I didn’t even know what goulash was until I came across this recipe and now, I think it might be one of my favorite dishes! It has all of these fresh vegetables of bell peppers, mushrooms, and onions that had been simmering in homemade marinara sauce for 2 hours, really allowing the flavors to meld together. The addition of the red pepper flakes gave it that nice, spicy kick and once it was topped with mozzarella, I just couldn’t stop eating!

Italian Goulash (adapted from For the Love of Cooking):

Yields 4 servings

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 lb lean ground beef (I used 96/4)
  • 1 small sweet yellow onion, diced
  • 2 bell peppers, diced (I used a combination of red, orange, and yellow)
  • 1 (8-oz) package cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 3 cups marinara
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional
  • 8 oz elbow macaroni
  • Fresh basil, leaves torn
  • Mozzarella, grated

Heat olive oil in a small Dutch oven or large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and mushrooms and cook for 3-4 minutes.

Add ground beef, bell pepper, salt and pepper; cook for 4-5 minutes, making sure to crumble the ground beef as it cooks.

Drain any excess grease from pan.

Add marinara sauce and stir until thoroughly mixed.

Simmer for 1-2 hours, allowing the flavors to combine.

Cook elbow macaroni per instructions in salted water; drain completely.

Combine macaroni with sauce and add basil; mix well.

Simmer for 15 minutes, allowing the sauce to flavor the noodles.

Top with mozzarella (or your favorite cheese) and serve.