American Goulash

An All-American mixture of macaroni and what-nots.
American Goulash

American Goulash

By Sue Lau | Palatable Pastime

This is one of the kind of recipes I love because it is so beloved throughout our culture, everyone and his brother has a version. Sort of like potato salad.

Italians may be wondering as they sit across the pond, what exactly the heck it is. Not to mention the stunned Hungarians. And it wasn’t until maybe twenty years ago that I ever heard this called “goulash” by anyone. It was more like “spaghetti” (or my family’s bastardized version of the real thing which my Mom liked to make using blue box macaroni). Later when I started working in the food service industry in the late 1970’s, I saw it called “Beef, Macaroni and Tomato” and pretty much accepted that as canon, since it definitely distinguished it from being spaghetti, and as to other people calling it  goulash, this does set it apart from that.

But while it may not be a Hungarian version, it is very American, and as far as the image of goulash being a mix up of various things, this fits. But don’t go looking for paprika or vermicelli or anything like that.

I’m sure,  if you are American, your family has their own version, just as wonderful as this. If you are just starting out on your personal cooking journey, this might be a recipe you want to sample to compare notes as you make your own culinary legacy.

American Goulash

Who knows what they will call this kind of thing a hundred years from now, if they call it anything at all? Maybe, still being called goulash, it will have not a single ingredient remaining the same. And as beloved as aspic was at the onset of the 20th century, maybe this recipe will follow aspic down the path of extinction (like the dinosaur).

Sometimes I wonder what our ancestors would think of the foods we now love. Especially a deep-fried twinkie. (What was that ground shaking? An earthquake? Or thousands of great great great grandmothers rolling in their graves…all at once?)

Yeah. Someday we’ll be the ones doing the rolling. Or not. I always like  to think that each time a recipe is  prepared, the culinary history of the planet takes a giant step forward. And as it should be.

And still undecided and khoreshe recipe printout not found, tomorrow’s recipe slot is still up for grabs. Never fear- I have lots to share- just not the one I committed myself for. Meet me here to find out what the Monday offering will be, ok? I promise it will be good! C’ya-


American Goulash

American Goulash

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

American Goulash

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/3 cup chopped bell pepper
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
  • salt and black pepper
  • 8 ounces uncooked macaroni
  • 8 ounces tomato sauce
  • 14.5 ounce can  diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 8 ounces American cheese,  shredded


  1. Cook macaroni according to package directions and drain.
  2. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  3. Brown the ground beef in a skillet with the onion  bell pepper and garlic; drain off fat.
  4. Add Italian seasoning, parsley flakes salt and black pepper to taste, then stir in the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes with liquid, sugar, and water. Stir.
  5. Simmer mixture for 5-10 minutes.
  6. Stir sauce into macaroni and then place in  a 9″x13″ casserole dish.
  7. Sprinkle with shredded cheese.
  8. Bake for twenty minutes until cheese melts and casserole is bubbly.

From  the kitchen of

American Goulash

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