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!

Overhead shot of goulash in a crockpotEasy 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!

Overhead shot of Crockpot Goulash in a white bowl

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 full of goulash ingredients before being mixed

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.

Ladle full of Crockpot Goulash

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!

More Crockpot Recipes You’ll Love!

Ladle full of Crockpot Goulash
4.93 from 149 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Crockpot Goulash

This Crockpot Goulash recipe has tender pasta noodles mixed in a rich beefy meat sauce.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings 8 servings


  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 ½ medium onions diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 green pepper diced
  • 6 ounces tomato paste
  • ½ cup water
  • 24 ounces pasta sauce jarred or canned
  • 28 ounces diced tomatoes canned, do not drain
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 8 ounces mushrooms canned, do not drain
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon seasoning salt or to taste
  • 3 cups pasta shells uncooked


  • Brown ground beef, onions and garlic until no pink remains. Drain any fat.
  • Add ground beef mixture to CrockPot. Add all remaining ingredients except the uncooked shells.
  • Cook on High for 2 hours or low for 4-5 hours.
  • 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.



This recipe creates a thick goulash if you prefer your goulash to be thinner, increase the water to  1 ½ or 2 cups.
4.93 from 149 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 373 | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 70mg | Sodium: 749mg | Potassium: 1352mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 875IU | Vitamin C: 34.8mg | Calcium: 92mg | Iron: 6.3mg

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

Course Main Course, Pasta
Cuisine American

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About the author

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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Recipe Rating


  1. I really want to try this but I’m allergic to mushrooms. What veggie would you recommend as a substitute?

    1. You could omit them completely Katherine, or add in some canned corn. Enjoy the goulash!

  2. I cook for a large group of men(40) once a month. I’m wondering if this recipe is adaptable for that application.

    1. Yes, yes, and Gosh yes!!! Goulash is an all american dish that most men Love. Right up there with steak and taters! I recommend this dish…WNJOY

  3. Holly thank you so much for the great goulash recipe. I made it for dinner tonight (on top of the stove) and it turned out grrrrreat. I’m cooking for a friend and her family and they requested “comfort foods” .. the goulash surely fit the bill. Even my picky husband thought it was really tasty. I’m supposed to be on a plant based diet .. so I substituted “meatless crumbles” for half of the hamburger and I doubt anyone will notice. This was great also because it made a LOT and I did not have to adjust the recipe to feed both families. I think I’ve found my go-to source for comfort foods!5 stars

  4. I made your goulash today and it’s outstanding..easy to put together..I have leftovers for tomorrow..I love it!! Thanks for sharing! Blessings5 stars

  5. If you don’t want to use crock pot , how else can you cook this? Can’t wait to fix it. Love your recipes!!!!!!!

  6. I have made this before and it was a hit with my picky family! Making it again tonight. I have to say I LOVE your recipes. Whenever I am searching for a new dinner recipe or idea, if I see its from your site, I know it’s a trustworthy one. I have used many of your recipes. Wanted to say thank you for making this SAHM’s life a little easier 5 stars

  7. Can you use elbow macaroni in this recipe? I don’t have shells. If so, how many cups of elbows should I suse? TIA

      1. Holly so you use only 1/2 cup elbow macaroni instead of 3 cups shells?

      2. Yes, I suggest using about 1/2 cup of elbows (plus or minus will work). Add more at serving if desired.

  8. I grew up eating what I thought was good goulash, I was very wrong! This was amazing! Followed the recipe as written and we loved it.5 stars

    1. I have tried it with several brands/shapes of pasta and find it comes out gummy in texture most of the time. The pasta can be cooked up to 48 hours ahead of time, drained and kept in the fridge until you add to the slow cooker. I hope that helps!

      1. Hi Holly.
        I hope you can help me out! My son would not eat anything I make! He always wanted me to go and get his fast food out there. I am frustrated because he won’t eat anything I make! I have wasted some groceries. Any advice.

  9. Updating my previous review…made this in an electric pressure cooker. 6 mins under medium pressure. Let the pressure release on its own. Added the salsa and cheese once all the pressure had released. Turned out perfect!5 stars

  10. My kids loved this dish. Added a little sugar to neutralize the acidity and omitted the Worcestershire sauce as I didn’t have any. Thx for sharing a great recipe. Your recipes are a hit in my household !

  11. I am making this for about the 10th time. My sister gave me the recipe when you first came out with it Holly, almost 2yrs ago Made for our 90yr old parents WHO ARE VERY PICKY!! They loved it too. I also make it for our stamping group that gets together once a month. Not just for winter great when you don’t want to cook in 100° weather I give it six stars5 stars

  12. I made this for dinner it was very good it made so much I feed six people they also loved it .5 stars

    1. Hi Trent, you will want to use a 6 qt crockpot to give you room to stir comfortably, but it can be made in a 4 qt as well.

  13. Why do all recipes say to brown the meat first? The whole point of the crock pot is to use one pot . . . and you don’t have to brown it first unless you buy cheap meat . . .

    1. You can skip it if you’d like. The reason meats are browned is to add flavor (especially with large pieces of meat) and in the case of ground beef it helps keep the texture crumbly (otherwise it will clump) and allows for fat to be drained so the final dish is not oily.