I grew up in the upper Midwest. A magical place known for the Fargo-esk accent, cold weather, and casseroles – or as we call it, hotdish. Speaking of Midwest terminology, pop = soda, baaaag (long A) = bag, and slacks = pants (ok maybe my grandma is the only one that says slacks, but you get the picture). If you’re from the Midwest, you’ve heard of goulash hotdish. And if you live in my house, you get paleo tomato basil beef goulash with eggplant.
Goulash was one of my favorite dinners growing up. Definition of goulash: a bunch of random but delicious ingredients combined, creating a boom-shaka-laka dinner. There are so many variations, but the one in my momma’s kitchen involved ground beef, stewed tomatoes, canned tomato soup, and lots of noodles. The one in my kitchen however, has a mix of traditional ingredients, and some paleo-friendly alternatives.
I don’t compete with my mom on many things. She is by far a better gardner, listener, home decorator, thank-you letter writer, baby-whisperer, and sewer. However, I am a better cook. Basically we’re a mother-daughter domestic, match made in heaven. You know what else is is a match made in heaven? Tomatoes and basil.
In my belly.
And Whole30 compliant.
I never miss the traditional macaroni noodles in my mom’s goulash dish with my diced eggplant substitute. It gives it an extra oomph of pasta-like texture that soaks up all the beef/tomato/basil flavor and completes the dish.
P.S. Isn’t eggplant a weird word when you think about it? Almost as weird as goulash.
This tomato basil beef goulash isn’t for the faint of appetites, but is for those not ashamed to lick their plates. If you DO end up with leftovers (highly doubtful I might add), this dish is great for freezing. If you live in the upper Midwest, that means leaving it packed in your snowy backyard from November to March.
Speaking of easy, here’s how easy it is to make your new goulash favorite –
Paleo Tomato Basil Beef Goulash with Eggplant
To start, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a saucepan over medium/high heat. Sauté the shallots and garlic a few minutes, or until fragrant, then add the ground beef and cook to brown. Drain any excess grease and add the diced tomatoes and fresh basil.
Next add the tomato paste and coconut cream (the good, thick stuff at the top of the can). Stir to combine.
In a separate pan, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon over medium/high heat and sauté the diced eggplant until soft, approximately 2-3 minutes.
Add the eggplant to the beef mixture. Mix well and serve topped with fresh basil.
Time Saver Tip
Chop the shallots and eggplant beforehand and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to cook. The eggplant may start to slightly brown, but that will not affect the flavor of the dish.Print
Paleo Tomato Basil Beef Goulash with Eggplant
- Yield: 4 1x
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 shallots, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, diced
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 medium eggplant, cut into 1” cubes
- 1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes
- 1/3 cup fresh basil, diced
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 3/4 cup coconut cream (thick cream at the top of canned coconut milk)
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat
- Add the shallots and garlic. Sauté for a few minutes, until fragrant
- Add the ground beef and cook to brown
- In a separate saucepan, heat the other tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat and add the diced eggplant. Cook until soft, around 5 minutes
- Once the beef is browned, drain any excess grease add the diced tomatoes (with juice), basil, and salt. Stir to combine then add the coconut cream, tomato paste, and eggplant
- Serve immediately and garnish with more fresh basil
Beverley @ sweaty&fit says
i have never heard of goulash before but i am intrigued! i just picked up some veggie ground round this weekend and it would be perfect for this recipe!
Nom nom get to it lady! 😉
Natalie @ A Fit Philosophy says
mmmm warm cozy comfort food!
YES total comfort food! Which is clutch this time of year!
Heather with WELLFITandFED says
This looks amazeballs as usual. I cannot wait to try this. I am still wondering if your sweet potato “scallop” dish is still okay to make the day before. Just wondering if it holds up okay. I want to take it to my sister in law’s house for Christmas.
I love that you use the word amazeballs. It pretty much speaks to my heart!! Just emailed you 🙂 Not sure why you aren’t able to see my responses about the scalloped sweet potato recipe. Dang technology!!
Shamira West says
I have never had goulash before. This dish is very interesting and it looks super yummy!
Don’t let the weird name intimidate you! It IS really yummy! And filling!
Ros Emely@stressfreemommies says
Looks so delicious! I never had goulash before but I will be definitely making this! Super easy and comforting 🙂
YAY that’s what I like to hear! Thanks Ros!
