4.30 from 10 votes
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Slumgullion, also known as American Goulash, is a deliciously easy dinner of ground beef simmered in a tomato sauce all day, then elbow macaroni added in at the end. The macaroni is cooked IN the sauce at the end, making this a one-pot dish the whole family will love!

If you are looking for another family-friendly ground beef recipe, try this Homemade Hamburger Helper!

Slumgullion in a black pot

Easy Slumgullion Recipe

Slumgullion is more commonly known as American goulash or chop suey, (not to be mistaken for a Hungarian Goulash which is completely different!) While you can make this on the stovetop, this is the type of recipe that is best cooked low and slow all day in your slow cooker. The ground beef becomes a soft, velvety texture after cooing all day and adding in the pasta thickens the entire dish thanks to the starch in it. It also saves you time and dishes when you cook the pasta in the ground beef mixture at the end.

uncooked elbow macaroni being added to slumgullion

Using Cooked Pasta

If you don’t like the starchy texture that you get when you cook the pasta IN the dish, simply add only 1/2 cup beef broth to the mixture instead of the two full cups. You won’t need any extra liquid if you aren’t cooking the pasta in the slow cooker at the end.

Adding in uncooked pasta does thicken up the mixture and add a starchy texture, which we love, but may not be for everyone.

a spoonful of slumgullion

Types of Pasta to Use

While elbow macaroni is the traditional choice here, you can use whatever pasta you want, including g broken-up spaghetti or fettuccine noodles. Rotini would also work! No matter which one, make sure to cook it fully at the end in the beef mixture, or beforehand and add it in. Some pasta will take longer to cook than others, so adjust your timing for that.


The Fast and Slow Team


Slumgullion is delicious ground beef simmered in a tomato sauce all day, then elbow macaroni cooked up right in the slow cooker at the end! The perfect weekday dinner for busy families!
4.30 from 10 votes
Prep Time
30 minutes
Cook Time
5 hours
Main Course
Slow Cooker
Fast & Slow Cooking


  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 medium white onion minced minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • one 28 ounces can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can condensed tomato soup
  • 1/2 cup ketchup more to taste as wanted!
  • 1 tablespoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 2 cups dry macaroni


  • Fry the ground beef and onion in a large skillet until cooked completely. Drain any excess fat then add in the garlic, saute until fragrant.
  • Place the ground beef mixture into the bottom of a slow cooker.
  • Add in all of the remaining ingredients, except the macaroni. Stir.
  • Cover and cook on HIGH for 4-5 hours or on LOW for 7-8 hours.
  • Half an hour before you are ready to eat, add in the macaroni noodles and stir until mixed through.
  • Cover and cook until the macaroni is soft, stirring once in a while to ensure that the macaroni doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot. If needed, add more beef broth to thin out the sauce at the end.
  • Remove from heat and serve with cheese sprinkled on top.

Recipe Notes

  • You can add in a sprinkle of sugar to cut the acidity of the tomatoes, but the ketchup should add enough sweetness! 

Nutrition Information

Calories: 375kcal, Carbohydrates: 56g, Protein: 25g, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 47mg, Sodium: 1094mg, Potassium: 882mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 15g, Vitamin A: 414IU, Vitamin C: 10mg, Calcium: 58mg, Iron: 4mg

All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

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Slumgullion is delicious ground beef simmered in a tomato sauce all day, then elbow macaroni cooked up right in the slow cooker at the end! The perfect weekday dinner for busy families!

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  1. Ken says

    5 stars
    Amazing throw back dish to meals my grandmother and mother would make! I threw in the full 16 oz box of elbows and probably had an additional 1/4 pound of hamburger but no issues! I love the sweetness the cup of ketchup brought. Added a pinch of salt and pepper to the meat, onions, and garlic – but that was it. So awesome. Mix in some grated cheese before you serve!

    • Judy says

      Never heard of this recipe before but I am always ready for something that sounds good like this one does. I quite often like to tweak recipes and I might just have to add some cheese at the end so that it melts that wonderful ooey goey goodness on top of that yummy meat and noodles. Thanks for sharing, I will share with my family. I’m a Midwest girl and I had never heard of this recipe before. ** Midwest = North of Kansas City. **

  2. Damon says

    2 stars
    This dish was too sweet, way too much ketchup. Next time I’d quarter the ketchup and maybe add a bay leave. Other ingredients worked well.

  3. Don says

    Would you please add me to your regular recipe emailing list
    Thank you

  4. Joyce says

    This recipe is at least 2 million years old—I know, because I was taught to make it when I was 8 y.o., and I’m in my low millions year old now! My mother made this back when I was a little girl, and then Dad taught me how to cook, so when I made it, I changed the recipe considerably. Both my sister and I are severely allergic to all alliums, so I had to leave them out. A very recent discovery that I can have onion powder means I can once again at least have that flavor back in my cooking (sis can’t have any of it, period).
    I don’t need the recipe, but it was funny to see the dish my mother called by the same name. She made a slightly different version…I don’t remember the ingredients now, and it doesn’t matter, but she called that one “Mulligatawny Stew for the Rainiest of Days.” She would put in anything and everything that had to be used up before grocery shopping day, so it was a real ‘catch all’ dish, usually served with freshly made cornbread, and I’d make either chocolate chip cookies or an apple pie for dessert on those days.

  5. Tracy says

    Have you seen the movie “It Happened on Fifth Avenue?” This was served for dinner and all this time I thought it was just something made up for the movie! It looks like something that would be fabulous on a cold, wintry night. Must try!

  6. Victoria says

    I had never heard of slumgullion until I watched the movie “It Happened on 5th Avenue.” I made it today. It was a good comfort food and easy to make. Made as written but with a little more ground beef than called for. Next time I would add a bit more Italian seasoning, I think. And maybe replace a little of the beef broth with wine, but it was really just fine as is. Topped the servings with good Parmesan Reggiano.

    Thank you for the recipe! I would make it again.

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