One-Pot American Chop Suey chockful of elbow macaroni and beefy tomato sauce is the ultimate comfort food! It's easy to make with pantry ingredients, ready in 30 minutes, and cooks in one pan!
I was going to post this American Chop Suey on my Onion Rings and Things site but I realized the meaty, saucy flavors of this dish fit our Filipino tastes perfectly. In fact, one of my most popular recipes on the blog is a cheesy baked macaroni.
But while the said baked mac is absolutely scrumptious, it's not something you'd gladly whip up on a busy weeknight as it requires a few involved steps such as making the bechamel sauce and the meat sauce, cooking the noodles, and baking it all together.
This American chop suey, however, takes the cake on easy. Too easy that you can have it ready in 30 minutes and in one pot!
What is the Difference between American and Chinese Chop Suey?
American chop suey is a regional pasta dish popular in New England. Unlike its Asian namesake which is a hodgepodge of tender-crisp vegetables and bite-sized meat cooked in a savory stir-fry sauce, it's made of cooked ground beef, sauteed onions, and a rich tomato sauce similar to beef or chili mac.
The cooked pasta is traditionally served on a plate or in a bowl with Worcestershire sauce and grated Parmesan for additional seasoning and flavor.
How do you Make American Chop Suey
- Ground beef is cooked with garlic, onions, and bell peppers until lightly browned.
- Crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, and tomato sauce are added to complete the meat sauce. Tomato juice is traditionally used as an additional liquid.
- The dish is seasoned with dried Italian herbs such as basil and oregano help season the dish along with salt, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce.
- As sugar is a key ingredient here, the dish does have the hint of sweetness we love in our Filipino-style spaghetti. 🙂
This macaroni and beef is not only simple to make, it's also budget-friendly and a great make-ahead meal. The recipe yields a generous 6 servings but you can easily double or triple to feed a large crowd.
Can You Freeze American Chop Suey
I always cook a big batch and we eat the leftovers for days. To store for future meals, allow the pasta to cool completely, transfer into airtight containers, and keep in the refrigerator up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
To reheat, warm up in the microwave for about 3 to 5 minutes or until completely heated. If frozen, thaw out overnight and reheat. You can also reheat leftovers on stovetop. Add a splash of broth or tomato juice to make up for the lost moisture.
I suggest dividing the pasta into portions when storing in containers for food safety. This way you can thaw and warm up what you need and don't have to throw out food that has been reheated.
American Chop Suey
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 onion, peeled and chopped
- ½ green bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
- ½ red bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
- 1 pound ground beef
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes
- 1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce
- 2 cups tomato juice ( or beef broth)
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
- In a wide pan over medium heat, heat oil. Add onions and bell peppers and cook until softened.
- Add ground beef and cook, breaking the meat with the back of a spoon, until lightly browned. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Drain excess oil, if any,
- Add diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato juice (OR broth), tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, dried oregano, dried basil, and sugar. Stir until combined and bring to a boil.
- Add uncooked macaroni and stir to distribute. Lower heat, cover, and cook for about 10 to 15 minutes or until pasta is cooked.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste, if needed. Spoon onto serving plates and serve with Worcestershire sauce on the side and garnish with Parmesan cheese, if desired.