by Olena

Instant Pot Goulash

Olena Osipov
4.7 from 3 votes

Instant Pot Goulash with ground beef or turkey, diced tomatoes, pasta, and melty cheese is a 30 minute one pot meal entire family will love. Also known as American goulash or American Chop Suey.

Everyone loves pasta dishes like Instant Pot ground beef stroganoff and Instant Pot chicken Alfredo around here.

Instant Pot American Goulash Recipe

Instant Pot goulash is a bit like pressure cooker mac and cheese meets a bowl of pasta meets stew-ish. This 30 minute meal is seasoned with smoked paprika, garlic and onion powders, and rosemary. The whole grain pasta gives it a wholesome heartiness. And then meat, and sweet, smoky and tangy sauce, followed by ooey-gooey cheese is everything a mouthwatering bite should be!

I make goulash in Instant Pot when I literally spent all day working at the computer. We’ve all had those nights where the last thing we want to do is spend forever in the kitchen. We get tempted just to open up a can of who knows what and voila, dinner is served. Wait!

This American style goulash beats Hamburger Helper and we get the best of both worlds. Fast and easy convenience, but also healthy and tasty one pot meal. And kids are happy!  

Ingredients for Instant Pot Goulash

  • Ground meat: You can use extra lean ground turkey or beef.
  • Onion and garlic: Diced onion. Minced garlic.
  • Seasoning: Dried rosemary. Garlic powder. Onion powder. Smoked paprika. Regular paprika. Salt and pepper. Bay leaves.
  • Liquids: Soy sauce (I use Bragg’s Liquid aminos). Any low sodium stock/broth.
  • Pasta: Elbow macaroni. I use whole wheat, but it’s not a must.
  • Tomatoes: Can of low sodium diced tomatoes. Can of low sodium tomato sauce.
  • Cheese: Freshly grated (if possible) cheddar or marble cheese.

How to Make Instant Pot Goulash

  • Prep: Using a 6 or 8 quart Instant Pot, press the Saute button. It will say On until it heats up at which point it will say Hot. It takes a few minutes, but it’s important it reaches Hot before adding anything to it.
  • Brown meat: Add in the ground meat and use a wooden spoon or spatula to break it up into small bits. You want to do this constantly, otherwise, the meat will cook together in big clumps and it is much harder to break apart cooked meat. The Instant Pot isn’t designed to really brown your meat as much as you might be used to, so don’t wait for that to happen. As long as it’s not pink anymore or mostly cooked through, it’s all good. The pressure cooking will continue to fully cook the meat. Press Cancel.
  • Add: Toss in remaining ingredients. The onion, garlic, rosemary, garlic, and onion powders, smoked and regular paprika, salt, pepper, bay leaves, soy sauce, stock, pasta, diced tomatoes, and tomato sauce. Do not stir.
  • Pressure cook: Close the lid and set the valve to Sealing. Press Pressure Cook on High or Manual. The reason there are two options is that the Instant Pot comes in different models. If your model says Pressure Cook, it won’t say Manual and vice versa. But they are essentially the same thing!
  • Release: Once your cook time is finished Quick Release by turning the valve to Venting right away. Otherwise, if you wait you’ve begun the process of a Natural Release whereby your food continues cooking. Then you run the risk of mushy pasta!
  • Add cheese and serve: Open the lid, add in your shredded cheese and give it a stir. Watch all that melty deliciousness happen. Once everything is combined, enjoy a bowl or two served warm.

