Crockpot Goulash is a hearty, easy meal that will stick to your ribs in all the right ways. Made with fresh veggies, tangy tomato sauce, savory ground beef, and tender macaroni, this goulash is nothing short of perfect comfort food!
Crockpot goulash is one of those throw together meals that is a staple in our house. Everything gets put in the Crockpot and cooks itself to perfection throughout the day. The only prep required is chopping the veggies and browning the ground beef. In the end you can add a cheesy twist to make this dish even better. Goulash is comfort right out of the slow cooker. The vegetables mixed with the tangy tomato and Worcestershire sauce plus flavorful ground beef, the right amount of seasoning, and a sprinkle of cheese will have you coming back for seconds and thirds. I love how easy this recipe is while still being filling and oh so satisfying. Serve with a side salad or just a big chunk of crusty bread and you’ve got a new family favorite recipe for sure!
What is Goulash?
This recipe is actually the American version of goulash which is ground beef and pasta in a tomato based broth. There is traditional Hungarian goulash which is a little different. Hungarian goulash is a thicker meat stew with a base heavily seasoned with paprika as the main spice. It’s a popular dish around central Europe and as we typically do, we’ve Americanized a version for ourselves! Thankfully our version is a bit quicker to make.
How To Make Crockpot Goulash
- Cook the beef. Crumble the ground beef and cook over medium heat in a skillet until fully browned. Drain the excess grease and pour the meat into the slow cooker.
- Add the veggies and seasoning. Pour in the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, green peppers, diced onions, minced garlic, Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, and bay leaf. Sprinkle in paprika, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper to taste.
- Pour in the broth. Add the beef broth to the crock pot then give everything a stir to fully combine.
- Cook. Place the lid on top and cook the goulash on high for 4 hours or low for 7.
- Add the pasta. Stir in the pasta and cook on high for one more hour. Stir about halfway through for even cooking.
- Serve. Turn off the Crockpot and stir in the cheese. Serve with fresh parsley on top and a side of bread. Enjoy.
Storing Crockpot Goulash
Store leftovers of this goulash in the fridge for up to 4 days. Let the dish cool completely before transferring to an airtight container. Reheat on the stove or in the microwave until warmed through.
Ingredient Notes for Crockpot Goulash
- Ground beef – Use lean ground beef for better taste and less fat. You can always drain away the excess if needed though.
- Pasta – Macaroni is traditional for goulash but any similar sized pasta would work. Shells or penne can be substituted if you already have that on hand. Be sure not to over cook the pasta so it doesn’t turn mushy.
- Beef broth – I find the beef broth adds flavor to the dish but you could use vegetable broth.
- Tomato sauce – You can use any canned sauce you like. In a pinch you can use pasta sauce, just keep in mind if there is any seasoning already in the sauce and match that in your dish.
- Onion – Yellow or white is great here.
- Cheese – This step is totally optional! If you are adding the shredded cheese, freshly shredded will melt the best, however pre-shredded works fine!
- 1 1/2 Pounds Ground Beef
- 1 15-oz Can Tomato Sauce
- 1 15-oz Can Petite Diced Tomatoes
- 1/2 Green Pepper diced
- 1/2 White Onion diced
- 3 Cloves Garlic finely minced
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 1 Tablespoon Tomato Paste
- 1 teaspoon Paprika Powder
- 1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- ½ teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
- 5 Cups Beef Broth
- 8 Ounces Elbow Macaroni uncooked
- Optional: 2 cups of cheddar cheese
- Cook and crumble the beef in a medium skillet over medium heat until fully brown then drain the grease from the pan and pour the meat into a slow cooker.
- Add the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, green pepper, onion, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaf, tomato paste, paprika, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper.
- Pour in the beef broth then stir well to combine.
- Cover the pot with the lid then cook in high for 4 hours or on low for 7 hours.
- Stir in the pasta and cook on high for another hour, stirring halfway through to ensure even cooking.
- Turn the crockpot off and stir in the cheese if desired then serve with freshly minced parsley and sliced bread if desired.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.