How We Made American Goulash Healthy
How We Made American Goulash Healthy

American goulash, also known as Hungarian goulash or just goulash, is a hearty stew that originated in Hungary. It typically contains beef, onions, paprika, tomatoes, and other vegetables simmered in a flavorful broth. The dish is traditionally served with egg noodles or potatoes, but it can also be served with other types of pasta or grains. In the United States, goulash is often made with ground beef and elbow macaroni, and it has become a classic comfort food. The dish can be easily adapted to different tastes and preferences, and it’s a great way to use up leftover vegetables or meat in the fridge.

How We Made American Goulash Healthy 

Making American goulash healthy involves a few simple modifications to the traditional recipe. Here are some tips:

  1. Use lean meat: Instead of using fatty cuts of beef, opt for leaner cuts like sirloin or round steak, or even ground turkey or chicken. This will reduce the amount of saturated fat in the dish.
  2. Increase the vegetables: Add more vegetables to the goulash, such as bell peppers, carrots, and zucchini. Not only will this add extra nutrients, but it will also bulk up the dish and make it more filling.
  3. Reduce the sodium: Many canned tomatoes and broths are high in sodium. To reduce the sodium content of your goulash, use no-salt-added or low-sodium options, or consider making your own tomato sauce from fresh tomatoes.
  4. Use whole-grain pasta: Instead of using white pasta, opt for whole-grain options like whole wheat elbow macaroni. This will add more fiber and nutrients to the dish.
  5. Add spices: Paprika is a staple in traditional goulash, but you can also add other spices like garlic, thyme, and bay leaves to boost the flavor and nutrition of the dish.

By following these simple tips, you can enjoy a delicious and healthy version of American goulash.

What Is Goulash?

Goulash is a traditional Hungarian stew that is popular in many countries. The dish is made from beef, onions, paprika, and other ingredients, simmered together to create a hearty and flavorful stew. The exact ingredients and method of preparation may vary slightly between regions, but the basic principle remains the same.

In its traditional form, goulash is made with diced beef that is slowly cooked with onions, paprika, and other seasonings until the meat is tender and the flavors are well developed. The mixture is then thickened with flour or another thickener, and simmered until it reaches the desired consistency.

Goulash is typically served with potatoes, noodles, or dumplings, and it is often garnished with sour cream or grated cheese. The dish is known for its rich, comforting flavor and its simple, hearty ingredients. It is considered a classic comfort food in many countries, and it is a popular dish for both family meals and special occasions.

How to Make American Goulash Ahead

Making American goulash ahead of time is a great way to have a quick and easy meal ready to go when you need it. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Cook the goulash: Prepare the goulash according to your preferred recipe, using ingredients like ground beef, onions, garlic, paprika, canned tomatoes, and elbow macaroni.
  2. Allow it to cool: After cooking, let the goulash cool to room temperature.
  3. Store in the refrigerator: Transfer the goulash to an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  4. Reheat: When you’re ready to eat, reheat the goulash in a saucepan on the stove over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until it is heated through. You can also reheat the goulash in the microwave, using a microwave-safe dish.
  5. Serve: Serve the goulash hot, garnished with grated cheese, chopped parsley, or other toppings of your choice.

By making the goulash ahead of time, you can have a delicious and comforting meal ready to go in minutes. This is a great way to save time and effort on busy weeknights or to prepare a meal in advance for guests.


Here is a simple recipe for American goulash that serves 6-8 people:


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 cup elbow macaroni
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Grated cheddar cheese and chopped parsley, for garnish (optional)


  1. In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, brown the ground beef over medium-high heat, breaking it up into small pieces as it cooks.
  2. Add the onion and garlic to the pan and cook until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in the paprika and thyme, and cook for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
  4. Add the diced tomatoes (with their juices), beef broth, and macaroni to the pan.
  5. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover the pan, and simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until the macaroni is tender and the goulash is heated through.
  6. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Serve the goulash hot, garnished with grated cheese and chopped parsley, if desired. Enjoy!

Nutrition Facts

The nutrition facts for a serving of American goulash will depend on the specific recipe and serving size, but here is a general estimate based on a recipe serving 6-8 people:

  • Calories: Approximately 350-450 calories per serving
  • Fat: Approximately 15-20 grams per serving
  • Saturated Fat: Approximately 5-7 grams per serving
  • Cholesterol: Approximately 60-75 milligrams per serving
  • Sodium: Approximately 700-900 milligrams per serving
  • Carbohydrates: Approximately 35-45 grams per serving
  • Fiber: Approximately 2-3 grams per serving
  • Sugar: Approximately 5-7 grams per serving
  • Protein: Approximately 25-30 grams per serving

These nutrition facts are based on a standard recipe for American goulash made with ground beef, canned tomatoes, beef broth, and macaroni. Keep in mind that the specific nutrition facts will vary based on the ingredients used, the portion size, and any added toppings or garnishes.


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