American Chop Suey

American Chop Suey

Imagine this: making American Chop Suey for my Baltimore-bred husband was an exciting adventure. He had never experienced the deliciousness of this dish before. Even though I'm also a Baltimore native, I was puzzled as to why it was such an unfamiliar concept to him. Picture this mouthwatering creation - tender pasta, flavorful tomato sauce, and savory ground steak, coming together to create an irresistible weeknight dinner that will make you want to add it to your regular rotation.

american chop suey close up

American Chop Suey Recipe

After researching the dish further, I discovered that American chop suey is a native dish of New England, where my family roots began. The hubs recognized the dish but didn't have a name for it. Regardless, this comfort food is perfect for quick, hearty, and satisfying meals. I've adjusted the recipe to teach you how to make American chop suey for a family of four. Leftovers taste great and can even be made ahead and reheated. Trust me, this is the best American chop suey recipe ever!

Serve with a kale salad, or try this spinach fruit salad! Or make some artichokes or prepare a green veggie of your choice, to balance the meal.

Reasons to Love this Recipe

  • It's hearty and satisfying
  • Comes together with easy-to-find ingredients
  • Perfect for meal prep
  • Kid-friendly and approved 

Ingredients & Substitutions

Macaroni - Use elbow macaroni for a traditional American chop suey recipe. I've also used Orecchiette pasta instead in the past and it also tasted great. 

Aromatics, Veggies, and Seasonings - You'll need onion, garlic, mushrooms, bell pepper, Worcestershire sauce, dried basil, fresh oregano, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. 

Tomatoes - This recipe for American chop suey calls for tomatoes in several different forms. Use crushed, diced, tomato sauce, tomato paste, and a can of V-8 juice to create the sauce.

Ground Steak - You could also use simple ground beef, but I find that 90% lean ground steak tastes even better.

Honey - Add a tablespoon of our Bee Inspired Honey for a subtle hint of sweetness.

How to Make American Chop Suey

One: Cook the macaroni

Follow the instructions on the package to cook the macaroni to your preferred pasta texture. Drain it and set it aside.

american chop suey onions

Two: Sauté the onion, garlic, and vegetables

Heat olive oil over medium in a large skillet or Dutch oven. Add the onion and sauté until golden brown, then add the garlic, bell pepper, and mushrooms. Cook until the veggies are soft.

Three: Brown the ground steak

In a separate sauté pan, brown the ground steak. Break it up with a wooden spoon as you go to ensure even cooking. Drain any excess grease and then add the meat to the vegetables.

Four: Add the sauce

Stir in the crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, V-8 juice, Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, basil, oregano, and honey and bring the mixture to a boil. Let it simmer for 12-15 minutes.

american chop suey assembled

Five: Assemble the American chop suey recipe

Add the macaroni to the sauce and mix to heat through. Sprinkle in the red pepper flakes and some Parmesan cheese to serve. Enjoy!

American chop suey on dinner table

Adapting our American Chop Suey Recipe

When I decided to make this dish, I didn't have all the ingredients, so I improvised. For the pasta, I used Orecchiette instead of macaroni, and the sauce was a delicious replacement for the tomato ingredients. A little improvisation is good in the kitchen. You should try making your own version of the best American chop suey recipe with these ingredients if you can get to the store.

  • If you have some zucchini on hand, sauté it with the onions and other vegetables.
  • A little diced jalapeño pepper would add just the right amount of heat.
  • Try cooking and crumbling Italian sausage instead of ground beef. If you don't eat red meat, use ground turkey, chicken, or a plant-based "meat" crumble.

American Chop Suey FAQs

How Long Does American Chop Suey Stay Fresh in the Refrigerator?

When stored properly in an airtight container, American chop suey can stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Make sure to let it cool completely before storing it and always use clean utensils when serving to prevent contamination.

Can I Freeze American Chop Suey?

Yes. Allow the dish to cool completely before transferring it to freezer-safe containers or freezer bags. Make sure to leave some room for expansion. This recipe for American chop suey can be stored in the freezer for up to 2-3 months. To reheat, thaw it overnight in the refrigerator and then heat it on the stovetop or in the microwave until heated through.

Is American Chop Suey the Same as Goulash?

Although often compared, they aren't the same, even though some people call it American goulash! The former is a dish commonly made with ground meat, pasta, and a tomato-based sauce, while goulash is a traditional Hungarian stew typically made with chunks of meat (such as beef or pork), vegetables, and seasoned with paprika. The two dishes have different origins, flavor profiles, and ingredients, making them distinct from each other.

american chop suey

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If you decide to make this after learning how to make American Chop Suey, or better yet, your own take, why not take a photo and share it with us using #beeinspired on Instagram. We love seeing your photos!

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