American Goulash (Instant Pot)
Classic comfort food, this American Goulash is a hearty, meaty, pasta dish, where everything is stewed and simmered to perfection in a rich tomato based sauce.
American Goulash is a recipe that was made for the instant pot. The pressure helps the flavors develop so you get this classic comfort food in a fraction of the time. It is one pot, less than 30 minutes prep and cook time, and something the whole family will love. Serve it with cornbread or crusty crock pot bread to make an amazing meal.
Ground beef, elbow macaroni, tomatoes, and so much more! This is the kind of one pot dish the whole family gets behind. Easy to make. Easy to eat. So delicious.
It is also called Chop Suey, or just Goulash. And it is a simple sauce, and a great recipe to clean out the fridge with, as you can add just about anything you want to this tasty concoction. But trust me, what is in this instant pot recipe is the perfect combo.
How Is This Different From Hungarian Goulash?
This fantastic dish was originally created in Hungary, but the American version adds pasta! And who doesn’t love pasta? And while it goes by a similar name, it is not actually the same dish. In fact, other than beef that is stewed in sauce, it is pretty different.
So, if you are looking for Hungarian Goulash, which is essentially chunks of beef that have that is braised in a delicious paprika sauce, I hate to tell you, this is not it. This is closer to Lasagna Soup than Hungarian Goulash.
How to Make Goulash
Making goulash is easy! Especially in the Instant Pot.
Step one: Brown the ground beef!
One of the cool things about an instant pot, is it can truly make one pot meals. Simply turn your Instant Pot on to the sauté function, and cook the ground beef. Once cooked, drain off the extra grease!
Step Two: Add the olive oil, onion, green pepper, and garlic.
Sauté for 3 to 4 minutes until fragrant. Then keep going by adding in the beef broth. At this point you want to make sure if anything cooked onto the bottom of the pot that you scrape it off so you don’t get that pesky “burn” notice. This is called deglazing the pan, and it is done with broth or stock.
Step Three: Make sauce
One the pot is ready, and deglazed, you make the sauce by adding the water, and all of the sauce ingredients. Stir well.
Step Four: Add your Elbow Macaroni
Pour in the elbow macaroni, and use a wooden spoon to press it down so it is completely submerged under the liquid but DO NOT STIR.
Put the lid on, locking it into place, and set the valve to sealing position. Turn on manual, high pressure, and cook for 1 minute. It is important to understand that the pasta is not going to only cook for one minute, it should take about 10-15 minutes to come to pressure, all the while the pot is heating and steaming etc.
Once it is done with the cook time, release that pressure manually, but flipping the valve to “venting.”
Step Five: Add the rest of the yumminess!
After all the pressure is released and the pin drops, you can unlock the lid.
Tip: Use the handle of a wooden spoon to push the valve to venting in case it sputters to avoid getting burned, or use a cloth over the vent when turning. Then carefully remove lid, tipping it away from yourself so the excess steam does not burn you.
Stir everything up, and turn off pot.
Stir in cheese, and sweet corn. This is going to make it sweet and gooey and delicious!
Step Six: Serve it all up!
Serve immediately. Sometimes I like to serve it with fun garnishes:
- More Cheese
- Sour Cream
- Chips: Fritos or corn chips
- Diced green peppers, raw
- Anything you want to add!
I love serving it up with extras so everyone at the table can customize it to their liking. My kids like it better that way too!
Freezing & Storing Goulash
One question I always get asked is if you can freeze this for later?
This One Pot American Goulash recipe is extremely freezer-friendly. In fact, even though it only takes a few minutes to throw together and cook, I like to double the batch sometimes so I can freeze it into individual portions for those busy days when I need a quick grab lunch.
Here is how to freeze it:
- Cool the goulash completely in the refrigerator.
- Transfer to freezer safe containers like these, or a zip top bag.
- Be sure to label with dates so you know when it goes into the freezer.
- Only store for three months maximum. After that it starts to degrade and won’t be as good.
A common twist on this recipe is extra cheese! We call it American Goulash with cheese.
What are the best cheese options? Medium or sharp cheddar.
Just add extra to the pot when you stir it in, as well as sprinkle it over top of each bowl.
This is my kid’s favorite, as it makes those fun cheese-y strings when you eat it!
Another option is to swap half the ground beef for a pork sausage for another layer of flavor. The pork sausage tends to be a bit greasier, so be sure to drain it well if you go this route.
There you have it, a quick fix, easy one pot meal that the whole family will love!
Other Delicious Instant Pot Recipes
Instant Pot American Goulash
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 pounds lean ground beef
- 1 ½ cups yellow onions diced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 green bell pepper diced
- 2 cups beef broth
- 1 cups of water
- 2 cups elbow macaroni uncooked
- 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese shredded
- ½ cup sweet corn kernels optional
- 30 ounces tomato sauce 2 cans
- 30 ounces diced tomatoes 2 cans
- 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- ½ Tablespoon soy sauce
- 3 bay leaves
- 1/2 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon pepper
- Turn your Instant Pot on to the sauté function. When hot, add Ground Beef. Break it up with a wooden spoon, browning it as you go. Once browned, drain off any grease, and add the olive oil, onion, green pepper, and garlic.
- Sauté for 3 to 4 minutes until fragrant.
- Add the one cup of beef broth and stir to deglaze, scraping any brown bits off the bottom so you don’t get a “burn” notice while cooking.
- Add the water, and all of the sauce ingredients. Stir well.
- Pour elbow macaroni in, and use a wooden spoon to press it down so it is completely submerged under the liquid.
- Put the lid on, locking it into place, and set the valve to sealing position.
- Turn on manual, high pressure, and cook for 1 minute. It should take about 10-15 minutes to come to pressure. Once it is done cooking, do not let it go to warm, instead flip the valve to "venting" to quick release the pressure.
- After all the pressure is released and the pin drops, unlock the lid, and carefully remove lid.
- Stir everything up, and turn off pot. Stir in cheese, and sweet corn.
- Serve immediately.
Our recipe card software calculates these nutrition facts based on averages for the above ingredients, different brands, and quality of produce/meats may have different nutritional information, always calculate your own based on the specific products you use in order to achieve accurate macros for this recipe.