ounce) can Rotel tomatoes & chilies
  • 2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste


  • Combine meat, garlic, onion, red pepper, salt, and cayenne pepper.
  • Cook until meat is ready and then drain grease from meat.
  • While meat is cooking, boil noodles as directed on their bag.
  • Combine cooked meat mixture, cooked noodles, and all other ingredients in a large pot.
  • Cover and cook over med-low heat until thoroughly heated throughout.
  • Serve and enjoy!
  • This is even better the next day.
  • Can be frozen too!

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 338gCalories: 453.6kcalCarbohydrates: 63gProtein: 24.4gFat: 13.4gSaturated Fat: 4.8gCholesterol: 51.4mgSodium: 1085.7mgFiber: 6.4gSugar: 10.7g
Keyword < 30 Mins, Beginner Cook, Easy, Healthy, Inexpensive, Kid-Friendly, Low Cholesterol, Meat, One-Dish Meal, Southwestern, Toddler-Friendly
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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