More Tips and Troubleshooting

  • If pasta is too al dente: Pasta doneness is a personal preference. If it is too firm, add cheese, stir, close the lid and let it sit extra 10 minutes after cooking. It’s pasta, it cooks fast and will get there.
  • If you stirred by accident: Water might get absorbed by pasta quickly and your pressure cooker will struggle to come to pressure. If you keep hearing boiling and pin not popping up, open the lid and add 1/2 cup water (or a bit more), then close it back and it should come to pressure shortly.
  • To double the recipe: If you have 10 quart Instant Pot, you can double the ingredients but keep the same cook time. For 8 quart, you can only add 1.5 times ingredients but not double – same cook time.
  • 3 quart Instant Pot: Cut all ingredients in half (even broth) but keep the same cook time.
  • To cut the recipe in half (6, 8, or 10 quart Instant Pot): Cut all ingredients in half (even broth) but keep the same cook time.
  • Instant Pot size: If (and only if) it’s possible, get yourself a bigger Instant Pot if you are currently using a 3 quart pot. Because most recipes are made for the 6 or 8-quart size, it’s easier to keep the 3 quart for things like yogurt or rice.
  • Transfer to serving dish: The Instant Pot is really good at keeping things warm for a while after cooking. To help avoid mushy pasta, it is recommended that you transfer your goulash to a serving dish immediately after cooking.
  • Layer ingredients: Instant Pots come with a Burn notice. Layering the ingredients as directed and not stirring will help avoid seeing this. And tasting it!

Variations

  • Using larger pasta: If you decide to use rotini, fusilli, or rigatoni, this pasta is bigger than elbow macaroni and needs about 5-6 minutes of cook time.
  • Gluten free pasta: I would reduce cook time from 4 minutes to 3 minutes. All gluten free pasta differs, so you might need less or more time next time depending on the size of pasta you use.
  • Add veggies: One time after goulash was done cooking, I threw in a bag of frozen cauliflower rice along with cheese, closed the lid, and let it sit for 5 minutes. It was amazing! Red beans, corn, or diced green peppers would also be a nice addition.
  • Sausage: Instead of ground meat, you can use sausage.
  • Ricotta or cream cheese: You can add 3-4 tablespoons of cream cheese or ricotta.

Storing, Freezing, and Reheating

Store: Instant Pot goulash recipe yields about 8 servings which is great for a larger family. If you’re feeding a smaller crowd, you’ll have leftovers for a couple of days. This will stay good in the fridge for up to 2 days in an airtight container.

Freeze: Freezing this meal isn’t recommended because once you thaw frozen pasta it gets mushy. But if meal prep is your jam you can cook the recipe for 2 minutes to allow the residual heat to continue cooking the pasta. Then freeze it in portions.

Reheat: It’s best to reheat in the microwave once thawed. If you find your pasta to be too mushy you can also bake it in the oven.

More One Pot Meal Instant Pot Recipes

Instant Pot Goulash {30 Minute One Pot Meal}

Instant Pot Goulash with ground beef or turkey, diced tomatoes, pasta, and melty cheese is a 30 minute one pot meal entire family will love. This is American goulash or American Chop Suey that is perfect for busy weeknights!
4.67 from 3 votes
Print Save Rate
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 9 minutes
Pressure Up & Down Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 24 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 359kcal
Author: Olena Osipov

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground turkey or beef extra lean
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tbsp rosemary dried
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • Pinch salt
  • Ground black pepper to taste
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce I use Bragg's liquid aminos
  • 3 cups any stock/broth low sodium
  • 3 cup 13 oz elbow macaroni I use whole wheat
  • 28 oz can diced tomatoes low sodium
  • 14 oz can tomato sauce low sodium
  • 1 cup cheddar or marble cheese shredded

Instructions

  • Press Saute on 6 or 8 quart Instant Pot and wait until display says Hot. Takes about 4-5 mins.
  • Add ground meat and cook until small pieces, breaking with spatula constantly. Instant Pot doesn't really brown the meat and it doesn't have to be cooked through. Press Cancel.
  • Add onion, garlic, rosemary, garlic and onion powders, smoked and regular paprika, salt, pepper, bay leaves, soy sauce, stock, pasta, diced tomatoes and tomato sauce. Do not stir.
  • Close the lid, set valve to Sealing and press Pressure Cook on High or Manual for 4 minutes.
  • After, release pressure using Quick Release by turning valve to Venting right away after cooking.
  • Open the lid, add cheese and stir well.
  • Serve warm.

