CrockPot Goulash

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Easy Crockpot Goulash is the perfect make ahead meal for busy families! It is hearty, delicious and the perfect comfort food served alongside Easy Homemade Buttermilk Biscuits!

American Goulash (not to be confused with Hungarian Goulash) is made with ground beef, onions, mushrooms and pasta smothered in a tomato based broth. This easy Crockpot Goulash is easy to make ahead of time and everyone absolutely loves it!

Crockpot Goulash with ground beef and tomatoes ready to serveEasy Crockpot Goulash

Old fashioned goulash is a complete meal in one bowl that will keep your family satisfied and their bellies happy. Serve it with fresh rolls and a side salad if you like. Your family will absolutely love the taste and you will love the simplicity!

What is Goulash?

While Hungarian Goulash is a paprika seasoned meat stew/soup, an American Goulash is a completely different dish.

A beef goulash recipe in North America is more commonly a tomato based ground beef and macaroni dish. Other vegetables are added such as onion and green peppers for flavor. This dish goes by many other names as well (like American Chop Suey) but our family has always just called it beef goulash!

A steaming bowl of crockpot goulash is the perfect weeknight meal

Can you make Goulash in a Crockpot?

While most Goulash recipes are made on the stovetop, allowing this dish to simmer in the slow cooker is a perfect make ahead meal. Not only can it be made ahead of time, the flavors are so much better when it cooks in the slow cooker all day long! The perfect dish to come home to.

  • Convenient: Just put the ingredients in and let the slow cooker do all of the work.
  • Flavorful: As the meat sauce cooks all day for this goulash recipe, it has tons of flavor.
  • Make Ahead: This can be made ahead of time meaning you come home to a meal ready to enjoy.

Crockpot goulash ingredients in the slow cooker

How to Make Old Fashioned Goulash in the Crockpot

Making Crockpot Goulash is super simple!

  1. Brown ground beef, onions and garlic.
  2. Add all the ingredients (except noodles), stir, cover and cook on high for 2 hours or on low for 4-5 hours.
  3. Prepare your noodles (this also can be done ahead of time and placed in a refrigerator), then add to the slow cooker for about 5-10 minutes to heat through.

While you can add raw noodles to the crockpot for the last 30-40 minutes, for the best results, I highly recommend cooking the noodles on the side and stirring them in for serving.  I have found that, depending on the brand, adding raw noodles can become gummy in texture. The best and most consistent results were achieved by cooking the pasta separately.

A scoop of crockpot goulash is the perfect slow cooker meal.

As the temperature drops, stews, chilis and soups are a welcome change from summer barbecued dishes. Crockpot Goulash is the perfect comfort food meal that will warm you to your core this fall. So simple to make and equally as delicious, you just have to give it a try!

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5 from 9 votes
Review Recipe

Crockpot Goulash

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Author Holly
Course Main Course, Pasta
Cuisine American
This Crockpot Goulash recipe has tender pasta noodles mixed in a rich beefy meat sauce.


  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 1 1/2 medium onions diced
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 green pepper diced
  • 6 oz tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 24 oz pasta sauce jarred or canned
  • 28 oz diced tomatoes canned, do not drain
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 8 oz mushrooms canned, do not drain
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt, or to taste
  • 3 cups pasta shells uncooked

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  1. Brown ground beef, onions and garlic until no pink remains. Drain any fat.

  2. Add ground beef mixture to CrockPot. Add all remaining ingredients except the uncooked shells.

  3. Cook on High for 2 hours or low for 4-5 hours.

  4. Prepare shells al dente according to package directions.  Drain well and stir into meat sauce. Cover and cook an additional 10 minutes to heat through.

Recipe Notes

This recipe creates a thick goulash, if you prefer your goulash to be thinner, increase the water to  1.5 or 2 cups.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 373, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 70mg, Sodium: 749mg, Potassium: 1352mg, Carbohydrates: 45g, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 11g, Protein: 33g, Vitamin A: 17.5%, Vitamin C: 42.2%, Calcium: 9.2%, Iron: 35.2%

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Keyword American chop suey, beef goulash, crock pot, goulash, goulash recipe, slow cooker

REPIN this Goulash Recipe

CrockPot Goulash prepared in a crock pot




Crockpot Goulash is an easy make ahead meal! Tender ground beef and tomatoes simmered in a zesty tomato sauce in the slow cooker. #spendwithpennies #crockpotrecipe #slowcooker #crockpot #groundbeefrecipe #easyrecipe #meatsaucerecipe #easymeatsauce #goulash #Americangoulash #Amercianchopsuey #hamburgerhelper

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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

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  1. I made this one night when we were looking for something a little different for dinner and I had most of the ingredients in the recipe on hand. It was a winner and we will be making this again. This next time, I am going to try using ground turkey instead of beef.

    1. No problem! You can see the number of servings right above the name on the recipe card :). This makes 8 servings. Enjoy Lauren!

  2. So, has anyone tried (or can you) make this by putting everything in the crock-pot un-cooked, and just slow cooking it all day?? I mean, i don’t understand pre-cooking the meat & shells then crocking only for two hours …. could be more of a “set it and forget it” in the morning dish?

    1. The beef is cooked so you can drain grease from it and as for the shells, there are some notes in the recipe. You can add them raw but I have found that some brands become gummy in texture so cooking them separately (even the day before and keeping them in the fridge) and adding at the end produces the best results.

      1. Ah ok gotcha– depending on the % of lean/fat in the burger, i don’t mind a bit of fat , especially if i can emulsify for some texture — see what you mean on the possible gummy shells …. well i think i will give this a go starting uncooked, maybe 8hrs slow! Thanks!

  3. I made this yesterday for my parents, 2 sisters and my husband and me since I knew I had a busy day. Everyone loved it especially my 89 year old dad who is quite picky!

  4. When you say three cups of pasta do you mean 24 oz of pasta or do you mean 3 cups measured out once it’s cooked?? Maybe a silly question but I just don’t want to overdo it and put too much pasta or too little.

    1. Good question. 3 cups dry in a measuring cup. This does not convert to ounces as it is a dry measure. 1 cup of dry shells weighs about 2.8oz on my kitchen scale.

  5. This was fantastic…the only change I made was to leave out the green pepper ,I don’t like them. Will make this again for sure..

  6. I’d like to make a couple substitutions for weight Watchers like ground turkey snd cabbage. I see it says eight servings. How many cups is that per serving! Like 1 1/3?  Thanks

    1. If you’re adding cabbage as well (or even in place of noodles) this may change the volume. As written it’s approximately 1 1/2 cups.

    1. I haven’t tried this in the instant pot but if you were to follow the directions of a meaty pasta sauce it should work just fine. I’d suggest cooking the pasta separately.

  7. My mom just used tomato juice for the liquid and no other tomato products. I sweat my onion in butter then add the mushrooms, Juice, browned hamburger and cooked pasta. Yummy!

  8. Oh my God, what an appetizing photo! And what a simple recipe! I will definitely cook this delicacy for my family at the weekend! Thank you for your site and your work! Your site is inspired by culinary masterpieces!