Crockpot Goulash Recipe

Introduction to Crockpot Goulash

What is Goulash?
Goulash, a stew of meat and vegetables seasoned with paprika and other spices, originates from Hungary. This beloved dish has traveled the world, morphing into various forms that reflect local tastes and ingredients. In the United States, American Goulash, also known as “American Chop Suey,” incorporates ground beef, tomato sauce, and elbow macaroni, making it a distinct version celebrated for its comfort food qualities and ease of preparation.

Gathering Your Goulash Ingredients

Key Ingredients for Crockpot Goulash
A quintessential Crockpot Goulash starts with quality ground beef, providing a rich base for the dish. The aromatics—onions, green and red bell peppers—introduce a sweet and earthy layer, essential for building complexity. Tomato sauce and diced tomatoes contribute to the stew’s body and tanginess, while beef broth adds depth. The choice of elbow macaroni nods to tradition, ensuring a hearty texture. Seasonings like salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning bring harmony, enhancing the flavors of the primary ingredients.

Substitutes and Additions
Flexibility is one of Goulash’s virtues. Ground turkey or chicken can replace beef for a lighter version. Vegetables like carrots or mushrooms can add nutrition and flavor. For those preferring a bit more spice, a dash of cayenne or a sprinkle of chili flakes can elevate the heat. This adaptability makes Goulash a canvas for culinary creativity.

Step-by-Step: Crafting the Perfect Crockpot Goulash

Preparing Your Ingredients
Begin by browning the ground beef in a skillet, ensuring it’s fully cooked before transferring it to the crockpot. This step is crucial for texture and flavor. Sautéing onions and peppers until tender unlocks their natural sweetness, layering the Goulash’s foundational flavors.

Layering Flavors in the Slow Cooker
Once the beef and aromatics are ready, they join forces with the tomatoes, broth, and seasonings in the crockpot. This mixture, stirred to distribute the ingredients evenly, will slowly transform into a rich, cohesive stew. The slow cooking process is key to melding the flavors, with each component contributing to the final, savory symphony.

The Role of Macaroni in Goulash

Why Macaroni?
Elbow macaroni, with its sturdy shape and texture, is ideal for absorbing the tomato-based sauce, becoming tender without turning mushy. Its inclusion turns Goulash from a simple stew into a substantial, comforting meal, embodying the essence of American Goulash.

Preparing Pasta for Slow Cooker Recipes
To ensure the pasta cooks perfectly, it’s added towards the end of the cooking process. This timing prevents it from overcooking and becoming soft. Cooking the macaroni as directed on the box before incorporating it into the crockpot allows for a desirable al dente texture, retaining a slight bite that contrasts beautifully with the tender beef and vegetables.

Maximizing Flavor: Seasoning and Spices

The Importance of Italian Seasoning
Italian seasoning, with its blend of herbs like oregano, thyme, basil, and rosemary, complements the tomato base and beef, contributing to Goulash’s aromatic profile. This blend adds a hint of Mediterranean flair, enhancing the dish’s depth without overpowering the primary ingredients.

Customizing Your Goulash’s Taste Profile
While the recipe provides a solid foundation, personal taste can dictate adjustments. More garlic can add pungency, while a bit of smoked paprika could introduce a subtle smokiness. The beauty of Goulash lies in its versatility, inviting experimentation with flavors and textures.

Serving and Storing Your Goulash

Best Practices for Serving Crockpot Goulash
Goulash is best served hot, garnished with freshly chopped basil or parsley for a burst of color and freshness. Offering grated Parmesan or cheddar cheese on the side allows guests to customize their serving, adding a creamy, salty counterpoint to the stew’s richness.

Storage Tips: Keeping Goulash Fresh
Cooling the Goulash quickly and transferring it to an airtight container can extend its freshness, making it a fantastic leftover meal. Stored in the refrigerator, it can be enjoyed for up to three days. For longer storage, freezing is an option, though it’s best to do so before adding the pasta to avoid a mushy texture upon reheating.

Conclusion: Why Crockpot Goulash Wins Every Time

Crockpot Goulash represents the epitome of comfort food, offering a delicious, hearty meal with minimal fuss. Its slow-cooked richness, versatile flavor profile, and straightforward preparation make it an enduring favorite. Whether you’re a seasoned home cook or new to the kitchen, this Goulash recipe promises satisfaction and warmth in every bite. Remember:

  • Start with quality ingredients for the best flavor.
  • Brown your meat and sauté your aromatics to deepen the taste.
  • Add pasta towards the end to maintain texture.
  • Adjust seasonings to suit your preferences for a personalized touch.
  • Store properly to enjoy leftovers that might even taste better the next day.
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Crockpot Goulash

Crockpot Goulash

  • Author: recipevalue
  • Total Time: 4 hours 15 minute


Crockpot Goulash is a hearty, comforting stew that combines tender ground beef, rich tomato sauce, and elbow macaroni with a blend of spices and vegetables. Perfect for busy days, it’s a slow-cooked meal that offers deep flavors and satisfying warmth.


  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 tsp Italian Seasoning
  • 2 cans (14.5 oz each) tomato sauce
  • 2 cans (14.5 oz each) diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 box dry uncooked macaroni
  • 1 cup frozen peas


  1. Brown ground beef with onion and peppers in a skillet.
  2. Transfer beef mixture to a crockpot. Add tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, beef broth, and seasonings.
  3. Cook on high for 3.5 hours.
  4. Cook macaroni as per box instructions and add to the crockpot with peas 30 minutes before serving.
  5. Serve hot, garnished with fresh herbs or cheese if desired.


  • Substitute beef with ground turkey or chicken for a lighter version.
  • Add vegetables like carrots or mushrooms for extra nutrition.
  • Adjust spices according to taste preferences.
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4 hours
  • Category: Main Course
  • Method: Slow Cooking
  • Cuisine: American


  • Calories: 450
  • Fat: 20g
  • Carbohydrates: 45g
  • Fiber: 4g
  • Protein: 25g

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