From start to finish, we were eating this pressure cooker goulash in less than 30 minutes. That alone almost makes it worth trying. This is a perfect weeknight meal when you're in a hurry. But the real reason for giving this recipe a try is the flavor!
(Scroll through for picture tutorial.)
Updated process pictures and recipe notes August 21, 2019.
This Is Goulash
I hear people all the time saying that American goulash is not goulash. Well, it's obviously not Hungarian Goulash. But it definitely is American Goulash! Just because something originates in one place doesn't mean it can't be adapted by another culture; especially in the American melting pot. As far as I know, there are only 3 "required" ingredients for American Goulash: ground beef, tomatoes, and macaroni noodles. After that, you can make it your own by adding whatever veggies you like and/or have on-hand.
The Secret to Cooking Pasta in a Pressure Cooker
There's a simple rule-of-thumb for cooking pasta in a pressure cooker that I've found works every time... so far. That rule is this: divide the box cook time in half, then subtract 2 minutes. So let's say the box says cook pasta for 10 minutes, that would be 3 minutes in your pressure cooker goulash (or any other dish); half of 10 is 5, then minus 2 equals 3. I have yet to have this method fail. Sure hope the trends continues!
(It's Almost Too Easy)
And the AMAZING Result...
Tips for Making this Pressure Cooker Goulash
If you've ever cooked pasta in your Instant Pot, then you've probably heard this. But if not, please let me share this... Once you add your liquid to the pot (in this case chicken broth), add the pasta on top, and then DO NOT STIR! Here's why... As the pasta begins to cook, it will absorb the liquid and expand in size. If too much of the pasta is touching the bottom of the pot, you will definitely get a burn notice. Even if it's not actually burning. It seems that the newer model Instant Pots all have sensors that are quick to give burn notices; which is causing bloggers to write better recipes! I've personally had to modify several of ours to avoid a burn notice in newer Instant Pots, including this one.
I recommend using lean ground beef for this recipe, meaning no more than 10% fat. And the reason for that is so that you don't need to drain the beef after it's browned. However, if you use ground beef that's 15% or higher in fat, you will want to drain off some of the fat. Do not drain off all of the fat because there's lots of flavor in it. But for higher fat content ground beef, drain off about half of it.
Can I use ground turkey instead of beef? Absolutely, yes. And there's not really any modification that you will need to make.
Can I use gluten-free pasta? My wife is gluten intolerant, so we actually always use gluten-free pasta in our house. It cooks exactly the same way. The only difference (other than taste) that I've noticed is after the pasta is cooked. I find that gluten-free pasta absorbs much more liquid than traditional wheat pasta, especially those made with rice. So the longer it sits, the drier the dish becomes. When using gluten-free pasta, I recommend adding some chicken broth before reheating the leftovers.
Why is there sugar added to this recipe? Tomatoes are very acidic. We add sugar in order to help balance the flavor. Almost all of the store-bought tomato-based pasta sauces in grocery stores add sugar for this very reason. So there is a purpose, but you can leave it out for dietary needs.
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Instant Pot American Goulash
- 1 lb. lean ground beef
- ½ cup yellow onion diced
- ½ cup green bell pepper diced
- 3 tsp. sea salt divided
- 1 tsp. black pepper
- 2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 1 Tbsp. garlic minced
- 28 oz. crushed tomatoes
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 16 oz. tomato sauce
- 1 Tbsp. sugar
- 1 lb. elbow macaroni
- 2 Tbsp. fresh parsley finely chopped
- Using sauté setting - add beef, onions, peppers, 1 teaspoon of salt, and black pepper to cooker. Cook until meat is thoroughly browned, stirring frequently to break up meat.
- Then add Worcestershire and garlic and cook for another minute or two.
- Add tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, 2 teaspoons of salt, and sugar. Mix well. Finally, add add pasta, then chicken broth. DO NOT STIR. Close lid and set manual timer for 3 minutes at high pressure. (Time could be different based on the pasta you choose. Divide time on box in half, then subtract 2 minutes.)
- Once cook time is complete, quick-release pressure and open lid. Add parsley and mix well. Serve and enjoy!
