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One-Pot Instant Pot or

stove top Cheesy Goulash

Cheesy One-pot American Goulash

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Discover the delight of our Cheesy Goulash recipe, showcasing hearty ground beef, savory mushrooms, aromatic onions, and flavorful spaghetti sauce. This classic comfort dish gets a boost from tender elbow macaroni, all crowned with melted Fiesta cheese. Perfect for family dinners or gatherings, it's an excellent option for potlucks, and its versatility makes it simple to increase the portions to cater to larger gatherings and family-sized meals. Cheesy Goulash brings a mouthwatering twist to traditional goulash recipes, making it a crowd-pleasing and convenient choice for any occasion, large or small. Fast and easy to put together.

You Will Need

  • 1 pound ground beef

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 1 can (6.5 oz) mushrooms, drained

  • 1 medium onion, diced

  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic

  • 1 large tomato, peeled and diced (or 1 can diced tomatoes)

  • 1 quart (32 oz) spaghetti sauce (store-bought or homemade)

  • 2 cups elbow macaroni

  • 2 cups shredded Fiesta cheese, divided

  • 1 teaspoon dried basil (if using store-bought sauce)

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano (if using store-bought sauce)

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder (if using store-bought sauce)

  • 1 teaspoon salt (if using store-bought sauce)

  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper (if using store-bought sauce)

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What Goes with American Cheesy Goulash?

How To Make American Goulash In The Instant Pot

Savor the warm and comforting flavors of our Kid-Friendly Cheesy Goulash. This delightful recipe is a hit with both young and young-at-heart diners. With its easy preparation and cheesy goodness, it's a weeknight dinner winner. Ground beef, tender macaroni, and a rich tomato sauce come together in perfect harmony, all topped with a generous layer of melted cheese. Whether it's a busy school night or a family gathering, this Cheesy Goulash is a crowd-pleaser that will have everyone asking for seconds.


  1. If your hamburger is frozen, add it to your steamer basket inside your Instant Pot. Add 1 cup of water to the Instant Pot. Set the Instant Pot to "Manual" (or "Pressure Cook") for 15 minutes with an instant release. If your hamburger is already thawed, skip this step.

  2. Once the hamburger is cooked, drain any excess liquid, and then cut the cooked hamburger into bite-size pieces.

  3. Turn on the Instant Pot's sauté function and brown the hamburger pieces.

  4. Add the butter, drained mushrooms, diced onion, and minced garlic to the Instant Pot. Sauté for 2-3 minutes, or until the onions are almost translucent and the hamburger is almost fully cooked.

  5. Stir in the diced tomatoes, spaghetti sauce, and macaroni. If you're using store-bought spaghetti sauce, add the dried basil, dried oregano, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper at this point. Mix well.

  6. Place the Instant Pot's lid on, ensuring it's set to sealing, not venting. Set the Instant Pot to "Manual" (or "Pressure Cook") for 8 minutes. After the cooking cycle is complete, perform an instant release. Wait until the pressure valve drops, and then open the lid.

  7. Stir in 1/2 cup of shredded Fiesta cheese until it's well combined.

Preheat your broiler.

  1. Layer the casserole mixture into a baking dish, creating two layers. Add 1/2 cup of shredded Fiesta cheese between the layers and sprinkle 1 cup of shredded cheese on top.

  2. Place the baking dish under the broiler for 1 to 2 minutes or until the cheese on top is melted and bubbly.

  3. Serve your Goulash hot and enjoy!

This delicious casserole is a comforting and cheesy meal that's perfect for a family dinner. Whether you use store-bought or homemade spaghetti sauce, the addition of herbs and spices enhances the flavor. Enjoy your meal!

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Cheesy Goulash Stove Top Directions

Looking for a simple and delicious dinner solution? Try our beginner-friendly and easy Goulash recipe. This one-pot wonder is perfect for busy weeknights. With basic ingredients and straightforward steps, you can whip up this quick and tasty Goulash in just 30 minutes. It's a family-friendly classic that requires minimal effort but delivers maximum flavor. Our beginner-friendly Goulash recipe is made with ground beef, making it perfect for those who are new to cooking or looking for a fuss-free meal that taste delicious. Whether you're a beginner in the kitchen or just want an effortless dinner option, this easy Goulash is sure to satisfy. It's also Kid-Friendly!~

  • In a large skillet or frying pan, cook the ground beef over medium-high heat until it's browned and cooked through. Break it apart into crumbles as it cooks. If there's excess fat, drain it.

  • Remove the cooked beef from the skillet and set it aside.

  • In the same skillet, add the butter and let it melt over medium heat.

  • Add the drained mushrooms, diced onion, and minced garlic to the skillet. Sauté for about 2-3 minutes, or until the onions are translucent and the mushrooms are slightly browned.

  • Stir in the diced tomato and sauté for an additional 2 minutes.

  • Return the cooked ground beef to the skillet.

  • If you're using store-bought spaghetti sauce, add it to the skillet along with the dried basil, dried oregano, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper. Stir well to combine all the ingredients.

  • Add the elbow macaroni to the skillet and mix it into the sauce.

