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person holding a bowl of American goulash

One Pot American Goulash

  • Author: Brooke
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 6 cups 1x


One pot American goulash is an easy recipe made with simple ingredients.  Learn how to make this classic comfort food in the slow cooker or stove top.  It's a quick dinner idea for busy weeknights that is kid approved.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (15 ml)
  • 1 pound ground beef (80% meat, 20% fat; 453g)
  • 1 3/4 cup yellow onion, chopped (233g)
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups filtered water (355 ml)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (15 ml)
  • 28 ounces petite diced tomatoes (793g)
  • 2 cups elbow macaroni, uncooked (275g)
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated (22g)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped


Stovetop Version

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat until it's shimmering.  Brown the hamburger until it's no longer pink, roughly 4 minutes.  Use a wooden turner to break up the hamburger into smaller pieces while it cooks.  Drain the fat off the meat and pour the fat out of the pan into a small bowl.
  2. Add 1/2 tablespoon of hamburger fat back into the skillet.  Turn the heat to medium-high and add the onion.  Saute until soft, roughly 4 minutes, then add the garlic and cook until fragrant.
  3. Deglaze the pan by pouring 1/2 to 1 cup of water into the pan and scraping off the browned bits on the pan with a wooden turner.
  4. Add the dried spices (oregano, basil, rosemary, salt, black pepper and sugar).  Cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly, to let the spices bloom.
  5. Return the cooked hamburger back to the skillet.  Mix in the Worcestershire sauce, diced tomatoes with the juice, uncooked macaroni, and the water.  Cover the skillet and bring to a boil, then simmer with the lid on for 15 minutes.  Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
  6. Serve warm with a generous sprinkling of freshly grated Parmesan cheese and fresh parsley.

Slow Cooker Version

  1. Follow steps 1 to 4 from the stovetop directions above.
  2. Put the cooked hamburger, Worcestershire sauce, diced tomatoes with the juice, the onion mixture, and filtered water into a slow cooker.
  3. Cook covered on high for 3 to 4 hours or on low for 6 to 8 hours.
  4. During the last 15 minutes, add the uncooked elbow macaroni, stir, and cover.
  5. Garnish with grated cheese and parsley.


If you don't have macaroni noddles, substitute with any other small pasta like rotini, ditalini, or small shells.

  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: goulash crockpot, goulash recipe, easy hamburger recipe