Recipe: Call It Goulash or Slumgullion or … ?

Whatever you call it, it’s good, fast, easy, and flexible.

I saw this and then this plus a few recipes in various cookbooks, including Feed Your Family Fast, Healthy Meals on $10 a Day (only available used but a great book!). I was thinking something with noodles and ground beef. This must have been the inspiration for the original hamburger helper.  I combined a few ideas and came up with this.  I’m going to tell you what I did, then tell you a few other ideas I didn’t do this time.

  • 1 Tbs oil
  • 1 onions, diced
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 pound ground beef (or ground turkey)
  • 8 oz elbow macaroni, cooked al dente and drained
  • 2 15-oz cans tomato sauce
  • 1 15-oz can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 15-oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • a few splashes of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup grated cheese (I used mozzarella this time but might opt for Cheddar or Parmesan next time for more flavor)

Heat the oil in a nice deep skillet and start the onions and garlic cooking.

Put a pot of water on to boil for the pasta. (Note: Some of the recipes had you cooking the pasta in the pan as the meat so you could skip this step,  maybe add a soup can of water to the pan and cook a bit longer, covered.)  Cook the pasta al dente then drain and set aside.

When the garlic and onions are soft, add the ground beef and cook, stirring to break up the chunks. (Note: this would also be a great dish to use boiled ground beef in.)  Cook until browned, then drain excess oil and fat.

Add the tomato sauce, kidney beans, cream of mushroom soup, cooked pasta, and Worcestershire sauce.  Heat through, stirring, then stir in the frozen peas, stir, and cover. Let the goulash simmer a few minutes to finish the pasta and heat the peas.

Top with grated cheese, cover, and let the cheese melt. Serve.


Other variations I saw used mixed frozen vegetables instead of peas or no vegetables at all, tomato soup or stewed tomatoes plus juices or diced ;tomatoes plus juices or Rotel tomatoes instead of tomato sauce; cottage cheese instead of cream of mushroom soup or neither one of those; more dried herbs; taco seasonings; paprika, garlic salt, etc.

The two adults I served tonight thought this was great. My own girls picked at it (but one is not feeling well). My youngest had a friend over and she ate hers up readily enough. This poor girl was also here the night I experimented with Ground Turkey Picadillo.  (But she asked for the recipe for that later so I guess she was willing to experiment tonight!)

So mixed reviews from the household but a good review from the cook. 😉



  1. I just wanted to tell you that I tried this over the weekend – somewhat skeptically – and it turned out great! It’s better the second day too, which is a real plus.

  2. Hi Ellen, this is so funny, I to like Jeff recently took a trip down memory lane when I ran ran across a recipe similar to this. I became rather fond of calling it my mom’s goulash, my poverty meal. I think I will have to try yours, my mom’s goulash recipe was so bland and not so interesting at all. You might want to take a look at the one I found called Poverty Meal, I found from Recipezaar – it’s YUMMY!!
    Have a great day- Machelle –

  3. This recipe takes me way back. My mom used to make a variation on this about once per week and we loved it.

    You’re right. It’s quick, wholesome and delicious.

    Thanks for the trip down memory lane. I’ll keep you on my feed reader.

    Great blog!



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