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New England Style American Chop Suey Recipe

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If you’re seeking a hearty and flavorful dish, look no further than American Chop Suey. This delightful comfort food recipe combines the richness of seasoned ground beef with aromatic vegetables and a medley of herbs, all simmered in a robust tomato sauce.

This classic dish not only satisfies your taste buds but also evokes a sense of nostalgia and warmth that’s perfect for family gatherings and weeknight dinners. Try out this recipe and relish the rich flavors of this classic comfort food.

Close up of a pan of American chop suey.

The story of American chop suey is a fascinating tale that intertwines cultures, tastes, and innovation. Not surprisingly, this recipe has many variations, including American Goulash, Beefaroni, Hamburger Casserole, or Johnny Marzetti, depending on where you grew up.

I like to include a bit of history of the recipe when I write about a classic meal from my childhood. In my research, I was delighted to come across a blog post by The Passionate Foodie that delves into the history and how American Chop Suey has evolved into the regional comfort food it is today. Check out this article: The Origins of American Chop Suey by Richard Auffrey.

Growing up in northern New England, American chop suey wove itself into the fabric of my upbringing, a constant presence in various forms over the years. From the limp and overcooked version dished out in the school cafeteria during lunchtime to the slow cooker pots gracing potluck gatherings, I’ve encountered it in myriad ways.

However, my favorite variation remains the one my mother made for me. She would leave out the onions and peppers, because I didn’t like the texture. After mixing, she would then pour it into a casserole dish, top it with mozzarella cheese, and bake it until the cheese turned bubbly and golden.

How to Make American Chop Suey

American chop suey is made from elbow macaroni noodles, ground beef, onions, bell peppers, garlic, fresh Italian herbs, and tomato sauce. If you don’t have time to chop up veggies, use your favorite jarred or canned stewed tomatoes and tomato sauce, and it will still taste delicious.

While the full recipe can be found at the end of this article, here are the steps to create this savory New England Style American Chop Suey:

Step 1: Begin by boiling the elbow macaroni according to the package instructions. Save about a cup of the pasta water, then drain and set the cooked pasta aside for later use.

Step 2: In a large skillet or Dutch oven, cook the ground beef over medium heat until it’s nicely browned. Once cooked, remove the meat and set it aside. Leave about 1 tablespoon of the leftover fat and drain the rest.

Step 3: Add the diced onions, bell peppers, and sauté in the reserved fat until they soften slightly, then add the garlic and sauté briefly.

Step 4: Return the cooked ground beef and mix it with the vegetables until thoroughly combined.

Step 5: Pour in the tomato sauce and crushed tomatoes, sprinkle in the fresh herbs, Worcestershire Sauce, and season with salt and pepper to your taste preferences. Stir the ingredients well as they heat up and begin to bubble.

Step 6: Add the cooked elbow macaroni to the pan, mixing it with the savory beef and vegetables. You can incorporate some of the reserved pasta water for a more soupy consistency.

Step 7: Take a moment to taste and make any necessary adjustments to the seasoning. Once you’re satisfied with the flavor, let the mixture simmer on the stove until it’s heated through, allowing the flavors to meld together.

Close up of a pan of American chop suey.

With the tantalizing aroma filling your kitchen, it’s time to serve up your American chop suey! Dish it into serving plates, sprinkle each portion with freshly grated Parmesan cheese, and enjoy. Then store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.

A plate of homemade American chop suey on a table.

New England Style American Chop Suey

If you're seeking a hearty and flavorful dish,look no further than American Chop Suey. This delightful comfort food recipe combines the richness of seasoned ground beef with aromatic vegetables and a medley of herbs, all simmered in a robust tomato sauce.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword american chop suey
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 353kcal
Author Grow a Good Life


  • 1 pound elbow macaroni
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 1 medium green bell pepper diced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 cups tomato sauce or a 15-16 oz jar
  • 2 cups crushed tomatoes or diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon fresh chopped basil or 1/2 teaspoon dried
  • 1 teaspoon fresh chopped oregano or 1/2 teaspoon dried
  • 1 teaspoon fresh chopped parsley or 1/2 teaspoon dried
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce optional for flavor
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper or to taste
  • Freshly grated Parmesan


