Picture of a plate of ground beef goulash with recipe title overlay

Easy Ground Beef Goulash

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There are just some recipes that remind you of your childhood. For me, this ground beef goulash is one of them. My Mom made this often when I was growing up. And although I really love it now, when I was a child I absolutely HATED bell peppers and so this meal wasn’t my favorite.

But my tastes started changing once I became a teen. Suddenly started to like bell peppers (isn’t it funny how that happens?) Suddenly, this meal became a comfort food for me. Even now, when I make it, it reminds me of my Mom and eating this as a family while I was growing up.

This dish is fantastic at any time of year. But is especially nice during the hot summer months. That’s when you want a nice hot meal, but don’t want to heat up your kitchen! It is fully done on the stovetop, so no oven is necessary, and it’s quick to make as well. This was a dish that my Mom made when the time was tight and she needed something easy.

Dietary options

This recipe can be made gluten-free by using brown rice or any other gluten-free pasta. I love to serve this with some homemade applesauce. Of course, that was what was served with the goulash when I was a little girl. But it also works well paired with a fresh salad.

I also love to top mine with some parmesan cheese. The cheese just adds that extra yum! Of course, you can omit this if you are eating dairy-free.
I don’t use a lot of canned good products because so many companies line their cans with BPA, but I do use canned tomatoes. If you wish to avoid BPA, then find tomatoes in glass jars or look for a BPA-free brand like Eden Foods.

I actually use elbow macaroni made from chickpeas in this recipe. They are higher in protein content, lower on the glycemic index (so it doesn’t spike my blood sugar), gluten and grain-free. It tastes every bit as yummy as using wheat or brown rice noodles!

Picture of a plate of ground beef goulash with recipe title overlay

Easy Ground Beef Goulash

This simple meal is done completely on the stovetop and makes for a quick meal any night
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Main Course
Servings 4 servings


  • 1 pound ground beef or turkey
  • 1 cup elbow macaroni use brown rice for gluten-free and chickpea for grain-free
  • 1 can diced tomatoes no-salt added
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 1/2 large bell pepper
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp basil
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 cans tomato sauce no-salt added
  • parmesan cheese optional (omit for dairy-free)


  • Brown ground beef with the chopped onion, and bell pepper.
  • Cook the elbow macaroni according to package directions.
  • Place browned ground beef mixture, and elbow macaroni in a large cooking pot.
  • Add other ingredients and mix well.
  • Allow goulash to heat through well and serve.

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