Hooray for weird food names (kedgeree, anyone?) 🙂
Yup TOTES had to Google that one Rachel!! 😉
OMG I seriously have to try this, looks A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!
Do do please do! I mean, hearty tomato and basil is pretty much always a winner!
Ashley @ Fit Mitten Kitchen says
Yum Chrissa this looks awesome! Whenever I try to cook with my eggplant my husband is always “meh” but throw some meat in there, I think he would be on board with this. And I love basil 🙂
Ok confession time, I’m sort of the same way about eggplant. I only really love it when it’s grilled or in THIS dish. Let me know what the hubs things. Mine is definitely a meat eater and he loved this!
Pragati // Simple Medicine says
My husband is from the midwest and he has the long aaaa sound down pat. I laugh so hard when it says baaaag or baaaagel. I call him a Michigan pirate 😛
Hahahahaha LOVE IT! That nickname is…..endearing 😉
oh my I could go for a big bowl of this in my belly right NOWWW. Talk about some comfort food!! Im on an eggplant kick right now too – Im experimenting with it a bit!
Eggplant is so weird! I rarely put it in recipes because sometimes the taste and texture gives me the wrong vibe. But it TOTALLY works in this meal!
Ohhh, this goulash looks so good! Thank you for sharing such a wonderful recipe! Seriously, this recipe is right up my alley… love eggplant dishes!
Soooo glad! My hubs and son literally devoured it. MOM WIN!!
Hmmm… looks yummy! I have always been afraid of eggplant because I messed it up bad one time… but this is something I think I could do 🙂
can I use something else besides coconut cream?
Absolutely! If you aren’t going for paleo, you can totally sub the coconut cream for regular heavy cream 🙂
This looks so yummy! Definitely going to try this soon.
Whoo hoo! Enjoy Greta!
Shann Eva says
Yum! Looks fantastic and my husband would love it. We are in the Midwest, so it will be great when it’s below freezing in a couple weeks 😉 I hope I’m only kidding.
LOL! You totally get it! If your hubs is anything like mine, a hearty beef meal is just the ticket! Stay warm!! xo
Finally! A word to describe my meals when I just throw things into a pan, pot, or bowl!! This sounds so tasty!!! I would love to make a vegetarian version of this :).
ps your writing is just getting better and better!!! Xo
Keep me posted if you do! I’d love to hear how you did it. Thanks girlfriend!! xo
YUM!! This is awesome. I seriously love how much healthier this is than typical goulash! I’m all about those healthy swaps… and who doesn’t love some good comfort food this time of year?? So good! Thanks for sharing!
EXACTLY! A girl that gets me 😉 Thanks Cailee!
Jess @hellotofit says
Ahh this looks so good! I love eggplant, and am always open to trying new dishes. Don’t you love how shallots add such a yummy flavor to dishes??
Ok this is kind of embarrassing but I just started cooking with shallots like 6 months ago. SO much better than diced onions!!! Where have they been all my life?! Thanks Jess! xo
Cristina Mandeville says
Delish! Love that it is still budget friendly. If you haven’t done this already, I would love for you to share this over at HEALTHY LIVING LINK PARTY, it is still live right now and it goes live every Wednesday , 7pm central time.
We also have BLOGGERS SPOTLIGHT PARTY , it is a linky and pin it party in one! live now, Hope to see you there!
I’m from the Midwest too, but I’ve only ever made goulash with just beef and tomato sauce–this looks WAY more delicious! What a great spin on a classic!
Thanks so much for joining us on the the Alder Collective this week! Pinning, and we hope to see you again next week!
Thank YOU Kayla! I’m so glad you know what goulash is! So many people hadn’t heard of it. Midwestern girls unite!
Thanks for dinner tonight! We discovered my husband hates eggplant, but we will make the same thing again with zucchini and mushrooms. It was a huge hit though. I doubled the recipe so I’ll have some leftovers!
Oh that’s a great idea for the eggplant substitutions. I am so glad you loved in Wendy. Thanks for the feedback!
This was AWESOME!!! Just wondering if you had any good ideas or recipes for the leftover milk in the can after you use the cream from the top? Hate to waste it!
