Camp Fire Recipe: Skillet Ghoulash

When my children were little, we would have skillet ghoulash before we went out to meet the ghosts and goblins prior to collecting candy.  My daughter always believed that it was called ghoulash because it kept the ghost away so she could keep her candy. 

Today, this dish is a camp staple.  While it tastes like it cost a million bucks, the truth is this dish is very inexpensive to make.  To cut the cost even more, a few simple substitutes can be made without losing flavor.  As an example, if you do not have ground beef, consider using ground venison, chicken, or turkey.  If you do not have egg noodles, utilize elbow macaroni.  Finally, while apple cider vinegar is tasty in this dish, if you do not have any simply use white vinegar.    

Camp Fire Recipe:  Skillet Ghoulash


Liquid or spray oil

1 pound ground beef

1 large onion

1 10 ounce can of condensed tomato soup

28 ounce can or 2 14 ounce cans of diced tomatoes

2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar

2 teaspoons brown sugar


Salt and ground black pepper

¾ cup of water

3 heaping cups of egg noodles

Sour cream

Fresh parsley



  1. Build a fire to prepare the coals for cooking.
  2. Take a 10 inch Dutch oven and lightly grease with liquid or spray oil.
  3. Place a grilling rack above the fire.
  4. Put the ground beef inside the 10 inch Dutch oven.
  5. Chop the onion and add to the beef.
  6. Place 10 inch Dutch oven on grilling rack.
  7. Cook ground beef and onion until both are done.
  8. Drain the grease from the Dutch oven.
  9. Add the soup, diced tomatoes, vinegar, and brown sugar.  Season to taste with paprika, salt and pepper. 
  10. Add water.
  11. Place the lid on the Dutch oven and move to a heat resistant surface.
  12. Arrange 10 prepared coals in a circle on the heat resistant surface.
  13. Put the Dutch oven on top of these 10 prepared coals.
  14. Cover the lid with as many prepared coals as it will hold.
  15. Cook for 12 minutes.
  16. Once the time from step 15 has passed, remove the lid and add the egg noodles. 
  17. Put the lid back on and cook for 15 more minutes.
  18. Once the noodles are tender, the dish is done.
  19. Top each serving with a spoonful of sour cream and a sprinkling of freshly cut parsley.