  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the elbows, and cook al dente according to the package directions.
  • Reserve about a cup of the pasta water, then drain and set aside.
  • Brown the ground beef in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat.
  • Remove the meat. Reserve about 1 tablespoon of leftover fat, and drain the rest.
  • Add the onions and peppers to the skillet and sauté in the reserved fat until slightly softened, about 3 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and continue sautéing until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • Add the cooked ground beef to the skillet and sauté until mixed well.
  • Add the tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, oregano, basil, parsley, Worcestershire Sauce, salt, and pepper. Continue to stir while heating until bubbly.
  • Add the cooked elbows, and mix to combine. Add some of the reserved pasta water if you like it more soupy.
  • Taste and adjust seasoning if needed, and then let it simmer until heated through. Serve warm.


Serving: 2cups | Calories: 353kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 4.7g | Saturated Fat: 1.5g | Cholesterol: 51mg | Sodium: 660mg | Potassium: 724mg | Fiber: 3.9g | Sugar: 6.8g | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 14mg

Hungry for more New England delights? Explore these delectable recipes that continue the rich tapestry of New England cuisine:

  • Creamy New England Fish Chowder: Immerse yourself in the flavors of the coast with this rich and creamy fish chowder. Filled with the bounty of the sea and heartwarming ingredients, it’s a taste of maritime comfort.
  • Slow Cooker Baked Beans: Delight in the slow-cooked goodness of classic New England baked beans. Infused with flavors that have stood the test of time, this dish is a quintessential side that complements any table.
  • Tourtière French-Canadian Meat Pie: Embark on a culinary journey beyond borders with this savory French-Canadian meat pie. The warm, savory filling encased in flaky pastry brings together flavor in every slice.
  • New England Hot Dog Buns: Discover the charm of homemade hot dog buns that are quintessentially New England. Soft, buttery, and made for stuffing with your favorite filling.
  • Classic Apple Pie: Indulge in the timeless delight of a classic New England apple pie. The aroma of cinnamon-kissed apples encased in flaky pastry embodies the essence of comfort and nostalgia.
  • Soft Molasses Cookies: Experience the cozy taste of soft molasses cookies. The warm spices and chewy texture evoke memories of sweet moments shared around the table.

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Homemade gifts are always appreciated because they come from the heart. Even if you are not crafty, you can give DIY gifts to your family and friends with these easy recipes for making cookie mix in a reusable jar.

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    1. Jen, Yes, you can definitely adapt this recipe for a slow cooker! Here’s how:

      1. Brown the ground beef in a skillet over medium-high heat until it’s no longer pink. Drain any excess grease.
      2. Transfer the browned beef to the slow cooker.
      3. Add in the diced onions, bell peppers, garlic, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.
      4. Stir everything together until well combined.
      5. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours, until the vegetables are tender and the flavors have melded together.
      6. About 30 minutes before serving, stir in the cooked pasta, top with cheese, and allow it to heat through.
      7. Serve hot with your favorite toppings, such as grated cheese or fresh parsley.
      Enjoy your slow cooker American Chop Suey!

  1. In your American Chop Suey/Goulash recipes journey did you ever come across French Chop Suey? My husband is a northern Maine, potato country guy with grandparents that lived in Van Buren, across the river from Canada. He tells of a macaroni, tomatoes, hot dog version from them. I’ve been searching recipes for all the years we’ve been internet active & have never found documentation to it. The hot dogs are ground up to be added to stewed or diced tomatoes & cooked elbows, that were boiled with a whole onion in the pot! All mixed into a casserole and baked for 30min to heat through everything. Sounded like a camp recipe when he first told me of it 43 yrs ago, but still insists it came from the French side of his family. I’ve tried to ‘wing’ it a few times~it never hits the bullseye for him.

    1. Mary, While I haven’t personally come across a recipe for French chop suey, it may be a regional variation or a unique family recipe. The combination of ingredients sounds like a comforting and hearty dish. I hope you find the perfect version that hits the bullseye for your husband!

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