Friday, December 19, 2008

Hearty Goulash

As a child, one of my absolute favorite comfort-food meals was goulash. Though its far from the traditional Hungarian recipe, the version I loved was a hamburger and macaroni mixture first introduced to me at my nursery school.

This past week, which has been one of the busiest work weeks I've had in ages and also has been incredibly cold and snowy in Chicago, has been a perfect goulash week. I've made it twice and, although, JiT had never experienced goulash before, he gobbled up every bite!

This version is a bit spicier than the one I enjoyed so much as a child. The addition of chili powder, garlic and soy sauce add some pizazz. To keep things healthy, I made with a mixture of ground lean beef and ground turkey, and used whole wheat macaroni.

It takes an hour to 90 minutes to prepare...the longer you let the mixture sit covered, the more of the juices will be absorbed into the macaroni for a thicker, richer dish. But its all in one pot, so cleanup is simple and the leftovers are fabulous for lunch the next day (if you have any).

Hearty Goulash
Serves 4 - 6

1 lb. lean ground beef
1 lb. ground turkey
1 large onion (or about a half-cup of frozen diced onions...time saver!)
1 can tomato sauce
1 cup V8 juice
2 cans diced tomatoes (with garlic, if you can find)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
2 tsp. Lawry's season salt (more to taste)
1 tsp. chili powder (more or less to your taste)
1 Tbs. soy sauce
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 cups dry whole wheat elbow macaroni (regular is fine too)
Fresh ground salt and pepper to taste

In a large, heavy pot or Dutch oven, brown beef and turkey over medium-high heat until cooked all the way through, breaking up as it cooks. Drain any fat. Add onions and continue cooking until tender (about 5 min). Add tomato sauce, V8 juice, tomatoes, garlic, Italian seasoning, season salt, chili powder and soy sauce. Cover and continue cooking for about 20 minutes.

Add macaroni to pot and stir well. Replace lid and cook for an additional 20 minutes, or until macaroni is tender. Turn off heat and let the pot sit covered for an additional half hour or so, or until the liquid has been absorbed. Spoon into bowls and add salt & pepper to taste.


  1. Sounds awesome, I think my mom used to make something like this. Sounds like a great recipe to make while I am waiting for cookies to bake this weekend. Can I just tell you how much I LOVE the new mixer!! Have a great weekend Rebecca!

  2. One of my favorite cheapo frozen dinner dish is macaroni with chili, I'm sure this is 100x better. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  3. Mmm, this looks like it'd be a good winter comfort food.

  4. That looks good and sounds simple and tasty!

  5. Congratulations on Tastespotting AGAIN!! I sent the link to Jason and his response was, "Can you make that? I LOVE goulash." So yea...thanks for the recipe:)

  6. Yes, this is also a favorite comfort food of mine. I also love using ground turkey in it! I'd like to share your goulash recipe with our readers, please let me know if you're interested!

    Sophie, Key Ingredient Chief Blogger

  7. This looks like the perfect comfort food for the cold weather we have finally gotten in Southern California. I need a good comfort dish to make for dinner before we head off for Christmas and I think this might be it! Thanks!

  8. Hi Rebecca, my name is Kenya and I made your goulash tonight for dinner. I can't say enough how fabulous this is. I just want to tell everyone who visits your site that this is a great comfort food. The only thing I was missing was the buttery garlic bread but I'll make sure and have it on hand next time. You really have a wonderful food blog and I want to thank you for sharing this recipe, it was amazing :)

  9. Kenya! Thanks for stopping by...and thrilled to hear you enjoyed the recipe. Actually, I thnk I might need to make this again soon myself. And garlic bread would be a fantastic addition.


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