American Goulash

This is a simple, one pan dish that is good for a quick meal on a cold night. It is also very customizable by using different cheeses or cheese blends, adding things such as sweet and/or hot peppers or other fresh vegetables such as carrots to the onions during the sauté step, or adding things like frozen peas near the end. This base recipe is something that I would call “comfort food” that can be easily modified with what you have on hand.


Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Wait: 20 minutes
Total: 45 minutes

Equipment Notes

  • 3qt sauté pan (10in diameter with high sides at least 3in)


  • 2T olive oil
  • 1 1/2C onion (or one small yellow onion), diced
  • 4 cloves garlic (about 2T), minced
  • 1lb ground bison / beef
  • 1T salt
  • 1T pepper
  • 1T tomato paste
  • 1 1/4C beef broth (or water)
  • 1C (or 1 15oz can) tomato sauce
  • 1C (or 1 15oz can) diced tomatoes
  • 1T Italian seasoning
  • 1T paprika
  • 1 1/2C uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 1C shredded cheese (any cheese that shreds and melts easily)
  • (optional) 1T fresh parsley, chopped


  1. Heat oil over medium-low heat and add onion and optional peppers or other fresh vegetables. Cook for 5 minutes or until the onions are soft and somewhat translucent, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add garlic and cook about a minute until the garlic is darker and smells good, but not burnt. Stir frequently.
  3. Add ground meat, break apart and cook until all browned.
  4. Drain fat then season with salt and pepper.
  5. Add tomato paste and stir until covered all over.
  6. Add tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, Italian seasoning and paprika.
  7. Add macaroni and increase heat to high until bubbles start to form then reduce heat to low and simmer until pasta is the desired consistency–about 15 minutes. Stir frequently at first to keep pasta from sticking.
  8. Remove from heat, stir in cheese then optionally garnish with parsley. Check seasoning and add salt, pepper, etc. as desired.


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