4-Ingredient Quick & Easy Goulash

May 13, 2019
Looking for quick and easy dinner ideas?  Look no further than 4-Ingredient Quick & Easy Goulash!  It's simple, easy, family-friendly, budget-friendly comfort food that just seems to be loved by all.
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Serving 4-Ingredient Quick & Easy Goulash Image


This is one of those family-friendly, budget-friendly dinner recipes that's been passed down through generation after generation in our family.  My Dad remembers my grandmother making this dish for dinner all the time when he was growing up.

And then when I was growing up?  I remember having it all the time, too.

And now?  You guessed it - we have it all the time, as well.  Probably at least once every-other-week.  Our 9-year-old daughter is the newest generation to love it, too.

So why has it been so popular in our family and stood the test of time?  Well first off, it's just plain good-old comfort food.  That's the main reason.  But it's got a few other fabulous perks, too:

  • Family-friendly - Despite its simplicity, this quick Goulash is really tasty with flavors and ingredients loved by both kids and grown-ups alike.
  • Easy - 4 simple ingredients, boil water, brown ground beef, stir ingredients together ... and that's pretty much it.  Dinner truly doesn't get much easier than that.
  • Time-friendly - This dish is done in the time it takes to cook macaroni noodles.  Which indeed is pretty quick in dinner-dish terms.
  • Budget-friendly - Those four simple ingredients? ~ They don't cost a whole lot ... and the recipe stretches a pound of ground beef out to feed multiple mouths easily.

In the earliest generations of our family, I'm sure it was the budget-friendly reason that brought about the love and reliance on this recipe.  My Dad was the youngest of 7 children and the family wasn't at all what you would consider well-off.  In fact, the word "poor" is much closer to the appropriate description.

It's simple, easy, family-friendly, budget-friendly comfort food that just seems to be loved by all.

So stretching the dollar was a way of life for my grandmother in the 1930s and 1940s when my Dad and his 6 siblings were growing up.

And we're pretty sure reliance on this Goulash recipe started well before that, being handed down to my grandmother from my great-grandmother before her.  (Did you know Campbell's condensed tomato soup was introduced in 1897??)

Now a-days?

I'm glad to be able to say our family has much more money at its disposal, but we stick with this classic comfort food recipe simply because we love it.  Especially on those nights when we just need to get dinner on the table quick.

Pot of 4-Ingredient Quick & Easy Goulash Image

So just what are the 4 ingredients in this 4-Ingredient Quick & Easy Goulash?  They're pretty simple:
  1. Ground beef
  2. Macaroni
  3. Chopped onion, and
  4. Campbell's condensed tomato soup

Easy Goulash Ingredients Image

Now, we joked growing up that my Dad could only cook 2 things - popcorn and this Goulash.  If Mom said, "Dad's cooking dinner tonight," you knew a big pot of Goulash was about to hit the table.

But the funny thing?

Dad would always leave out the onion!  Yes, he'd turn an already-simple 4-ingredient recipe into an even simpler 3-ingredient one ... not bothering to take the time to chop up the onion.

If Mom said, "Dad's cooking dinner tonight," you knew a big pot of Goulash was about to hit the table.

My friends, I don't recommend cooking Goulash Dad's way.  The onion truly does add a lot of great flavor to the dish.  So don't be like Dad ... take the time to chop that onion.  (I mean, come on, Dad ... it's really not that hard!)

Once that onion is chopped, just brown the ground beef and onion together in a saute pan and drain off the grease.

Then add in 2 cans of condensed tomato soup.

How to Make 4-Ingredient Quick & Easy Goulash with Tomato Soup Image

Stir that all together to make the Goulash's sauce.

Sauce for Goulash Image

Then simply combine the ground beef-tomato soup sauce with cooked macaroni noodles.

Start boiling the water for the noodles before you begin browning the ground beef, and the noodles and sauce should be done and come together at just about the same time.

Adding Cooked Macaroni Noodles to Sauce to Make Goulash Image

Stir everything together until it's well mixed, and finish it all off with a good sprinkling of salt and pepper.

And that's all there is to it - SUPER quick and easy to make.

This quick and easy version of goulash is also commonly referred to as American goulash or American chop suey, and is really not related to true Hungarian goulash in any way.

Serve it up with an easy vegetable on the side, and you're good to go with a hearty family-friendly meal.

For some reason, corn is always our go-to veggie with this.  Corn & Goulash just seem to go together.  So much so, that Dad always stirred his corn right into his Goulash on his plate!

American Chop Suey Image

Now, I know that true goulash is a Hungarian slow-cooked stew generally with meat and vegetables seasoned with paprika ... and that goulash purists are probably going to beat me up over using the name for this simple dinner dish.

But that's what our generations of family have just always called it.

This quick and easy version of goulash is also commonly referred to as American goulash or American chop suey, and is really not related to true Hungarian goulash in any way.

But no matter what you call it, one thing's for sure - it's just plain good-old comfort food.  Simple, easy, family-friendly, budget-friendly comfort food that has sure stood our family's test of time.

Plate of Quick and Easy Goulash with Corn Image
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4-Ingredient Quick & Easy Goulash
(Print recipe)
Ingredients
Directions
  1. Cook macaroni in salted water, according to package directions. Drain well. Return to the cooking pot.
  2. While macaroni is cooking, brown the ground beef and chopped onion together; drain. Add tomato soup, a little salt, and a little pepper, to taste. Stir to combine and heat until the soup is heated through.
  3. Add ground beef-soup mixture to the macaroni; stir together until well combined. Season with additional salt & pepper, to taste.
Enjoy!

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1 comment

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