We love that everything in this goulash cooks together in one pot– even the pasta! Cooking the macaroni directly in the goulash means the pasta gets to soak up all that beef and tomato flavor while simultaneously releasing some of its starch into the pan, thickening the goulash to create a hearty, comforting stew. Once you cook pasta this way, you’ll never go back to boiling water again.
Read on for more information and tips on this easy weeknight dinner. And if you’re hooked on the new pasta-cooking hack, check out this Italian Mac ‘n’ Cheese– it’s one of our all-time favorite baked pastas.
What is goulash, exactly?
Goulash originated in medieval Hungary, where it was first prepared by herdsmen—so you know it’s bound to be hearty and filling. Traditional goulash is typically made with larger chunks of beef and vegetables that cook low and slow together for hours until the meat becomes tender. Our version is simplified but no less flavorful: onions, garlic, and three forms of tomato come together to season the beef, and because the pasta cooks in the skillet, it’s infused with the tomato and beef broth from the very beginning. A cup of cheddar cheese melted in at the end seals the deal on the flavor package. If you’re eating with friends, the pot will be empty before you can go back for more.
I don’t want to use ground beef. Can I substitute something else?
If you’re steering clear of ground beef (pardon the pun), you can use ground turkey, ground chicken, or ground pork instead. The cooking time might change slightly when you’re browning the meat, but as long as you keep an eye on it, you should be fine.
Why are there three types of tomato products in this recipe?
It might seem excessive, but there’s a reason for every different type of tomato in this recipe. The concentrated tomato paste adds rich umami, while the sauce gives the dish body. And those diced tomatoes? They’re there to give you little bursts of tomatoey goodness in every bite. I don’t have elbow macaroni. Can I use another pasta instead?You sure can. Any short pasta shape will work, including penne, rotini, cavatappi, or farfalle. Just keep in mind that these different pasta shapes might have different cooking times, so check the box they come in for the manufacturer’s recommendations and taste as you go to ensure your pasta is perfectly al dente.
FULL RECIPE ON THE NEXT PAGE >>