American Chop Suey Casserole

3.68 avg. rating (73% score) - 90 votes

American Chop Suey Casserole

A New England spin on a classic pasta dish, our American Chop Suey casserole is a savory baked blend of noodles, ground beef, and seasoned tomato sauce.

How to Make American Chop Suey Casserole


  • 8 ounces elbow pasta
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 green peppers, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 15 ounce jar of spaghetti sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning blend
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella


To make American Chop Suey Casserole, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9x13" baking dish.

Cook pasta al dente according to package directions, then drain and transfer to a large bowl tossed with a tablespoon of olive oil.

Heat remaining 3 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and saute the beef, onions, peppers (reserving 1/4 cup for later), and garlic until the beef is browned. Add sauce and seasonings (you may not need the whole jar of sauce depending on how "saucy" you want the casserole to be).

Transfer the mixture to the bowl with the noodles, and mix to combine, then pour into the prepared baking dish and sprinkle reserved diced peppers and cheese on top. Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes, then remove the foil and cook for an additional 10 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and lightly browned.

Serve with crusty bread or a side salad.
  • We love this recipe. I use ground turkey instead of beef and sometimes different pasta shapes.

  • I am a native Californian now living in the Mid-Atlantic and am trying to figure out how the term Chop Suey became associated with a casserole dish that has no relationship to Chinese cooking. Any ideas?

  • Grandma made this with elbow macaroni, canned tomatoes and onions – never garlic or peppers and the only seasoning other than salt and pepper was Worchestershire Sauce. Cheese was never used. I still love it on a cold night!

  • I was raised on American Chop Suey as were my sons and grandsons. We all still love it and have it often. I use ground beef, onion, can tomato sauce, and can tomato soup. Any type of pasta but we like medium shells or rotini. They all love to put spoonful on buttered bread too. Family favorite for generations

  • Yes the real American Chop Suey was as my Mother made it 2 cans of stewed tomatoes. Medium onion , Hamburg. Elbow macaroni, salt and pepper. Cooked in a pot on the stove. This recipe I made this morning because I had all the ingredients handy. I must admit it was delicious but a bit more work. Let us remember back then there were not a lot is spices available. And no packages of shredded cheeses of all kinds. They worked with with what they had and I still love it made my Moms way. But I must admit this casserole was delicious.

  • I thought I was the only one that ate it on bread with butter! Good to know I was not alone way back then. Some use sauce, some use stewed, others use the stuff from a jar. with garlic, no garlic, hot flakes or not. It’s a variation on a theme. Its what makes us happy, what we had that brings the memories. This recipe might be someones new memories and when they hit our ages they can say. “Hey that’s not how you make it, another may say, What memories, my mother used to make it like that way back in 2016”. Whatever it is, however it was made, enjoy, bask in the memories, life is short. Savor it everyday with the tastes of our youth, and if that means garlic and pepper flakes who am I to complain. :-)

  • I totally did the same with white bread and folded it into a sandwich as a child!!! Wow…thanks for the memory. . Im making this baked recipe tonight and i do have To say using onion, garlic and green pepper Makes a huge difference. I’ve been doing it stove top that way for years. I think..at least for my grand parents,they only used what was “on hand” as they didn’t have much feeding 9 children. I’ve put my own twist over the years but I would still eat it bland on a piece of white Brad anyday!

  • My husband loves this and asked for it alot…loved it baked myself
    great flavor…

  • Michelle

    Great recipe! This is how exactly we made it… Except just on stove. Heat would melt the cheese.. I will try it in the oven though also. Kind of like a Baked Ziti,,,,,Bon Appetite!!

  • This is NOT the American chop suey that I grew up eating in Maine! There was never garlic in it nor was there EVER Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes or horrors of all horrors (!) jarred spaghetti sauce! It was made with canned tomatoes and a tablespoon or two of tomato paste and salt and pepper and of course the ground beef, onions, sometimes green bell peppers, and always elbow macaroni. The school cafeteria always served if with a side of that nasty grated cheese product in the green can. It was never baked -always just cooked on the stove top.

  • I love making this comfort food! I make it a little healthier with lots of onions and peppers, low fat beef that I drain, and never used spaghetti sauce, just canned tomatoes and a little paste, oregano and basil. Simmered a bit before adding whole wheat pasta. We like small shells. Always a sprinkle of Parm, S&P. Yum!

  • We never used spaghetti sauce or mozzarella cheese in ACS, we used canned tomatoes and sauce or paste and obviously olive oil wasn’t included back in the old days.

  • I love this recipe and it was a staple growing up. My Mom never put green peppers in hers or Italian seasoning or spaghetti sauce. Back when I was a kid the only jar sauce was Ragu Sauce and that was for people like my Mom that couldn’t make spaghetti sauce without burning it! My Mom used a couple cans of stewed tomatoes and a large can of whole tomatoes crushed up with a spoon and a small can of tomato paste. I think the only seasoning was salt and pepper and lots of grated parmesan cheese to put on top. It was even better on a cold night served with soft white bread and butter and we would put some Chop Suey on the bread and butter and fold it over like a sandwich, Yummm! The other thing that I noticed was different was the pasta which was always some kind of elbow macaroni or ziti? I always drained off the grease from the hamburger and onion before adding the tomatoes and I never heard of putting garlic in it? It is supposed to taste mellow, very meaty with a tomato broth in a large pot. My son loves it when I make it. I don’t remember many spicy dishes with Irish parents. Lots of potatoes and stews. Pot Roast on Sundays and chicken soup if someone was sick. My Mom made a great beef stew in her pressure cooker. I miss the good old food of my youth.

  • This recipe is almost the same as the one my father used when I grew up in Maine in the 1950s and ’60s– the main difference in our family recipe is that we use two cans of stewed tomatoes and one small can of tomato paste in place of the jar spaghetti sauce. I think you’ll see a world of difference in this little twist. Yankee Magazine is a great source for rediscovering those wonderful New England dishes of my youth — thank you very much!

  • Love the Maine Barn pictures…thank you and the recipes are wonderful. Yankee is the best!!!


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