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I am fortunate enough to have grown up with an incredible mother who was also an amazing cook.  So, when I think back to the comfort foods of my childhood, there are many. This goulash is one of those comfort foods I remember so fondly.  I haven’t had it in years, but was reminded of it while glancing over Pinterest the other day.  The minute I saw it, I called Mom up to get the recipe.  As it simmered on the stove, it was torture because the smell was so familiar to me.  One taste and I was instantly taken back to my childhood and could feel my short little legs swinging under the kitchen chair as a stuffed my mouth with this delicious goodness.  It’s hearty and filling and the best part is you can feed a crowd inexpensively – which is probably why we had it often growing up.  It’s a versatile dish too in that you can replace the corn with other vegetables, if you like.  I love how food can connect us to our past like that.  Don’t you?  Y’all enjoy…

Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
40 mins
Total Time
55 mins
Course: Main Course
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (28-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 (15.25-ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
  • shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
  1. In a large dutch oven brown the ground beef over medium high heat until it is not longer pink. Drain the grease. Add the onions and garlic to the meat and reduce the heat to medium. Cook until the onions are translucent. Add the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes with juice, water, paprika, salt, and pepper. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in uncooked macaroni and corn and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes or until the macaroni is done. Serve topped with shredded cheddar cheese.


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  1. Allyson Rose says:

    Stacey thank you so much for posting this. It does take me back to my childhood. My Mom never put corn in it, but everything else is as I remember the flavors. With one exception….My Mom put several big squirts from the ketchup bottle in as she was making it.
    Thanks for bring back the memories,

  2. My Mother made this goulash for us as well and I loved it. She also made a version of it using stew beef which I also liked. It truly was a comfort food. Thanks for the memory and the reminder. I will have to make it for my grandchildren.


  3. One pot meals are some of my favorites! Thank you for sharing this recipe 🙂

  4. Was just talking to a friend about this; however I did not use the corn or paprika. Always prepared enough for leftovers.

  5. I love “Goulash” and your recipe sounds delicious! Thank you! I look forward to making it! On to Pinterest it goes!

  6. Oh my Lord! You KNOW you ain’t gone and made me want my Mama’s goulash! How familiar…I do believe I feel like crying…and cooking… Thank you.

  7. Oh my! You have no idea how long I have been looking for the goulash recipe from my childhood, minus the corn, but I’m sure that is a tasty addition! Cant wait to make this for my son and husband, thank you!!

  8. I put red beans in it, instead of corn.

  9. Dale Cooper says:

    Love Goulash. Have made it for my family for forty or more years. The only difference is no corn and I stirred in 1/4 cup of sour cream just before serving.

  10. Oh my! So many people have never heard of goulash, so I couldn’t believe I was seeing a recipe for it! I have so many memories of goulash from childhood (not that it was THAT long ago 😉 but it is SO good! Our family’s recipe was almost identical, although I’m quite sure everyone in our family followed my Grannie’s lead and put a can of beef consumme in everything! Thanks for the memory 🙂


  11. Lori Morris says:

    Brings back good memories. My mom added black olives, layed it with cheese and finished it in the oven. Gooey goodness. We called it “More”, because you always wanted more, of course!

  12. Gramparic says:

    Great site. Glad I stumbled upon it. I cook 6 out of 7 days per week, as my wife works later in the afternoon, it is the least I can do for her. Looking forward to visiting frequently for recipes.

  13. Veronica Plain says:

    My mom made this too, but she also added green peppers and a touch of garlic. Soooo good! I still make it to this day! 🙂

  14. Stacey, My Dad would add bell pepper and a little bit of bacon when he was cooking the onion, Thank you for bringing back a great memory. I think I will make some for my family this week.

  15. yep, very similar to what we ate growing up and called goulash altho we knew it wasn’t Hungarian Goulash. we were on a farm and had our own canned tomatoes and used whatever vegetables we had in garden or freezer. I thought it was a Midwestern dish. I have a friend who’s family called this funeral hotdish. when neighbors sent food to a family with a death there was always at least one of these casseroles. some cooks would fancy it up by changing out the elbow macaroni by using rotini or even some crinkly noodle shapes. vegie choices were different for each family peas were common.

  16. This recipe was posted on my Face Book page. Since the weather is getting cooler, I decided it was the right time to try it. It is delicious. Even my boyfriend likes it and that is saying a lot! He is a very fussy eater. Thank you for sharing this recipe. It is a keeper 😀

  17. Just have to say I tried your recipe and it was absolutely delicious! Thank you for sharing.My Grandfather used pretty much the same ingredients,minus the corn for what he dubbed his”Sloppy Macaroni”except he used bacon instead of the ground beef and lots of green peppers…

  18. Denise Young says:

    I have LOVED goulash my whole life, i have never made it with water. I am a little nervous to try it, but all the comments are very good so I will try it!!

    Thanks for all your GREAT recipes, LOVE your page 🙂

  19. Hi Stacey!
    I just saw this on Christy Jordan’s Blog. Thanks for sharing! I guess I didn’t realize that this was actually called Goulash. Growing up, I thought it was something my Grandmother just threw together and gave it a random name. I would love to make this for my family! What size Dutch oven do you recommend for a family of four?

