September 02, 2019



One-Pot Campanelle American Chop Suey (with or without cheese) is a hearty, comforting family meal. This pasta in a beefy tomato sauce is a budget-friendly dish that is satisfying and light on your wallet.

One-Pot Campanelle American Chop Suey
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Every time I have American Chop Suey, it brings me back to my elementary school cafeteria. It was there that I had my first taste of the classic New England pasta dish, which was a regular on the lunch menu. My mom cooked mainly Vietnamese food, and although she made spaghetti with meat sauce at home, American Chop Suey was not in her repertoire. Naturally, I associate the dish with school lunches. Whenever I eat it, I'm brought back to sitting in the cafeteria with my classmates eating off a plastic tray and drinking milk from a cardboard carton. Funny how the smallest things are the ones that stick with you throughout your lifetime.

One-Pot Campanelle American Chop Suey

As you probably know, this pasta dish is traditionally made with elbow macaroni, but I like to change it up occasionally. The fluted shape and the ripple edges of campanelle pasta make it ideal for holding in the meaty, juicy tomato sauce. Then to amp things up, I add freshly grated mozzarella and Monterey Jack cheese. 

Because...why not? 

Is adding hot and gooey cheese to pasta ever a bad thing? Besides, this version is son approved. My son picks American Chop Suey with cheese over one without any day! If you want to stick with the traditional style, leave out the cheese. It is still super yummy!

One-Pot Campanelle American Chop Suey

And if there aren't already enough reasons to love American Chop Suey, here's another! I hate to dirty and clean large pots and colanders when cooking pasta. Turning it into a one-pot meal to reduce the mess and workload makes life easier!
Below are a few tips to help ensure this one-pot pasta cooks perfectly every time.

Use Plenty of Liquid:
It is important to add plenty of liquid in one-pot pasta dishes. Inadequate amount of liquid produces uneven cooking and dried out pasta. On the other hand, this is not a stew—you don't want too much water, either! Adding the amount specified in the recipe will get it just right.

One-Pot Campanelle American Chop Suey

Stir Pasta During Simmer:
Because there is less water used in comparison to traditional method of boiling, and because there is less room for the dried pasta to expand and move around, it is more prone to sticking. Stirring the pot several times while the dish simmers eliminates the problem.

One-Pot Campanelle American Chop Suey

Pre-Packaged or Freshly Grated Cheese?
Packaged shredded cheese contain anti-caking agents to prevent it from clumping. They do not melt as creamy as freshly grated cheese. Which to use is a personal choice. I like freshly grated. You be the master of your own dish and choose whichever you please! I'm not the bossa you :)

One Pot-Campanelle American Chop Suey

As with many comforting family meals, American Chop is hard to beat on affordability. You can really make a pound of pasta and about 1.25 pounds of ground beef go a long way. This recipe serves 6 to 8. No wonder American Chop Suey is a classic. It's perfect served as is for a simple no-fuss meal, or with crusty bread and a side of salad. Yum!!
See you next time!!

More pasta dishes you might like:


One-Pot Campanelle American Chop Suey


2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups chopped green bell pepper
2 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 heaping tablespoon chopped garlic
1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pound beef (85% or more lean)
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons salt 
2 teaspoons black pepper
1 tablespoons dried oregano (or 3 tablespoons fresh)
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 (14-ounce) can beef broth
2 (14.5 ounce) cans petite diced tomatoes
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
4 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese (optional)
4 ounces shredded Monterey Jack cheese (optional)


Preheat a 6-qt. skillet or pan on medium heat. Add olive oil and bell pepper. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add onion. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.

Increase heat to medium high. Add ground beef and garlic. Break up the beef into large chunks using a wooden spatula. Add spices and sugar. Brown beef for 8 minutes, breaking it up finely and stirring frequently.

Pour in beef broth, all the canned tomatoes, and pasta. Stir well, submerging all of the pasta under the liquid. 

Once the sauce comes to a boil, cover and reduce heat to medium-medium low. Simmer, covered for 25-30 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed and the pasta is tender. Stir and submerge the pasta back into the liquid every 8 to 10 minutes during this period. 

If adding cheese, place cheese on top and cover to melt the last 2-3 minutes of the cook time. Serve hot.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

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  1. If I stare at this long enough will it magically appear before me?! Wowee it looks good Thao!! Love all that cheese!!

    1. Haha!! I think there's a better chance of me showing up on your doorstep with it. But if staring works, you'll need to teach me! It will be our superpower!!😆

  2. My kids would absolutely love this. And I am realizing that this year I'm so busy I need to do more one dish type meals. Thanks for sharing!

    1. This is definitely a good family meal. I love the convenience and efficiency of one pot cooking. It's going to make your life a little easier!!

  3. i love these kind of recipes because its easy for me to make and my kids actually loved it every time. i wonder if i can substitute some of the ingredients because mostly i can't find them at the grocery stores. thanks :)

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Mary! This is the kind of recipe that is very forgiving. You can substitute for something similar items..swap out the cheese for something else, use a different pasta shape, use all tomato sauce in place of the diced tomatoes, etc. It will turn out delicious!