American Chop Suey (Goulash)

American Chop Suey, also know as American goulash, is a simple macaroni pasta dish made with a hearty meat sauce. Family-friendly and crowd-pleasing, this dish is affordable and delicious!

American Chop Suey aka american goulash
Chop Suey

My husband, who grew up in Boston, frequently requests American Chop Suey for dinner because it reminds him of his childhood. A common weeknight dinner recipe in New England, American Chop Suey is affordable, versatile and great for feeding a crowd.

Sauteeing Onions an Peppers
Sauteing peppers and onions to prepare for the chop suey

As a Midwest gal, I was a little confused when I heard the phrase “American Chop Suey” because it has little-to-no relation to the Chinese American chop suey recipe. Instead, it is more similar to American or Hungarian goulash.

Adding Sauce to Meat

What makes up chop suey?

The ingredients vary from home to home but the traditional American chop suey is made with elbow macaroni noodles cooked in a hearty sauce made with onions, beef and tomatoes. Historically, salt and pepper are the only seasonings added but my husband loves oregano so I include it. While bell peppers are also not traditional, I can’t resist the opportunity to sneak in another serving of vegetables into my family’s diet.  

Cooking American Chop Suey

Using tomato products

This is completely up to you but I recommend using whatever you hand on hand. Whether it’s whole peeled tomatoes, diced tomatoes or tomato sauce, they all work. Of course, in the summer months, nothing beats fresh tomatoes.

Stirring Pasta into Sauce

Pasta Options

While elbow macaroni is most common, it would be great with just about any type of pasta such as penne, spirals, ziti or farfalle.

Liz Grating Cheese

While not customary, I love serving with a hearty grating of Parmesan cheese. This is not traditional but no one seems to mind.

Easy American Goulash Recipe

Prepping ahead

You can prep chop suey in advance! American Chop Suey will stay good in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. It’s also very freezer friendly.

American Chili Mac 1

If you have fresh herbs on hand I recommend sprinkling a bit before serving such as basil or parsley.

Liz Eating American Chop Suey

Your fork is waiting.

American Chili Mac

American Chop Suey (Goulash)

5 stars average
American Chop Suey, also know as American goulash, is a simple macaroni pasta dish made with a hearty meat sauce. Family-friendly and crowd-pleasing!
PREP: 10 minutes
COOK: 20 minutes
TOTAL: 30 minutes
Servings: 8


  • 16 ounces macaroni noodles
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion (diced)
  • 1 green bell pepper (seeded and diced )
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 ½ pounds ground sirloin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 32 ounces tomato sauce (or pureed tomatoes )
  • 16 ounces diced tomatoes
  • salt and pepper (to taste)
  • parmesan cheese and fresh basil (optional garnish )


  • Cook macaroni according to package instructions; set aside.
  • While pasta is cooking, heat oil in a large, deep skillet. Add onion, peppers and garlic plus a pinch of salt and pepper and saute until tender, about 5-6 minutes.
  • Add ground beef and oregano to the pan. Cook until beef is browned through, using a wooden spoon to break into bite-sized pieces. Continue until beef is golden brown, about 8-10 minutes. Stir in tomato sauce and diced tomatoes and heat until cooked through. Check for seasoning and adjust accordingly.
  • Add pasta to the pot and stir once more. Garnish with parmesan cheese and basil before serving.


Serving: 1cupCalories: 456kcalCarbohydrates: 53gProtein: 25gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 58mgSodium: 661mgPotassium: 905mgFiber: 5gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 612IUVitamin C: 26mgCalcium: 67mgIron: 4mg

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2 thoughts on “American Chop Suey (Goulash)”

  1. I made this the other night and was immediately transported back to my childhood. :) Oh and I added a drained can of mushrooms and defrosted & squeezed frozen chopped spinach for extra veggies. Turned out great!

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