American Chop Suey

American chop suey is an easy dinner recipe made with juicy ground beef and veggies cooked in a flavorful tomato sauce with elbow macaroni. Ready in around 30 minutes, this cozy and delicious meal is perfect for weeknight meals.

Big bowl of chop suey in a shallow bowl, with a salad in the background

Why do I call this comforting dish American chop suey when it’s called American goulash in other states? Because this is New England and we do some things… differently. But never fear, this is the same fun-to-eat, delicious comfort food you ate as a kid, no matter what it’s called.

Helpful tips

  • Cook everything at the same time: Bring the water to boil and cook your elbow macaroni noodles while you sauté the vegetables and meat.
  • For even faster cook time, use two sauté pans: one for the veggie and one for the meat.
  • Even though the taste of this comfort dish is fabulous the day you cook it, the flavors are even better leftover the next day
  • This stores well both in the fridge and in the freezer. Place any leftovers in an airtight container and it will last over a week in the refrigerator and 2 months in the freezer.

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How to make American chop suey

Pre-step

Fill a large pot with water, salt it, and set it over high heat. Once the water boils, add a pound elbow macaroni and set a timer for 8 minutes.

Step one

Gather the ingredients – ground beef, green bell pepper, large onion, and garlic.

Ground beef in front with a board with a chopped onion and garlic on it with a bell pepper in the background

Step two

Chop the bell pepper and onion in chunks and crush the garlic.

Step three

Heat a Dutch oven or large saucepan on medium. Add oil and once that heats up, add onion, and bell pepper and sauté for 10 minutes.

Step four

Add garlic, cook for 2 more minutes and set aside. (A)

Step five

Meanwhile, heat a sauté pan or large skillet on medium. Add oil and once that heats up, add ground beef. Use a metal spatula to break apart the beef. (B)

Vegetables and meat cooked in their separate pans

Step six

Gather the rest of the ingredients – 2, 28-ounce cans of diced tomatoes, herbs and spices, salt, and Worcestershire sauce. (C)

Step seven

Add diced tomatoes to the pan of veggies, heat on medium-high heat for 5 minutes, then add ground beef. (D)

Tomatoes, herbs and spices on the left and then added to the pan of ground beef and veggies in the red pan on the right

Step eight

When the elbows are done, drain them, add them to the tomato-veggie mixture and stir it all together.

A big red pan full of elbow macaroni, ground beef, tomatoes, peppers and onions

Time to plate some chop suey and call Christopher so we can eat. He runs like the wind to the table. Boy, that man is fast when he’s properly motivated!

Overhead view of bowl of chop suey. It's on a napkin, fork and a big pan of the dish

I hope you enjoy this American chop suey recipe.

And as always, may all your dishes be delish!

If you’ve tried this recipe, I’d love the know what you thought about it in the comments below. I love hearing from you! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOKTWITTERINSTAGRAM and PINTEREST to see more of my delicious food and delightful cocktails!

white shallow bowl of pasta chop suey with a salad in the background

American Chop Suey

American chop suey is an easy dinner recipe made with juicy ground beef and veggies cooked in a flavorful tomato sauce with elbow macaroni. Ready in around 30 minutes, this cozy and delicious meal is perfect for weeknight meals.
5 from 17 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Pasta
Cuisine: American
Keyword: american chopped suey
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 10 cups
Calories: 357kcal

Ingredients

Veggies

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 – 3
  • 1 onion large, chopped
  • 1 green pepper chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced

Meat Preparation

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 pound elbows
  • 56 ounces diced tomatoes 2 cans

Instructions

  • Fill a large stock pot with water, salt it and set it to boil
  • Heat a medium stock pot on medium heat, add olive oil and heat that up
  • Add onion and pepper and sauté for 10 minutes, stirring every few minutes, add garlic and sauté for 2 additional minutes. Take off heat and set aside
  • Add elbows to boiling water and cook for 8 minutes (or until they are done), but as you're doing that. . .
  • Heat a large sauté pan on medium, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and add ground beef and break up to little pieces. Add oregano, basil, parsley, salt and Worcestershire sauce. Sauté for 5 – 8 minutes
  • Add the tomatoes to vegetable mixture
  • Add ground beef to tomato mixture
  • Drain elbows and dump them in a large stock pan
  • Add the tomato-meat mixture in with the elbows and mix until incorporated
  • Serve
  • Eat
  • Smile
  • Enjoy
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Notes

Helpful tips
  • Cook everything at the same time: Bring the water to boil and cook your elbow macaroni noodles while you sauté the vegetables and meat.
  • For even faster cook time, use two sauté pans: one for the veggie and one for the meat.
  • Even though the taste of this comfort dish is fabulous the day you cook it, the flavors are even better leftover the next day
  • This stores well both in the fridge and in the freezer. Place any leftovers in an airtight container and it will last over a week in the refrigerator and 2 months in the freezer.

Nutrition

Serving: 2cups | Calories: 357kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 32mg | Sodium: 510mg | Potassium: 577mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 235IU | Vitamin C: 25.6mg | Calcium: 82mg | Iron: 3.4mg
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Originally published November of 2016. Updated photos and methods.

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36 Comments

    1. You’re welcome. Thank you Angela. It’s a great comfort to me and brings me back to my childhood as well.

  1. This dish looks so cozy and comforting. I’ve heard of it being called American goulash before, but American chop suey is new to me!

  2. Just the sight of this delicious American Chop Suey makes my tummy growl! I can feel my hunger right now. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  3. This is such a great family dinner. Easy to make, and a hit with everyone. Comfort food is so good. Simple and awesome.

  4. I tried this dish once, when I was visiting my friend’s house, and I was amazed with how delicious it was. It looked very similar to yours, so I am really glad I’ve stumbled upon it. Great tip on two sauté pans, too – it will save me some time!

  5. I had this many times as a kid….so good but your recipe looks even better. I’m going to make it for my husband..I have all the ingredients!

  6. Gosh I haven’t had this since I was little. This is what my Mom called “American Ghoulash”. Such an easy and delicious recipe! Yours looks super scrumptious! Thank you so much for sharing!

  7. I am not familiar with either chop suey or American goulash but it does look comforting, flavorful, and a great family dinner recipe. Thank you!

  8. This chop suey looks so hearty, comforting, and delicious. I would love to make a batch of this to enjoy during the week. Perfect family meal!

  9. Such a great recipe to make during the week! My mom always used to make a version of this for my sister and I growing up – love stumbling upon this recipe to remind me of how good it is!

  10. Great comments. Did anyone really make this or does everyone just say it “looks great”?

    1. I’m not sure Kendall, though I will say that this recipe has been made by my mom and I’ve been eating it my whole life. It’s lovely comfort food and delicious!