The other night, my husband and I were discussing what we wanted to make for dinner for the week. I came in hot with a suggestion that I am always in the mood for, especially when it's cold outside and cozy season is upon us; "American Chop Suey!", I yelled.

My New Jersey-raised husband raised his eyebrows and looked at me like I had said something in a language that was foreign to him. He had never heard of American Chop Suey, much less tried it.

I became flooded with so many emotions. i felt sad that he had lived 35 years on this planet without experiencing American Chop Suey. I felt confused as to why he had never heard of it. And last, but certainly not least, I felt excited to introduce him to this dish that was such a staple in my house growing up.

After a bit of research, I learned that outside of New England, this same dish made with ground beef, macaroni, and a seasoned tomato sauce is sometimes called "American goulash" or "Johnny Marzetti". He had never heard of those either.

I decided to consult my friend, the Internet, to find out if American Chop Suey originated in New England, or if we just take credit for it.

According to an article on, American Chop Suey has been around since the early 1900s, and was widely popular under that same name across the country. About 60 years ago, for unknown reasons, American chop suey became much more popular in New England than the rest of the country. So, people started associating the comfort food with New England.

So the TLDR version is no, American Chop Suey did not originate in New England, but New Englanders love the dish the most and have adopted it as their own.

If you are wondering how my husband's first American Chop Suey experience went, the answer is swimmingly! It has been added to our regular rotation.

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