Amy's Greek Chop Suey

Ryan Eckles, Project Bread

School Lunch

School Lunch Recipe + Grab-and-Go Instructions

Amy's Greek Chop Suey

This school lunch recipe comes from a wonderful friend and cafeteria worker in the Salem school district.

Amy’s Greek roots coupled with her time living in Massachusetts led to this variation of a local staple. With an abundance of frozen raw ground beef, peppers, onions, canned tomatoes, and elbow macaroni what better to make than some American Chop Suey – Greek style!? To do so Amy adds some cinnamon and Greek oregano to bring this classic dish a Mediterranean twist.

As a side note we’ve made this recipe with both fresh and frozen commodity peppers and onions so feel free to use whatever you have on hand.



12.5 pounds whole grain elbow macaroni

16.75 pounds ground Beef 85/15, thawed from frozen

6.25 pounds green peppers, finely chopped*

6.25 pounds yellow onions, medium dice*

12 oz. tomato Paste

2 Tbsp dried oregano

1 Tbsp cinnamon

1 Tbsp garlic powder

2 tsp kosher salt

2 tsp black pepper

12.75 pounds diced tomatoes

3.8 pounds tomato sauce, no salt added

*Can substitute 13 pounds frozen peppers and onion mix for fresh ingredients.


3 bunches flat leaf parsley, finely chopped


  1. In a large kettle, cook macaroni until al dente and cool completely.
  2. Brown beef in tilt skillet, 10-15 minutes. Drain any excess fat from beef and add tomato paste. Mix well and cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  3. Push beef to sides of skillet and sauté onions and peppers in the center of the skillet, cooking for 5 minutes if using frozen vegetables and 10 minutes if using fresh.
  4. Add seasoning (oregano, cinnamon, garlic, salt & pepper) and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
  5. Add diced tomato and tomato sauce and bring to simmer stirring regularly. Let simmer for 25-35 uncovered or until the liquid at the bottom has reduced by at least half.
  6. Add the pasta to the skillet with the chop suey sauce and mix; let simmer for 3-4 minutes stirring constantly.
  7. To hold for hot service, transfer pasta to hotel pans, cover and place in warmer.

Grab & Go Meal Service Directions

  1. Transfer the pasta and sauce to deep hotel pans and place on rolling carts. Place rolling carts in walk-in and allow pasta to cool.
  2. While the chop suey is cooling, set up your assembly line by putting the microwave safe containers onto sheet pans, fitting as many as you can on your station.
  3. Fill each container with a 6 oz. serving of chop suey.
  4. Once all containers are filled, cover with lids and make sure they are sealed tight
  5. Add label of cooking directions on the lid and put the sheet pans onto a speed rack and roll into the freezer.
  6. Give the pasta 24 hours to fully freeze then transfer to coolers for transportation to the schools.



Cooking times may vary depending on microwave wattage

1. Heat from frozen for 4 minutes on high with lid slightly opened at the corner.

2. Uncover and stir contents then heat for additional 1-2 minutes or until internal temperature reads 165 degrees.

3. Let sit for 3 minutes to cool before eating.

USDA Requirement

2 oz. meat/meat alternate

2 oz. grain equivalent

1/4 cup red/orange vegetable


Calories 394 calories Saturated Fat 4.16 g Sodium  102mg Carbohydrate 49.84g

* nutrient data and allergen information may vary depending on the specific ingredients and equipment used in your location.

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