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Growing up, I would often eat dinner at my Nana and Papa’s house. Nana had a handful of signature dishes that I grew up with. As soon as I walked in the door, I knew exactly which one we were having that night for dinner. Although Nana passed away years ago, I’m so grateful to have her recipes written down, so I could continue to make them for my kids. It’s a tradition I hope we can pass on forever. Today, I want to share one of my personal favorites, Nana’s classic goulash recipe.
Funny story… Nana actually didn’t call this classic goulash. In fact, I’m not even sure she knew that’s what she was making. I didn’t even realize it was goulash until very recently myself. It’s also very similar to some beefaroni recipes. Nana actually used to call this “Laura”. It may sound strange to give a dish a name, but there was apparently a good reason for it. It was because her doctor’s wife gave her the recipe, and her name was Laura.
I thought about naming this “Laura” for the blog, but for the sake of most people who don’t name dishes after the people that gave them a recipe, we will call this classic goulash. I’m sure it will be easier for those people searching for an American goulash recipe because unless they know the lovely doctor’s wife, they won’t be searching for “Laura”.
What I love most about this recipe is that everything cooks in one pan. You don’t have to cook the pasta first either, so it’s quick, easy and even tastes good the day after, so you can make extra for leftovers. I usually double this recipe for our family of five and cook it in my electric skillet. We have dinner and lunch for the following day.
It’s the perfect dish for those hectic days when you just don’t have a ton of time to spend in the kitchen. Once the meat is cooked and the ingredients are stirred in, it’s just a matter of simmering for 20 minutes.
You can make this exactly as Nana’s recipe calls for, but you are welcome to add additional seasonings as well. My uncle told me that he likes to add basil and oregano to his. He also tops his with parmesan cheese. I haven’t tried that yet, but look forward to adding those in next time I make it. I’m sure it would add another great layer of flavor to it. Plus, my family loves to add cheese to just about anything.
Actually, most classic goulash recipes include cheese, so go ahead and add it (or don’t), it’s your meal, so make it your own!
Now that you know a little about this classic goulash dish and why it means something to our family, I’m excited to share the recipe with you. If you do make it, I’d love for you to share a photo and tag us on social media or comment below and let me know what you think. We love feedback from our readers!
Nana’s Classic Goulash RecipePrint
The perfect combination of beef, pasta, onions, peppers and spices, in a tomato sauce. It’s a recipe that my Nana made once a week and brings me back to my childhood every single time.
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 tbsp oil, vegetable or olive
- 1 cup elbow macaroni, uncooked
- 1/2 cup onions, chopped
- 1/2 cup green pepper, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- (2) 8oz cans of tomato sauce
- 16 0z water
- 3 tsp worcestershire sauce
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Saute ground beef in oil, on medium high heat until browned and cooked completely.
- Add uncooked macaroni, inions, green pepper and garlic. Stir and cook for 3-5 minutes.
- Drain excess oil.
- Add tomato sauce, water, worcestershire sauce and salt and pepper. Stir well.
- Bring to a boil and then cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
Don’t forget to check out our other family friendly recipes, especially Nana’s Slow Cooker Pot Roast with Homemade Gravy and her Claremont Salad! Stay tuned for her other signature recipes that I’ll be sharing very soon.