American Chop Suey

American chop suey | A culinary melting pot of flavors with a symphony of taste

American chop suey is an American pasta casserole made with ground beef, macaroni and a seasoned tomato sauce, found in the cuisine of New England and other regions of the United States. Outside New England it is sometimes called American goulash or Johnny Marzetti, among other names. Despite its name, it has only a very distant relation to the chop suey of Chinese and American Chinese cuisine.

Though this comfort food is influenced by Italian-American cuisine as well as older New England quick and practical meals like the “potato bargain” and “necessity mess,” it is known as “American chop suey” both because it is a sometimes-haphazard hodgepodge of meat, vegetables and Italian seasonings, and because it once used rice, a base ingredient in Chinese cuisine, instead of pasta.

Standard American chop suey consists of elbow macaroni and bits of cooked ground beef with sautéed onions in a thick tomato-based sauce. The dish can be served on a plate or in a bowl, usually accompanied by bread and often Worcestershire sauce.

Alternative names: American goulash
Course: Main dish
Place of origin: United States
Region or state: New England
Serving temperature: Hot
Main ingredients: Macaroni, ground beef, tomato-based sauce, various vegetables (usually green peppers and onions).
Similar dishes Beefaroni, cheeseburger macaroni, chili mac, Johnny Marzetti, macaroni with beef and tomatoes.

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion (diced, (I use sweet))
  • 2 green bell peppers (stemmed, seeded, and diced)
  • 4 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 2 pounds ground beef (at least 85% lean)

How To Make American Chop Suey

This is one of those great recipes to make, not just because it tastes delicious but because it’s quick and easy!

Step 1: Cook the pasta according to package directions in a large pot of salted water. *You can either finish cooking the pasta and leave it in a colander and use the same pot for the sauce, or you can start making the rest of the recipe in a separate pot while the pasta is cooking.

Step 2: In a separate pot or the one from the pasta (see the note above), add the butter and onion to the large pot over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent – about 4 minutes.

Step 3: Add the garlic to the onions and cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently.

Step 4: Add ground beef and cook until browned; you can cook this in a separate pan if you’d like less fat and add it to the onions after cooking.

Step 5: Add green pepper and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.

Step 6: Add the diced tomatoes, sauce, juice, paste, sugar, spices, and Worcestershire Sauce. Cook until evenly heated.

Step 7: Stir in the cooked pasta and stir to coat.  Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately or package up and keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.

What goes well with Chopsuey?

Some ideas include: bok choy, green beans, zucchini, jicama, bean sprouts, broccoli, kohlrabi, peas, corn, and asparagus. Carbs – Chop Suey is often served over noodles or rice. I used thick chow mein noodles, but any Asian-style noodles should work. You can also use crispy fried noodles or rice.

Why do they call it American chop suey?

Though this comfort food is influenced by Italian-American cuisine as well as older New England quick and practical meals like the “potato bargain” and “necessity mess,” it is known as “American chop suey” both because it is a sometimes-haphazard hodgepodge of meat, vegetables and Italian seasonings.

How To Serve American Chop Suey

This recipe is delicious all on its own; no side dishes are required. However, it does pair well with homemade yeast rolls and butter.

How Long Is It Good For?

Package up any leftovers in an airtight container and keep them in the fridge for up to 5 days.

How Do You Freeze It?

Undercooking the pasta slightly to help it maintain its structure when you reheat it.

Then, prepare the rest of the recipe according to the directions, package it in an airtight container, and freeze it for up to 3 months.

 

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