Instant Pot Goulash
See my guide on how to use an Instant Pot.
Instant Pot Goulash is an easy one pot meal made with ground beef, macaroni pasta and cheese in a flavorful tomato-based sauce. It’s the perfect comfort food dinner for a weeknight!
When I need an easy recipe for getting dinner on the table fast, I often turn to my Instant Pot. Some of my family’s favorite meals are Instant Pot pasta recipes, including Instant Pot Spaghetti, Instant Pot Mac and Cheese, Instant Pot Taco Pasta and Instant Pot Pasta with Sausage.
We’ve now added this Instant Pot goulash recipe to our list of favorite Instant Pot recipes! It’s quick to prep, full of hearty flavors, and you’ll only have one pot to wash after dinner. Plus there’s pasta, ground beef and cheese, a family-friendly trio that makes this meal budget-friendly as well.
This Instant Pot goulash is one of our favorite Instant Pot ground beef recipes, and one that you’ll want to have in your back pocket. I like to serve it with a Green Salad or Roasted Broccoli, plus Garlic Knots or garlic bread.
What is Goulash?
This recipe is for American goulash, which is a dish made with ground beef, macaroni pasta, tomato sauce, seasonings and sometimes cheese. American goulash is ideal for making in the Instant Pot because it’s typically cooked in one pot. American goulash is not the same as Hungarian goulash, which is a type of stew or soup typically made with chunks of meat, vegetables and seasoned with paprika.
- Ground Beef: I prefer to use lean ground beef. You can also use ground turkey to lighten up this goulash recipe.
- Onion & Garlic: These aromatic ingredients add a base layer of flavor.
- Bell Pepper: I used a green bell pepper, but you can use any color that you prefer.
- Beef Broth: I recommend using low sodium beef broth, so that you can better control the amount of sodium in the dish. Chicken broth may be used instead, and works especially well if you decide to make the goulash with ground turkey.
- Italian Seasoning, Garlic Powder, Salt & Pepper: These seasonings make this pasta dish so flavorful.
- Worcestershire Sauce: A common ingredient in American goulash, Worcestershire sauce adds umami flavor.
- Elbow Macaroni Pasta: Either white or whole wheat pasta may be used.
- Diced Tomatoes & Tomato Sauce: These create a rich tomato base to flavor the dish.
- Cheddar Cheese: Some goulash recipes include shredded cheddar cheese and some don’t. My family loves cheese so I always add some to our Instant Pot goulash.
Find the full recipe with ingredient amounts and instructions in the recipe card below.
How to Make Instant Pot Goulash
- Use the Instant Pot’s sauté function to brown the ground beef.
- Add the onion and cook until softened.
- Add the minced garlic and bell pepper. Cook for 1 minute, stirring. Turn off the Instant Pot.
- Pour in the broth. Stir and scrape off any bits stuck to the bottom of the pot.
- Stir in the Italian seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
- Add the pasta. Press it down into an even layer but do not stir.
- Add the diced tomatoes and tomato sauce on top of the pasta. Do not stir them in.
- Close the Instant Pot lid and move the steam release valve to the sealing position.
- Pressure cook for 4 minutes at high pressure.
- Carefully quick release the pressure when the cook time ends.
- Stir in the shredded cheddar cheese.
How Long to Cook Pasta in the Instant Pot
A rule of thumb for cooking pasta in the Instant Pot is to take the package cook time and divide it in half. If you prefer your pasta al dente (firmer), subtract one more minute from the cook time after dividing it in half.
The cook time will also depend somewhat on how full your Instant Pot is. Since a fuller pot will take more time to pressurize (and release pressure), the pasta will end up with a bit more time to cook as the pot heats up and then again while the pressure is released.
I usually err on the side of undercooking the pasta because otherwise you may end up with mushy pasta. If you find that the pasta is firmer than you would like after the pressure cooking cycle, you can simply put the lid back on the Instant Pot and let it sit for about 5 minutes. The pasta will continue to soften up as it rests in the hot pot.
Instant Pot Goulash Recipe Tips
- If there is excess grease in the pot after browning the beef, you can drain it off.
- To avoid getting a burn notice, be sure to follow the recipe directions and not stir after adding the pasta, diced tomatoes or tomato sauce. Also be sure to scrape up any bits that are stuck to the bottom of the pot when you stir in the broth.
- When you open the pot after pressure cooking the goulash may look a bit watery and some pasta may be slightly stuck together. Give it a stir and the pasta will separate and the extra liquid will be absorbed.
- If you’d like to add more vegetables to the dish, try adding chopped carrot or mushrooms when you add the bell pepper. Keep in mind that mushrooms release liquid as they cook, so if you add a lot of them the dish may turn out watery. You can stir in chopped fresh spinach, frozen peas or frozen corn after pressure cooking. Place the lid on the pot for a few minutes to allow frozen veggies to heat through.
More Easy Instant Pot Recipes
You might also enjoy these Instant Pot Beef Recipes.
Instant Pot Goulash
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 bell pepper, chopped
- 1 ¾ cups low sodium beef broth, or chicken broth, equal to a 14.5 ounce can
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
- ¼ teaspoon pepper, or to taste
- 2 cups elbow macaroni pasta, uncooked, 9 ounces by weight
- 30 ounces canned diced tomatoes
- 15 ounces canned tomato sauce
- 1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese
- chopped fresh parsley, optional, for serving
- Press Saute on the Instant Pot. When the pot is hot, add the ground beef and cook, crumbling, until browned. Drain excess grease if desired.
