Crock pot goulash with spinach. Easy, cheesy, beefy goodness. What’s not to love?! This goulash is made right in a slow cooker. And, it’s ridiculously easy!
Goulash was a staple of school lunches when I was growing up as well as a filling weeknight meal. Basically American goulash is elbow macaroni, ground beef, and Parmesan cheese in a tomato sauce. Yum! I recently ran across a recipe that also included spinach, which sounded like a great addition. It wasn’t called goulash, but had the same ingredients. It was delicious and tasted like goulash to me, so, I’d like to share my tweaked version with you.
I love that this goulash is made right in a slow cooker. And, it’s ridiculously easy! You basically make the meat sauce and let it simmer all day. (The best way to make meat sauce, in my opinion!) Then when you have a half hour left of cooking time, you cook the pasta and add it, the spinach, and cheeses to the meat sauce to make this hearty dish. So easy!
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Crock pot goulash with spinach.
2 lbs. frozen pre-cooked ground beef (here is how I freeze ground beef)
1 onion, diced
1 tsp. minced garlic
24 oz. jar spaghetti sauce (I use Ragu green pepper and mushroom)
15 oz. can stewed tomatoes (I use Del Monte)
1 tsp. oregano
8-10 fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce (I use Lea & Perrin’s)
2 tsp. instant beef bouillon
1 tbsp. sugar
salt and pepper to taste
bag fresh baby spinach
1 lb. pasta such as elbow, penne, or rigatoni
1/2 c. Parmesan cheese
2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
Thaw the ground beef in the microwave for 4 minutes.
Over medium high heat, add the ground beef, onions and garlic. Saute until onions are translucent, about 2 minutes.
Spray crock pot with Pam. Add beef, onion, and garlic mixture into the crock pot.
Next, dump in the following ingredients: jar of spaghetti sauce, can of stewed tomatoes, chopped basil, oregano, Italian seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, beef bouillon, sugar and salt and pepper.
Stir all of the ingredients together and cook on low for 7-8 hours.
Half hour before cooking time is done:
Cook the pasta according to package instructions. (The rigatoni was 10 minutes)
While the pasta is cooking, turn the crock pot heat from low to high.
Stir the bag of spinach into the meat sauce. It will look like WAY too much, but it will cook down quickly.
When the pasta is cooked and drained, add it, along with the mozzarella and Parmesan cheese to the meat sauce and stir to combine.
Cook everything together on high for 30 minutes.
Crock pot goulash. A perfect hearty dish for those cooler fall and winter nights. It’s easy to make, tastes delicious (especially the next day), and cooks by itself in the slow cooker all day. The best kind of dish, in my book!
Here’s another one of our favorite crock pot recipes: Easy macaroni and cheese.
Did you eat goulash when you were a kid, either at home or at school? Give this version a try. I think you’ll like it!
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