Join us for an adventure in flavor!

    American Chop Suey

    American Chop Suey is a classic nostalgic recipe that generations grew up on. With ground beef and macaroni in a well seasoned tomato sauce, it’s a great dinner to serve a crowd.

    This one pot meal is sure to take you back to your childhood…

    American Chop Suey is a classic recipe, where ground beef and pasta cook in a well seasoned tomato based sauce. Perfect family friendly weeknight dinner.

    What is American Chop Suey?

    American Chop Suey is a classic comfort dish that has found its way into the hearts and kitchens of many American families. It is a harmonious blend of ground beef, elbow macaroni, and a rich tomato-based sauce, often enlivened with a variety of herbs and spices.

    Despite its name, American Chop Suey doesn’t have much in common with the traditional Chinese chop suey, apart from being a mixture of ingredients.

    Originating in the Northeastern United States, American Chop Suey has become a beloved staple in American cuisine. It is a close cousin to both American Goulash and Johnny Marzetti, which are popular in the Midwest.

    Why You’ll Love It

    • Comfort in a Bowl: American Chop Suey is the epitome of comfort food. It’s a warm, hearty dish that brings back fond memories and creates a sense of nostalgia with every bite.
    • One-Pot Wonder: Easy to make and even easier to clean up, this one-pot meal is perfect for busy weeknight dinners or when you just don’t feel like dealing with a sink full of dishes.
    • Family Favorite: This dish is a crowd-pleaser, loved by both adults and kids.
    • Customizable: Feel free to add your own twist to this recipe. Whether you want to add more vegetables, change up the spices, or use a different type of cheese, American Chop Suey is wonderfully adaptable.
    • Great for Leftovers: This dish tastes even better the next day, making it perfect for meal prep or as a leftover treat.
    • Filling and Nutritious: Packed with protein from the ground beef and full of the goodness of tomatoes and bell peppers, this is a meal that not only satisfies hunger but also provides valuable nutrients.
    Side view of two bowls of this beefy macaroni pasta.

    Ingredient Notes

    • Ground beef – We use 85/15 lean. You can also try the same recipe with Italian sausage.
    • Veggies and aromatics – Onion, bell pepper and garlic.
    • Tomato components – Tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, tomato paste.
    • Beef broth – You may wish to use low-sodium to give you more control over the salt levels.
    • Seasonings – Italian seasoning, paprika, crushed red pepper, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaves, salt and pepper.
    • Pasta – Elbow macaroni is traditional. You could also use other small shapes like shells, rotini or orecchiette.
    • Cheddar cheese – Freshly grated.

    How to Make American Chop Suey

    1. Sauté Aromatics: Sauté onion and bell peppers until they start to get soft. Add garlic and cook for a minute.

    2. Brown Beef: Add in ground beef and break it up with a wooden spoon. Cook until it is no longer pink. Add Italian seasoning, paprika, red chili flakes, salt and pepper. Cook for a minute or two.

    3. Create the Sauce: Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, beef broth, Worcestershire sauce and bay leaves. Bring to a low boil, reduce heat to medium low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

    4. Cook the Pasta: Remove bay leaves. Return the sauce to a boil, then stir in macaroni, and cook to al dente.

    5. Complete the Dish: Stir in cheese. Cook for a couple minutes, until it has melted and mixed in well.

    Final product in a dutch oven.

    Variations

    • Protein Swap: Substitute ground beef with ground turkey or chicken for a lighter version, or use sausage for more flavors.
    • Vegetarian Option: Use plant-based ground meat substitutes or add extra vegetables like mushrooms.
    • Additional Veggies: Incorporate carrots, celery, or zucchini.
    • Spicy Version: Increase red chili flakes or add diced jalapeños.
    • Creamy Sauce: Mix in cream or cream cheese in the last few minutes for richness.
    • Make it a Bake: Rather than stirring in the cheese, place the chop suey in a baking dish after cook, then top with the cheese. Bake at 400°F until the cheese has melted.

    Leftovers and Storage

    American chop suey is great as leftovers. Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for 3-4 days. Reheat on the stovetop over medium heat, or in the microwave. If the pasta has absorbed too much of the sauce, simply add a little water to regain the consistency.

    It also freezes well, so makes a great meal prep option. Store in individual portion sized freezer safe containers. Thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating.

