Bobby’s Goulash

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By Jamie and Bobby Deen

Mama used to makes this for us all the time, especially in the fall months when the leaves were changing. We started calling it Bobby’s Goulash because, well, Mama made this for Bobby every year on his birthday- in fact she still makes him a bowl of it, and sings her best “Happy Birthday”! Now, this is one of those meals that we’ll always remember and make by heart. Of course we use lean beef, and we like to kick up the flavor with a little extra spice. The good thing about this meal is that you can make it your own, and eat off of it for almost the whole week!

Bobby’s Goulash
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2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 pounds ground beef
2 large onions, finely chopped (about 2 cups)
2 14.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes
1 29-ounce can tomato sauce
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons dried basil
2 teaspoons dried oregano
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni


In a large Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Brown the meat in the oil about 10 minutes, breaking meat up with a fork as it cooks. Add the onion; cook and stir for 5 minutes.

Add the remaining ingredients except the macaroni. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. Stir in the macaroni; simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. Let the goulash stand for 20 minutes before serving.

Servings: 8 to 10
Prep Time:
Cook Time:
Difficulty: Easy

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Reader Comments:


This is a hit

By kathy saunders on January 25, 2014


This is a family favorite! Ever since I first found the recipe a few years ago, it's been a hit! Also good for freezing leftovers (if there are any). I make this when we have a large group for dinner! Everyone loves it!!

By KBlueyes on October 15, 2013

Are you suppose to add water?

By Laura on October 28, 2010

I have made the goulash.  Actually I have every cookbook Paula has brought out, every book the boys have brought out, and even Cousin peggy’s two books.  I have every magazine, managed to find every single one of them.  And… I love these boys as they are about the same age of my boys.  I love Paula.  I have her bio and the one Michael wrote, have the Savannah book she brought out.  so many gifts I have bought for christmas presents from her store.  I even have bubba’s book, which I love.  Thank you for everything.  tutti harris

By Tutti Harris on October 28, 2010

To Carol and Lois:

There are actually two versions of the Bobby’s Goulash. The one you printed from is Paula’s original recipe. The boys made a few changes to “own” Bobby’s recipe, and that is the one listed here. But either make for a great dinner!

By Lisa the Admin on October 28, 2010

This will be one my “what’s for dinner tonight”...thank you for sharing this recipe, Bobby’s Goulash.

Barbara Ann
Kokopelli Inn

By Barbara Ann on October 27, 2010


By MARTHA (BEASLEY) BELTON on October 27, 2010

I printed off this recipe some time ago from Paula’s site. I had to increase the macaroni because it was too soupy with only 1-1/2 cups. Now I see this recipe again, and it is different. This one calls for less time cooking macaroni and less time letting it set & different spices & more macaroni. What Gives????? Which one is the original.

By Carol Hanson on October 27, 2010

We also had a variation of this when I was growing up and it was also a cold weather/ birthday dish! Our neighbor, a mom of three (I was an only child) also often made this and I loved when I would be asked to stay for supper! Will have to try the spice additions in this recipe, thanks for the memories!

By Paula B.D. on October 27, 2010

The magazine is called Deen Bros. Good Cooking. There is not a subscription available, however, you can purchase them online from Hoffman Media:

You can click the link in orange to get to the recipe on the Deen Bros. site. From there, you can print it. We’ve also included a direct print link.

By Lisa the Admin on October 27, 2010

I love this recipe. It is easy, makes a bunch and is oh so yummy!

By Jeanni on October 27, 2010

Sharon you asked about the magazine with her sons,
I think she said they would be out on the newstand
I just love Paula, and the boys and her husband when he is on with her, she makes me smile, she is so warm and caring and I love her recipes

By GLORIA BROWN on October 27, 2010

This is a sure-bet recipe for my family.  Their recipes are always no fail recipes, and I never have to tweak them to my taste.  They are perfect as read, always!  Thank you!

By Tangela on October 26, 2010

I’ve made this recipe when I saw it on one of Paula’s shows. Since I have two family members with celiac disease I have to use a gluten free pasta but it taste like regular pasta so I’m sure my dish is is like theirs. It is a good recipe and I remember my mom making something like this when I was young.

By Ann Brown on October 26, 2010

I love goulosh. Paula’s recipe is so similar to mine! I do put in plenty of seasoned pepper along with chili powder, but chili powder from Nepal (not regular chili powder), and it is sooo good!

By Karen Jung on October 26, 2010

Their magazine is called Deen Bros. Good Cooking.

By Juanita on October 26, 2010

Are you sure that you put uncooked elbow macaroni in the goulash.  There does not seem to be enough liquid to cook the macaroni.  I make a very similar dish & you can make it Italian or Mexican by adding italian seasoning or chili it!!

By Sherry Eason on October 26, 2010

I copied the “Bobby’s Goulash” recipe some time ago but had not tried it.  Now I see it again but this time it does not call for the 3 cups of water.  Some other minor differences but this one worries me.  Which one is correct?

By Lois Frost on October 26, 2010

Between my mother and me we’ve been making something similar for over 40 years. My “recipe” doesn’t make this quantity, I don’t use any tomato sauce or soy sauce but I do put in a can of cheddar cheese soup. I use the diced tomatoes with basil, oregano, and garlic. Now with the many varieties of diced tomatoes available sometimes I go mexican. My kids always loved goulash night with garlic bread.

By Pat on October 26, 2010

The magazine is called Dean Bros. Good Cooking Magazine.

By Juanita on October 26, 2010

Bobby’s Goulash sounds like my mother’s American Chop Suey.  Only difference, she used canned stewed tomatoes. I make this for my grandchildren when they visit, along with a green salad, they love it.

By Maureen Anderson on October 26, 2010

I love goulash, my mom made it when I was growing up and I in turn have made it for my kids. Easy and really good!!

By E Wright on October 26, 2010

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Paula, I love watching you and your family. I miss seeing your show, I watched you everyday. My son lives in Charleston S.C. He took me to the Lady & Sons to eat. Oh my goodness! People are always telling me that I look just like the cooking lady Paula Deen. I always tell them that you are my hero. May God Bless You Mary Ann
Mary Ann Tharp in A Summer of Burgers on August 15, 2014 at 10:48 pm

Add a few spoonfuls of parmesan cheese to the flour and cornmeal breading and it kicks the tomatoes up another notch. Bev
in Crispy Fried Green Tomatoes on August 15, 2014 at 10:33 am

I just bought Paula's Peach Salad Dressing and wondered if anyone has a good recipe that they use it in?
Melissa in Taste Testing 101 on August 13, 2014 at 8:36 am

Congrats Bobby. Loved the family picture miss you Paula on TV will be watching online. Jack is getting big. Looks like his mom but Matt aka moose has your face. Your eyes cheeks hair even falls to his face like yours except to the left. Good luck on your next venture. You give us other 60+ yr women strength to move on. Keep up the good work.
Carol Bryant in Love at Last on August 11, 2014 at 6:12 pm