  20. Virginia David Moore says:

    One of our favorite meals is goulash and cornbread. I found the recipe about 40 years ago and it is always well liked by everyone who gets to eat it. My recipe is called “Carry Out Goulash” because it is so easy to transport a meal in one Dutch oven. Mine starts with two slices of bacon, diced and partly fried. Mine also has 2 tbsp. instant tapioca to thicken all those good juices. Otherwise, they are the same and aren’t we lucky to have the recipes? 🙂

  21. Hi Stacey: What a delicious (sounding) & very easy ‘one-pot meal’ this is! I would have prepared this for our supper this evening, but I must re-stock my tomato products…. so I’ll make this dish after I (next) go grocery shopping. I love one-pot meals when I’m in a hurry, and I’m sure that this one will absolutely ‘hit the spot’ with my family & myself. I’ll serve it with a large salad and biscuits. I signed-up to receive your blog, so please keep your yummy recipes coming.

  22. Made this for supper again the other night. This time I added chopped red, yellow and green bell peppers to the onion. Also added 1 can of diced tomatoes with chilies. The tomato sauce was the Mexican tomato sauce which has added spices. Omitted the corn. Had a friend of my husbands for supper and he asked if he could have a second helping. Must have been tasty to him as well as the family. In fact taking left overs to work with me for lunch.

  23. Wow, this is an amazingly easy recipe. I have made this recipe on several occasions, everyone raves about how delicious this recipe is, Thank you for sharing. I am excited to try more of your recipes. This is the first time, I have left overs for lunch.

  24. This is the first dish I ever made for my family at age 11 (with my mom watching over my shoulder, of course)! Been a favorite since then. The only substitution is see is we didn’t use corn, but a can of chili beans instead. I made this dish for dinner just last week!

  25. Dorothy Dunton says:

    I was happy to see a goulash recipe! My great uncle taught me how to make goulash when I was five years old (a VERY long time ago) and his recipe is the one I still use. His starts with bacon and also includes beef broth. Goulash is just good comfort food!

    • Yes it is! Your version sounds delicious!

      • Dorothy Dunton says:

        Stacey – you are wise beyond your years in the kitchen! My dear mother could not cook, so when I was eleven I started cooking because I was hungry! My son is 32 and was thrilled when I gave him a Kitchenaid mixer and good knives for Christmas. I have compiled two family cookbooks and am working on two more. My motto has always been “if you leave my kitchen hungry, it’s your own fault” because there is always more! Keep doing what you do, you are really good at it!!

  26. Amy Mooney says:

    I love goulash! I have made it for years. I started using V8 juice instead of tomato sauce for a different consistency and taste. I don’t add the corn though. It is great!

  27. I found my way back here to say that this was one of the worst recipes I have ever made. Even with extra spices, it was as bland as bland could be. If my Mother had made this recipe for me as a child, she never would have lived to be 90.

    • As a Southern gentleman who respects all women, especially my mother, you’ll forgive me if I pay no regard to a person who would threaten his mother’s life if a dish was not to his liking. Clearly, a lack of tact, taste, and intelligence permeates all of your senses.

      • I am not one who gets into matches on the internet.
        My rating of the recipe stands.
        My comment about my Mother would surely be a feeble attempt
        at humor to anyone with any intelligence. (Which you appear not to possess)

        • I can hardly believe that you’re “not one who gets into matches on the internet” having left a comment like that. And I certainly never asked that you changed your review. Many people adore some things while others don’t. My suggestion is simply to go at things like this with a little kindness and respect. I think that will serve you much better than being so gruff.

  28. Stacey…..You are a true gentleman and a true breath of fresh air from some people who have no manners. I just found your site and I will return. You have great simple recipes too. I have a collection of cook books from 60 years of cooking…..no I have not cooked dishes from all of them but I have great pleasure in knowing I can try any I want to. No, I have not liked all the dishes but “hey, you don’t know till you try it”. I look forward to trying yours very soon..tomorrow for sure …your version of “Goulash”. So thanks young man for being a new found friend in my kitchen. May the good Lord bless you and yours…… and keep up the great work.
    “Just an ole cowgirl at heart”

  29. linda cornish says:

    Stacy, I am so glad I found your sight .I have been looking for this recipe for years and no body knew what I was talking about.I grew up in louisville ky and still live there and I am as southern as they come. My mama died at 47 and I did not get a lot of the recipes she made when I was growing up. Now I have so thank you ! Keep them coming !

  30. bookishrealms.tumblr.com says:

    I enjoyed visiting your webiste. I leave comments rarely, but
    you definately deserve a thumbs up!

  31. Cheryl Bone says:

    I never knew there was a “recipe” LOL. It always was at my parents house and at mine also just ground meat, flavored with a little bacon grease from the ever present can on the stove. Add chopped onion (a lot), chopped bell pepper of whatever color was ready to come in out of the garden, fresh tomato juice and maybe some chopped tomatoes or part of a jar of home canned until it covered the meat and add in the macaroni as much as you need for number to feed. I made it often when my son would bring home half the band because “their moms never cook”. Amazing how far you can stretch this dish. Leftover veggies also found their way into the pot. You and Christy are my favorites!

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