Slow Cooker American Chop Suey

Slow Cooker American Chop Suey
Photo: Diana Rattray
Ratings (30)
  • Total: 5 hrs 10 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 5 hrs
  • Yield: Serves 4
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
754 Calories
41g Fat
38g Carbs
59g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: Serves 4
Amount per serving
Calories 754
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 41g 52%
Saturated Fat 19g 97%
Cholesterol 183mg 61%
Sodium 602mg 26%
Total Carbohydrate 38g 14%
Dietary Fiber 7g 27%
Protein 59g
Calcium 496mg 38%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Despite its name, American Chop Suey has no connection to Asian cuisine. Instead, it's a tomato-based pasta dish that's popular in New England and similar to goulash, a Midwest and Southern staple.

While Chinese chop suey consists of meat and vegetables stir-fried in a thick sauce and served over rice or chow mein, American Chop Suey is made of elbow macaroni, ground beef, onions, and tomato sauce. The dish was once served over rice, rather than pasta, which is partly where its name stemmed from.

Some folks might add green bell peppers or cheese to their American Chop Suey, but neither are traditionally used in the recipe. This particular variation is made in the slow cooker, making it even easier for a weeknight family dinner.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 pound ground chuck
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 6 ounces tomato paste
  • 15 ounces diced tomatoes, undrained
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups cooked macaroni (about 8 ounces, or 1 cup uncooked)

Steps to Make It

  1. In a nonstick skillet over medium heat, heat the vegetable oil. Brown the ground beef, and when the ground beef is no longer pink, drain off the fat and transfer to the slow cooker.

  2. Add the garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, and diced tomatoes. Stir to combine. Taste the sauce and add salt and pepper, as needed.

  3. Cover and cook on low for 5 to 6 hours.

  4. Cook the macaroni in boiling salted water following the package directions. Drain thoroughly.

  5. Stir the hot drained macaroni into the slow cooker tomato and beef mixture. Blend well and continue cooking for 10 minutes longer, or until hot.

Tip

  • Serve with crusty bread and a green salad for a well-rounded meal.

Recipe Variations

  • Replace the garlic powder with two cloves of finely minced garlic. Add it to the slow cooker, along with the tomatoes.
  • American chop suey is a highly adaptable recipe. Use whatever shaped pasta you have on hand and mix in vegetable, if desired.
  • Add 1 cup of Cheddar cheese at the end of the cooking process, letting it cook for about 10 more minutes until the cheese is melted.
  • Oven-baked casserole variation: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Saute the ground beef and onion as directed and pour it into a 9x13 casserole dish. Cook the macaroni to al dente. Add the remaining ingredients to the casserole dish, including the cooked macaroni, and use a spatula to even it out. Cover the dish with foil and cook for 25 minutes.
  • Instant Pot variation: Set the Instant Pot to saute. Add the oil and then the beef and onions. Cook until browned, and then add the remaining ingredients, except the macaroni. Cover with the lid, and set the Instant Pot to manual high pressure for 4 minutes. Let it cook, and then quick-release the pressure. Add macaroni, stir to combine, and serve.
  • Goulash variation: Change this dish into a traditional goulash by adding diced celery and green bell peppers and 1 tablespoon Hungarian paprika to the slow cooker.