Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Combatting the Weather With a Southern Favorite—Goulash!

RileyAdamsFoodBlogPostpic_thumb_thumb[3]Okay, I’ll admit that with a name like ‘goulash,’ it’s really not a Southern recipe. :)

And I’m afraid I have another dish for you that’s not pretty to photograph and might derail your diet if you eat it in large portions.

On the upside? Everyone in my family cleans their plates when I make this. It’s inexpensive and most of the ingredients are in my pantry. It warms you up in cold weather. And the hands-on time for cooking it is very short, too.

Plus, it’s fun to say goulash. :) It sounds oddly exotic in my neck of the woods.

So, here 'tis. You could do this a lot of different ways (I’ve seen it with potatoes, green pepper, and green beans added, too), but this is the basic model:


Quick and Easy Goulash

1 c. cooked elbow macaroni
1/2 c. chopped onion
1 lb. ground beef
1 can tomato soup
1 cup whole kernel corn
1/2 cup crumbled bacon (optional)
Parmesan or cheddar for topping (I sprinkle it very sparsely, but you could add more)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Brown the ground beef with the onion and the bacon, if desired. Drain. Add the soup and corn and heat through. Put the cooked macaroni in the bottom of your casserole dish and top with the ground beef mixture. Sprinkle shredded Parmesan or cheddar on the top. Place in oven 30 minutes or until heated through.


The bacon is sort of the Southernizing of the Hungarian recipe. :) In fact…can I still call it goulash, when it’s got bacon and no peppers in it? I hope so, because I sure would miss saying the name of the recipe. :) Bacon isn’t necessary, but does add a nice taste to it. (Of course, I would say that…)

Delicious and Suspicious (July 6 2010) Riley Adams
Pretty is as Pretty Dies –Elizabeth Spann Craig


  1. This sounds like a tasty recipe for the cold, rainy days ahead. My DH has his own form of goulash. He mixes cocoa, sugar, peanut butter and just enough warm water to blend all the ingredients together and eats it with soda crackers.

    Thoughts in Progress

  2. Wow, Riley, I didn't realize that goulash was a "southern" thing, even though my mama (who was as Texan as they come), had it as a stock recipe. I ate a lot of her version growing up, which was basically her spaghetti meat sauce with elbow macaroni instead of spaghetti, and sometimes the addition of corn. Not being overly concerned with dieting, and being married to my father, who wouldn't consider it a meal without some form of Irish potatoes on the table, she served this with a cast iron skillet full of fried potatoes. Healthy? No. Delicious? You bet! I have to fight myself even now to not make fried potatoes as a side dish with goulash.

  3. Mason--You know...maybe it's the fact that it's 5 a.m....but that actually sounds really good to me!

    Shel--Ha! Yes, goulash *is* Southern! Well, Southern Hungarian maybe. :) Potatoes on the side WOULD be really good. Diets are sooooo January 1st. :)

  4. Mason's husband's concoction is sounding great, here too. Mmm... I need a chocolate fix, I think.

    My mom used to make a similar goulash (not a drop of Southern blood in any of us... but we are Southside Chicago. Maybe that's it!) and as a kid, I didn't care for it at all. Hers had no corn, no bacon, no cheese. And instead of soup, she used canned tomatoes. Anyway, she made it again later when I was an adult and I couldn't get enough of the stuff! Tasted like my childhood. Thanks for the memory. Maybe I'll give it a go.

  5. Goulash IS fun to say. :) And, oh-baby, bacon is never optional for me. This dish is pure Southern comfort and I know I'll love it! Thanks for the *virtual* warmth on a cold morning.

    ~ Cleo Coffeehouse
    Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  6. I grew up on goulash, but it wasn't anything like this recipe! I'll have to try it, but I think I might add a little paprika to the meat.

    ~ Krista

  7. Oh rats! My next book is a Halloween book and it just dawned on me that Ghoulash would have been a fun recipe to include!

    ~ Krista

  8. Julie--Isn't it funny how certain things remind us of childhood suppers? There are a few recipes that put me RIGHT back at the kitchen table in SC. It's kind of a fun trip!

    Cleo--It is definitely comfort food! I think I need to do something healthy next week, though. I'm going to start thinking about it!

    Krista--Ghoulash would have been *so* funny for a Halloween book! Ha! Maybe you'll have another Halloween book and can use it. Too good to pass up! And I think paprika would be great in this...and I'm sure your goulash was very different (and a lot more authentic!) than this one. :)

  9. Elizabeth, thanks for reigniting a memory.
    Julie, my mother made her goulash (from California) with tomatoes as well. I looked at Riley's and thought, hm, that's not red enough. Now I remember why. I used to love making goulash. A great dish for kids to make.


  10. It's a popular dish in this Missouri kitchen. Serve it about twice a month in the winter in fact. We use diced tomatoes or stewed tomatoes instead of the soup. And BACON, oh yes! My mother in law always put corn in it too.

  11. Avery--Tomatoes would be great in it! Especially summer tomatoes. But then, you're probably able to get good tomatoes all year where you are, aren't you?

    Olden Times--Tomatoes and bacon! So we could make it almost a BLT casserole, but without the lettuce. Sounds yummy to me!

  12. My mom's goulash was stewed tomatoes, ground beef, kidney beans, lots of paprika, oregano, and of course elbow macaroni. I loathed (that is just another fun word along with goulash..)it as a kid. Then miraculously I turned 20 and came home to mooch a meal and fell in love with it!! My kids have always loved it thank goodness! I love how each of us has a different take on it depending on our geographic roots!! Yeah for Goulash...a very fun meal!!

  13. I grew up on this too! It's always been a favorite for my family, but recently, feeling creative and mindful of my husband's dislike of tomatoes, I made it differently - with a creamy, cream-cheesy sauce and a dash of herbs de provence. Oh..yum. Now it's THE favorite, and I can't seem to make enough to satisfy everyone.