Hearty Crockpot Goulash With Spinach

Pam Hoepner
by Pam Hoepner
8 Servings
8 hr 15 min

Crock pot goulash with spinach. Easy, cheesy, beefy goodness. What’s not to love?! This goulash is made right in a slow cooker. And, it’s ridiculously easy!

Goulash was a staple of school lunches when I was growing up as well as a filling weeknight meal. Basically American goulash is elbow macaroni, ground beef, and Parmesan cheese in a tomato sauce. This recipe tweaks it up with spinach and mozzarella. It's economical, filling, and quick to put together.

If you prefer visuals, you can see photos of every step in my post: Crock pot goulash with spinach.

To make meal prep even easier, you can cook and freeze ground beef, so you always have some on hand. See how here.

This recipe is dump and cook - super simple!

Final step - adding the pasta and all that cheese - yum!

Hearty Crockpot Goulash With Spinach
Recipe details
  • 8  Servings
  • Prep time: 15 Minutes Cook time: 8 Hours Total time: 8 hr 15 min
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Slow Cooker goulash with spinach
  • 2 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 24 oz. jar spaghetti sauce
  • 15 oz. can stewed tomatoes
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 8-10 fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp. instant beef bouillon granules
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • bag fresh baby spinach
  • 1 lb. box dry pasta, such as elbow, penne, or rigatoni
  • 1/2 c. grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese

Over medium-high heat, cook the ground beef, onions, and garlic. Saute until onions are translucent, about 2 minutes. (if using frozen, pre-cooked ground beef, heat it in the microwave for 3 minutes to thaw it before adding it to the pan.
Spray crock pot with Pam. Add beef, onion, and garlic mixture into the crock pot.
Next, dump in the following ingredients: jar of spaghetti sauce, can of stewed tomatoes, chopped basil, oregano, Italian seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, beef bouillon, sugar, salt, and pepper.
Stir everything together and cook on low for 8 hours.
Half hour before cooking time is done
Cook the pasta according to package instructions. (The rigatoni was 10 minutes.)
While the pasta is cooking, turn the crock pot heat from low to high. Stir the bag of spinach into the meat sauce. It will look like WAY too much, but it will cook down quickly.
When the pasta is cooked and drained, add it, along with the mozzarella and Parmesan cheese to the meat sauce and stir to combine.
Cook everything together on high for 30 minutes.
  • If you don't have fresh spinach, you can add a 10 oz. box of frozen spinach. Thaw it first by running hot water over it in a colander and squeeze it dry before adding.
  • I have also made this recipe using just 1 lb. of ground beef (because that was all I had) and it turned out just fine (and saves a little $, too).
Pam Hoepner
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