Finding hearty meals to fill up your family is a must – even on a busy weeknight. That’s why I love incorporating some easy pasta dinners into my weekly meal plan. With this simple make ahead hamburger goulash recipe, you can prepare a delicious one-pot meal for your family to enjoy, no matter how hectic your schedule is.
When you’re planning your dinner recipes, know that comfort food always hits the spot. Some of our other comfort food recipes include Chicken Noodle Soup Casserole, One Pot Taco Spaghetti, and good ole Macaroni and Cheese.
Hamburger Goulash Recipe
- 8 ounces macaroni pasta
- 1 ½ pounds ground beef, browned
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 green pepper, cubed
- 14 ounces diced tomatoes
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 tablespoons ketchup
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 16 ounces tomato sauce
- 3 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
- Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook the macaroni one to two minutes less than the package directions. Drain the water from the pasta and rinse it under cold water. Set the bowl aside.
- Place the shredded cheese in a medium sized freezer bag and seal.
- Add the browned beef and cooked macaroni to a large resealable freezer bag, along with the onion, green pepper, garlic, diced tomatoes, bay leaves, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.
- Seal the bag, leaving a small opening at the end. Remove excess air from the bag and seal completely. Staple the medium size bag of cheese to the large bag above the seal.
- Place both bags flat in the freezer until you’re ready to cook the goulash.
- Transfer the goulash ingredients to the refrigerator to thaw.
- Place the contents of the freezer bag in a large skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally. When the ingredients are heated through, top with the shredded cheese and serve.
Note that you’re slightly undercooking the pasta so that it doesn’t get mushy when it’s reheated. If you’re not planning to make this as a freezer meal and are serving it right away, then cook the macaroni according to the package directions.
Can You Freeze Hamburger Goulash?
Since all the ingredients in this hamburger goulash recipe are freezer friendly, it’s perfect for meal planning. And preparing all the ingredients for your dinner ahead of time makes cooking dinner so easy.
To freeze your hamburger goulash, start by cooking the pasta and ground beef. After that, all that’s left to do is combine all the ingredients together in a freezer-safe container. Goulash can be frozen in a larger freezer bag or in an airtight container until you’re ready to cook it.
When you’re ready to enjoy your goulash, start by thawing the ingredients in the refrigerator. Then, the recipe can be reheated on the stovetop.
What is the Difference Between Hungarian Goulash and American Goulash?
While both recipes feature the name “goulash,” the Hungarian and American versions of goulash are actually very different. Hungarian goulash is a thick stew made of a combination of meat and vegetables seasoned with spices. American goulash is typically made by combining ground beef and pasta with a tomato-based sauce.
How Long is American Goulash Good for in the Freezer?
Once you combine the ingredients for your goulash, it’s best to reheat your dinner within three months after freezing it. To ensure your recipe stays fresh in the freezer, make sure to store it in a freezer-safe container and remove as much excess air from the container to avoid freezer burn.
Before placing the goulash in the freezer, take the time to write the name of the recipe on the container, along with the date of freezing and the expected expiration date.
Can I Make Hamburger Goulash in the Crock Pot?
In addition to reheating your goulash on the stovetop, you can also reheat the frozen meal in the slow cooker. Just pour the contents of the freezer bag into the pot of your slow cooker and set the crockpot to cook on low for 3 to 4 hours.
Before serving, add the cheese to the slow cooker and stir to mix it in. Replace the lid on the top of the crockpot and continue cooking for five to 10 minutes, until the cheese is melted.
How Do You Store Leftover Goulash?
After enjoying your dinner, you may have a few leftovers. To store leftover goulash, transfer the pasta to an airtight container and keep in the refrigerator. The pasta will stay good for up to three days. The goulash can be reheated in the microwave or on the stovetop.
Hamburger Goulash Recipe Variations
Since this one pot recipe is quick and easy to prepare, it’s also easy to adjust. With the help of these recipe variations, you can change up the ingredients to suit your family’s preferences.
- Use ground turkey. Try replacing the ground beef with ground turkey to reduce the fat content in your goulash. The same amount of ground turkey can be used in place of ground beef.
- Try different types of pasta. Macaroni noodles are the classic option when making goulash, but you can use any type of pasta you have on hand. Penne, rigatoni, and small shells are all great options for this simple recipe.
- Add some vegetables. Make your American goulash more like Hungarian goulash with the addition of some veggies. You can add diced carrots, peas, green beans, corn, or spinach to the pot with the hamburger and pasta to give your goulash a more authentic flavour.
- 8 oz. macaroni pasta
- 1 ½ lbs. ground beef browned
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 green pepper cubed
- 14 oz. diced tomatoes
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 Tbsp. ketchup
- 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 16 oz. tomato sauce
- 3 tsp. Italian seasoning
- ½ tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. pepper
- 1 cup cheddar cheese shredded
Bring water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook the macaroni one to two minutes less than the package directions. Drain the water from the pasta and rinse it under cold water. Set the bowl aside.
Place the shredded cheese in a medium sized freezer bag and seal.
Add the browned beef and cooked macaroni to a large resealable freezer bag, along with the onion, green pepper, garlic, diced tomatoes, bay leaves, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.
Seal, remove excess air, and seal. Staple the medium size bag of cheese to the large bag above the seal.
Place the contents of the freezer bag in a large skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally. When the ingredients are heated through, top with the shredded cheese and serve.