American Chop Suey

This is a recipe that is near and dear to my heart. No online recipe I used for inspiration. No time developing. What actually took the longest with this recipe was figuring out the amounts for each ingredient.


This recipe has been handed down, in a sense, to me from my father, and to him from my late grandfather, and I’m sure a generation or two before that. So no ingredient amounts have ever been written. “You just kind of know,” as my father told me.

So, what is American chop suey, you might ask? Well in my family we just call it “chop suey”, but I’ve learned throughout the years that that dish is traditionally Chinese, so the “American” part was added (apparently, this is how most people know it and my family was just lazy with the naming). I’ve learned that it is more typically a New England dish, so I’m not sure it’s real origin as New England is a hodge-podge of cultures.

Kind of like this American chop suey is a hodge-podge of ingredients. At the base of it, chop suey is a mixture of meat, vegetables, and noodles cooked together in a thick but barely-there sauce. This is a meal that my parents would make in bulk to have for the rest of the week using cheap ingredients we always had in the kitchen: macaroni, ground beef, onion, bell pepper, and canned tomatoes. Everything else is based off of what you have. like the seasonings and even tomato sauce. Sometimes we didn’t have bell peppers even, no problem.

The beauty of an American chop suey is you can really change it to fit your flavor profile or what you have in stock, as long as you have the basic pasta, meat, and tomatoes. If you want it spicy add some cayenne. Vegan? Use chopped mushrooms instead of meat.

It might not be the prettiest dish, but I promise it is easy and tasty and the fact that you’ll have a lot of leftovers doesn’t hurt either.

16 ounces elbow macaroni
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
32 ounces button mushrooms, finely diced OR 16 ounces ground beef/turkey
1 sweet yellow onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 tablespoon oregano
1 tablespoon parsley
salt and pepper, to taste
3 tablespoons tomato paste
8 ounce can tomato sauce
28 ounce can diced tomatoes

20-cup Digital Multicooker with Sauté-then-Simmer STS®
6-8 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes

1. Begin by cooking the pasta according to package instructions. Do this either on the stove, with the Aroma pasta cooker, or your multicooker using the STEAM function. Drain and set aside.
2. Set your Aroma multicooker for Sauté-then-Simmer STS® and let heat with the lid on for about 5 minutes.
3. Open the lid and add the oil; let heat for 1-2 minutes.
4. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute until it becomes aromatic; add in the chopped mushrooms or ground meat.
5. Cook while stirring frequently using a long handled wooden or heat-safe spoon. If using meat, cook until it is brown throughout. If using mushrooms, cook until all of the liquid has evaporated.
6. Add in the yellow onion and bell pepper, then the oregano, parsley, and salt and pepper to taste. Give it all a good stir to combine.
7. Let sauté for 5-10 minutes until the vegetables are fully cooked through, stirring every so often.
8. Add the tomato paste and stir to coat, then add in the canned tomatoes and again stir to make sure everything is combined.
9. Close the lid and let the mixture cook down and combine, about 5-10 minutes stirring every now and then.
10. Once most of the liquid has cooked off, add in the cooked noodles. Gently fold them into the tomato mixture for a few minutes until everything is heated through.
11. Turn off the cooker and serve in bowls or on plates with a sprinkling of some cheese, if desired.

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