Slumgullion Recipe

Slumgullion is simply the most common term used for the traditional American goulash, also known as American chop suey, or beefaroni.

This tomato sauce-based goulash is a staple in Southern cuisine, but its popularity has reached far beyond the Southern borders.

It is perfectly savory, creamy, rich, and hearty, and a perfect dish to make when you want a quick combination of beef and pasta.

While there are countless variations of the slumgullion available online, today we’re bringing you a rather simple recipe that is 100% foolproof. 

However, just because it is easy to make doesn’t mean that this beefaroni recipe lacks any aroma or flavor!

How to Make Slumgullion

First things first, let’s talk a bit about goulash and the difference between the American variant that is slumgullion, and the traditional Hungarian goulash.

While both dishes are meat-based stews, slumgullion usually includes a tomato-based sauce, whereas Hungarian sauce is paprika-based.

You’ll also find that Hungarian goulash is more on the spicy, peppery side, whereas slumgullion doesn’t have to be.

Finally, traditional Hungarian goulash is a slow-cooked dish. While any kind of goulash, slumgullion included, would benefit from this cooking method, it isn’t necessary to slow-cook your American goulash to get the desired result and consistency. 

While slumgullion is generally a very affordable meal, it is not lacking in the flavor and quality department whatsoever! 

This dish is extremely nutritious, fulfilling, and an excellent choice if you need to feed (and impress) a large group of people. 

Let’s see how you can make this ultimate Southern comfort food in your own home, with just a few simple, inexpensive ingredients.

Ingredients:

(6 servings)

  • 1 ½ lb ground beef
  • 1 pound pasta of choice (cooked) 
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 2 cans tomato sauce (14 oz)
  • 1 tbsp chicken or beef bouillon
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • 1 tbsp chili flakes 
  • ¾ cup cheddar cheese (shredded)
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley (chopped)
  • salt
  • pepper

Instructions:

Step 1:

Heat up a tablespoon of olive oil in a large pot, preferably a non-stick one, over medium-high heat.

Once the oil is hot, you can add the chopped onion and sauté it over medium-high heat until it becomes soft and translucent. If the onion starts burning, make sure to reduce the heat.

Step 2:

Once the onion is ready, it is time to add the ground beef. Make sure to break it up using a wooden spoon and stir it into the sautéed onion.

Season the onion and meat mixture with salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, rosemary, and chili flakes. Then, combine everything together. 

Step 3:

It is important to cook the beef until it develops a golden brown color, as this process will release all the delicious meat juices and make the slumgullion that much more delicious.

Once the meat is ready, you can pour in the tomato sauce and add bouillon for more flavor. 

Let the slumgullion cook on low for another 5-7 minutes. As we’ve mentioned, you can always choose to slow cook your American goulash if you’d like an even richer consistency and enhanced flavors. 

Also, remember to stir the slumgullion frequently to prevent it from burning and sticking to the bottom of the pot. 

Step 4:

Once the slumgullion is ready, it is time to add in your cooked pasta of choice, whether it be penne, rigatoni, gemelli, farfalle, spaghetti, or simple macaroni. 

Combine the pasta with the goulash, and then mix in the shredded cheddar cheese while it is still hot so the cheese melts.

You can also add the cheese once you plate the slumgullion, as well as fresh parsley

Ingredient Substitutions

In case there are certain ingredients that you don’t like or don’t have at the moment, and you’re not too excited about going grocery shopping, here are some of the best ingredient substitutions for your homemade slumgullion

1. Ground pork

Ground pork is an ideal replacement for ground beef, especially if you prefer a more neutral meat type

While that unique beef savory flavor and aroma give a very special note to the slumgullion, ground pork can replace it in this dish as long as you use the same preparation method and seasonings. 

You can use ground pork both for this quick slumgullion recipe, and the slow-cooked version, as well. 

2. Fresh garlic

Garlic powder is a milder alternative to fresh garlic. However, if you’d like that dominant garlic aroma to be the star of your slumgullion, it is always better to use fresh garlic.

Once you add the diced onion to hot oil, combine it with minced garlic and saute the ingredients until the onion is soft and translucent, and the garlic is fragrant. 

3. Chicken or beef stock

In case you’d like the consistency of the slumgullion to be a bit more liquidy, or you simply don’t want the emphasis to be on the tomato sauce, you can replace it with chicken or beef stock, depending on your flavor preference.

In place of tomato sauce, you can add a tablespoon of tomato paste or tomato puree for a refreshing component that will brighten up the dish. 

4. Gnocchi

If you prefer gnocchi over pasta, you should know that slumgullion combines well with any kind of carbohydrate.

Keep in mind that gnocchi is usually a bit starchier than pasta since it is made out of potatoes. That being said, it may make your slumgullion a bit thicker if you decide to cook the gnocchi directly in the goulash.

5. Parmesan cheese

While cheddar cheese will provide a milky, creamy, predominantly sweet note to your American goulash, parmesan is a savory, yet more neutral option if you don’t like cheddar.