  • Cover the skillet with a lid and let the mixture simmer over medium-low heat for about 10-12 minutes, or until the macaroni is tender, stirring occasionally.

  • Stir in 1/2 cup of shredded Fiesta cheese until it's melted and fully incorporated into the mixture.

  • Sprinkle 1 cup of shredded Fiesta cheese evenly over the top of the casserole.

  • Cover the skillet again and let it cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, or until the cheese on top is melted and bubbly.

  • Once the cheese is melted and the casserole is heated through, remove the skillet from the heat.

  • Serve your Stove-Top Cheesy Goulash hot and enjoy!

This stove-top version of the recipe follows the same delicious flavors as the Instant Pot version, and it's perfect for when you don't have access to a pressure cooker. Enjoy your meal!

More Pasta Recipes

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There are many variations of Cheesy Goulash you can explore to suit your taste and dietary preferences. Here are a few ideas:

  1. Vegetarian Goulash: Replace the ground beef with plant-based ground meat or use a mix of vegetables like mushrooms, bell peppers, and zucchini for a hearty vegetarian version.

  2. Spicy Goulash: Add some heat by incorporating crushed red pepper flakes or diced jalapeños. You can also use a spicy tomato sauce or add hot sauce to taste.

  3. Mexican Goulash: Give it a Mexican twist by adding black beans, corn, chili powder, and cumin. Top with fresh cilantro, avocado, and a squeeze of lime juice.

  4. Mediterranean Goulash: Use lamb instead of beef and flavor it with Mediterranean herbs like oregano and rosemary. Add kalamata olives and feta cheese for a Greek-inspired twist.

  5. Cheese Variety: Experiment with different cheese blends such as a Mexican cheese blend for a Tex-Mex flair or Mozzarella cheese for a milder taste.

  6. Healthier Goulash: Use lean ground turkey or chicken instead of beef. Opt for whole wheat pasta and reduce the cheese for a lighter version.

  7. Creamy Goulash: Add a touch of heavy cream or Greek yogurt to make it creamier and richer in texture.

  8. Herb-Infused Goulash: Enhance the flavor with fresh herbs like basil, thyme, or parsley. You can also add dried herbs like Italian seasoning or Herbes de Provence.

  9. Goulash Soup: Increase the liquid content to make it more soupy. You can serve it with a dollop of sour cream or yogurt on top.

  10. Bacon and Goulash: Add cooked bacon pieces for a smoky and savory twist.

  11. Goulash with Veggies: Increase the vegetable content by adding more tomatoes, bell peppers, and even spinach or kale.

  12. Gluten-Free Goulash: Use gluten-free pasta to accommodate a gluten-free diet.

  13. Gourmet Goulash: Elevate the dish with premium ingredients such as wild mushrooms, truffle oil, or high-quality cheeses.

  14. Crockpot Goulash: Make it in a slow cooker for a convenient, no-fuss meal. Brown the meat and sauté the veggies first, then transfer everything to the slow cooker and cook on low for 4-6 hours.

Feel free to get creative and customize Cheesy Goulash to your liking. These variations can add new flavors and textures to this comforting classic.

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Here are some tips for preparing Cheesy Goulash and guidelines for storing leftovers:

  1. Use High-Quality Cheese: Invest in good-quality cheese for a richer and more flavorful goulash. Sharp cheddar, Monterey Jack, or a blend of cheeses work well.

  2. Customize Veggies: Feel free to add extra vegetables like bell peppers, diced carrots, or spinach for added nutrition and color.

  3. Adjust Seasonings: Taste the goulash before serving and adjust the seasonings to your liking. You can add more salt, pepper, or herbs if needed.

  4. Homemade Spaghetti Sauce: Consider making your own spaghetti sauce for a fresher and more robust flavor.

  5. Portion Control: Cheesy Goulash can be quite filling, so keep portion sizes in mind. Adjust servings according to your appetite.


  1. Refrigeration: Store any leftover goulash in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.

  2. Freezing: If you want to store it for a longer period, you can freeze Cheesy Goulash. Allow it to cool completely, then transfer it to a freezer-safe container or resealable plastic bags. Label with the date and freeze for up to 2-3 months.

  3. Thawing: When ready to eat frozen goulash, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight. Reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave until heated through.

  4. Reheating: To reheat goulash, place it in a microwave-safe dish, cover with a microwave-safe lid or microwave-safe plastic wrap (leave a vent), and heat in 30-second intervals, stirring between intervals until it's heated to your desired temperature. Alternatively, you can reheat it in a saucepan on the stovetop over low heat, stirring occasionally.

  5. Cheese Topping: The cheese may lose some of its initial gooeyness after reheating. To bring back the cheesy texture, you can add a small amount of shredded cheese while reheating and stir it in.

  6. Add Liquid If Needed: If the goulash has thickened considerably upon reheating, you can add a little broth, water, or tomato sauce to achieve the desired consistency.

  7. Fresh Herbs: Consider garnishing with fresh herbs like parsley just before serving to add a burst of freshness.

Remember to follow safe food handling practices when storing, thawing, and reheating leftovers to ensure they remain safe and delicious.

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