What Is American Chop Suey History?

American Chop Suey, also known as Goulash or Beefaroni, is a popular comfort dish that has been enjoyed in the United States for decades. This dish is a staple in many households and has become a go-to meal for busy families.

But where did this dish come from and what is its history? Let’s take a closer look.

Origins Of American Chop Suey

The origin of the American Chop Suey dates back to the early 20th century when Chinese immigrants started to settle in the United States. They brought with them their traditional dishes, including Chop Suey, which became popular among Americans.

However, American Chop Suey as we know it today has little to do with the original Chinese dish. In fact, it is believed that this pasta-based version of Chop Suey was created during the Great Depression when people had to make do with whatever ingredients they had on hand.

The Evolution Of American Chop Suey

Over time, American Chop Suey has evolved and taken on different variations depending on where you are in the country. In some regions, it is known as Goulash or Beefaroni and may be made with different types of meat or pasta.

Despite the variations in ingredients, American Chop Suey remains a simple and comforting dish that can be easily prepared using pantry staples like canned tomatoes, ground beef or turkey, pasta, and spices.

How To Make American Chop Suey

If you want to try making American Chop Suey at home, here’s a simple recipe:

  • 1 pound elbow macaroni
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (14 oz)
  • 1 can tomato sauce (8 oz)
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 green pepper chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Cook the pasta according to package instructions.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  3. Add the ground beef and cook until browned, breaking it up into small pieces with a wooden spoon.
  4. Add the onion, green pepper, and garlic to the skillet and cook until softened.
  5. Add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, oregano, salt, and pepper to the skillet. Stir well and bring to a simmer.
  6. Reduce heat to low and let simmer for about 10 minutes.
  7. Serve the sauce over cooked pasta.

Tips For Making The Perfect American Chop Suey

  • You can use any type of pasta you prefer for this dish. Elbow macaroni is traditional but you could also use spaghetti or penne.
  • If you want to add more vegetables to your American Chop Suey, feel free to experiment with adding carrots, celery or zucchini.
  • If you prefer a spicier flavor profile, add some red pepper flakes or hot sauce to your sauce mix.
  • To save time on prep work, chop your onions and peppers ahead of time so they are ready when you start cooking.
  • This dish can be made ahead of time and reheated for a quick weeknight dinner option.


American Chop Suey may have originated as a humble dish created during difficult times, but it has since become a beloved comfort food enjoyed by people all over the United States. Whether you make it with ground beef or turkey, elbow macaroni or spaghetti, this dish is sure to satisfy your hunger and warm your heart.