    A Few Tips

    • Perfectly Browned Meat: Take your time browning the ground beef. This is key for depth of flavor. If you’re using a leaner meat like turkey, a bit of extra oil might be needed.
    • Al Dente Pasta: Cook the macaroni until it’s just shy of al dente. It will continue to cook in the sauce, absorbing flavors without becoming too soft.
    • Simmering Time: Don’t rush the simmering process. It allows flavors to meld and deepen, creating a more cohesive and rich dish.
    • Cheese Quality: If adding cheese, use freshly shredded cheddar for the best melt and flavor. Pre-shredded cheeses often have anti-caking agents that can affect the texture.
    • Resting the Dish: Let the dish rest for a few minutes off the heat before serving. This helps everything settle and distributes flavors more evenly.
    American Chop Suey is a classic recipe, where ground beef and pasta cook in a well seasoned tomato based sauce. Perfect family friendly weeknight dinner.

    Take your taste buds back in time with this American classic. It’s been a favorite for generations, and with good reason!

    Pin or bookmark this easy recipe so you always know where to find it. And be sure to subscribe to GypsyPlate, we’re always cooking up new recipes for you.

    For more delicious meals, check out our hand-picked collection of Dinner Ideas for Tonight. Until next time, happy cooking!

    American Chop Suey, on our Gypsy Plate… enjoy!

    Bowl of American chop suey atop the Gypsy Plate.

    More great pasta dishes to try:
    TikTok Spaghetti
    Pasta e Piselli
    Louisiana Chicken Pasta
    Orecchiette with Sausage
    Creamy Sausage Pasta
    Gigi Hadid Pasta
    Pastalaya

    Featured image for American chop suey recipe.

    American Chop Suey

    Yield: 8 servings
    Prep Time: 10 minutes
    Cook Time: 50 minutes
    Total Time: 1 hour

    American Chop Suey is a classic recipe, where ground beef and pasta cook in a well seasoned tomato based sauce. Perfect family friendly weeknight dinner.

    Ingredients

    • 1 Tbsp olive oil
    • 1 small onion, diced
    • 1 green bell pepper, diced
    • 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
    • 2 pounds ground beef
    • 2 Tbsp Italian seasoning
    • 1 Tbsp paprika
    • 1 tsp crushed red pepper
    • 28oz tomato sauce
    • 28oz canned diced tomatoes
    • 2 cups beef broth
    • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
    • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 2 cups dry elbow macaroni
    • 2 cups freshly shredded cheddar cheese

    Instructions

    1. Heat olive oil in a large heavy bottomed pot over medium high heat. Add onion and bell pepper, sauté until they start to get soft. Add garlic and cook 1 minute.
    2. Add in ground beef and break it up with a wooden spoon. Cook, stirring from time to time, until it is no longer pink. Add Italian seasoning, paprika, red chili flakes, salt and pepper. Cook for 1-2 minutes.
    3. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, beef broth, Worcestershire sauce and bay leaves. Bring to a low boil, reduce heat to medium low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
    4. Remove bay leaves. Return the sauce to a boil, then stir in macaroni pasta, and cook till just a bit firmer than your desired tenderness, about 15-20 minutes.
    5. Stir in cheese. Cook 2-3 minutes, until it has melted and mixed in well.
    6. Allow to rest for a few minutes before serving.
    Nutrition Information
    Yield 8 Serving Size 1
    Amount Per Serving Calories 556Total Fat 32gSaturated Fat 13gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 14gCholesterol 129mgSodium 1179mgCarbohydrates 25gFiber 5gSugar 9gProtein 42g

    Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

    Did you make this recipe?

    Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

    Picture of Alpana, blogger and recipe developer at GypsyPlate

    Welcome to GypsyPlate! I'm Alpana, former wordwide tour manager and professional caterer, now full time blogger. I love exploring cuisines from around the world, and my recipes have been featured on sites such as MSN, Parade, Brit + Co, CNET and AOL. You can explore my entire collection of sortable recipes in my Recipe Index or learn more about me here.

    Get griddling! Try these Blackstone Recipes!

    Never miss a recipe!

    Join the GypsyPlate mailing list and get easy dinner recipes right in your mailbox. From homestyle comfort food to exotic dishes from around the world.



      3 thoughts on “American Chop Suey”

      • Hi Alpana, thank you for a response I will look forward to your recipe for “real chop suey” Thank you again.

      • The recipe looks really good I may try this. In no way is it chop suey though. Not remotely similar. It is a pasta dish not
        a hint of proper noodles which by the way are not normally in chop suey. They are in chow mein or lo mein. Chop suey
        is bean sprouts and Chinese veg but thank you.

      Leave a Reply

      Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

      Search by Cuisine

      Travel a word of flavors with GypsyPlate. Sort our recpes by regions:

      GypsyPlate logo.
      Skip to Recipe