Oh I’m so glad you liked it Daphne! If the stuff that is left is pretty clear, I just discard. There isn’t to do with that (to my knowledge). If you still have some milk-like stuff after using the cream (not likely, but all canned coconut milk is a little different) you can try using it as coffee creamer. Try my paleo snickers coffee creamer for that! Thanks for stopping by.
Meghan Tulinski says
Anything to use to substitute the coconut cream? My son is allergic and we can’t have any nut based items in the house!
Hi Meghan –
Can your son do dairy? If so, try heavy cream! If dairy is out too, you can try soy or rice milk, although it may be a little runnier. Cooking it a little longer to reduce the liquid a bit may help. Let me know what you try!
My boyfriend and I had this for dinner last night and I can honestly say it’s one of the tastiest things I’ve ever eaten! We’ve never had goulash before and this was AMAZING! It’ll definitely be incorporated into our meal plan from now on. The only thing I will change is frying the aubergine in oil, I’ve never been a fan of that so I might try grilling it, or just using cooking spray/coconut oil! Thanks so much for sharing 🙂
That’s a great idea and I bet grilling it would add even more flavor! Thanks so much for the feedback Samantha. I’m thrilled you like it!
Maria @ Maria Makes says
OMG, yum! I was thinking about adding eggplant to my garden list this year, so definitely pinning this recipe for later! PS I’m from PA and I also say pop 🙂
OOH I love licking my plate… 😀 And I love how you and your mom are a great team; my mom and I are kind of like that. She loves to clean. I like to cook. The hardest part is when she’s gone and I have to clean up after myself; but it’s good for me too.
This meal was absolutely amazing. I loved the way the coconut cream countered the acidity of the tomatoes. I ate it over a bed of zucchini noodles. Thank you so much for sharing!
Oh I’m so happy to hear that!!! Mmmm over zucchini noodles sounds like perfection! Thanks Elizabeth!
Sigrid Price says
Just lost 40 pounds using Whole30/Paleo approach and constantly looking for new recipes to vary my diet; I figured out that eating the same thing over and over is a deal killer for the diet and am glad to stumble on this recipe as I have made the traditional goulash similar to your mom’s recipe (and my mom’s as well) for years and really have missed it. Creative thinking to substitute the eggplant and I am eager to find out how the coconut cream changes the recipe. The cookbooks I have purchased are a good guide but limited. Thanks very much for this one, and if you have any others to share I will be grateful to try them. Sigrid Price
Hi Sigrid – thanks for the great note! I have lots of easy Whole30 dinner options and will keep them coming!
Just made this and it was amazing! Easy, delicious, and it looks like you spent hours in the kitchen! Loveeeeed it! Thank you for the recipe!
So happy you liked it Christine!
This sounds fantastic. I don’t like eggplant, sobwas thinking of adding in kale or spinach. I’d add zucchini but my boyfriend doesn’t do that veggie either. Any other suggestion? I suppose I could do sweet potato if he’d go with that. (He’s a meat and potatoes kind of guy. Only veggies I can get in him are in salads.) But this is definitely a dish I’m going to try!!
Potato (either white or sweet potato) would totally work! Although I would probably roast or sauté separately, since they will take much longer than the allotted time for the zucchini in this recipe.
Made this for the second time because you reminded me about the recipe on instagram – it is SO good! I make it with turkey, as I don’t eat red meat – and it is still delicious! Just wondering if you have ever freezed his, and whether or not that works? I just get tired of eating the same thing until it’s gone, and would love to stash some away for a rainy day.
Whoops! I just read your description and you say it is great for freezing – so nevermind! Thanks! 🙂
I made this recipe a few nights ago and it is absolute perfection! The eggplant soaks up more sauce the longer it sits, so it’s even better now than it was fresh outta the pot. Thank you!!
Mmmm you’re making me hungry to make this for dinner again Sam!
I missed paprika in the recipe which is traditionally a big part of the flavor profile for goulash. Did I miss it or is that not part of your recipe? Thanks!
Not a part of my recipe but you can always add it to your liking!
I make this recipe ALL THE TIME and everyone loves it. Thank you!
YAAASSS so happy to hear that! Thanks Heather!
Made this last winter for my gang of kids and spouses who were all on a Paleo-like diet along with a gluten and diary-free person, and one who would never deign to try an eggplant. They all loved it and asked for the recipe. It was really an exceptional dish and will be on my menu each winter.