One-Pan Goulash: A Hearty, Flavorful Dish for Busy Nights

In the whirlwind of our daily lives, finding time to cook a wholesome meal can feel like an insurmountable task. Enter the One-Pan Goulash – a savior for the time-strapped and hungry. This hearty dish not only delights the taste buds but also simplifies your kitchen cleanup. Let’s dive into what makes this culinary gem so special.

Benefits: One-Pan Goulash isn’t just about convenience; it’s also a nutritious choice for any mealtime. Packed with protein, fiber, and essential vitamins, it keeps you feeling satisfied and energized. Plus, with its blend of vegetables and spices, it’s a delicious way to sneak in those extra nutrients.


  • 1 pound ground beef (or turkey for a leaner option)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 2 cups elbow macaroni
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Chopped fresh parsley for garnish (optional)

Step-by-Step Preparation Instructions:

  1. In a large skillet or Dutch oven, brown the ground beef over medium heat until fully cooked. Drain any excess fat.
  2. Add the diced onion, minced garlic, and diced bell pepper to the skillet. Sauté until the vegetables are tender.
  3. Stir in the beef broth, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, elbow macaroni, paprika, and dried oregano. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until the macaroni is cooked through and the sauce has thickened.
  5. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley before serving, if desired.

Variations and Substitutions:

  • Vegetarian Option: Substitute the ground beef with plant-based ground “meat” or diced tofu.
  • Gluten-Free: Use gluten-free elbow macaroni or swap it out for another gluten-free pasta shape.
  • Spicy Twist: Add a pinch of red pepper flakes or a diced jalapeño for extra heat.
  • Italian-Inspired: Replace the paprika and oregano with Italian seasoning for a different flavor profile.

Serving Suggestions: One-Pan Goulash is a complete meal in itself, but it pairs wonderfully with a side salad or some crusty bread for soaking up the savory sauce. For a cozy dinner party, serve it family-style with a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese on top.

Health Benefits: This dish offers a balance of carbohydrates, protein, and vegetables, making it a wholesome choice for any meal. The lean protein from the ground beef (or turkey) helps build and repair tissues, while the vegetables provide essential vitamins and minerals. Plus, the fiber-rich macaroni keeps you feeling full and satisfied.

Safety Tips: When cooking ground meat, it’s crucial to ensure it reaches an internal temperature of 160°F to kill any harmful bacteria. Use a meat thermometer to check for doneness, especially if you’re cooking poultry.

Conclusion: One-Pan Goulash is a testament to the beauty of simplicity in cooking. With just a handful of ingredients and one skillet, you can create a satisfying meal that’s bursting with flavor. Whether you’re cooking for a crowd or just need a quick weeknight dinner, this dish has you covered.

Final Thoughts: Next time you’re in a culinary rut, remember the One-Pan Goulash. It’s not just a meal; it’s a lifesaver for busy days and a delicious reminder that good food doesn’t have to be complicated. So grab your skillet and get cooking – your taste buds will thank you!

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