Hearty American Goulash

Ground beef goulash with large elbow macaroni, marinara sauce, fresh parsley, and shredded white cheddar cheese.

This recipe for goulash is a hearty dish featuring ground beef, large elbow macaroni, and a flavorful combination of herbs and spices, along with diced tomatoes, marinara sauce, chicken broth, and soy sauce for added umami. The dish is topped off with cheddar cheese and Italian parsley for a satisfying and delicious meal.


  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cups large elbow macaroni
  • 32 ounces chicken broth
  • 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 24-ounce jar marinara sauce
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, plus additional for serving
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup Italian parsley, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup water


  1. Preparation:
    • Dice the onion, mince the garlic, and chop the Italian parsley.
    • Measure out and prepare the remaining ingredients.
  2. Cook Beef & Onion:
    • Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven or stockpot over medium-high heat.
    • Add ground beef and diced onion, cooking until the beef is browned.
    • Drain excess fat from the pot.
  3. Season Mixture:
    • Add garlic, kosher salt, black pepper, cayenne, paprika, Italian seasoning, and bay leaves to the beef and onion mixture.
    • Cook, stirring, until the spices are well-distributed and the mixture is aromatic.
  4. Add Liquids & Simmer:
    • Pour in chicken broth, diced tomatoes, and marinara sauce.
    • Rinse the marinara jar with 1 cup of water and add to the pot.
    • Stir in soy sauce and bring the mixture to a simmer.
    • Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for approximately 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Cook Macaroni:
    • Increase heat to medium-high and add elbow macaroni.
    • Cook until macaroni is tender, stirring occasionally, approximately 12 minutes.
  6. Finalize Dish:
    • Remove from heat and discard bay leaves.
    • Stir in chopped parsley and 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese.
    • Cover and allow the dish to rest for 5 minutes so the cheese can melt and the flavors can meld.
  7. Serving:
    • Serve hot, garnishing individual portions with additional shredded cheddar cheese if desired.

Serving Suggestions:

  • This dish pairs well with a crisp green salad or slices of crusty bread.


  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Adjust seasonings upon reheating as needed.

Gather all the ingredients. Dice the onion and garlic.

Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven or stock pot over med-high. Add the beef and onion and cook until browned and drain liquid.

Add the garlic, salt, black pepper, cayenne, paprika, Italian seasoning, and bay leaves. Cook and stir until the flavors blend in a few minutes.

Pour in the chicken broth, diced tomatoes, and marinara. Rinse the jar with 1 cup of water and pour into the pot to stir.

Add the soy sauce and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to med-low and simmer about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Increase heat to med-high and add the macaroni. Stir occasionally until just tender in about 12 minutes.

Remove from heat and discard the bay leaves. Stir in the parsley and shredded white cheddar. Cover and let rest 5 minutes.

Serve with shredded white cheddar to top.