Not My Mom’s Goulash

This goulash recipe, also known as American chop suey, is updated with red wine and thyme, with some veggies snuck in as bonus. It is amazing how a couple little changes can have such a dramatic effect on a classic dinner dish.

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prepared goulash on white dish topped with small sprig of thyme

So let me explain, because my mom will see this title and not be pleased….Growing up, my mother made things I loved like Mom’s Awesome Veggie Dip, Tuna Noodle Casserole, and Mom’s Meatloaf (sort-of).

But she also made goulash. Weekly. And I hated it (sorry Mom!). I really can’t explain it, I just didn’t like it. But then I grew up and added WINE (and veggies and thyme) and that fixed everything!!   (LOVE YOU MOM!)

Why this recipe works

This recipe works because it takes what was actually a very good recipe (I was just difficult), and it adds more layers of flavor. I add red wine and thyme, which don’t sound like major changes, but they are. They elevate this recipe to where it needs to be.

I also grate in carrot because I am all about sneaking in the veggies.

This recipe works because it is weeknight easy, delicious, the whole family loves it, it reheats well, and you can freeze it. And it’s affordable. What more could you want?

Not My Mom's Goulash
prepared goulash on white dish topped with small sprig of thyme

Not My Mom’s Goulash

My mother’s traditional American chop suey recipe, updated with red wine and thyme, and some veggies snuck in.
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: easy weeknight dinner, quick meal
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Authur: Erica
Servings: 4


  • 1 ½ cups uncooked elbow macaroni ~5 ½ oz
  • 1 lb lean hamburg
  • 10.75 oz condensed tomato soup
  • 14.5 oz stewed tomatoes, undrained
  • ¼  cup red wine
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 medium carrot grated
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • ½  tsp kosher salt
  • pinch fresh cracked pepper


  • Cook the macaroni for 1 minute less than the package directions say for al dente (this is 6 minutes for mine) in heavily salted water.
  • Meanwhile, in a large nonstick saute pan on medium-high heat, lightly brown the hamburg. Reduce heat to medium-low, and add the remaining ingredients. Simmer while the pasta cooks. During this time, use a wooden spoon or spatula to break up the tomatoes a bit.
  • Once the macaroni is done, drain and immediately add to the meat and tomatoes. Mix well, and cook 1 minute to finish cooking the pasta. Taste and adjust for seasoning. Done! Serves 4-6.
Not My Mom's Goulash #recipe #familydinner #easyrecipe #pasta #beef


Hey Mom, bet you never thought I’d turn your goulash sexy!

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