Also known as American Chop Suey, chili mac, or just goulash, this is classic American ground beef goulash casserole with a cheesy kick. Just follow these easy step by step photo instructions — great comfort food.
Editor’s Note: Originally published November 16, 2013. Updated with expanded discussion and options along with updated photos.
Most of my generation will remember the old school lunch goulash. It was one of the things they could do right. Add a lot of cheesy topping; I’m in lunchroom heaven.
While I’m told this is more of a Midwest thing, I suspect other regions (I’m looking south) have similar dishes. Other names such as American Chop Suey, chili mac, beef and macaroni, or just goulash. I was searching for chili mac when it dawned on me it was goulash.
Give it a try today, and you’ll have an easy, tasty everyday dish that will be a favorite of kids and the whole family.
A nice solid 4 for this everyday type recipe.
Recipe Notes for Cheesy American Goulash
If you think of this as a cheesy tomato hamburger casserole, you will be about right. And it is great comfort food, especially with the added cheese.
Some feel with the term goulash, you need some heavy paprika. There is some in the seasoning salt and feel free to add a teaspoon or two of paprika if you wish, but to me, the taste is just right, lunchroom goulash with lots of cheese.
American goulash is more “freestyle” while Hungarian goulash has multiple specific variations and lots of opinion of what is right or wrong. I’m more of a freestyle guy.
This is just a casserole, add what you want or have hanging around. Some will add green pepper, corn or other things.
You can skip the whole cheese thing and make it a stovetop dish. Cook the macaroni a little longer and just mix it all in one pot. I prefer the cheese and oven baked.
Many think it is much better warmed up the next day, and I think that may be true if served straight up without the baking.
This is good refrigerated for 3-4 days or frozen for 4-6 months.
Preheat oven to 350 convection. And start heating water for cooking pasta.
Start brown 1 pound of ground beef over medium-high heat.
Start cooking 1 cup of pasta and chop one small or 1/2 medium onion. Add the onion to the ground beef about 5 minutes into cooking and cook the pasta to al dente which should be about 2 minutes short of done. Add two cloves of minced or crushed garlic to the burger the last few minutes of cooking the ground beef.
Prep a large baking dish with PAM.
To the baking dish add one 15oz can tomato sauce, 14 1/2 oz diced tomatoes, one tsp basil, two tsp seasoning salt (I used Lowery’s), 1/2 tsp pepper. Mix well.
Drain the ground beef and add that along with the pasta and mix well.
Stir in 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese.
Top with 1/2 cup mozzarella.
Bake until golden brown. About 30 minutes.
Do you want more recipes from 101 Cooking for Two? Sign up for the newsletter and get all posts delivered straight to your inbox!
If you enjoyed this recipe, the pleasure of a rating on the recipe card below is requested.
Originally Published November 16, 2013