American Chop Suey

A family favorite–American Chop Suey!

My mom used to make it for us about once a week, and we happily gobbled it up. She made it for my kids  when they were younger and it quickly became one of their favorites, too.

It’s a great comfort food, that’s for sure. It’s quick, easy, and kids love it!

It shows up on school lunch menus around here to this day, and even though I don’t make it often (What is wrong with me?  It’s super easy!) my girls are so happy when I do.

My 13 year old actually clapped and said “yay!” when I told her we were having this the last time I made it. It’s not easy to get happy reactions out of a 13 year old girl, by the way.

I made extra noodles for the boys to have the way they like it (with butter and parmesan).

This couldn’t be any easier, and you can make a lot to feed a crowd. It’s great for potlucks, too.

Oh! I try to use homemade sauce when possible, but since I didn’t have any made, and was short on time, I used…shhhhh…sauce in a jar. But it was organic and HFCS free!!! I’m sure you’ll let it slide, because the girls loved it, just the same, and that’s what counts, right?

There’s really no set recipe for this. Use what you’ve got. I don’t usually use green pepper, but my mom always did. She also used beef, I use ground turkey. Here are the amounts I used, and we have lots of delicious leftovers.

American Chop Suey


* 1-1 1/2 boxes of your favorite small type of pasta (cellentani, elbows, whatever)
* 1-1 1/2 pounds ground turkey or beef
* about 1/2 an onion, finely chopped
* 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
* oregano and basil to taste, or you could use an Italian blend
* a bit of salt and pepper
* your favorite sauce (I used about a box and a half of pasta, and almost 2 (26 oz) jars of sauce)


1.  Cook the pasta according to package directions.
2.  While that’s cooking, heat a large skillet.
3.  When the skillet’s hot, add a bit of oil to heat.

4.  Add the meat, onion and garlic, spices of your choice, and cook, stirring occasionally, until meat is   browned and no longer pink.

5.  Drain meat, if necessary, and return to pan. Add sauce to meat mixture and lower heat, just to heat the sauce all the way through.
6.  Drain noodles, and either add them back to the pan the pasta pot, or to a large bowl.

7.  Pour meat and sauce mixture over, stir to combine.

8.  Serve with grated parmesan and crusty bread.

Make a kid happy today, serve them this delicious and wholesome meal!

Do you have a favorite comfort food from your childhood that you share with your kids now? Share it with us here, or join the discussions at the Blissfully Domestic Social Network!

What do you think?



  1. 4

    Oh, and one more thing, I originally blogged about this recipe for a “Tastes to Remember” food blog event that someone was hosting. We were asked to post about a dish we loved as kids. I loved this as a kid, and terribly miss my mother, who always made it for me. She passed away two years ago this November, so it feels good for me to share something that’s a tradition in our family.

  2. 5

    Hi Sarah! Well, there’s one difference–you don’t use spaghetti noodles in American Chop Suey. And it’s a traditional New England recipe, and my family loves it. And it’s even got it’s own Wikipedia page, where you can read more about it:

    Have a great day!

  3. 6

    how is this any different from spaghetti and meat sauce? I don’t see any difference at all!

  4. 7

    I make a recipe just like this, and it’s definitely always a big hit. Thanks for the idea! Growing up, I loved my mom’s homemade mac and cheese – a recipe she got from my grandma that I still make today. I also make my mom’s meatloaf, which was always a favorite growing up.