Do you have memories of tuna casserole from childhood? Most Baby Boomers were probably served this chopstick tuna casserole in the 1960s. This simple, old-fashioned tuna casserole gets its name from the chow mein noodles that give body to the dish and are also sprinkled on top to provide crunch.
There aren't any other specifically Asian ingredients or flavors. Onions and celery are the vegetables in the casserole. Some moms would include canned water chestnuts for more crunch and Chinese influence.
A common variation was to use potato chips instead of the chow mein noodles. Of course, then it wouldn't be called chopstick tuna casserole. Either choice will provide the crunch on top for texture.
It can be a warming dinner in winter when you want to make something from the canned goods you have in the pantry. This casserole would also be good with canned salmon, chicken, or turkey for convenience. You can use whatever you have in the pantry for protein. Onions and celery add some vegetables to the casserole.
You can enjoy this as a simple comfort food supper, served with a green salad. Or, think of taking it as a 60s throwback dish to a potluck.
- 1 can (10 1/2 ounces) condensed cream of mushroom soup
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 cups chow mein noodles, divided, or use coarsely crushed potato chips
- 1/4 cup chopped onion
- Dash of pepper
- 1 can (6 1/2 to 7 ounces) tuna, drained and flaked
- 1 cup sliced celery
- Heat the oven to 375 F. Grease an 8-inch square baking dish.
- In a large bowl combine the soup and water.
- Add 1 cup of chow mein noodles, finely chopped onion, pepper, tuna, and celery; toss lightly.
- Turn mixture into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle remaining 1 cup chow mein noodles over the top.
- Bake for 30 minutes.
- Serve hot.
Enjoy this tuna casserole as the main course. For a full meal, include a green salad or steamed or roasted vegetables such as broccoli and carrots, which will lend color to the plate.
Leftover tuna casserole can be refrigerated and reheated in the microwave or in the oven. The noodles on top will become a bit soggy, so you might want to add some fresh noodles if your crave their crispness when you reheat it. You can also freeze portions to save for future quick meals, with the same caveat about the topping becoming soggy when you reheat it later.
Crock Pot Chicken Chow Mein: This recipe has more of the essence of chow mein, with a variety of vegetables, bean sprouts, water chestnuts, ginger, and soy sauce.
Creamy Tuna A La King: Another classic recipe you may remember from the 60s that includes tuna, condensed soup, and chow mein noodles.