- Once you add your liquid to the pot (in this case chicken broth), add the pasta on top, and then DO NOT STIR! Here's why... As the pasta begins to cook, it will absorb the liquid and expand in size. If too much of the pasta is touching the bottom of the pot, you will definitely get a burn notice. Even if it's not actually burning.
- I recommend using lean ground beef for this recipe, meaning no more than 10% fat. And the reason for that is so that you don't need to drain the beef after it's browned. However, if you use ground beef that's 15% or higher in fat, you may want to drain off about half of it.
You May Also Like
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I'm still not used to the convenience of cooking pasta in the instant pot, but I'm getting used to it. My mother used to make something similar when I was growing up and it's always been a favorite. I love this recipe! I used 1 cup of onions as I don't like green peppers and it turned out great. Easy and fast and so good!
I would love to make this recipe. What would be the cooking time if I used gluten free pasta?
The rule-of-thumb for any pasta in an Instant Pot is this... divide the cook time in half, then subtract 2. For example... if it says 8 minutes, then it's (4-2) or 2. We do it all the time since my wife is gluten intolerant.
Do you pre cook the pasta first or just put it In from the box?
Don't pre-cook the pasta. Add it in from the box.
What setting do you use once everything is combine? Beans. Chili, stew, slow cook?? And what number for pressure 40, 50????
What kind of pressure cooker are you using? We used an Instant Pot pressure cooker for this recipe. On the Instant Pot, you would hit the "Pressure Cook" button, and set time to 3 minutes using the + or - buttons. It should also be set to high pressure- use the "pressure level" button to adjust if on low pressure.
I love the flavors in this recipe. But I’ve made it 3 times now and every time I get a burn notice... then it doesn’t come up to pressure fully. It ends up being fully cooked, but very soupy. Any idea why it’s doing that???
Sorry to hear that. We've never had that happen. You could try adding the chicken broth at the same time as the tomato sauce and mixing. Then, add the pasta last, and mix gently just so that it's submerged, but not so much that it touches the bottom of the pot. Good luck!
Never mix any tomato sauce with the liquid. Put in last on top of pasta, and it won't burn!
I also got the burn— I gently pushed the pasta aside for the broth to migrate to the bottom and restarted. Pasta was a tiny bit softer than I like,but certainly tasty
Nancy K Ghilarducci
Is there a particular brand of pasta that works better than others in the instapot? Is there a rule of thumb for the ratio liquid to pasta? I am very new to this and trying to find some sort of conversion for ratios.
I've found that all brands of pasta seem to work about the same, with the exception of gluten-free pasta since they're usually made with some rice. And as far as pasta to liquid ratios, every recipe is different. I can only speak for ones I've tested.
This one is a keeper! I recommend using a favorite spaghetti sauce in place of the crushed tomatoes. I also use regular beef broth anytime I use beef in my recipes. One of the gals commented that hers burned every time she made it. It's a rule of thumb to never mix anything tomato with the liquid but rather pour on top of all the ingredients before cooking. So, in this case, put all the ingredients in the PC and then the tomato ingredients on top.
Just tried this minus the sugar and it’s fabulous! I put less salt in but added some better than beef bouillon. Also added some Italian seasoning. Macaroni turned out perfect
My family loved this. My daughter even asked for it as her birthday dinner over chicken Parmesan or chicken cordon bleu. That is big.
RUH ROH Just made it to exact directions and it is soupy and the pasta is al dente! Should taste great because it smells great BUT I can't serve a soup to a 6 year old! Sigh...
Hmmm, I'm not sure why that happened. That's the first I've heard of this issue. Thanks for your feedback!
We had the same exact issue...any suggestions??
I'm really not sure. Could possibly be related to elevation. We are in Florida, so basically at sea level. The higher in elevation you go, I know it affects pressure cooking - meaning some things need more time. Where do you live?
So good and so easy!
Maybe......just maybe you should add the full instructions to this? I mean according to your instructions this should take under 10 minutes! However, the Cook Time says 25 minutes. You need to add to the instructions. They suck.
Thanks for your feedback. The cook time includes the time it typically takes for the pressure cooker to come up to pressure.
Just made it turned out perfect lots of flavor think I'll have another bowl thanks again love the ninja foodie
This was so delicious, I definitely recommend this recipe
This came out so delicious.
Glad you enjoyed it!