Mom's American Chop Suey Recipe

Mom's American Chop Suey
Mom's American Chop Suey. Photo and Recipe: Diana Rattray
  • 40 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins,
  • Cook: 20 mins
  • Yield: Serves 8
Ratings (89)

This is one of my favorite comfort foods growing up. I've only changed a few things in my mother's version. I add garlic and garlic powder and more tomatoes. The green bell pepper is optional, but I like the flavor. 

This recipe makes a big batch, and the leftovers are delicious, too. Warm in the microwave, on the stovetop in a little butter or oil, or cover and warm in the oven.

Related: Slow Cooker American Chop Suey

What You'll Need

  • 16 ounces elbow macaroni
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped, about 1 1/2 cups
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped, optional
  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds ground beef, lean, about 85% to 90%
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • salt, to taste

How to Make It

  1. Cook the macaroni in boiling salted water following the package directions. Drain in a colander and rinse under hot water. Set aside.
  2. In a large deep skillet or saucepan, heat the vegetable oil and butter over medium heat.
  3. Add the onion and bell pepper, if using. Cook, stirring until onion is softened and edges are lightly browned.
  4. Add the ground beef and cook, stirring and breaking up, until cooked through and no longer pink.
  1. Add the garlic and garlic powder and cook, stirring for 1 to 2 minutes longer. Stir in the crushed tomatoes and diced tomatoes, the tomato sauce and paste, sugar, and pepper. Cook, stirring, until the sauce mixture begins to boil. Taste and add salt, as needed. Simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. 
  2. Add the drained macaroni to the sauce, mix well, and heat through.

Serves 8.

Serve this delicious, comforting dish with warm bread, rolls, or biscuits and a tossed salad or coleslaw on the side.

Tips and Variations

  • Omit the chopped green bell pepper, if desired.
  • Saute 4 to 8 ounces of sliced fresh mushrooms with the onions.
  • Add 1/2 teaspoon to 1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes for heat.