I love making Halloween-theme foods, but not necessarily sweet treats. Sweet treats are fun, but they’re not a good meal substitute, so they add extra work to make them. Instead, as a busy parent, I like to kill two birds with one stone: add some spooky fun into family meals.
This monster goulash fits the bill since it’s not only fun but also filled with meat, veggies, and pasta all in one dish. Even better, you can cook this meal in one pot! And all you got to do is add some mozzarella balls and black olive slices on top to create spooky monster-like eyeballs.
Typically, goulash is made with ground beef, but I like to swap half of the meat with riced cauliflower. Mixing riced cauliflower is a trick I use for many ground beef recipes to make it lighter and get more veggies into my kids’ bellies. Since cauliflower is a mild-tasting vegetable, it pretty much disappears into the dish. Also, you save money by swapping beef with cauliflower!
This post is sponsored by Creative QT.
I served the Monster Goulash in a grey Grabease divided silicone suction bowl. This bowl has the perfect depth that helps my 2-year-old scoop up the food. The divided section is great for serving fruits on the side. Thankfully, my youngest grew out of the throwing phase, but while we were in the thick of it, the Grabease suction bowl was my favorite as it really stuck well to the highchair tray.
To get the spooky effect, top the mozzarella balls while the pasta is still hot. I find that it looks spookier when the mozzarella melts a little bit. You can smear some sauce on the mozzarella balls to make them look bloody. Then top with thinly sliced black olives. Easy!
Would you try this recipe? Please let me know in the comments if you try it out.
Do you love Halloween-theme foods? Try this family-friendly, one-pot Monster Goulash! I swapped half of the beef with riced cauliflower to make it lighter and get more veggies into my kids' bellies.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small onion diced
- 1 12 oz package frozen riced cauliflower, slightly defrosted
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 lb ground beef
- 2 tsp paprika
- 2 tsp oregano
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 28 oz cans crushed tomatoes
- 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 24 fl oz 3 cups beef broth
- optional 2 tsp sugar to cut the acid taste
- 1 lb macaroni or cavatappi pasta uncooked
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- mozzarella balls
- sliced black olives
Heat a large dutch oven/pot over medium-high heat. Add olive oil, onion, cauliflower, and 1 tsp salt. Cook for about 5~7 minutes until the onions are soft. Stir in garlic and cook for about 30 seconds.
Move the veggies to one side and add ground beef and 2 tsp salt into the empty area. Cook while you break the meat apart with a spatula until it is no longer pink.
Add paprika, oregano, and tomato paste. Cook for 1 minute.
Add crushed tomatoes, Worcestershire, broth, and sugar if using. Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to light boil, add pasta, and cook until pasta is al dente, about 25 minutes.
Turn off the heat and stir in cheddar cheese.
Place pasta in a bowl. Place a few mozzarella cheese balls on top while the pasta is hot. Place sliced olives on each mozzarella balls to create monster eyes.