Instant Pot American Chop Suey

When you combine perfectly cooked Macaroni in an irresistible tomato-based meat sauce, you have what’s come to be known as the classic American Chop Suey. Even better? It’s all gonna be done in one pot thanks to the Instant Pot.

Depending on the region of the US one resides, it also falls under the names of American Goulash or Johnny Marzetti. Whatever you wanna call it, this dish is quick, easy, flavorful and a home-run for the entire family. I’m talking kids of all ages approved.

American Chop Suey
Onion
Take a lovely onion…
Diced onion
…and dice it up
green bell pepper
Then, take a pepper.
Diced pepper
…and do the same thing.
Adding olive oil to pot
Add some olive oil to the pot and heat it up.
Adding onion and pepper to pot
Once heated, add the onion and pepper. Sauté for a few moments until lightly softened.
adding garlic to pot
Add garlic…
Sautéing garlic
…and sauté another moment longer.
Adding ground beef to pot
“Where’s the beef?!” Right here! Add some ground beef to the pot…
Breaking meat up with spoon
…and break it up with a spatula or mixing spoon as it cooks.
Browned beef
Once it’s crumbled and just lightly browned, you’re good.
Adding crushed tomatoes to pot
Add in a big can of crushed tomatoes…
Adding tomato sauce to pot
…tomato sauce (NOT the same thing as pasta sauce)…
Adding beef broth to pot
…and beef broth.
Adding seasonings to pot
Now season it up with some seasoned salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, dried basil and nutmeg…
Adding hot sauce to pot
…along with some hot sauce (but only if you wish).
Stirring
Give everything a good stir.
Adding macaroni to pot.
Now let’s add in some macaroni!
Smoothing out pasta
Once it’s in the pot, DON’T STIR IT! Why? Well, there’s lots of meat in there already. If you stir the pasta in, you run the risk of clogging the pot when it tries to come to pressure. Just smooth it out so it’s lightly submerged in the sauce.
Pressure cook
It should look like this after smoothing. Secure the lid and pressure cook.
Finished pasta
When done, it’ll look like this and the pasta will have cooked perfectly!
Stirring pot
Give it a quick stir and it will be perfection.
Adding cream cheese to pot
Now this is totally optional. But IF you want a touch of a more creamy, indulgent finish, add in a creamy herb cheese like Boursin, Alouette or even cream cheese…
Blending cream cheese into pasta
…and give it a final stir so it’s fully melded into the sauce.
Finished pasta
Now whether you serve it without the creamy touch…
Finished pasta with cream
…or with it…
Man eating pasta
…it’s going to taste…
…PERFECTO!
If you want to make a Chili Mac, try my Chili recipe and serving it mixed in with some pre-cooked macaroni!
Yield: 6

Instant Pot American Chop Suey

Instant Pot American Chop Suey

When you combine perfectly cooked Macaroni in an irresistible tomato-based meat sauce, you have what's come to be known as the classic American Chop Suey.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Additional Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef or meatloaf mixture (veal/pork/beef)
  • 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 8-ounce can tomato sauce (not the same as pasta sauce)
  • 3 cups low-sodium beef broth
  • 1-2 tablespoons hot sauce (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon seasoned salt
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 pound elbow macaroni

For An Optional Creamy Finish

  • 5.2-ounce package of Boursin or Alouette (or 4 ounces of a brick of cream cheese), cut into cubes

Instructions

  1. Add the olive oil to the Instant Pot, hit Sauté and adjust so it's on the More or High setting. After 3 minutes of the oil heating add the onion and pepper and sauté for 3-5 minutes, until lightly softened. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute more.
  2. Add the ground beef and, using a mixing spoon or spatula, break it up until the meat begins to crumble and lightly brown - about 3 minutes. It shouldn't be fully cooked at this point (that's what the pressure cooking is for). Do not drain any juices released - we want them in there for more flavor!
  3. Add in the crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, broth, hot sauce (if using), seasoned salt, Italian seasoning, black pepper, dried basil and nutmeg. Stir everything together well.
  4. Add in the macaroni but DO NOT STIR. (Why? Well, there's lots of meat in there already. If you stir the pasta in, you run the risk of clogging the pot when it tries to come to pressure.) Just smooth it out so it's lightly submerged in the sauce.
  5. Secure the lid, move the valve to the sealing position, hit Keep Warm/Cancel and then hit Manual or Pressure Cook for 5 minutes at high pressure. Quick release when done.
  6. Give everything a final good stir and, if you want that optional, subtle, creamy finish, stir in the Boursin or cream cheese now until melded. If you'd rather keep it dairy free and a bit lighter, forgo this and just serve as is!

Jeffrey's Tips

If you want to make a Chili Mac, try my Chili recipe and serving it mixed in with some pre-cooked macaroni!

The leftovers freeze great!

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. DeeDee Brown

    Another wonderful recipe to add to the list!!!
    I always share your recipes with my sister to try.
    Thank you for teaching many of us how to use the InstantPot without failures!!

  2. Norina Bourget

    American chop suey, one of my favorite meals growing up… why didn’t I think of trying it in my instant pot?
    hubby was watching YouTube and said yum…why don’t we have this for supper? …and it’s in the pot!
    Thanks for the inspiration!

  3. Carey Daste

    Delicious! Except I got a food burn thing like I almost always do with things. I did not stir the pasta in. I patted it down. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong. But I love it! I added the Boursin cheese and it is fantastic!

    • Jeffrey

      Hmmmm. If your pot burns frequently, it may be faulty. This recipe should not burn as written. I suggest contacting IP customer care.

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