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Low Carb Goulash

Goulash made low carb with the simple swap of zucchini chunks for macaroni noodles! This simple recipe is hearty, filling, and sure to be a family pleaser. 

My dad was telling me that the neighbor invited him over for dinner one night and served him a mixture of spaghetti sauce and chunks of zucchini. He couldn’t remember what they called it, but he was pretty obsessed with the dish.

mashup of a white bowl of goulash and a zoomed in picture of goulash

I immediately knew I was going to have to try that out and I’m so glad I did!

I basically made an easy goulash recipe, but swapped in chunks of fresh zucchini for the macaroni.

You guys. This is so good!

Large spoon full of goulash

How to make goulash low carb:

Goulash is definitely a pasta dish, so it seems a bit weird to low carb it, but y’all. This is a winner thanks to the chunks of zucchini!

ground beef for goulash

You’ll want to start with a pound of ground beef, an onion, and some garlic. Brown all those up together and then drain off the fat.

Next, we’re going to use a jar of marinara. I prefer Rao’s brand because it both has the best flavor I’ve found in a jar and it’s the lowest in carbs I can find for a tomato sauce. It’s a little spendy, so if you have another brand you prefer feel free to use that.

Dump the marinara in with the beef mixture along with some beef broth, soy sauce, Italian seasoning, seasoned salt, and a bay leaf.

stirring the ingredients of low carb goulash in a pot

Add in your chopped zucchini, give it a stir, and let it cook until the zucchini is as tender as you’d like. I cooked mine for about 20 minutes – just enough time for the zucchini to soak up a bit of the marinara flavors and get soft.

You’re done, friends.

Old fashioned goulash without all the carbs!

Feel free to stir in some cheese, if that’s how you ate this growing up. We were never big on the cheese in this one, but you do you.

pot of goulash next to a bowl of goulash

More low carb favorites: 

Cabbage Rolls: Minus all the carbs AND minus all the work! This is an easy one!

Brussels Sprouts with Bacon: Just about the only way I ever want to eat Brussels sprouts. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Garlic Butter Shrimp: You can’t go wrong with garlic butter.

Crock Pot Roast: I make mine with radishes and green beans!

White bowl of goulash with a spoon in it

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bowl of goulash next to whole garlic and onions

Low Carb Goulash

Goulash without all the carbs, thanks to an easy swap of zucchini for the traditional macaroni!

Yield 8
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 24 ounces Rao’s Marinara
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 3 medium zucchini, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt


  1. Add the ground beef, onion, and garlic to a dutch oven and brown over medium heat, breaking the meat up as it cooks. When beef is cooked through, drain the fat and return the meat to the pan.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the zucchini is as soft as you'd like.
  3. Remove the bay leaf before serving.
  4. Add additional salt if desired and top with cheese, if desired.


Feel free to use any brand of low sugar marinara that you prefer. Rao's is my preferred brand.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 239Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 50mgSodium: 718mgCarbohydrates: 7gNet Carbohydrates: 5gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 18g

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88 thoughts on “Low Carb Goulash”

  1. I make this once a month for my family! It’s a great Sunday meal which we leave in the crock pot all day so everyone can eat when they want to. I add mushroom and paprika to it. I have no idea what Hungarian goulash is supposed to taste like but this is SOOOOO GOOOOOODDDD!!!!! We love it, even my anti-low carbers will eat it. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks!! <3

  2. This looks delicious! Would this be okay to freeze some for later? How would the zucchini hold up to freezing? Thank you.

    1. Karly Campbell

      Hi Wendy! I haven’t tried freezing this one. I’m not sure how the zucchini would do.

  3. Delicious! I just wish I had doubled the recipe, so I would have had more leftovers for lunch.

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