This one pot chicken goulash is made with chicken thighs instead of beef and uses canned tomato soup to create an easy sauce. This American-style goulash is so simple to make and is pure comfort food.
It may be the Minnesotan in me, but I love anything that resembles a hot dish (a.k.a. casserole). Although this goulash is a stove-top recipe, it contains all the components of a tried and true hot dish that we Midwesterners just can't get enough of.
American Goulash vs. Hungarian Goulash
Did you know there are different variations of goulash?
So what exactly is "American" goulash? Traditionally, it consists of ground beef cooked in a tomato sauce with noodles that are cooked in the pot with all the other ingredients. Basically a stove-top hot dish!
"Hungarian" goulash on the other hand is more of a stew made with chunks of meat and vegetables that's slowly cooked in a broth and served with egg noodles on the side. Hungarian paprika is the signature spice in this dish.
Isn't there something so classically American about taking a dish that's meant to cook slow for a long time and making it a one-pot meal that's ready in 30 minutes? But I digress.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- This ultimate comfort food recipe is easy, delicious and satisfying!
- This recipe makes a large pot of goulash, which is perfect for leftovers and meal prep for the week.
- This is a one-pot recipe. No need to cook the noodles separately!
- You can have dinner on the table in 30 minutes with this recipe. This is a game-changer for busy weeknights and a hungry family!
Here are some tips & tricks for the ingredients needed for this recipe. Find exact measurements in the recipe card below!
- Chicken thighs - Using chunks of chicken instead of ground beef is the main difference in this recipe compared to other American goulashes. Chicken thighs are a fairly cheap protein, and they don't dry out like chicken breasts tend to do. It's a fun way to switch things up.
- Green bell pepper - Adds great flavor and a pop of color to the goulash. Red, yellow or orange will also work fine!
- Tomato soup - I love store-bought shortcuts. This condensed soup will help create a rich, tomatoey sauce.
- Canned diced tomatoes - Adds more tomato flavor along with some texture to the goulash.
- Paprika - This is the traditional spice in Hungarian goulash and works just as well in this version. I tend to have sweet paprika in my spice cabinet, which is what I use.
- Elbow macaroni - The pasta cooks right in the pot with the tomatoes and broth to soak up all the delicious flavors. Choose your favorite pasta shape, but smaller shapes like elbows work best.
- Cheddar cheese - Because what isn't better with some melted cheese? The cheese is optional, but in my opinion, is a necessity.
Step 1 - Heat olive oil over medium high heat. I love using a big dutch oven, but any large heavy-bottomed pot will work.
Season chicken pieces with salt and pepper. You want to cut your chicken thighs into bite-size chunks, about 1 inch big.
Add chicken to the pot and cook until pieces brown on the outside, about 3-4 minutes. The chicken doesn't need to be fully cooked through yet.
Step 2 - Add chopped bell pepper and onion to the pan. Continue cooking until the chicken finishes cooking and the pepper and onion begin to soften, about another 3-4 minutes.
Add the minced garlic and cook for another minute.
Step 3 - Time to add the liquid. Pour in canned soup, diced tomatoes, chicken broth and Worcestershire sauce.
Season the goulash by adding a bay leaf, paprika and Italian seasoning. Italian seasoning usually consists of a combination of basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme, and marjoram.
Stir everything together and bring the mixture to a simmer.
Step 4 - Add uncooked noodles to the pan and cover. Cook goulash for 15-20 minutes until pasta is cooked through and most of the liquid has soaked in. Stir a couple times throughout the cooking process to avoid the noodles sticking to bottom of the pot.
Step 5 - Turn off the heat. Remove the bay leaf and stir in cheddar cheese right before serving.
This goulash doesn't require much to go along with it as it's hearty and filling on it's own. Like most parents, I'm always trying to offer veggies to my kids, so those are always a go-to side choice at dinnertime.
Crusty French bread or garlic bread could also be served alongside.
Leftover goulash will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Leftovers make a great lunch the next day!
Goulash can also be frozen in a freezer-safe dish, foil pan covered in foil, or ziplock bag for up to 3 months.
Recipes like this one are perfect way to stock your freezer with delicious and hearty meals for your family.
Hungarian goulash is the original version of this dish. This original version is more of a stew and is made with chunks of meat and vegetables that are cooked in a broth. Potatoes or noodles are served on the side. This American goulash is a one-pot, 30-minute version of the original.
Chicken breasts can be used instead of thighs, if you prefer. Just be careful not to overcook the chicken pieces before adding the liquid to prevent the meat from drying out.
Yes, this American goulash is sometimes referred to as American Chop Suey.
Other Main Dishes You'll Love
Have you made one of my recipes? I’d love your feedback on the comment box and star rating below the recipe!
Chicken Goulash (With Tomato Soup)
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 ½ # boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into 1 inch pieces
- ½ tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. black pepper
- 1 cup green bell pepper chopped
- 1 cup yellow onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 10.5 oz. cans condensed tomato soup
- 1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 3 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tsp. paprika
- 2 tsp. Italian seasoning
- 8 oz. elbow macaroni 2 cups
- 1 cup cheddar cheese shredded
- Heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Season chicken pieces with salt and pepper.
- Add chicken to the pot and cook until pieces brown on the outside, about 3-4 minutes. The chicken doesn't need to be fully cooked through yet.
- Add chopped bell pepper and onion to the pan. Continue cooking until the chicken finishes cooking and the pepper and onion begin to soften, about another 3-4 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook for another minute.
- Pour in canned soup, diced tomatoes, chicken broth, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaf, paprika and Italian seasoning. Stir well and bring mixture to a simmer.
- Stir in uncooked noodles, cover and reduce heat to medium. Continue to simmer 15-20 minutes until pasta is cooked and much of the liquid is absorbed.
- Remove from heat. Remove the bay leaf and stir in cheddar cheese before serving.