OK, so WHY would I call an otherwise typical Goulash dish “GUMBO GOULASH”?

Well…maybe because if I told you there was OKRA in it, and you HATED okra (although I can’t believe that could possibly be true), then you might not try it.

But you SHOULD try it!


Did you know okra is also known as “gumbo”? It adds a really interesting texture and flavor to this dish, and I can’t make Goulash without it. The recipe calls for “frozen” okra, but if you have access to fresh – by all means use it! My dad is a wonderful gardener, and he would tell you to pick them before they get too big. Okra has also been called “Lady Fingers”. This seems appropriate (not only because of it’s shape), but because the ideal length for harvesting okra is when it’s about the size of a grown woman’s finger (approx. 3 inches).


Okra has a myriad of nutritional and health benefits. Among the vitamins are: Vitamin A, B6, and C. In addition, the minerals found in the plant include: folic acid, calcium, iron, potassium, and magnesium. The plant does have a slightly higher content of sodium, but it is lower in calories.


My mom created this, and it’s one of my all-time favorite “Tastes of Comfort”. If there was a pan of this on the stove, an episode of “Happy Days” or “Mary Tyler-Moore” on our console television, and a brand new Sears Christmas Catalog waiting to be pored over, all was right with the world.

Now I make it for my kids, and they love it. Plus, it’s super easy to make! And, it’s not fussy! So, if you want to grab a bowl, and head to the deck to enjoy the evening – or to the family room to catch up on your favorite “guilty pleasure” TV show (ours is “Dance Moms”) – it’s perfect!

Also, I would highly recommend this as a great dish to share when you are preparing  “Tastes of Comfort” for someone in need of a home-cooked scoop of “love”.

Gumbo Goulash

A classic Goulash with a TWIST!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Easy-To-Make, Gumbo
Servings 6 People


  • 1 lb. Ground Beef lean
  • 1 medium yellow onion chopped
  • 1 clove garlic chopped
  • 28 oz. can petite diced tomatoes undrained
  • salt to taste
  • 1-2 tbsp Italian seasoning (or to taste)
  • 1-2 tbsp balsamic vinegar (or to taste)
  • 12 oz. bag frozen okra cut
  • 1 lb. box elbow macaroni prepared
  • 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • Kosher salt as desired
  • black pepper in grinder as desired
  • Parmesan cheese as desired
  • capers as desired


  • In a skillet, cook and stir the ground beef over medium-high heat, breaking the meat up as it cooks, until the meat is no longer pink and has started to brown (about 10 minutes). If necessary, skim off excess fat, and stir in the onions and garlic. Cook and stir the meat mixture until the onions are translucent, about 10 more minutes.
  • While meat mixture is cooking, place frozen okra in a colander and rinse with hot water to thaw. (I pick out the stems that sometimes sneak into the package. They don't have an appealing texture, and may be why some people don't like okra.)
  • To the meat mixture, add the can of undrained petite diced tomatoes, Italian seasoning, salt, balsamic vinegar, and okra. Stir to mix, and reduce heat to medium.
  • Prepare the elbow macaroni according to the directions on the box in a dutch oven, or large pot. Drain cooked macaroni and return to the dutch oven/pot. Add the can of crushed tomatoes, and stir gently.
  • Pour the meat mixture into the macaroni mixture and stir to combine. Heat thoroughly, and serve with choices of kosher salt in a bowl, a black pepper grinder, Parmesan cheese, and capers.


If okra is totally out of the question for your Goulash, you may substitute green peppers. So, now you have GREEN PEPPER GOULASH! It works great too!
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