The Cozy Cook

American Chop Suey (American Goulash)

This Classic American Chop Suey Recipe is easy to make in One Pot, the Crock Pot, or the Instant Pot! The flavors blend together perfectly for a traditional comfort food that your family will love.

See recipe notes for how to convert this from a One Pot recipe to a Crock Pot or Instant Pot recipe!

A wooden spoon stirring a pot of hot American Chop Suey.

American Chop Suey

If you live outside of New England, it’s very likely that you know this classic comfort food as “Goulash” vs. American Chop Suey. Today, I’m sticking to my roots and calling it the latter.

The truth is, they’re really one in the same. (Unless you’re talking about Hungarian Goulash, which is made with Chuck Roast or Stew meat.)

No matter what though, this nostalgic recipe is one of my all-time favorites, it’s so easy to make in One Pot.

Ingredients

The bottom of this post also contains recipe card with ingredients and full instructions.

  • 1+ ½ lbs. ground beef, 85% lean
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons seasoned salt
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 cup diced green pepper
  • 1 stick celery, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 14.5 oz. diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 16 oz. tomato sauce
  • 2 ½ cups chicken broth, or beef broth
  • 2 cups elbow macaroni
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, optional

How to Make It

Brown the ground beef and drain excess grease. Mix in tomato paste and seasonings.

Add onions, peppers, and celery. 

A dutch oven with cooked ground beef with onions, peppers, and celery being added for American Chop Suey.

Cook for 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 more minute.

Add Worcestershire sauce, tomato sauce, undrained diced tomatoes, and chicken broth. Stir to combine. Add macaroni.

A dutch oven with meat mixture, tomato base, and uncooked macaroni for making American Chop Suey.

Bring to a gentle boil. Stir occasionally until the liquid is reduced and pasta is cooked through. Remove from heat.

Add 1 cup of cheddar cheese if desired and serve!

A dutch oven before and after cooking American Chop Suey.

Crock Pot + Instant Pot Method

This recipe can be easily converted to cook in the Crock Pot or Instant Pot, see the notes section in the recipe card for full instructions.

Pro Tips For This Recipe

  • For slightly thicker sauce, mix 1 Tablespoon of flour into the ground beef and cook for 1 minute.
  • Stir in a dab of softened cream cheese at the end for a hint of creaminess
  • Add a dash of hot sauce for an added kick.
  • A combination of Ground Beef and Italian Sausage adds great depth of flavor.
  • Feel free to add frozen carrots, peas, corn, or jalapeno peppers.

Storage

Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

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A plate of American Chop Suey with a fork behind it.

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American Chop Suey

5 from 12 votes
This Classic American Chop Suey Recipe is easy to make in One Pot with simple ingredients. The flavors blend together perfectly for a traditional comfort food that your family will love.

Ingredients

  • 1 + ½ lbs. ground beef, 85% lean
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons seasoned salt
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 cup diced green pepper
  • 1 stick celery, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 14.5 oz. diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 16 oz. tomato sauce
  • 2 ½ cups chicken broth, or beef broth
  • 2 cups elbow macaroni, uncooked
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, optional

Instructions

  • Note: if adding cheese, shred it from a block and set aside before you begin. It shouldn’t be cold when added to the pot. Refrain from packaged shredded cheese if possible as it contains cellulose which prevents it from melting well.
  • Brown beef in a large pot over medium heat until cooked through. Drain grease.
  • Mix in seasonings and tomato paste.
  • Add in onions, peppers, and celery cook for 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  • Mix in the tomato sauce until combined.
  • Stir in the Worcestershire sauce, undrained diced tomatoes and chicken broth.
  • Add the uncooked macaroni, stir to combine. Bring to a light and gentle boil.
  • Cover for 4 minutes. Uncover and run a silicone spatula along the bottom. Gently lift up anything that is settled on the bottom.
  • Cover partially and boil gently for 4 more minutes. Run a silicone spatula on the bottom again.
  • Heat for 1-2 more minutes or until macaroni is cooked through. Turn off heat. The pasta will continue to absorb remaining liquid.
  • If desired, gradually sprinkle cheese on top and stir to combine. Serve and enjoy!

Video

Notes

Crock Pot Method

  • Use half the amount of broth and only add the rest if desired.
  • Brown ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until cooked through. Drain excess grease.
  • Transfer everything except the macaroni and shredded cheese to the Crock Pot.
  • Cook on high for 2-3 hours or on low for 4-5.
  • Add the macaroni and shredded cheddar and cook for 30-45 minutes, watch carefully so the pasta doesn't overcook and become mushy. 
  • Add remaining broth if desired and serve!

Instant Pot Method

  • Use half the amount of broth and only add the rest if desired.
  • Cook ground beef on sauté mode until browned and cooked through. Drain grease.
  • Mix in seasonings and tomato paste.
  • Add in onions, peppers, and celery cook for 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  • Mix in the tomato sauce until combined.
  • Stir in the Worcestershire sauce, undrained diced tomatoes and chicken broth.
  • Stir in the macaroni. Secure the lid and close the pressure seal valve.
  • Pressure cook on high for 5 minutes. Flip the quick release valve.
  • Add the remaining broth if desired and stir in the cheese. The macaroni will continue to absorb the liquid and will thicken upon standing. 

Nutrition

Calories: 478kcal, Carbohydrates: 76g, Protein: 21g, Fat: 11g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Cholesterol: 30mg, Sodium: 2846mg, Potassium: 1216mg, Fiber: 7g, Sugar: 14g, Vitamin A: 1138IU, Vitamin C: 48mg, Calcium: 335mg, Iron: 6mg

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Recipe Rating




26 comments on “American Chop Suey (American Goulash)”

  1. I made this before as written and we really liked it . My question is do you think I can skip cooking the macaroni in the same pot ? Cooking separate and then adding ??

    thanks

    • Hi Char! The liquid in this recipe is designed for cooking the pasta in it, so you would want to eliminate the chicken broth, I haven’t written down measurements for cooking this in separate pots, (and I do like the way that the chicken broth adds flavor to the pasta), so while it can definitely be done, you might have to adjust some of the liquid.

  2. Made this last night and it was delicious ! Thanks for your reply about the cheese ,I just didn’t use it .

    I did have to add a little more chicken broth to get the macaroni done but it was really easy and will make again !!

    Thanks !!!

  3. I am making this today and I wanted to know if I can use extra sharp cheddar the white one ..will this make a difference

    • Extra sharp white doesn’t melt quite as well and it definitely has a sharper more distinct taste. I don’t think it’s out of the question to use it if that’s your only option. The cheese is also an optional addition so you don’t necessarily have to add it, or you can try adding a little and taking a taste, and can add more if you prefer to from there! 🙂

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