American Chop Suey




  • 1 pound elbow macaroni
  • salt to taste
  • 1 28-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 1 tbsp minced onion, reconstituted
  • 1 large green pepper, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup parsley leaves
  • 1 pound 80/20 ground beef or turkey
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 pound mozzarella cheese, cubed
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 3 ounces parmigiano-reggiano cheese


  1. Place 1 pound elbow macaroni in a large bowl and cover with hot water, and season generously with salt. Let rest.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil and 2 tablespoons butter or margarin into pot until butter is mostly melted. Add onions and peppers, reduce heat to medium and cook until softened.
  3. Stir macaroni in bowl.
  4. Add 2 teaspoons minced garlic, 1 tablespoon dried oregano, 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, and 1/8 cup parsley and cook while stirring, about a minute.
  5. Clear a space in the pan and add meat. Increase heat to high. Break up with wooden spoon and cook until meat is no longer pink, around 4 minutes. Add tomato sauce and bring to a simmer.
  6. Drain noodles, then add to pot with beef. Add 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce and 1 cup chicken stock, while folding the noodles through the sauce until everything’s well-integrated. Cover and cook at a hard simmer until noodles are mostly cooked, about half of the cook-time on the box of noodles.
  7. Remove lid to stir and combine. Season to taste. Add 1/2 pound of cubed mozzarella and stir to incorporate rapidly. (Don’t overstep or the mixture will stick to your spoon.) Add the other half of the mozzarella on top. Sprinkle 1.5 ounces of parmigiana cheese over the dish. Cover and cook on low for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let rest with cover on for 5 minutes.
  8. Uncover, sprinkle with 1.5 ounces of parmigiana cheese, and serve.

American Chop Suey can trace its roots back to an 1916 US Army manual for cooks.