Summer Goulash is a hearty dish that is full of meat and lots of garden vegetables with pasta noodles that make this a filling meal that is the perfect recipe to use up your summer veggies. Try my Amish Country Casserole for another hearty dish.

Bowl of Summer Goulash with a Spoon

Summer Goulash

Goulash was invented by Hungarian cowherds who had to tend cattle and cook for themselves for up to a year on the plains. They used large cauldrons to cook their meals over an open fire, a dish they referred to as gulyás hús. Eventually, chili peppers were added to the mix to give the dish a little kick. 

This Summer Goulash is more of an American goulash. I added pasta and used garden vegetables that you may have on hand in the summer, including jalapeno peppers for some heat in this dish. And, it’s a versatile dish that you can add additional vegetables or even a little cheese on top!

Overhead Image of Summer Goulash in Red Skillet

Ingredients & Substitutions

Meat: I prefer ground beef in this goulash recipe. You could substitute ground turkey, ground chicken, or ground pork

Zucchini: I had to include zucchini in this goulash since it seems to grow and grow and grow in the summer around here. There is no need to peel the zucchini for this recipe. To dice it, make sure you rinse the zucchini well under cold running water and cut off the two ends. Next, cut the zucchini lengthwise in half. Lay the halves cut side down and cut in half again, or even in quarter strips for smaller pieces. Finally, cut the strips into cubes.

Jalapeno Peppers: The jalapeno peppers can be left out, but I like a little kick to the dish. You could even add more if you want an even spicier goulash.

Fresh Ingredients for Summer Goulash

How to Seed and Dice a Jalapeno Pepper

Jalapeno peppers are hot peppers, so be careful when you cut them! If you have any cuts on your hands, I would suggest wearing food-safe gloves. Or, be prepared to feel some pain if some oil gets in those cuts! If you don’t have gloves, just be sure to wash your hands with white vinegar and cold water when you are done with the jalapenos.

There are a couple of ways you can seed and cut a jalapeno. One way is to simply slice the jalapeno down the middle, vertically, and carefully remove the seeds with a spoon. Another way to remove the seeds is to hold the jalapeno up by the stem–you can always cut across the bottom of the pepper so it can stand a little flatter– and slice along the sides of the pepper, hopefully leaving the seeds attached to the core.

Then, simply stack the pepper strips and chop them into pieces, throwing away the core and seeds, of course. Remember, the capsaicin (what makes the pepper hot) will be on your hands, so don’t touch your fingers to your mouth or eyes until you wash your hands. This recipe calls for a tablespoon of diced jalapeno, but you can increase or decrease this amount to your taste.

Wooden Spoon Lifting up Summer Goulash

Can I Use a Different Pan?

Yes! You don’t have to bake this dish in a skillet. As I mentioned earlier, it’s just nice to do everything in one skillet that can easily be transferred to the oven. But, if you don’t have an oven-safe skillet, simply use a large pan to brown the beef and combine all the ingredients on the stovetop. Then, transfer the mixture to a 9×13-inch baking dish, cover it with aluminum foil, and bake. 

One Bowl of Summer Goulash with Spoon

How To Store Summer Goulash

Once the goulash has cooled to room temperature, Store leftovers in the refrigerator in an airtight container. They will last for 3-4 days. Reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave.

How to Freeze Summer Goulash

It’s easy to freeze this dish, and it does make quite a bit, so that may come in handy! Before you freeze the goulash, let it cool completely before putting it in your sealed, freezer-safe container(s) or freezer-safe zipped bags. Label and date the containers, leaving about an inch at the top for expansion. This will last up to three months in the freezer. Do not put the goulash back in the freezer again after it has thawed.

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Summer Goulash

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Rest 10 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Summer Goulash is a hearty dish that is full of meat and lots of garden vegetables with pasta noodles that make this a filling meal that is the perfect recipe to use up your summer veggies.


  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • ½ cup red onion, diced
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 1 tablespoon jalapeno, diced (add more or less to control the heat)
  • 2 cups zucchini, diced
  • 2 cans (10.5 ounces) cream of mushroom soup
  • 2 cups (480 g) chicken broth
  • 2 cups small shell pasta, uncooked
  • salt, to taste


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • To a large (13-inch) oven-safe skillet, add ground beef, onion, salt, and pepper. Use a wooden spoon to break up the meat and mix together. Place the skillet over medium heat and cook until almost all of the pink is gone (about 8 minutes). Drain grease.
  • Add the garlic and cook one more minute.
  • Add the tomatoes, jalapenos, and zucchini to the skillet and mix well.
  • Pour in the cream of mushroom soup, chicken broth, and uncooked noodles. Stir to combine.
  • Cover the skillet with aluminum foil and transfer to the oven.
  • Bake covered for 25-30 minutes or until the noodles are cooked through.
  • Remove from oven. Let cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.

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