American Chop Suey Recipe

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This healthy American Chop Suey recipe is a delicious, easy alternative to Hamburger Helper. It’s a quick meal that kids and adults love.

This healthy American Chop Suey recipe is a delicious, easy alternative to Hamburger Helper. It's a quick meal that kids and adults love.

It wasn’t until I had children of my own that I first tried American Chop Suey. I remember seeing it in my college cafeteria, but I wasn’t impressed. In retrospect, I was missing out. This is great comfort food.

This dish can be made quickly, and it’s much healthier than Hamburger Helper or other boxed dinner kits. I first started making this recipe a few years ago when I was looking to replicate Annie’s “P’sghetti Loops” for my children.

Easy American Chop Suey Tips

By making American Chop Suey at home, you can tailor the sauce to meet your tastes.

Add extra tomato sauce for a soupier version, and throw in a little cayenne pepper if you want it spicy.

Mushrooms or other vegetables make a delicious addition as well.

You can substitute lentils for the ground beef if you want a vegetarian version, and garnish with grated cheddar or parmesan if desired.

Is American Chop Suey a New England Thing?

Apparently this dish has many names around the country. I first discovered it as American Chop Suey during college in Massachusetts.

I’ve heard in the comments below that this is called everything from chili mac, to goulash, to slum gullion. What’s it called in your part of the country?

American Chop Suey Recipe

This American Chop Suey recipe is a delicious, healthy alternative to Hamburger Helper. It features whole grain pasta along with ground beef and a flavorful tomato sauce. ($.97 per serving)
Print Recipe
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time:10 minutes
Cook Time:15 minutes
Total Time:25 minutes


  • 1 lb. ground beef preferably grass-fed or organic
  • 1 bell pepper diced
  • 15 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/8 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. honey or to taste
  • 12 oz. whole wheat macaroni


  • Brown the ground beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the diced bell pepper and cook over medium heat for another minute.
  • Add the tomato sauce, tomatoes, onion powder, paprika, salt, chili powder, cinnamon, and honey. Simmer over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, or until it reaches the thickness you want.
  • While the sauce is simmering, boil the macaroni according to the package directions. Drain the pasta and add it to the sauce.
  • Taste and adjust the seasonings. Different canned tomatoes have different amounts of salt and seasoning, so add extra seasonings if needed.


Calories: 323kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 40mg | Sodium: 674mg | Potassium: 560mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1153IU | Vitamin C: 28mg | Calcium: 58mg | Iron: 4mg
Servings: 8
Calories: 323kcal

Healthy American Chop Suey Price Breakdown

This recipe costs a total of $7.79 to make, or $.97 per 1½ cup serving. This easy American Chop Suey recipe is a delicious, frugal dinner that’s much healthier than the boxed version.

Try my Crock Pot Taco Soup for another frugal, healthy dinner recipe that your family will love.


  1. 5 stars
    How funny to read the comments. In the Army they call is Chili Mac and it was delicious! It didn’t look like much either but they forced us to eat it which is how I learned how good it was. Saving this recipe!

  2. Reminds me of something my mom made when I was a kid…only it was in the Midwest. Such comfort food…never disappointed when dinner rolled around 🙂 Thanks for the recipe!

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