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Instant Pot goulash is a classic family dinner and now it’s even easier to prepare. This hearty recipe delivers the classic flavors of goulash made in the pressure cooker.

Spoonful of instant pot goulash.
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Easy Goulash in the Instant Pot

Instant Pot goulash is not only an easy pasta recipe, it’s a timesaving one-pot wonder that’s equally tasty!

Why slave away over the stove making goulash when the Instant Pot can do the heavy lifting for you? Just like Instant Pot spaghetti or Instant Pot baked ziti it’s a game-changer for busy families who want to enjoy a home-cooked meal without the fuss.

Why This Recipe Works

  • Speed and simplicity: With a pressure cooker, goulash comes together quickly without compromising flavor. It’s a one-pot Instant Pot recipe that makes life easier.
  • Flavorful fusion: The combination of Italian seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, and tomatoes gives this dish a depth of flavor that’s simply irresistible.

Recipe Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to make this mouthwatering dish.

Instant pot goulash ingredients on the counter.

Find the full printable recipe with specific measurements below.

  • Lean ground beef: Lean beef keeps the dish hearty without being greasy. 
  • Veggies and aromatics: You’ll need a yellow onion, one bell pepper, and some minced garlic.
  • Seasoning: I use my own blend of Italian seasoning, seasoned salt, and ground black pepper. I also toss in a bay leaf for a subtle layer of flavor.
  • Worcestershire sauce: This gives a subtle tanginess and flavor depth that elevates the goulash. 
  • Petite diced tomatoes and tomato sauce: If you like a chunkier texture, go for regular diced tomatoes.
  • Beef broth: Beef broth will give you a richer flavor, but chicken broth is a lighter option that still packs in the taste.
  • Elbow macaroni noodles: The classic pasta for American goulash, macaroni holds onto the sauce and makes every scoop satisfying. 

Substitutions and Variations

You can make this Instapot goulash recipe your own by switching out some ingredients:

  • Meat variations: Swap lean ground beef with ground turkey or chicken for a different flavor or lighter option.
  • Vegetable add-ins: Toss in additional vegetables like mushrooms, celery, zucchini, or carrots for extra nutrition and texture.
  • Pasta swap: Substitute elbow macaroni with other types of short pasta like penne, rotini, or shells.
  • Broth options: Use either beef, chicken, or vegetable broth based on preference.
  • Cheese choices: I like using Cheddar, but, feel free to use mozzarella, Colby Jack, or a vegan cheese alternative for topping.
  • Spice adjustments: If you enjoy more heat, add a pinch of red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper to the seasoning mix.

How to Make Instant Pot Goulash

Making goulash in your Instant Pot is a breeze! From sautéing the beef to releasing the pressure, follow these tips to ensure your goulash is a success every single time.

Showing how to make instant pot goulash in a 4 step collage.
  • Sauté ingredients: Turn on the Instant Pot sauté function and cook ground beef, onion, and bell pepper until browned. Stir in garlic, Italian seasoning, seasoned salt, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce, then cook another minute or two.
  • Layer and cook: Pour broth into the pot, then layer the noodles on top without stirring. Gently add the diced tomatoes and tomato sauce over the noodles. Seal the Instant Pot lid and cook on High pressure for 3 minutes.
  • Quick Release and Stir: After the cooking time is up, carefully perform a quick release of the pressure. Once the pin drops, open the lid and stir the pasta to combine all the ingredients well.
  • Melt and garnish: If desired, sprinkle shredded cheddar cheese over the goulash and cover the pot for a minute to let the cheese melt. Garnish with fresh basil or parsley.

Expert Tips

  • Brown that beef: Don’t rush the browning process of the beef. Getting some good caramelization on the meat adds a ton of flavor.
  • Layering is key: When adding the pasta and liquids, layer them; don’t stir. This helps prevent the dreaded “burn” warning.
  • Cheese please: If you’re adding cheese, make sure to sprinkle it on top after cooking and let it melt with the residual heat. This way, you get a perfectly gooey topping without overcooking the cheese.
Instant pot goulash.

Recipe FAQs

What is goulash? 

Goulash is a traditional Hungarian stew made with beef, vegetables, and a rich paprika seasoning, often served as a hearty soup. This recipe is an American version featuring ground beef, pasta, and a tomato-based sauce – sometimes called American Chop Suey.

Can I make this recipe in a crockpot?