Parmesan can be added while the slumgullion is cooking if you want it to melt into the goulash. However, there’s nothing wrong with sprinkling some grated parmesan on top of the served slumgullion.

Either way, we recommend using freshly grated parmesan cheese as it is much more aromatic and flavorful!

What to Serve with Slumgullion

A complex and nutritious dish such as American goulash doesn’t necessarily require any additions. However, if you feel like there’s a component that would take this dish to the next level, take a look at our suggestions!

Mashed potatoes

Did you know that traditional Hungarian goulash can be served either with pasta or mashed potatoes? The same applies to this American goulash, whether you want to replace pasta or add another starchy, creamy component to this dish. 

We wouldn’t recommend using too many spices and herbs in your mashed potatoes, as you don’t want the flavors to clash with the slumgullion.

Side salad

A complex dish such as slumgullion can always benefit from a refreshing, slightly acidic side salad.

Simply combine your favorite veggies, whether it be lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, onions, or peppers, and mix them together with some olive oil, a little bit of Kosher salt and pepper, and a vinaigrette of choice. 

If you want to keep it super simple, a little bit of white vinegar or lemon juice drizzled over the salad will do!

How to Reheat Slumgullion

When it comes to reheating your slumgullion, we recommend separating the pasta from the goulash and cooking a new batch of pasta.

Otherwise, the pasta will turn into mush and ruin the texture of your slumgullion. You could reheat the pasta separately, but we wouldn’t recommend it as it usually turns out dry and bland. 

How to Reheat Slumgullion On the stovetop

Remove the pasta from the slumgullion, then transfer the leftover goulash to a saucepan and warm it up over medium-high heat, making sure to stir constantly.

If necessary, add more tomato sauce, water, or stock (in case the slumgullion is too thick).

How to Reheat Slumgullion In the microwave

Add the desired amount of slumgullion to a microwave-safe dish. Check the consistency, and add more liquid if necessary.

Microwave on high in 30-second intervals. Once the goulash is warmed up to your liking, add freshly cooked pasta

How to Store Slumgullion

Just like with reheating, we believe that storing your slumgullion with pasta inside isn’t the best decision. The pasta will never taste as good as when it’s freshly cooked, so we recommend removing it and storing the American goulash on its own.

Store in the fridge

Transfer the goulash to an airtight container and make sure that the lid is properly sealed. Keep your slumgullion leftovers in the fridge for no more than four days.

Store in the freezer

You can choose between an airtight container and a heavy-duty freezer bag to store slumgullion in the freezer. Use up the leftovers within 3-4 months.

slumgullion recipe

Slumgullion Recipe

Whether you know it as American goulash, American chop suey, or beefaroni, slumgullion is the ultimate Southern comfort dish that encompasses all the flavors and textures you’d want in a delicious beef goulash. This slumgullion recipe requires only 35 minutes, and it is incredibly flavorful and aromatic.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 6
Calories 403 kcal
Equipment
  • 1 saucepan
  • 1 Cutting board
  • 1 Knife
  • 1 wooden spoon
Ingredients
  
  • 1 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 1 lb pasta of choice cooked
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 2 cans tomato sauce 14 oz
  • 1 tbsp chicken or beef bouillon
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • 1 tbsp chili flakes
  • 3/4 cup cheddar cheese shredded
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley chopped
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
Instructions
 
  • Heat up a tablespoon of olive oil in a large pot, preferably a non-stick one, over medium-high heat.
  • Once the oil is hot, you can add the chopped onion and sauté it over medium-high heat until it becomes soft and translucent. If the onion starts burning, make sure to reduce the heat.
  • Once the onion is ready, it is time to add the ground beef. Make sure to break it up using a wooden spoon and stir it into the sautéed onion.
  • Season the onion and meat mixture with salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, rosemary, and chili flakes. Then, combine everything together.
  • It is important to cook the beef until it develops a golden brown color, as this process will release all the delicious meat juices and make the slumgullion that much more delicious.
  • Once the meat is ready, you can pour in the tomato sauce and add bouillon for more flavor.
  • Let the slumgullion cook on low for another 5-7 minutes. As we’ve mentioned, you can always choose to slow cook your American goulash if you’d like an even richer consistency and enhanced flavors.
  • Also, remember to stir the slumgullion frequently to prevent it from burning and sticking to the bottom of the pot.
  • Once the slumgullion is ready, it is time to add in your cooked pasta of choice, whether it be penne, rigatoni, gemelli, farfalle, spaghetti, or simple macaroni.
  • Combine the pasta with the goulash, and then mix in the shredded cheddar cheese while it is still hot so the cheese melts.
  • You can also add the cheese once you plate the slumgullion, as well as fresh parsley.
Nutrition
Calories: 403kcalCarbohydrates: 52gProtein: 20gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 43mgSodium: 610mgSugar: 7g
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