Recipes » Goulash aka American Chop Suey

Goulash aka American Chop Suey

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Goulash aka American chop suey is by far, one of the most inexpensive, filling, tasty meals that the whole family enjoys. It’s comfort food if you will, and while it’s delicious the first day, like most pasta recipes, it’s even better as leftovers!
goulash aka chop suey in a dish on a table

Do you remember eating Goulash as a kid? I know I do! It was one of my favorite dishes. What is Goulash, you ask? Well, it’s basically American Chop Suey. A hearty mix of pasta and ground beef in a simple tomato sauce. This dish is easy to make and perfect for a busy family on the go! So, next time you’re looking for something comforting and affordable, give Goulash a try!

I was reading through some older posts in the dinners under $2.50 section of the forums and when I created that forum, I didn’t mean that the dinners were under $2.50 per Serving, I meant that the entire meal (for the entire family!) was under $2.50! It’s fairly easy to make a decent dinner for $10 ($2.50 per Serving), but sometimes it’s a little more difficult to keep the meals dirt cheap.

new england goulash in a casserole dish on wooden table

When I first shared this recipe on our site, it was less than two dollars to prepare for the entire family. This entire meal is still under five dollars, without even trying. It could obviously be made more frugally by using home-canned tomatoes, homemade pasta, and ground venison.

american chop suey aka goulash on a plate topped with parmesan cheese and basil

Goulash aka Chop Suey

piggy bank Budget101 Chop Suey Price Breakdown

The prices listed were taken directly off Walmart’s website and are current as of February 29, 2020.
Elbow Macaroni (1 Box ) $0.78
Diced Tomatoes (1 Can ) $0.46 (generic is fine)
Ground Turkey- 1 lb Italian $2.58 (Walmart frozen section)
minced garlic (2 tsp )$0.09
onion (one-half) $0.32
$4.23 serves 4-6 people (plus leftovers)

Budget101 Budget Breakdown of Goulash Recipe

Goulash- American Chop Suey Recipe

You’ll Need:

  • 1 Box Elbow Macaroni
  • 1 lb Ground Turkey- Italian
  • 1 Can (undrained) Diced Tomatoes
  • 2 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1/2 finely chopped onion

Boil the macaroni until tender, in the meantime, brown the ground turkey, add the onions, cooking until translucent. Add 1 can of diced tomatoes (un-drained), minced garlic, a sprinkle of garlic salt, Italian seasoning, chopped fresh basil (basically whatever you have on hand that you like).

Drain macaroni, add the seasoned burger/tomato mix. Stir, and serve hot.

I don’t know the origin of the recipe, I have heard people refer to it as goulash, chop suey, etc, but what I do know,  is that it is a super simple, dirt-cheap meal that I was raised eating on a fairly regular basis.

To switch it up, transfer it to a casserole dish, and top with a couple of handfuls of your favorite shredded cheese. Bake at 350°F until the cheese melts about 15 minutes.

We also sometimes use the all purpose ground beef mix to make this dinner even quicker. If you have bell peppers, or celery on hand, you can certainly add it with the onion while cooking to beef the dish up even more.

american chop suey baked in a casserole dish with melted mozzarella cheese

homemade american goulash in casserole dish with wooden spoon
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Goulash- American Chop Suey Recipe by Melissa 'Liss' Burnell
Moms, have you ever made goulash? It's so good, and it's also known as American Chop Suey. This dish is a family favorite in my house, and it's easy to make. You just need some ground meat onion, garlic, tomatoes, elbow macaroni, and basic italian seasoning.
Add to Collection
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
0 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Dinner
Cuisine American, Italian-American
Servings 6
Calories 298 kcal



  • Cook the macaroni according to package directions, drain and rinse.
    1 lb Elbow Macaroni
  • In the meantime, while the macaroni is cooking, brown the ground turkey, add the onions, cooking until the translucent.
    1 lb Ground Turkey- Italian Flavor
    ½ finely chopped onion
  • Add the un-drained diced tomatoes, minced garlic and a sprinkle of garlic salt, Italian seasoning, chopped fresh basil, and any other seasonings you prefer.
    14.5 oz Diced Tomatoes
    2 teaspoon garlic
    1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • Drain macaroni, add the seasoned burger/tomato mix. Stir, and serve hot.


Alternative Serving Suggestion:

Transfer it to a casserole dish, top with shredded mozzarella or colby cheese. Bake at 350°F for 10-15 minutes or until the cheese melts.
Recipe Size Alteration Note

If you altered the ingedients above by doubling or tripling the recipe, you may also need to change the pan/dish size and adjust the cooking/baking time.


Serving: 1gCalories: 298kcalCarbohydrates: 61gProtein: 11gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 103mgPotassium: 319mgFiber: 3gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 86IUVitamin C: 7mgCalcium: 46mgIron: 2mgNet Carbs: 58g
Tried this recipe?Mention @Budget101com or tag #Budget101com!

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3 thoughts on “Goulash aka American Chop Suey”

    • I’ve done that too. I find that home-canned tomatoes offer the best flavor and that’s usually what we used when the kids were still home. A little diced green pepper or even a finely minced jalapeno offer a kick of flavor too. Thanks for visiting our page Donna!

  1. I just found you. Great site.
    I also grew up eating “goulash”. Love it. I have always made mine basically like yours but I have started changing it up a some by making my “Mexican goulash”. Instead of Italian seasonings I use chili powder and cumin to taste. I also add a small can of diced peppers, not too spicy. And I have found that I can use 1/2 lb of ground beef and it makes it a little more budget friendly. No one seems to notice the difference in meat. I have found some great things on your site. Thank you


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