Home Recipes Paula Deen’s Goulash

Paula Deen’s Goulash

Paula Deen’s Goulash is a classic comfort food that combines savory ground beef, zesty tomato sauce, and hearty macaroni noodles.

This one-pot recipe is affordable, easy to make, and can feed a large group of hungry people. It’s the perfect dish to feed a big family, or your next dinner party!

Paula Deen's Goulash
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How To Thicken Goulash

One of the things we love the most about goulash is how thick its sauce is. The secret? Don’t add the macaroni noodles at the beginning – allow the meat sauce to come to a boil before throwing them into the pot.

Another trick is to use all-purpose flour to form a roux. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour as you cook the onions. But try to stay under 2 tablespoons or the goulash will become too thick.

If you want a soupier goulash, just add the macaroni noodles right away.

Tips & Tricks For the Best Goulash

  • Apart from the main ingredients, feel free to add your choice of veggies to make your goulash even more fantastic. Corn, beans, carrots, peas, zucchini, spinach, and mushrooms all make wonderful additions.
  • If you add veggies, do so in the latter part of cooking so you don’t end up with mushy and overcooked vegetables. Timing is key! For hearty veggies, such as potatoes and carrots, add them halfway through cooking. For more delicate veggies, such as peas, add them in the last few minutes of cooking.
  • You can substitute ground beef with your choice of ground meats. Turkey is a wonderful option, especially for the weight-watchers out there.
  • If the beef is sticking to the pan, simply add some olive oil.
  • Meat and tomato sauce always tastes better with cheese, right? So load your goulash with tons of cheddar cheese to make it even more irresistibly good. 
  • Planning to freeze your goulash? Make everything as you normally would, but skip the pasta. Pasta turns mushy when reheated, so cook it separately from the soup and add it in once you’re about to serve.
  • Want to give this American classic an Asian flair? Instead of macaroni noodles, use egg noodles for a new texture and flavor. 
  • Instead of water, use beef broth to give the macaroni extra flavor and get better-tasting pasta.
  • For a creamier goulash, add a cup of sour cream into the mix.
  • Make the meat even more flavorful by seasoning it with paprika. You could also deglaze it in some red wine.
  • Here’s a good tip for all stews in general: use a mirepoix (onion, carrot, celery) for the base of your soup. The ingredients are basic but the flavors are phenomenal.
  • Sometimes, you can’t help but overcook pasta, especially when making one-pot dishes. To avoid overcooking the macaroni noodles, consider cooking them in a separate pot. 

How to Make Paula Deen’s Goulash

Here’s how to make a scrumptious and heavenly goulash from the kitchen of Paula Deen:

Paula Deen’s Goulash



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Cooking time








  • 2 pounds lean ground beef

  • 2 large yellow onions, chopped

  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 3 cups water

  • 2 (15 ounce) cans tomato sauce

  • 2 (15 ounce) cans diced tomatoes

  • 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning

  • 3 bay leaves

  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon House Seasoning (see below)

  • 1 tablespoon seasoned salt

  • 2 cups elbow macaroni, uncooked

  • House Seasoning:
  • 1 cup salt

  • 1/4 cup pepper

  • 1/4 cup garlic powder


  • In a Dutch oven, saute ground beef over medium-high heat until it browns. Break up the meat as you cook it. Drain any excess grease.
  • Add garlic and onions to the pot and cook for 5 minutes or until tender.
  • Pour 3 cups of water into the pot. Add diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, bay leaves, Italian Seasoning, House seasoning, seasoned salt, and soy sauce. Mix well.
  • Add the elbow macaroni and mix well. Cover the pot once again with the lid and let it simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and take out the bay leaves. Let the goulash cool for 30 minutes, then serve. Best eaten with a side of garlic bread and salad.


  • Store House Seasoning in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to 6 months.
Paula Deen's Goulash

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

11 thoughts on “Paula Deen’s Goulash”

  1. Hi I tried this a few months ago for my family with a couple of very picky eaters. They loved it and have asked for it a couple of times since then.
    I love this recipe! It’s easy to make, quick and very delicious. I am so glad I found this.

  2. For this recipe, do you put a whole cup of salt, 1/4 cup of pepper, and 1/4 cup garlic powder in this recipe? Isn’t that a lot of salt??

    • Hi, Don! Sorry for the delayed response, but yes, you do use a whole cup of salt in the house seasoning. Keep in mind, though, you’re making a large-ish batch of seasoning to store and use whenever you need it. The actual goulash recipe only uses a tablespoon of the seasoning. 🙂

    • This is a separate recipe for the House Seasoning. Mix it well and then only add 1 Tablespoon to the main Goulash recipe.

  3. Tastes great! Recommend simmering mix for 30 minutes then add macaroni for another 15-20. Helps flavors develop and keeps the noodles from getting soggy. It’s definitely a new family favorite! Thank you for the recipe.

    • Hi David,

      You’ll find the recipe for the House Seasoning under the goulash ingredients.

      1 cup salt + 1/4 cup pepper + 1/4 cup garlic powder – mix and store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to 6 months 🙂


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