Slow cooker beef goulash

Slow Cooker Beef Goulash

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Slow cooker beef goulash is a perfect winter warmer recipe that takes next to nothing to prepare! This American-style variation on the popular Hungarian stew is sure to become a family favourite crockpot recipe for those busy days when you don’t want to spend time cooking.

slow cooker beef goulash


Slow Cooker Beef Goulash

Beef goulash is a hearty stew or soup, with rich flavours. It can be served over noodles or with potatoes. Or like this American goulash recipe, with pasta instead.

You can make goulash on the stop top or in the oven, however, our favourite way is in the slow cooker so we can prepare earlier in the day and have it ready to serve at dinner time.

How is Hungarian Goulash Different?

Hungarian goulash is traditionally a soup or stew dish using tender beef and paprika flavouring. While many of the ingredients in this recipe are similar, this is more of an American goulash, instead with rich tomato flavours and Italian seasoning.

Goulash is a budget meal idea since the simmering slow cook style of creating the stew allows cheaper cuts of meat to tenderise. No need to add the finest cuts of beef to your goulash. In fact, this recipe uses ground beef instead, which is an even cheaper option usually!

Hungarian shepherd’s created the goulash by adding water to their dried meats to form a stew. It has since progressed into a popular regional dish in Hungary. In fact, we were sure to try traditional goulash during our visit in 2017. Yum!

slow cooker beef goulash

Can You Freeze Goulash?

Absolutely! One of my favourite things about most slow cooker recipes is the fact that they freeze fairly well.

We were once a night shift household with my husband doing the late shift at work and rarely home for dinners. This led to a lot of freezer cooking to ensure he had meals for work and I had easy meals to defrost while home with a new baby.

Goulash is a great meal to make ahead in bulk (this recipe makes a generous serving) and separate into single portions for later. It is a freezer meal we make often.

How To Make Goulash 

There is little prep needed to make this slow-cooked goulash recipe. All you really need to do is brown your ground beef in a pan before adding it to the slower cooker.

Browing your beef mince stops it cooking too fast.

ingredients for beef goulash

Then add the rest of your ingredients, with the exception of pasta and cheese. Give it a stir every now and again to ensure everything is evenly cooked. This prevents any parts of your goulash ingredients drying out too.

After slow cooking for 1 hour on low or 2 hours on high, stir in your pasta and cheese. Allow to cook for a further 3 hours on low setting or 6 on high.

How to make american goulash

Serve and enjoy! That’s it!

What To Serve With Goulash

American Goulash is a meal that is ready to serve and eat the moment it has finished cooking. You don’t need to make anything to go with it, since the pasta makes it a lot more filling than a traditional Hungarian goulash recipe.

If you do want a side dish to go with your goulash, a side salad is a perfect choice. An Italian garden salad would be a great choice, to balance out the rich flavours with something light and fresh.

Slow cooker beef goulash

Slow Cooker Beef Goulash

Yield: 6 Servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 20 minutes

This American-style slow-cooked beef goulash in the Crock-Pot is a hearty family meal perfect for the winter months.


  • 500 grams Beef Mince
  • 1 Onion Chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh Garlic
  • 1 Cup Beef Stock
  • 1 29 oz Can Tomato Sauce
  • 1 14 oz Can Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
  • 1 Teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon Italian Seasoning
  • 1 Cup Elbow Pasta
  • 1 Cup Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 Teaspoon Sugar
  • 2 Teaspoons Salt


  1. Use a pan to brown the ground beef.
  2. Place browned minced beef into the slow cooker.
  3. Add the chopped onion.
  4. Add in sugar, Italian seasoning & garlic.
  5. Stir in the can of diced tomatoes.
  6. Pour in the beef stock.
  7. Add soy sauce and tomato sauce to slow cooker.
  8. Mix everything well and cook for 1 hour on high.
  9. After one hour, add the uncooked pasta and cheddar cheese.
  10. Cook for an additional 3 hours on high setting.
  11. Serve & enjoy!


Note: You can also cook this recipe on low if you want to make earlier in the day. Simply double the cooking time and add your pasta and cheese at 2 hours instead of 1. 

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