Absolutely! To make this goulash in a crockpot, first brown the ground beef in a skillet. Then, transfer the beef to the crockpot and add all the other ingredients except for the noodles and cheese. Cook on high for 1 to 2 hours or on low for 3 to 4 hours. Add the noodles during the last 30 minutes of cooking. Once the noodles are tender, sprinkle the cheese on top, cover the crockpot for a minute to let the cheese melt, and then serve.

How can I thicken the goulash if it’s too liquidy?

If your goulash is too liquidy, you can thicken it by setting the Instant Pot to Sauté mode after the pressure cooking is complete. Let it simmer for a few minutes until the desired consistency is reached.

How long will this goulash keep?

If by some miracle you have leftovers, they store beautifully in the fridge. Just pop the cooled goulash in an airtight container, and you’ll have a ready-to-reheat meal for up to 4 days. Trust me, it tastes just as good—if not better—the next day.

Can I freeze Instant Pot goulash?

Yes, place any leftovers in an 8×8-inch metal tin and wrap with foil then freeze. When ready to eat, place in the refrigerator to thaw overnight and cook at 350°F for 30 to 45 minutes, or until hot. Top with cheese before baking.

Instant Pot Goulash Serving Suggestions

This goulash is a meal in and of itself, but if you’re looking to round out your dinner, here are a few ideas:

  • Fresh salad: A crisp green salad with a tangy vinaigrette balances out the richness of the goulash beautifully.
  • Garlic bread: This easy garlic bread recipe is perfect for sopping up all that savory sauce.
  • Skillet cornbread: The perfect comforting side dish for this hearty meal.
  • Roasted veggies: A side of roasted veggies with a touch of maple syrup adds a bit of lightness to your meal.
Instant pot goulash in a bowl.

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Spoonful of instant pot goulash.

Instant Pot Goulash

5 from 6 votes
↑ Click stars to rate now!
Author: Jamielyn Nye
Instant Pot goulash is a classic family dinner and now it's even easier to prepare. This hearty recipe delivers the classic flavors of goulash made in the pressure cooker.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 8



  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 1 bell pepper , chopped
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons  Italian seasoning
  • 1-1 ½ teaspoons seasoned salt , such as Lawry’s
  • ¼ teaspoon Ground black pepper , more to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 (15-ounce) can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 (15-ounce) can beef or chicken broth , add an extra cup if desired (see note)
  • 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 ½ cups dry elbow macaroni noodles
  • Bay leaf , optional

For serving (optional): Shredded cheddar cheese and Fresh basil or parsley


    • Turn the Instant Pot to Saute. Add the beef, onion, and pepper over medium heat 3 to 5 minutes, or until brown. Drain any grease, if needed.
    • Stir in the garlic, Italian seasoning, seasoned salt, pepper and Worcestershire sauce. Let cook an additional 1 to 2 minutes.
    • Pour in broth. Add bay leaf, if desired. Add noodles in an even layer. Add the tomatoes and tomato sauce evenly over top.
    • Place the lid on the Instant Pot and set the valve to seal. Select pressure cook on High pressure. Set the time to 3 minutes. It will take about 15 minutes to build pressure. Once the time is up, do a quick release by moving the valve to venting position. Turn Instant Pot off and remove lid.
    • Stir pasta to combine with liquid. Sprinkle cheese over top, if desired. Cover 1 minute, or until the cheese has melted. Add fresh basil or parsley, if desired. Serve while hot!


    • If you prefer more liquid, add an extra cup of broth, water, or tomato sauce.
    • Also, this recipe is easy to add in extra veggies when cooking the onions. Sometimes I’ll add in chopped celery or mushrooms.
    Crockpot Version:
    You can easily make this recipe in the slow cooker if you prefer. I recommend cooking the ground beef ahead of time, then add all the ingredients to your crockpot and stir. Cook on high for 1 to 2 hours or low for 3 to 4.
    Add the noodles the last 30 minutes of cooking. until noodles are tender. Remove lid and sprinkle on cheese. Cover with lid for about 1 minute, until cheese has melted. Then add fresh basil if desired and serve!
    Storage: Place any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge up to 4 days. To reheat, simply microwave or heat on stove until warmed throughout.
    Freezer instructions: Place any leftovers in a 8×8-inch metal tin and wrap with foil. When ready to eat, place in the refrigerator to thaw overnight and cook at 350°F for 30 to 45 minutes, or until hot. Top with cheese before baking.


    Calories: 243kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 35mg | Sodium: 1036mg | Potassium: 746mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 820IU | Vitamin C: 30mg | Calcium: 69mg | Iron: 4mg

    Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.

    Course: Main Course
    Cuisine: American

    Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!

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