Slumgullion Recipe

Slumgullion! Beefaroni! American Chop suey! Whichever name you choose to call it, this easy American comfort food is made with a few basic ingredients; macaroni, ground beef, tomato sauce and some of your common spices.

Make this recipe in an instant pot, stovetop or in your crockpot, all I ask is that you set your Beefaroni can aside for a minute for this easy, delicious homemade version. Does Macaroni and beef in tomato sauce sound good to you? Aha! I thought so. Let me show you how to make it.

Slumgullion Recipe (Beefaroni or American Chop suey)

Now this isn’t a dish I grew up with but I assure you it will be one of the dishes my kids will remember as their own comfort food when they grow up.

Not just because it’s in our meal plan rotation but because it tastes so good and comforting you really can never go wrong with this easy macaroni and ground beef recipe. If you would like to make this recipe in your instant pot, please check out my instant pot American Goulash recipe.

Since I made my Air fryer Mac and cheese and Air fryer Mexican or Jollof rice, and they turned out perfect, I am on a mission to share lots of unique cooking recipes using my air fryer and this Slumgullion Recipe is on my list. If you haven’t signed up for my newsletter, this is the time to do so! This way you don’t miss any of my recipes.

What is Slumgullion?

According to Oxford (lexicon) dictionary, Slumgullion means cheap or insubstantial stew. Mariam Webster defines it as a meat stew. It is said to have its origin rooted deep in the early 19th century which was when the name was coined.

It is also said to be an alternative name to American Goulash. Slumgullion seems to have a lot of aliases like Beefaroni and American Chop Suey! From my research, these names seem to be all and the same beloved American comfort food.

This is a popular Beefaroni can brand that I tried. It was ok but believe me this homemade version is by far tastier and gets ready faster than you think! Bonus point, you get to ‘Beef’ it up for a more beefy experience or ‘beef’ it down for less. Easily adaptable.


Similar to my loaded creamy ground beef pasta , this recipe is made with simple everyday ingredients. Which includes 3 major ingredients and a blend of spice mix. Some recipes call for bell peppers, though I didn’t use that in this recipe, I used it in my Instant Pot American Goulash recipe. Either way this recipe is a keeper.

  • Ground beef
  • Onions
  • Tomato sauce and yes you can substitute with marinara sauce or pasta sauce
  • Elbow Macaroni
  • Cheese for garnishing
  • Spice-herb blend
    • Paprika
    • Bouillon powder
    • Dry Oregano
    • Ground garlic
    • Dry Rosemary
    • Parsley

How to make Beefaroni?

Easier than you think. This is an overview of the recipe full recipe instructions can be found at the printable recipe card at the bottom of the page.

This recipe requires you to precook the pasta. I would suggest you read through my guide on how to cook the perfect pasta so you can get the best texture of pasta for this ‘slum’ recipe. Hello Al dente!

Pic 1-3; Sauté onions and begin to brown the ground beef

Pic 4-6; In the mean time, cook the pasta. See my How to cook the perfect pasta guide!

Pic 7-9 Add spice blend, stir in then add the tomato sauce,

Pic 10-12; Cook some more then mix the beef sauce with the perfectly cooked macaroni.

Pic 13-15; Transfer to a cast iron braiser, top with cheese and broil till cheese melts. This is an optional step, but adding cheese and broiling adds an extra deliciousness to this dish!

Quick Recipe Notes and Tips!

  • I like to cook my pasta while the beef is cooking. You can also make the pasta before or after the beef has been cooked. If you choose to cook it before the beef is cooked, drain the pasta and toss in about 2 tablespoons of oil to keep it from sticking and becoming clumpy.
  • If you want it more saucy than I made it, add some water to the sauce while cooking.
  • Feel free to play around with your favorite spice blend in this recipe. You can make it taco-ish by using taco seasoning if you want a taste of Indian cuisine, try using Garam masala spice blend.
  • You can substitute the dry oregano, rosemary and basil in this recipe with Italian seasoning.

Love this recipe? Check out these other Pasta Recipes and Ground beef Recipes!

Slumgullion Recipe

Slumgullion! Beefaroni! American Chop suey! Whichever name you choose to call it, this easy American comfort food is made with a few basic ingredients; macaroni, ground beef, tomato sauce and some the spices.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: American Chop suey, beefaroni, slumguillon
Servings: 6
Calories: 495kcal
Author: Chichi Uguru


  • 1 ¼ lb Ground beef
  • 1 lb macaroni
  • 1 large onion (chopped)
  • 1 tsp Garlic powder
  • 2 (15 oz) cans of Tomato sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Red pepper flakes (reduce if you want it less spicy)
  • 1 Tbsp Chicken Bouillon (you can use beef)
  • 1 tsp Oregano
  • ½ tsp dry Rosemary
  • ½ tsp Parsley

Optional topping

  • Shredded cheese cheddar or Monterey Jack.


Make the ground beef sauce

  • Sauté onions in 1 Tbsp of oil then add the ground beef and spice blend. Cook till no longer pink.
  • Add the Tomato sauce stir and reduce heat to low and let beef sauce simmer for about 5 mins then turn off heat.

Make the Pasta

  • Bring water to a boil and cook according to pasta instructions see my post on how to cook the perfect pasta for guidance.
  • When pasta is cooked, drain with a colander then transfer back to pot.
  • Pour the ground beef sauce into the pasta pot and mix to combine. You can serve it as is at this point or you can go further and top with some cheese and broil for 3-5 minutes until cheese melts.
  • Sprinkle some chopped parsley on the top and serve.

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