Crockpot Goulash is flavorful, beefy, and delightfully cheesy! Easy to make in the slow cooker, this pasta recipe is incredibly simple and wholly satisfying. This is the epitome of comfort food!
What’s in this Crockpot Goulash Recipe
Cheesy, beefy, and flavorful as can be goulash is the best way to use up that box of elbow macaroni that’s been sitting in your pantry!
- Ground Beef: Remember to drain the ground beef before placing it in the Crockpot, or your goulash will be greasy in its consistency.
- Onion: You can use a white or yellow onion – both will get the job done deliciously.
- Garlic: I recommend using fresh garlic (instead of pre-minced) for the best flavor.
- Water: Make sure to measure with care so there is just enough to cook the macaroni! If there’s too much, it’ll turn out soupy.
- Beef Bouillon: This gives the goulash the best savory flavor.
- Tomatoes: I like to use both crushed tomatoes and petite diced tomatoes.
- Worcestershire Sauce: This salty, tangy sauce really enhances the overall flavor of the goulash.
- Bay Leaves: Remember to remove these before stirring in the cheese!
- Italian Seasoning: For the very best herbaceous flavor, consider using my recipe for homemade Italian seasoning.
- Salt: A little goes a long way. Feel free to omit entirely if you’re on a low-sodium diet.
- Elbow Macaroni: I like to use elbow macaroni, but shells will also work. You just want a pasta that has shape so it’ll really grip that cheesy sauce!
- Shredded Cheddar Cheese: Freshly shredded cheddar cheese will yield the best results.
PRO TIP: Don’t let the macaroni keep cooking after it’s fully cooked and tender, or it will turn mushy.
Can I use any type of ground meat?
Yes! Ground turkey, chicken, pork, or beef will all work in this easy goulash recipe.
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Goulash is traditionally a Hungarian dish, but what we’re making today is the American version in a Crockpot! It’s a combination of ground meat, macaroni pasta, cheese, and an array of other ingredients like tomatoes and spices. We have a recipe for traditional Hungarian Goulash as well.
An average sized Crockpot between 5 and 6 quarts will get the job done.
Use a plant based protein instead of traditional ground meat.
How to Store/Reheat
Once cooled to room temperature, you can store your leftover beef goulash in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. Reheat for 30 seconds at a time in the microwave, stirring each time it stops, until warmed through.
How to Freeze
Freeze slow cooker goulash for up to 3 months. Let thaw in the fridge before reheating. Don’t forget to date and label!
This goulash is a meal all on its own! However, if you want to add a bit of freshness to the side, here are some good options. They’re still kid friendly, since this is SUCH a kid friendly dinner!
Since this slow cooked goulash is such a heavy dish, it can be served as a hearty meal all by itself, or with a side dish that will provide a few more nutrients than the pasta dinner.
“Excellent goulash! I did cut the recipe in half and used two 20 oz cans of diced tomatoes, everything else followed, delicious flavor! This recipe is a keeper. Thanks, Becky, for a great recipe.” – Lee T.