- Add the onion and cook until softened, about 2 minutes.
- Add the garlic and bell pepper and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Press Cancel to turn off the saute function.
- Pour in the broth and stir, scraping up any bits stuck to the bottom of the pot.
- Add the Italian seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Stir.
- Add the pasta to the pot and press it down into an even layer in the liquid but do not stir. It is ok if the pasta is not all covered by the liquid. Put the diced tomatoes and tomato sauce on top of the pasta. Do not stir.
- Close the Instant Pot lid and move the steam release valve to the sealing position. Set the cook time to 4 minutes at high pressure. The Instant Pot will take about 15 minutes to reach pressure and then the cook time will start counting down.
- When the cook time ends, do a quick release of the pressure by carefully moving the valve to the venting position. When the pin drops down open the Instant Pot lid.
- The goulash may look a little watery and some of the pasta may be slightly stuck together. Stir gently and the extra liquid will be absorbed and the pasta will separate.
- Stir in the shredded cheddar cheese. Serve, topped with fresh parsley if desired.
- Serves 6 generously or makes 8 smaller servings.
Can this recipe be adapted for a crockpot,? I don’t have an instant pot and the recipe sounds good
You could probably follow a similar method to my Slow Cooker Taco Pasta recipe. You can also make goulash in one pot on the stove, simmering the pasta in the pot with the other ingredients instead of pressure cooking.
Wonderful and delicious recipes Kristine. Thank You. I love my Instant Pot .
Just made this! Turned out so good that we only had about 1 serving left! Will definitely make again!!
Thanks for this. Its delicious and my family enjoyed it.
This recipe turned out great. Family kept going back for more. I’m just learning to cook and first time making goulash. Thanx for your help.
Made this tonight. My cooker is a Farberware instead of InstaPot but I followed the recipe here and it was perfect! Thank you soooo much.
This was the 2nd instant pot recipe I’ve made, and it was just perfect! I didn’t catch it when it finished, and it kept everything just fine…no mushy pasta, etc…this was absolutely a fabulous recipe…don’t hesitate to make it…thanks, kristine for this site…Sharon
Hi Sharon, I’m so glad you enjoyed this! It’s one of my favorites too!
I have a 6 quart IP. Can this recipe be doubled? I want to take it to a party.
Yes, I believe that a double recipe will fit in a 6 quart pot.
I made this yesterday at the Halloween party. I omitted the cheese and I’m glad I did. i haven’t had goulash in several years and the taste without the cheese was EXACTLY how I remember it tasted. It was a hit. Thanks for the Instant Pot recipe. P.,S. I cooked it for 4 minutes and the macaroni was not quite cooked enough to serve it immediately. I just let it sit in the Instant Pot, unplugged, and the macaroni plumped right up. An absolute success !!!!!! 🙂
If i double the recipe does the cook time need to be increased?
No, the cook time stays the same for a double recipe.
Can I add Kale or squash to this dish? I want to use some of the veggies in my fridge 🙂
You can stir in chopped kale after cooking. I’m not sure what type of squash you have, but butternut squash cubes could probably be added right before the pasta. My only concern is that the squash may raise the pasta up so that some of the pasta would be out of the liquid. It would be an experiment. 🙂
This IP goulash was awesome! It’s a bit more involved than the recipe I’ve used for eons, but it is way better! I used diced tomatoes with green chilies because that is all I had, so it had just a little nip of heat. Yumm! Thank you! Highly recommend! Will definitely make this again.
Wow!! This ended up being a fam favorite. I had no clue what to make for dinner and came across this recipe. We had *almost* everything so I rolled with it. Even with the random substitutions it came out great!!
Delicious I substituted some of the groundbeef for mild ground sausage, the noodles turned out perfect. Thank you for sharing this for families to enjoy.
hi i made this dish tonight it was nice but is there another spice i could use instead of garlic please i found it overpowered the dish i serve it with garlic bread on the side else do you have a instant pot recipe book please that i could buy
Hi Tracy, You can omit or reduce the amount of garlic if desired. I do not have an Instant Pot recipe book, but thank you for asking!
Just got my instant pot for Christmas and this is the second recipe of yours I made. This was delicious and my husband loved it!
Where.s the paprika?
Hungarian goulash often includes paprika as an ingredient. This recipe is for American goulash, which doesn’t necessarily contain paprika. You can add some if you wish!
Tried this tonight and my picky husband LOVES it. I got a burn notice, but it was my fault I just forgot to scrape the bottom after I browned the meat, so just make sure to not forget that when cooking
YUM. Came out absolutely perfect!!
I will make this again. Delicious. The absolute best I’ve ever had. Just delicious.
Thanks for your recipe! Unfortunately, I found it very tomato-ey which was a bit sour & unpleasant. Just checking if the 30 ounces canned diced tomatoes and 15 ounces canned tomato sauce is the correct measurements? I also felt like it could’ve done with a little more meat, but that’s just a personal preference!
Hi Simon, Thank you for trying the recipe! Goulash is meant to be a saucy dish, so the amounts of canned tomatoes and sauce are correct. You can scale them down a bit and add more meat for your personal preference.