As March roars in like a lion, there’s nothing better than some good comfort food to warm me…. body and soul. And it must be quick and easy to prepare.
Goulash, with those cute elbow macaroni, fits the bill and is a long time favorite of ours… except pasta doesn’t like me. Between giving me achy elbows (Funny coincidence, huh?) and pushing the number up on the scale, I needed another option. So one day when I accidently discovered that my favorite vegetable, wax beans, are available canned, I decided to experiment. This happy pairing provided me with the perfect option and the most delicious…
Healthy Gluten Free Goulash.
Before we get too far here there needs to be a little caveat.
This recipe is delicious. Really truly yummy. Like the best comfort food ever.
However… my husband says it’s not goulash… even when I made it with cute little elbows.
Having said that… you can call it ground beef vegetable tumble… whatever… but you must make it!!
This gluten free goulash is amazing and it is the perfect comfort food.
And it remains traditional in my estimation because of its core ingredients… ground beef, tomatoes, garlic, and onion.
This is the quick version of goulash, because, well, it wouldn’t be quick if we needed to roast and steam ingredients as well. It’s pretty much a one pot dinner because we leave out the pasta and thus the otherwise necessary extra pot and colander.
My favorite side to this wonderful meal in a bowl is not salad, but a slice of really good caraway rye bread slathered in butter. What? That isn’t gluten free. I know. I know. You see, I don’t have a true gluten issue (okay… maybe I do because of the elbow thing) but I find that a really good rye bread is tolerable once in a while. And I’m totally aware, after the fact, that I have a gluten free recipe with bread in the feature image. I know… totally I wasn’t thinking. A little grace, please?
Whenever I indulge in this meal, I’m reminded of my dad making his version of it when I was a little girl. There was never an official family recipe. And about the time when I would care about having a recipe, my dad was no longer cooking.
It took a while to discern that magic flavor combination that was unique to my dad’s goulash, but I finally figured out. Celery and red pepper… those two ingredients are key. Because I never leave a recipe alone for long… I’m always experimenting… currently, I’m adding basil to the seasoning mix. At one time I loved adding thyme, too. So if you want to experiment… go for it!
And if you haven’t noticed yet… the wax beans visually make up for the macaroni. I think it’s more tasty, too!
After all this food talk… are you getting hungry?
Me too! Let’s get cooking…
To start off you want to put on your sous chef hat and get your onion, celery, and red pepper chopped, sliced, and diced.
Then drain your tomatoes and wax beans and get your seasonings ready.
It seems like such a small thing, but having everything prepared ahead really makes cooking more pleasant for me.
Let’s start by browning the ground beef.
If you have an extra large saute pan you could make this recipe in it, but I prefer to use a dutch oven. Last summer I purchased this Cerastone dutch oven and use it constantly and I LOVE it… it’s amazing… and is in constant use with my bone broth making and soup making.
One of my favorite kitchen tools is this chop and mixer. I used to hate browning meat, but this chopper makes it so much easier on my wrist and I can get a finer browned meat. (I love it so much I even use it for smashed potatoes.) I discovered this wonderful tool when cooking with a friend and was so happy to finally get my own. I can’t imagine not having it, now.
When your beef is still pink and not fully cooked, you’ll want to drain off the excess fat. (I drain the meat at this time because I don’t want to lose all the fat. First I need it for sauteing the onion, and I want some for flavor, too. Plus I subscribe to the idea that we need saturated fat in our diets. Fat is key for the uptake of nutrients from our vegetables.)
Once you’ve returned the meat to the pan, add the chopped onions and continue cooking until the onions are nearly transparent.
You want to add in your seasonings at this time as well.
While the beef and onions are cooking, in a separate saute pan, melt your butter and then add in the sliced celery to cook.
After about 5 minutes add the diced red pepper. Saute these vegetables until they are tender.
If you wish… you may throw the celery and red pepper in with the onion and skip this step of sauteing in the extra pan.
Transfer the celery and red pepper to the meat, onion, and seasoning mixture and toss together.
Add the drained petite diced tomatoes and gently combine with the meat and vegetables.
Cover and let simmer for 10-15 minutes on low, stirring occasionally.
Gently add in the drained wax beans.
Let simmer on low for another 5 minutes.
Serve in low bowls and enjoy!
Healthy Gluten Free Goulash
Ingredients – Serves 4-6
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
- 1/2 large red pepper, diced
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder (or to taste)
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder (or to taste)
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1- 28 oz. can petite diced tomatoes, drained
- 2 – 14.5 oz. cans cut golden wax beans, drained
- Partially brown and drain, ground beef in a dutch oven.
- Add diced onions and cook with beef until nearly transparent.
- Add seasoning to beef.
- While beef is browning, in a saute pan, saute celery in butter for 5 minutes and then add the red pepper until tender.
- Stir the celery and red pepper in the beef and onion mixture.
- Add the tomatoes and combine.
- Allow to simmer on low and cover to allow flavors to meld together, stirring occasionally.
- Just before serving, gently incorporate the wax beans into the meat mixture. Cover and let simmer for 5 minutes.
- Serve in bowls and enjoy.If there are leftovers… doubtful… it’s even tastier the second time around.
This healthy gluten free goulash is not only a family favorite, but because everything is usually in the pantry, freezer, and fridge… it can be at quick comfort food any night of the week. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.
I can’t wait to hear if you love the switch from macaroni to wax beans as much as I do.
For more delicious tomato-based recipes you’ll want to hang around and check out all the enticing recipes below…
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