Mom’s Goulash Recipe

Mom’s Goulash Recipe is a hearty, super flavorful meal. It’s made in one pot, so there’s less to clean up, plus it reheats and freezes well. The best part…it’s easy to make using simple ingredients.

Mom's Goulash Recipe

This recipe is straight from my mom’s dark orange recipe box, so you know it’s good. It’s made with ground beef, sauteed onion and celery, then tomato soup and kidney beans.

Spice it up with hot tomato sauce, then finish it off by adding pasta. So good!

Pasta, kidney beans, and ground beef with a tomato sauce in Mom's perfected recipe.

Making Mom’s Goulash Recipe

I don’t just like this recipe, I love it. Here’s why.

First and foremost, it’s all cooked in one large saute pan. This reduces the number of pots and pans I would have to wash. Not my favorite thing to do.

Second, the smell of cooking the ground beef, onion, and celery together is fantastic. Add them all into the saute pan at the same time, and before you know it, the whole kitchen smells delicious.

While that’s cooking, chop at it with a flat-edged spatula breaking the beef into smaller pieces.

Add some salt, pepper, and a splash of paprika to the meat and keep chopping. While you’re chopping, you’re also stirring the onions and celery, so nothing burns.

Ground beef with onion and celery, then tomato soup, beans, and hot tomato sauce in Mom's Goulash Recipe.

Once the beef is cooked, it’s time to add the rest of it.

This brings me to the third reason I love this recipe. Dump and simmer.

Add the soup, kidney beans, tomato sauce, and pasta, then cover it and let it simmer for 45 minutes.

Is this easy, or what? Stir it occasionally and enjoy that aroma every time you take the lid off.

Mom's Goulash Recipe


This is also delicious with ground turkey. Turkey is the healthy alternative, even compared to ground chicken, but that can be used, too.

As “goulash” means a Hungarian stew using beef or veal, so I had better add veal to that list.

Use whatever pasta you have. Elbows are a great size, but pasta is pasta, and it’s nice to use what you already have in the pantry. Today I used rotini.

Kidney beans come in different colors: light, dark red, etc. I’m only reading the part that says, “kidney beans.” I have no idea what the differences are.

What else? Oh, the El Pato hot tomato sauce is in a yellow can found in the Mexican food isle at the store.

If you can’t find it, use regular tomato sauce, then if you want the added spice, add some crushed red pepper.

Avocado and shredded cheese on a classic Hungarian goulash recipe.

What do you serve it with?

Mom’s Goulash Recipe is one of those super flexible meals, like chili.

Eat it by itself, add a salad, serve some buttered crackers, or have Parmesan Garlic Toast with it.

Cornbread fresh from the oven would be delish, or how about a dollop of sour cream on top?

It’s flexible and scrumptious and I really hope you love it, too.

More easy dinner recipes.

Sometimes it’s fun, yes fun, to plan a complicated meal. The other times, not so much. For those, “not so much” times, check out these easy dinner recipes:

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5 from 3 votes

Mom's Goulash Recipe

A simple, one-pot meal using ground beef, soup, and onion.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Total Time1 hour
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: easy dinner, one pot, quick and easy
Servings: 6
Calories: 344kcal
Author: Sweet Ordeal


  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • salt, pepper to taste
  • splash of paprika
  • 2 10.5 oz. cans tomato soup,
  • 15 oz. can kidney beans, drained
  • 1/2 cup El Pato hot tomato sauce
  • 1 cup uncooked elbow noodles


  • In a large skillet, saute onion, celery, and ground beef on medium heat. Add salt, pepper, and paprika to taste. Chop beef with spatula to break it up, cook until beef is brown.
  • Add tomato soup, kidney beans, tomato sauce, and uncooked pasta.
  • Cover and simmer on low heat for 30 - 45 minutes, or until pasta is tender. Enjoy!


My mom always used ground sirloin, but you can also use ground turkey or ground chicken.


Calories: 344kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 47mg | Sodium: 191mg | Potassium: 677mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 150IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 39mg | Iron: 5mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @sweetordeal or tag #sweetordeal!

Mom’s Goulash Recipe

Due to the fact that I love this recipe, I make it often. I’ll double the batch, then freeze half of it in single serving sizes.

Make sure the containers are air tight and they’ll last a good 3 months or so in the freezer.

To quickly heat up a frozen serving, add the frozen goulash cube to a small pot, add 2 – 3 tablespoons of water (to steam it), then cover.

With the heat on low, stir it often, breaking it up as it defrosts. You may need to add more water as you go.

Once it’s all broken up, turn the heat to medium just until it starts to simmer. Time to eat.

From the refrigerator, I reheat it in the microwave, especially for 1 serving.

I learned through trial and error the best way (in my opinion) to reheat meat is with steam. Make sure you add about 2 tablespoons of water to the plate, cover it, and nuke it for about a minute, stirring half way through. The steam keeps the meat from drying out. Check if it’s hot enough.

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Let me know how you like the recipe below in the comment section, where you can also rate it with stars.

Moms Goulash RecipeMoms Goulash RecipeCopyright © Sweet Ordeal. All content and images are copyright protected. Do not use any images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, make sure to re-write the recipe in your own words and only list ingredients making sure to link back to this post for the original recipe and directions.

5 from 3 votes (3 ratings without comment)

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