What to Make: Mr. Noodles Chow Mein Casserole

Carrying on with my new Covid hobby – making the recipes from the back of packages. I had doubts that I would post this recipe. For me this was just, meh, BUT the kid had seconds and ate the leftovers for lunch the next day. Anytime leftovers get eaten by anyone other than me is a huge win and worth sharing.

This casserole reminds me of old-school potlucks. The type held in small town church basements to celebrate Girl Guide enrollments, family reunions, celebrating milestone anniversaries. I grew up in a small town so have the picture in my mind of the church basement and potluck set up. All of this to say that this recipe is not very exciting, there are no crazy flavours or ingredients, it doesn’t look very pretty but is filling and quick and easy to make.

– 1 lb ground beef
– 1/2 medium sized onion diced
– 1 can of tomato soup (I used Campbells)
– 1/2 soup can of water (obviously the same Campbells soup can)
– 1 cup of celery diced
– 1/2 tablespoon of salt (the recipe on the package actually asks for 1tbsp but that is a lot of salt)
– 1/2 tsp of chili pepper

  1. Preheat over to 350F.
  2. In the casserole dish brown the meat and onion. You can do this step in a frying pan and transfer to a casserole dish, but that just makes extra dishes.
  3. Add the soup, water, celery, salt and chili pepper and let simmer for 20 minutes.
  4. Put the casserole dish in over to bake for 15 minutes.
  5. Remove from the over, add 1/2 package of noodles and then put back in the over for another 15 minutes (see below for tips)
  6. Remove from oven and serve!

– If you want a bit more flavour, increase the amount of chili pepper, as I mentioned in the opening there’s not a tonne of flavour here so some extra chilli would be nice.
– When adding the noodles, the instructions on the package didn’t indicate if they were just placed on top or should be stirred in. I went with a 1/2 stirred 1/2 on top. If I make this again I would stir them all in and add some extra to the bowl when serving for texture. I found the noodles that weren’t stirred in where not quite crunchy, not quite soft.
– I added peas to my bowl for a bit of colour and vegetable. I would recommend this (the kid does not agree).
– I think this dish would also be a good one to “hide” some vegetables in, some grated carrot or a squash or yam puree in the sauce would work if you want to go that route.
– I don’t know that the 20 minutes of simmering time is actually needed, I feel you could save a few minutes and simmer for 10 minutes at most before putting in the oven.

Would I make this again, maybe. We pretty much always have these ingredients on hand and it was really easy to make. Have you ever made this? Got any tips or variations on the recipe to share?
FYI – no image to share on this one….some food just doesn’t photograph well!

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