American Chop Suey

If you are from Quebec (and really any “french” speaking part of Canada) then you would just call this Chop Suey.  If you are from anywhere in New England then: American Chop Suey.  It is pretty much all the same recipe….give or take the inspiration of the cook!

    American Chop Suey

American Chop Suey

My mom used to make hers with tomato juice and All-American Kraft cheese.  My brother was obsessed with this meal.  He ate it so much that my mom had special baking dishes just for him to use!  I don’t make mine quite like she did, simply because I am stubborn (when you mix French and Irish you get= very very stubborn people!)

This is a cheap and quick way to feed a family.  You can substitute some of the items (i.e. different noodles, ground chicken or turkey…etc..) I am simply sharing with you the way I serve it.  Mr. Man makes it (X5) for the Firehouse and the guys always seem to love it.  My family loves this dish.  Simple, easy, affordable and the leftovers are da bomb!


1 1/2 lb ground beef

1 onion chopped

1 green pepper chopped (green is a must in my opinion…doesn’t taste the same with red or orange)

1 tablespoon oregano

1 tablespoon garlic powder

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon sugar

1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes (some people like to use tomato juice but I find it too runny…do what you like)

1 1-pound box elbow macaroni noodles

Salt and Pepper to taste

Shredded Cheddar cheese for serving (extra sharp at our house)

How to:

Cook noodles according to package directions…well NOT QUITE…make them until they are almost done.  We will finish in the sauce!

In a large pan(larger than you think), add 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter, melt and blend well together.  Add your onion and green pepper.  Cook until soft and fragrant, 3-5 minutes.  Add your ground beef and cook until no longer pink.  Add your oregano, garlic powder, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, sugar and crushed tomatoes.  Bring this to a simmer and cook uncovered for 5-10 minutes.  Taste and adjust seasoning.  Add your (almost) cooked pasta to your pan and combine everything well.  Let this cook for a few more minutes until you have the desired “pasta” texture that will make your family happy!

You want you peppers and onion soft not brown or crispy

You want you peppers and onion soft not brown or crispy

Look at this gorgeous sauce!

Look at this gorgeous sauce!

be gentle when you stir your pasta in there...things then to go flying everywhere!

be gentle when you stir your pasta in there…things then to go flying everywhere!

To serve top with shredded cheddar and enjoy!

time to dig in!

time to dig in!

So delicious, so simple and so perfect for a easy fun night at home.

Printer Friendly: American Chop Suey

Peace and All American,


Note: if for some reason you disagree with the name of this dish (and I know some will) that’s cool just call it something else!  I am only referring to what I remember growing up!  That’s what makes me happy!

CORRECTION: well, it seems that due to old age and wine (!) I have forgotten this: “french Canadian Chop Suey is made with tomato soup and sprouted beans, no pasta…. I still stand by the fact that in New England they call it American Chop Suey, other places Goulash…live and learn…my childhood friend Sophie was nice enough to refresh my memory!  Since she knows me since birth, same hospital, same nursery, 1 day apart…I appreciate her knowledge 🙂

Shared recipe here:


30 thoughts on “American Chop Suey

  1. Bon matin Isabelle! Toujours contente de te lire dans le train le matin en me rendant travailler! Mais ce matin tu m’as confondue… car ta recette aujourd’hui est un macaroni à la viande et c’est effectivement un classique que toute bonne maisonnée québécoise. Le chop suey est un autre classique mais il est constitué de fèves germées avec du boeuf haché ou du poulet, des champignons, du céleri, souvent du brocoli et un peu de sauce soya… Nos mères le servait avec des patates pilées et on faisait une belle bouette dans nos assiettes. Est-ce que tu vois ce que je veux dire? Il y avait même un téléroman qui s’appellait Chop Suey avec la défunte Marie-Soleil Tougas; c’est dire à quel point ce plat fait partie de notre patrimoine!

    Il me semble que j’ai lu que tu serais au Québec cet été, j’espère que tu me feras signe, j’aimerais bien te revoir! À bientôt! Sophie

  2. My mom does the tomato sauce and shell macaroni, just like her mom did. And the only cheese we use is a dusting of Kraft grated parmesan.

    Greg goes crazy for this stuff, and it could not be simpler. Good post Isabelle!

  3. Whatever you call it, Isabelle — it looks delicious! You’re right about the green pepper… there’s something about that flavor you can’t substitute in this dish. I loved seeing the regional names submitted by everyone so far! (Don’t know of a Southern version — I’ll have to ask around!)

  4. Hey Isabelle, This looks so good, I believe it will be on tomorrows dinner menu! When I was a kid our school fixed a dish very similar and called it ‘chili mac ‘! Hey maybe, because we were in Ohio and connected everything with our ‘chili’! Who knows! Never heard of the American Chop Suey….. was all set to read about an Asian inspired dish!!!

  5. Love this and you! I’m thinking I need to make this today. No matter the looks wonderful! The bests foods are those we remember from our childhood. ❤ Thank you for sharing on Thursday's Treasures Week 33! See you soon! ❤ and hugs!

  6. I grew up in OK and it was goulash. I was married to a gent from NH and it was American Chop Suey. You have it right!

    • Obviously my memory is failing….. I already replied about the chili mac earlier! Mamma Mia help me!!!!! Hope you are doing well Isabel, miss you!

  7. Pingback: Beef Goulash | Isabelle at home

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