Quick and Easy Goulash (American Chop Suey)
Quick and Easy Goulash (American Chop Suey)
Learn how to make a delicious gourmet meal on a budget in just 30 minutes with AB's 30-Minute Goulash recipe! This hearty and flavorful dish is perfect for busy weeknights and will impress your taste buds without breaking the bank. Follow along and become a budget gourmet pro in no time!


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 large shallot or small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 dashes Worcestershire sauce (about 1/2 tablespoon)
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • Pepper, to taste
  • 1 1⁄2 cup chicken or beef broth
  • 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (15-ounce) can petite diced tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 pound elbow noodles


  1. Heat a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef, shallot or onion, and garlic. Use a wooden spoon to break up the beef. Season with Worcestershire sauce, a dash of homemade seasoned salt, and pepper. Cook until the beef is browned.
  2. Add the remaining teaspoon of seasoned salt, broth, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, Italian seasoning, and bay leaf. Increase the heat to bring the mixture to a bubble. Reduce the heat to medium/medium-low and let it gently simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add the elbow noodles and continue to simmer, stirring often, until the noodles are tender, about 12-14 minutes. Towards the end, lower the heat slightly to maintain a gentle simmer.
  4. Remove the bay leaf, taste, and adjust seasoning with additional seasoned salt and/or pepper if desired. Serve hot.

Tips and Tricks

  • For extra depth of flavor, brown the ground beef well before adding other ingredients.
  • Don’t have elbow noodles on hand? Feel free to use any pasta shape you prefer.
  • Want to amp up the heat? Add a pinch of red pepper flakes or a diced jalapeno to the mix.
  • Goulash tastes even better the next day, so don’t hesitate to make a big batch and enjoy leftovers for days.


  • Swap ground beef for ground turkey or chicken for a lighter option.
  • Add diced bell peppers, mushrooms, or carrots for extra veggies and flavor.
  • Stir in a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt for added creaminess.
  • Experiment with different herbs and spices such as smoked paprika, oregano, or thyme.
  • Make it vegetarian by omitting the meat and doubling up on beans or lentils.
  • Use crushed tomatoes instead of diced tomatoes for a smoother sauce.
  • Try adding a splash of red wine for richness and depth of flavor.
  • Make it gluten-free by using gluten-free noodles or rice instead of elbow noodles.
  • Top each serving with shredded cheese for a gooey, cheesy finish.
  • Serve with a side of crusty bread or garlic toast for dipping.


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