Healthy American Chop Suey also known as goulash made with grass-fed beef, lots of healthy veggies and whole-grain pasta. This from-scratch, family favorite recipe is ready in 45 minutes and comes in at 330 calories per serving.

a white bowl of pasta


Years ago I shared this recipe for Healthy American Chop Suey, and to date it is a favorite here on Healthy Seasonal Recipes. I pulled it out of the archives today, spruced up the photos and made a fun one-minute video for you. Mostly I did this because I wanted to make sure you knew about it and show you just how crazy easy it is. Check it out!Bison Bolognese

As I shared in my original post, titled Bison Bolognese, this dish is known by a number of different names that vary by region. My husband grew up calling it Chop Suey, but in the Midwest it is known as Goulash or Slumgullion in some parts. Whatever you call it, we love it in this house, especially when it is healthified!

What Makes This American Chop Suey Healthier?

Let me count the ways.

Whole Wheat Pasta—whole wheat pasta is higher in fiber and will keep you satisfied longer. I used 2 ounces (dry) per person which is actually the recommended serving size. So many pasta dishes have double that!

Grass-fed Beef—grass-fed meat is naturally leaner (I used 92% lean.) The fat that it does have is higher in beneficial Omega-3s and CLA. If you can, try to find a local grass-fed beef.

Lots of Vegetables—this recipe is loaded with vegetables. The vegetables double the serving size. The trick is to use a food processor to make this an easy step. Using the steel blade attachment, drop the garlic through the feed tube while the motor is running. Then add in roughly chopped carrots and celery and chop them fine with the blade. Last add in some chunks of peeled and cored onions and pulse them to chop them up too. Because they are so finely chopped they really melt into the sauce.

Lots of flavor—I used Italian Seasoning mix since it is so simple, plus red wine. Wine helps to make the flavors in recipes more pronounced. If you can find them the Muir Glen fire roasted canned tomatoes make this even better. All this flavor, combined with the garlic and onions, stands up to the taste of the whole-wheat pasta and tames any gaminess of the grass fed beef.

Healthy American Chop Suey in a bowl

How to Make American Chop Suey

This healthy American chop suey comes together in about 45 minutes and is really easy to make on a busy weeknight. Use a food processor to chop the garlic, carrots, celery, and onion to speed up prep time. Then, brown the grass-fed ground beef and add in the vegetables. Cook the mixture until the veggies cook down slightly and brown.

Stir in some dry red wine an continue cooking until most of the wine cooks off (this will take a good three minutes or so). Finally, add in some chopped tomatoes and continue stirring until the sauce thickens slightly. And that’s it! Stir in the cooked pasta when you’re ready to serve this American chop suey, and watch as your family gobbles it down.


Do you chop vegetables in your food processor for fast weeknight meals?

Do you find grass-fed beef gamey or whole-wheat pasta too strong?

What do you call this pasta and meat sauce recipe in your neck of the woods?

More Healthy Dinner Recipes:

This new Slow Cooker Bolognese recipe is similar to this but simmers all day long while you work! 

Broccoli Macaroni and Cheese

Chicken Chilaquiles

Italian Beef and Marinara Stuffed Portobellos

Healthy Stove-top Macaroni and Cheese with Kale

Chicken and Brussels Sprouts Sheet Pan Dinner

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Healthy American Chop Suey on Healthy Seasonal Recipes

Healthy American Chop Suey {Goulash or Slumgullion}

  • Author: Katie Webster
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Main Course
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American


Whether you call this Chop suey, goulash or slumgullion this healthy version is a delicious family friendly meal. Made with loads of vegetables, whole-wheat pasta and grass fed beef.



  • 12 ounces whole wheat rotini, fusilli or macaroni
  • 6 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1 ½-inch chunks
  • 2 stalks celery, cut into 1 ½-inch chunks
  • 2 medium onions, peeled, cored and cut into eighths
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound ground Bison or lean ground beef
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • ½ cup dry red wine
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes, preferably fire-roasted, such as Muir Glen (see ingredient note*)
  • Chopped fresh parsley for garnish


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  2. Meanwhile, fit food processor with steel blade attachment, close lid and turn motor on. Drop garlic through feed spout and continue processing until the garlic is minced. Open lid and add carrot and celery. Process until the carrot and celery are finely chopped. Open lid, add onion and pulse until the onion is roughly chopped. Alternatively, use a knife to mince garlic, finely chop carrot and celery and dice onion.
  3. Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat. Crumble in bison or beef, and cook, stirring and breaking up chunks of meat until browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the vegetable mixture, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are cooked down and browned slightly, 8 to 12 minutes. Pour in wine and cook until mostly evaporated, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in tomato and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to maintain simmer and cook, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, once the water boils, cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain.
  5. Mix the pasta and sauce together and serve sprinkled with parsley.


To make ahead: Store the sauce (not mixed with pasta) in the freezer for 3 months. Left-overs reheat well in the microwave.


  • Serving Size: 1 2/3 cups
  • Calories: 330
  • Carbohydrates: 49 g
  • Fiber: 7.6 g
  • Protein: 20 g

Goulash in a bowl with text overlay

american chop suey (goulash)