American chop suey combines pan-fried beef strips and elbow macaroni for a delicious plate of one-pot meaty pasta. Find out how to make this classic American recipe here.
What Is American Chop Suey?
This is a one-pot pasta dish that goes by different names, such as goulash or American chop suey. It is a pasta dish that is made using ground meat, tomatoes, and pasta. It is also known as macaroni and beef or beefaroni. It can also be described as a mash-up of ingredients made in the same pot to develop what could best be described as comfort food.
While it may seem like it’s simply a Chinese dish chop suey version, it is not. The two are different in the ingredients that are in them. Instead, American chop suey is closer to Italian recipes than it is to Chinese recipes. As such, you will find it has an excess of garlic. It can also be customized by adding cheese that will add a different dimension to the dish.
You will need about one and one and a half pounds of ground good quality beef. The leaner the beef, the better. 85% lean beef should do the trick.
This is a recipe with Italian nuances, and as such, the seasoning will play a significant role. Therefore, you will need Italian salt seasoning, seasoned salt, and garlic powder.
Use Worcestershire sauce and tomato sauce to help bring out the best flavors in the recipe. You will also need beef broth or chicken broth.
Elbow pasta works very well for American chop suey.
Cheddar cheese is an optional ingredient for this recipe.
The better quality you go for, the better your recipe will turn out. You will need tomato paste as well as dice and tomato sauce.
You will need 1 cup of finely diced onion and also 1 cup of finely chopped green pepper. You will also need minced garlic as well as a diced celery stick.
Time & Temperatures
Preparation time should be about The ground beef should take about 5 minutes in total to cook, on medium-high heat.
Expert Cooking Tips
- If you want a thick sauce, you can mix one tablespoon of flour with cream cheese into the ground beef.
- You could also tailor the seasoning by using other types of seasoning in terms of spices or sauces, such as garam masala or hot sauce.
- Mix up the flavors of your ground beef by adding different types, as long as they are lean.
- You can also add different types of vegetables to the ground beef so that you get a variety of colors, textures, and flavors. For instance, you can use Italian sausage in addition to ground beef. This will give a different type of flavor to it all.
- Make sure the ground beef is at room temperature and ready to be cooked
- If you will be using cheese, shred it and put it aside until you need to use it.
How to Make American Chop Suey
The first thing that you will need to do is cook the ground beef. And for this, you will need onions, tomato paste, green pepper, and celery. First, brown the ground beef in a pan or pot. Then mix in tomato paste as well as the seasonings. Then add the onions, celery, and green pepper. Cook the meat for about 4minutes, then you can add the garlic. Cook for another 1 minute.
Then add the tomato sauce, the Worcestershire sauce, chicken broth, and the undrained tomatoes.
Add the elbow macaroni. Now cook the macaroni on low heat. Low and slow, does it? Simmer until the pasta is cooked. Make sure the pasta is cooked, and the liquid has boiled down. Keep turning the pasta making sure that it doesn’t get stuck to the bottom.
Once the pasta is cooked, you can add the cheese if you’ve chosen to use it.
American Chop Suey
- 1 ½ lbs ground beef
- 2 tsp Italian seasoning
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 cup yellow onion diced
- 1 cup green bell pepper diced
- 1 stick celery diced
- 1 can tomato sauce/passata
- 3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 3 ounces tomatoes chopped
- 2 cups beef broth
- 1 lb elbow macaroni
- 3 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 cup cheddar cheese shredded
- In a large pot with water, cook the elbow macaroni according to package instructions. When cooked, leave to drain in colander.
- Heat oil in a pan over medium-low heat, sauté onion with butter or oil until onions start to brown. Add Italian seasoning, garlic powder, minced garlic, and kosher salt.
- Add ground beef and cook until brown, 5-8 minutes.
- Add beef broth, green bell pepper, and celery.
- Stir in tomato sauce. Combine well.
- Add Worcestershire sauce, diced tomatoes, and tomato paste.
- Add cooked elbow macaroni. Allow to simmer in sauce for 2-4 minutes, stirring periodically to stop it from sticking to the pan.
- Serve and top with shredded cheddar and garnish.
Is Goulash the Same as American Chop Suey?
Goulash is another name for American chop suey. It is a pasta casserole. They are the same and are made in the same pot.
Chop Suey Vs Chow Mein: What’s the Difference?
One of the main differences between the two is that chow mein has cooked noodles added to the dish while chop suey has the pasta added in its uncooked state. See our chop suey vs. chow mein guide to find out more.