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This spicy goulash is a hearty, flavorful cheesy goulash with pasta and ground beef that all spice lovers will crave again and again!
Full of beef chunks, seasonings, and cheese - I think you'll agree that this is a comfort food recipe at its finest!
If you don't like spicy, then why are you here? (smile) But, seriously, you can leave out the spice, or spice up only the portion that your spice-lovers will eat. The other portion can be spice-less for your other loved ones.
This cheesy beef goulash has no heritage ... meaning, there is no country of origin or region of the United States where it originated.
This recipe follows in the footsteps of what most call classic American goulash, but the rest is purely up to my imagination in the kitchen.
The spiciness comes mostly from the addition of the Rotel, which is simply canned diced tomatoes with chili peppers. The addition of pepper Jack cheese and paprika add to the heat.
You can use sweet or smoky paprika. I used sweet, but adding smoky will up the spice level even more.
If you haven't noticed, I love to create my own original concoctions in the kitchen. Sure, I get ideas from others, as no recipe is purely original, but I don't "copy" others and really enjoy adding my own flare.
This spicy goulash recipe is no different. Next, I'll tell you what you'll need to make my latest comfort food recipe.
What You'll Need
1 large onion
1 pound lean ground beef
one 14.5-ounce can Rotel (or store brand equivalent)
6 ounces tomato paste
4 cups beef broth (can substitute chicken broth)
sweet or spicy paprika (I used sweet)
Italian seasoning blend (or a combination of oregano, basil, and marjoram)
pepper Jack cheese
uncooked macaroni (or other small pasta)
How to Make Spicy Goulash
This is a hearty one-pot recipe that takes only about an hour from start to finish - a very tasty, quick weeknight meal that all your spice lovers will enjoy.
First, you will want to preheat your Dutch oven or heavy pot on medium heat. Add your onion, ground beef, paprika, and herbs, breaking up the ground beef into bite-size chunks or smaller.
Cook for 10-15 minutes or until ground beef is browned and onions are translucent, stirring often. Drain off any excess fat.
Add undrained can of Rotel, tomato paste, macaroni (or other pasta), broth, paprika, and herbs. Stir and mash tomato paste to incorporate into mixture. (Note that I love to use my silicone spatula for this.)
Bring the mixture to a boil on high heat. Then, turn heat down to low (about 2). Cover and cook for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so.
Uncover. Turn heat off. Add cheese and stir. Let sit until cheese is melted. Stir and serve.
You can use the three separate herbs (oregano, marjoram, and basil), or you can use your favorite Italian seasoning blend. I like to use the herbs separately, as I can better control the end result.
However, I feel confident that in this recipe the results will be just as delicious if using an Italian blend of herbs that's already blended together.
For the broth, you can substitute chicken broth for the beef broth if you wish. I do this frequently and find that it turns out equally delicious with only a slight variation in flavors.
Also, keep in mind that stock and broth are interchangeable, and both work equally well in a recipe.
If you don't have Rotel, you can use a store brand of diced tomatoes with green chilies (that's what I do - just as delicious and cheaper than the name brand).
The Rotel is a very important part of the spiciness of this goulash, so don't leave it out if at all possible. Other spicy factors are the paprika and pepper Jack cheese.
If you don't want a spicy dish, you can substitute petite diced tomatoes and Monterrey Jack cheese for the spicy counterparts I used. Using sweet paprika should not add too much spice for non-spice lovers.
What to Eat with Goulash
Spicy Goulash using Ground Beef
- 1 large onion diced
- 1 pound ground beef lean
- ½ tsp salt more to taste
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 1 can Rotel 14.5 ounces, undrained
- 6 ounces tomato paste
- 3 cups macaroni uncooked (or other small pasta)
- 4 cups beef broth or stock (can also use chicken)
- 2 Tbsp paprika sweet or smoked (smoked will be spicier)
- 1 tsp oregano dry
- 1 tsp marjoram dry
- 1 tsp basil dry
- 2 cups pepper Jack cheese shredded (or cheddar)
- To Dutch oven or heavy pot on medium heat, add onion, ground beef, paprika, and herbs.
- Cook, stirring and breaking up ground beef, for 10-15 minutes or until ground beef is browned and onions are translucent. Drain off any excess fat.
- Add salt and black pepper.
- Add undrained can of Rotel, tomato paste, macaroni (other other pasta), broth, paprika, and herbs. Stir and mash tomato paste to incorporate into mixture. (Note that I love to use my silicone spatula for this.)
- Bring the mixture to a boil on high heat. Then, turn heat down to low (about 2). Cover and cook for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so.
- Uncover. Turn heat off. Add cheese and stir. Let sit until cheese is melted. Stir and serve.
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