This American Chop Suey recipe is a delicious, healthy alternative to Hamburger Helper. It’s a quick, easy 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.
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.
American Chop Suey Variations
Update 2018: Apparently this dish has many names around the country! I’ve heard in the comments that this is called everything from chili mac, to goulash, to slum gullion. What do they call this dish where you come from?
American Chop Suey
This American Chop Suey recipe is a delicious, healthy alternative to Hamburger Helper. It's a quick, easy meal that kids and adults love. ($.97 per serving)
- 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.
American Chop Suey Price Breakdown
This recipe costs a total of $7.79 to make, or $.97 per 1½ cup serving. American Chop Suey is an easy, frugal dinner that’s much healthier than the boxed version.