RECIPE: World’s Best Goulash!




by Pitmaster Jimi James

As a youngster, my Grandma (my mom’s mom) always had great food. Our heritage is Swedish, German and Native American. With that being said, Grandma made meals that were in bulk and would feed 10 or more people at a time. Our Swedish ancestors were heavily influenced by Italian cuisine, so our Great Grandma from Sweden added her own twists on Italian dishes.

Now, in case you don’t know anything about goulash, it is NOT an Italian dish. Goulash is actually a stew or soup that is from Hungary.


If you were to travel to different regions of America, you would see just how different dishes, like goulash, can get– depending on family background and favorite flavors. Goulash can be like different variations of chili around the country. You will see ground meat, chopped meat, veggies, and sauces. It can be sweet, savory or even burn your face off hot!!!



Here is how my family makes our Goulash. (Guaranteed to keep your face in tact.)  Give it a try.

As always, let’s start with what you’ll need.



12     ounces of elbow macaroni

2       lbs ground chuck 80/20

1      45-ounce jar of tradition spaghetti sauce

2      14.5-ounce cans Italian stewed tomatoes

2      4-ounce cans drained mushrooms

1      large onion of your choice, diced fine

2      Tbsp Sweet Basil

2      Tbsp Oregano

2.5  tsp Garlic Powder

½   Tbsp to 1 Tbsp sugar *** OPTIONAL to take tartness off tomatoes

¾   cup Parmesan-Romano cheese

1      10-ounce can tomato soup

1    cup water, plus water to rinse out tomato soup can



1.  Start off by browning the ground chuck and draining it.

2. While that’s going on, dice your onions and open all your jars/cans.

3. In a 5-quart pot (or larger), put 6 cups water and 2 teaspoons of salt. When the water comes to a rolling boil, add your macaroni noodles. Cook about 7 minutes, drain and wash off with cold water to stop the cooking process.

4.  Now once meat is drained, put it in a large pot.  Add all ingredients– except the tomato soup, water and macaroni noodles– and make sure you combine and mix well.  Let this come up to a good simmer on a medium-low to medium heat. Once you start seeing little bubbles in the sauce, it’s time to add the last 3 ingredients.

5.  Add the one cup of water and stir in.  Let temp come back up (until you see little bubbles again).

6.  Now add the can of tomato soup, and– this part is very important!– you ONLY want to put enough water in the can to rinse what’s left of tomato soup so the can is clean. Put that in the pot and let it come back up to temp.

7.  Lastly, add the macaroni noodles, and in 15 to 20 minutes, you’ll be ready to chow down on my family’s Italian-inspired GOULASH!!!!!

8.  Enjoy!


Stay Hungry, My Friends!!!!


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