Nana’s Classic Goulash Recipe

classic goulash in a bowl
Author: Heather
Category: Hanukkah
Published Date: 07/13/2020
Comments: 36

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Growing up, I often ate 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 had that night for dinner. Although Nana passed away years ago, I’m so grateful to have her recipes written down, so I can 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 favorites, Nana’s classic goulash recipe.

Funny story… Nana didn’t call this classic goulash. 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 used to call this “Laura.” It may sound strange to name a dish, but there is 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 we will call this classic goulash for the sake of most people who don’t name dishes after the people who gave them a recipe. I’m sure it will be easier for those searching for an American goulash recipe because unless they know the lovely doctor’s wife, they won’t be searching for “Laura.”

Beef, pasta, onions, peppers and spices, in a tomato sauce. This classic goulash recipe brings me back to my childhood every single time.
ground beef in a pan
ground beef, peppers, onions, pasta and garlic in a pan
ground beef, peppers, onions, pasta and garlic in a pan
ingredients for classic goulash
This classic goulash recipe is similar to beefaroni. It's a one pan dish that's easy and perfect for a family dinner.

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 that you can make extra 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 don’t have much time to spend in the kitchen. Once the meat is cooked and the ingredients are stirred, 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. My uncle told me he likes adding basil and oregano to his. He also tops his with parmesan cheese. I haven’t tried that yet, but I look forward to adding those 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.

Most classic goulash recipes include cheese, so go ahead and add it (or don’t); it’s your meal, so make it your own!

classic goulash in a pan
classic goulash in a bowl
classic goulash in a bowl

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 Recipe

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classic goulash in a bowl

Nana’s Classic Goulash Recipe

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

4.9 from 10 reviews

  • Author: Heather l The Super Mom Life


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 thoroughly.
  • Add uncooked macaroni, onions, 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 I’ll share very soon.

One of my favorite childhood memories is eating my Nana's classic goulash. I'm excited to share her recipe with you!

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Hello There!

I'm so honored that you've found us! I'm Heather, a Mom of 3 who blogs about parenting, food, occasional travel and how I overcame my daily struggle with anxiety. I miss sleeping and rely on coffee and laughter to get me through the day. I hope you enjoy and visit often!

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  • I am making it tonight, then. All ingredients are lined up in my fridge and pantry. Would like to taste your classic nana’s recipe!

  • One and done. That’s my kind of dish with how my days have been going lately. The Laura I’m looking at here looks fabulous though 😉 lol

  • This kind of reminds me of something my mom used to make when I was younger. Looks like an easy family dinner

  • I love a good meaty dish! This is awesome that you were able to recreate this plate. It looks delicious.

  • I love anything one pot – makes life so easier. This looks like such a crowd pleaser – thanks for sharing.

  • That is the perfect meal for my family! They’ll love the taste, and I love how easy it is to make. Everybody wins!