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Old Fashioned Goulash

Old Fashioned Goulash

A Regional American Classic: The Surprisingly Delicious Beefy Macaroni

This recipe isn't your ordinary mac and cheese! It's a hearty and flavorful American dish with a surprising name variation depending on where you're from. Known as "Beefy Macaroni" in some parts, it goes by "Chop Suey" or even "Slumgullion" in others. Regardless of the name, one thing's for sure: this dish is incredibly tasty and surprisingly easy to make.

Why You'll Love This Recipe:

  • A Regional Gem: This recipe offers a glimpse into regional American cuisine. It's a hearty and comforting dish that's been passed down through generations, with variations in name and ingredients depending on location.
  • Easy Does It: Despite the impressive flavor, this Beefy Macaroni comes together quickly and easily. With minimal prep work and readily available ingredients, it's a perfect weeknight meal.
  • Comforting Goodness: The combination of ground beef, juicy tomatoes, and al dente macaroni creates a symphony of textures and flavors that's sure to satisfy. It's a true comfort food classic.


  • The Macaroni Base:

    • ½ pound macaroni noodles
  • The Savory Filling:

    • 1 ½ pounds ground beef
    • 1 large onion, diced
    • 2 (14.5 oz) cans whole stewed tomatoes, undrained
    • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • The Spice Cabinet:

    • Garlic salt, black pepper, chili powder, and hot sauce (to taste)
    • Tomato juice (optional)


  1. Macaroni Mission: Cook the macaroni according to package directions until al dente (slightly firm to the bite). Drain the cooked macaroni and set it aside.

  2. Beef and Onion Bonanza: While the macaroni cooks, heat a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the ground beef and diced onion and cook until the beef is browned and the onion is softened.

  3. Spicing Things Up: Drain any excess fat from the browned beef. Season the mixture with garlic salt, black pepper, chili powder, and hot sauce according to your taste preference.

  4. Tomato Time: Add the two cans of whole stewed tomatoes (undrained) and the ketchup to the skillet with the seasoned beef mixture. Stir everything together to combine.

  5. The Macaroni Joins the Party: Once the sauce is simmering, add the drained and cooked macaroni to the pan with the ground beef and tomato mixture. Stir gently to incorporate everything evenly.

  6. Flavor Check: Give the Beefy Macaroni a taste and adjust the seasonings as needed. You may want to add a bit more garlic salt, pepper, chili powder, or hot sauce depending on your preference.

  7. Tomato Juice for Extra Juiciness (Optional): While the recipe doesn't require it, Phyllis (the recipe contributor) recommends adding tomato juice if you prefer a very juicy dish. You can also add the tomato juice to leftovers to rehydrate the noodles if they've absorbed too much of the sauce.

  8. Serve and Savor: Serve your Beefy Macaroni hot and enjoy the unique and delicious flavors of this regional American classic. Pair it with a side of cornbread or biscuits for a truly satisfying meal.


  • For a richer flavor, use a combination of ground beef and ground Italian sausage.
  • Feel free to add other vegetables to the dish, such as chopped bell peppers, carrots, or zucchini.
  • Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat gently on the stovetop, adding a splash of tomato juice or water if needed to prevent dryness.