Storing and reheating: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 2 days. Best way to reheat is in a microwave.

    Freezing: Cooked pasta is one of those foods that doesn't thaw well - too mushy. However, if you are meal prepping entire recipe, cook recipe for 2 minutes, cool (pasta will keep cooking with residual heat) and freeze in portions. Then thaw and reheat in microwave or bake in oven at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes. This will help with overcooked pasta issue.

      Notes

      • If pasta is too al dente: Pasta doneness is a personal preference. If it is too firm, add cheese, stir, close the lid and let it sit extra 10 minutes after cooking. It's pasta, it cooks fast and will get there.
      • If you stirred by accident: Water might get absorbed by pasta quickly and your pressure cooker will struggle to come to pressure. If you keep hearing boiling and pin not popping up, open the lid and add 1/2 cup water (or a bit more), then close it back and it should come to pressure shortly.
      • Using larger pasta: If you decide to use rotini, fusilli, or rigatoni, this pasta is bigger than elbow macaroni and needs about 5-6 minutes of cook time.
      • Gluten free pasta: I would reduce cook time from 4 minutes to 3 minutes. All gluten free pasta differs, so you might need less or more time next time depending on the size of pasta you use.
      • Add veggies: One time after goulash was done cooking, I threw in a bag of frozen cauliflower rice along with cheese, closed the lid, and let it sit for 5 minutes. It was amazing! Red beans, corn, or diced green peppers would also be a nice addition.
      • Sausage: Instead of ground meat, you can use sausage.
      • Ricotta or cream cheese: You can add 3-4 tablespoons of cream cheese or ricotta.
      • To double the recipe: If you have 10 quart Instant Pot, you can double the ingredients but keep same cook time. For 8 quart, you can only add 1.5 times ingredients but not double - same cook time.
      • To cut recipe in half (6, 8 or 10 quart Instant Pot): Cut all ingredients in half (even broth) but keep same cook time.
      • 3 quart Instant Pot: Cut all ingredients in half (even broth) but keep same cook time.

      Nutrition

      Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 359kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 46mg | Sodium: 590mg | Potassium: 353mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 434IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 138mg | Iron: 3mg
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      Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

      My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys, a wife to Alex and we reside on magical Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. This is our healthy family recipes blog. Originally from Ukraine, I grew up on real food. As an adult, I struggled with diets for years because none worked long-term. Now for over 10 years, I cook easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

      10 comments on “Instant Pot Goulash

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        1. Yes you can. You would have to saute veggies with spices, then add everything and my guess is use liquids and pasta with 1:1 ratio. Hope this helps.

      1. 5 stars
        Great recipe…just the perfect proportions of spices and add-ins.
        Loved the simplicity and ease of prep in this dish!

      2. 5 stars
        Amazing!! I loved this one and it’s so easy. Only things I had to change were: I used one 18oz jar of diced tomatoes and one 24oz jar of my favorite marinara sauce (instead of 28oz can diced tomato and 14oz can tomato sauce). I didn’t have smoked paprika (but going to try to get it for next time). I did not have soy sauce either. I used conchiglie shaped pasta (larger than elbow macaroni) so I set pressure to 6 minutes high. Came out soooooo good. My husband, 2yo and 11yo loved it and asked for seconds. Thank you, Olena. My family loves your recipes.

      3. 4 stars
        I changed the mince beef to minced pork and used corn pasta (gluten free ) added a pinch of ground fennel as I can’t find onion powder in Portugal and it was delicious . I admit I thought only 4 minutes on pressure cook, but it was perfectly cooked. Thankk you for another quick, healthy instant pot recipe.

        1. Hi Clint! Thanks for your question. You add the pasta at step 3!

          3. Add onion, garlic, rosemary, garlic and onion powders, smoked and regular paprika, salt, pepper, bay leaves, soy sauce, stock, pasta, diced tomatoes and tomato sauce. Do not stir. Hope that helps!

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