Better-than-Mom’s Stovetop Goulash – Kalyn’s Kitchen

When you need comfort food, this Better-than-Mom’s Stovetop Goulash that uses macaroni, tomatoes, and ground beef will do the trick! This easy recipe is kid-friendly and freezes well.

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Better-than-Mom's Stovetop Goulash with Macaroni, Tomatoes, and Ground Beef found on

A couple of weeks ago I confessed on Twitter that I was making a recipe by Paula Deen, and this Stovetop Goulash was pure comfort food for me. I remember my mom making this kind of dish, but mom’s goulash was never like this. It’s hard to say just what makes this recipe so lick-the-plate delicious, but Jake and I could not stop remarking on how good it was when we tested the recipe.

I changed up the seasonings a little and also cut the recipe in half so I wouldn’t be able to overindulge too much! The recipe starts with lean ground beef, onions, tomato sauce, and canned tomatoes, and then macaroni is simmered with the other ingredients for 30 minutes.

And everyone needs comfort food once in a while, and since I’m currently packing up twenty-five years of accumulated stuff in preparation for the move to my new house, I’m not going to be too hard on myself for enjoying it.

What ingredients do you need?

Better-than-Mom's Stovetop Goulash with Macaroni, Tomatoes, and Ground Beef found on

How to make this Stovetop Goulash recipe:

(Scroll down for complete printable recipe with nutritional information.)

  1. Heat a little olive oil in a large non-stick pan and brown the ground beef until it’s well-done, about 6-7 minutes.
  2. Then push the beef over to the side of the pan and cook the onions until they start to brown, about 5 minutes more.  Add the garlic and cook a couple minutes more.
  3. Add the water, tomato sauce, canned tomatoes, Italian Herb Seasoning (affiliate link), bay leaves, soy sauce, garlic powder, Steak Seasoning (affiliate link), and salt and pepper to taste and let the mixture simmer covered about 10 minutes.
  4. Add the macaroni, stir it into the sauce, cover the pan, and simmer on low for 30 minutes.
  5. Paula Deen says to let the mixture sit another 30 minutes before you eat it, but we only managed to make it about 10 minutes.
  6. Serve hot, with a dollop of low-fat sour cream.

Better-than-Mom's Stovetop Goulash with Macaroni, Tomatoes, and Ground Beef found on

More Tasty Comfort Food Recipes:

Spaghetti Casserole

Low-Carb Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Sausage and Kale Mock Lasagna


  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 15 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1 15 oz. petite diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1 T Italian Herb Blend
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 T soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. Montreal Steak Seasoning (or use your favorite purchased steak seasoning)
  • salt and fresh-ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup macaroni
  • sour cream for serving, optional


  1. In a large non-stick pan, heat the olive oil, add the ground beef, and cook until it’s well-browned, breaking apart with the turner as it cooks.
  2. Push the beef to the side of the pan, add the onions and cook until the onions start to brown, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the minced garlic and cook about 2 minutes more.
  4. Add the water, tomato sauce, petite dice tomatoes and juice, Italian Herb Seasoning (affiliate link), bay leaves, soy sauce, garlic powder, Montreal Steak Seasoning, salt, and pepper.
  1. Stir the mixture together, then cover the pan and simmer about 20 minutes.
  2. Add the macaroni, cover the pan again, and simmer 30 minutes.
  3. Remove from the heat, discard the bay leaves, and let the mixture sit for a few minutes before serving.  (We only made it about 10 minutes, which was fine.)
  4. Serve hot, with a dollop of low-fat sour cream if desired.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving:
Calories: 322Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 5gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 68mgSodium: 1013mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 3gSugar: 10gProtein: 24g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.

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Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
I was thinking more about comfort food than I was about carb-conscious eating when I made this, and even though it’s mostly made of low-glycemic ingredients, simmering the macaroni in the tomato sauce mixture for 30 minutes means this recipe is probably best limited to Phase 3 for South Beach dieters, even with Dreamfields or whole wheat macaroni. This is not a low-carb dish, so it would be a definite splurge for low-carb diets, but you could make a more carb-conscious version by using more beef and less macaroni.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Pasta Recipes to find more ideas for pasta, most of which will be lower in carbs! Use the Diet Type Index to find recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

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