An easy slow cooker goulash recipe made with simple ingredients. Goulash is hearty old-fashioned comfort food, and you can put your own twist on it to make it your own family recipe. American Goulash is typically made with ground beef, diced tomatoes, and pasta or noodles. More great stews made with ground beef include my popular cowboy stew recipe or this tasty slumguillion stew just like mom made!

bowl of goulash with Farfalle pasta.

Why my recipe works

Something about pasta, beef, and tomatoes makes the perfect simple comfort food. The flavor develops slowly in the slow cooker for a hearty flavor.

Ingredients Notes

  • Ground Beef – 20% fat content is enough to give a nice flavor without too much grease during cooking. Boneless and skinless chicken thighs are a great substitute.
  • Diced Tomatoes – Use tomatoes and juice. The canned petite diced tomatoes are great to use when making beef goulash. You can also add a little tomato sauce for some extra tomato flavor.
  • Green Bell Peppers – For a substitute, a good alternative is to use jalapeno peppers for an extra kick.
  • Beef Broth – I use “Better than Broth” so I can mix up the exact amount I need.
  • Garlic Paste -Garlic paste mixes well and is so easy to use. You can substitute fresh, finely minced garlic. I don’t recommend using the jarred garlic.
  • Seasonings – I use a classic Italian seasoning mix of basil, oregano, red pepper flakes, and paprika pinch.
  • Soy Sauce – use low sodium.
  • Worcestershire – This is used to bring out the beef flavor.
  • Optional ingredients include adding in some shredded cheese

See the recipe card for ingredient quantities.

What to serve with Goulash

This is a hearty beef goulash all by itself. Add in a simple green salad and bread for something extra.

Recipe Directions

Start by preheating your slow cooker on high.

  1. Add the ground beef and onions to a preheated skillet.
  2. Brown the meat over medium heat, about 5 minutes.
  3. Transfer the ground beef to a preheated 3-quart slow cooker with a slotted spoon. Add the seasoning and garlic paste.
  4. Pour in the water, beef broth, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce and stir to mix.Top with a bay leaf. Cover a cook on high for 3 hours.
browning beef in skillet and adding goulash ingredients to 3-quart slow cooker.

5. Uncover and mix in the Farfalle and recover. The goulash will still be a little watery, the liquid will be absorbed as the pasta cooks. Check after 20 minutes.

farfalle mixed into 3-quart slow cooker goulash.

6. Stir and Serve

close up of forkful of goulash.

Recipe Notes

  • Drain the ground beef before placing it in the slow cooker to keep the sauce from getting too greasy.
  • I don’t add salt because the soy has enough sodium for taste. You can always add more salt when serving.
  • If it looks like the pasta isn’t absorbing enough water, you can uncover the slow cooker to finish cooking the pasta.
  • If it looks like there’s not enough liquid then add a bit of water or beef broth.

Tools Used

  • 3-quart slow cooker – this size is perfect for cooking for two and will provide for a few leftovers.
  • 10-inch skillet – the ground beef and onions are brown in a skillet before adding to the slow cooker.
  • Slotted spoon -A slotted spoon is good for draining off the fat and transferring the ground beef out of the skillet into the slow cooker.
  • Chef knife – A good knife will make chopping so much easier.
  • Prep bowl- I prefer to measure out my ingredients before I begin cooking.

How to store leftovers

Any leftovers should be stored in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Goulash tastes even better the next day, so it’s an excellent make-ahead dinner.

FAQ’s

Can I use a different noodle or pasta?

Yes, elbow macaroni is the classic; however, I think it’s prettier and easy to eat using the farfalle pasta.

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bowl of goulash with Farfalle pasta.

Slow Cooker Goulash

Easy slow cooker recipe for goulash made just a bit lighter and bow tie pasta for a pretty plate presentation.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 1 serving
Calories: 346kcal
Author:Sydney Dawes

Ingredients

  • ¼ pound Ground Beef
  • ¼ Onion chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic paste
  • 1 teaspoon dried Basil
  • ½ teaspoon dried Oregano
  • 1 teaspoon Red Pepper flakes
  • ¾ cup diced Tomatoes
  • ½ cup Beef Broth
  • ¼ cup Water
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Soy sauce
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1 cup dry Farfalle pasta

Instructions

  • Add the ground beef and onions to a preheated skillet.
  • Brown the meat over medium heat, about 5 minutes.
  • Use a slotted spoon to transfer the ground beef to a preheated 3-quart slow cooker. Add the seasoning and garlic paste.
  • Pour in the water, beef broth, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and stir to mix. Top with a bay leaf. Cover a cook on high for 3 hours.
  • Uncover and mix in the Farfalle and recover. As the pasta cooks it will absorb the liquid. Check after 20
    minutes.
  • Stir and Serve

Notes

  • Drain the ground beef before placing it in the slow cooker.
  • If it looks like the pasta isn’t absorbing enough water you can uncover the crockpot to finish cooking the pasta.
  • If it looks like there’s not enough liquid then add a bit of water or beef broth.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 346kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 76mg | Sodium: 492mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g
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