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I know you’re probably wondering HOW chow mein could possibly be in a casserole form, but trust me on this one. This recipe combines the classic ingredients of a chow mein with the comfort of a casserole, but no baking required.
The name of this recipe sounds strange and maybe it is a little bit. But sometimes some of the weirdest foods you try end up being the best! This is an Asian food inspired recipe my mom would make for us a lot growing up. I’ve put my twist on it and added a bunch of fresh vegetables to give it some much needed color, flavor, and nutritional value.
There’s quite a funny story behind the origin of this recipe. My grandma actually concocted this recipe out of random ingredients in her pantry. The end result, she loved, made countless times for her family, and coined the dish “chow mein.” It’s certainly not a traditional chow mein but it’s my family's version and I can’t wait to share it with you!
Over the years, my mom adapted the recipe, health-a-fied it a bit, and served it to our family. We would usually have this chow mein when my dad was traveling for work because he hated it, thought it was mushy slop, and refused to eat it. But sometimes, my mom and I would make it for him as a surprise when he wasn’t paying attention…(you know you loved it dad!)
I hope you’re still reading. I know I haven’t sold this as a tasty recipe so far. But trust me, it’s only getting better. I’ve transformed this recipe from its original grandma concoction into a protein packed, healthy dinner. With 30 grams of protein per serving and a ton of nutritional value from the vegetables, this recipe might become part of your weekly rotation.
So a little about the recipe itself…the base of this ‘chow mein’ is brown rice. My mom always used instant, but I’m making it with long grain basmati, which really helps eliminate the mush-factor my dad so thoroughly enjoyed. The recipe is very simple and comes together with just 2 pots/pans.
We’re going to cook the rice, saute the chicken and veggies, and make a casserole sauce with cream of celery soup, soy sauce, almond milk, and sesame oil that adds a ton of yummy flavors! The cream of celery soup that is used for the sauce is where the casserole vibes come from, but we aren’t going to bake this in the oven!
Follow along below and leave a comment if you make this recipe!
Ingredients in this Chow Mein Casserole
Brown Rice: Long grain basmati brown rice is the preferred choice for this recipe, but feel free to use white rice or black rice. Try to avoid instant rice, as it tends to get mushy when combined with the other ingredients.
Fresh Veggies: Broccoli, green onions, shredded carrots, baby portabella mushrooms, and fresh ginger.
Chicken: 2 large chicken breasts, cubed and sauted on the stove top.
Crispy Noodles: We’re going to top this dish off with La Choy brand crispy chow mein noodles. They add the perfect crunch to every bite!
Sesame Oil and Soy Sauce: About 2 tbsp of each will be added to our can of cream of celery soup sauce.
Cream of Celery Soup: 1 small can of cream of celery soup will make up the sauce, this is where the casserole vibes come into play.
Almond Milk: We only need ½ cup to add to the sauce to make it a better consistency.
Kitchen Tools Needed for this Recipe
- Large skillet for sauteing the chicken and veggies
- Saucepan to cook the rice and make the sauce
- Cutting board and knife
- Mixing bowl to hold the chicken and later the ginger rice
How to Make Chow Mein Casserole
Step One: Boil 2 cups of water in a saucepan and cook the brown rice for 35 minutes.
Step Two: Prep your veggies by chopping the broccoli and mushrooms into bite-sized pieces. Dice the 3 green onions, separating the whites from the greens. Set the green parts aside for later. Shred or grate about 4 carrots.
Step Three: Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a skillet on medium heat. Place the cubed chicken breasts, seasoned with a dash of salt and pepper, in the skillet and cook until meat is cooked through and slightly browned. About 10-15 minutes. Remove chicken from the skillet and set aside.
Step Four: Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a skillet on medium heat. Saute together the broccoli, mushrooms, carrots, whites of the onions, garlic powder, and salt/pepper until the veggies have softened. About 10-15 minutes. Keep the veggies covered and stir occasionally.
Step Five: Add the chicken back into the skillet with the veggies. Let them all simmer together for 5 minutes on low heat, covered.
Step Six: When the rice has cooked, remove from the saucepan and place into a small bowl. Add the fresh ginger and stir to combine.
Step Seven: In the same saucepan, add the can of cream of celery soup with ½ cup almond milk, 2 tbsp of sesame oil, and 2 tbsp of soy sauce. Stir to combine. Let simmer on low-medium heat for 3-4 minutes until warmed through, stirring occasionally.
Step Eight: Plate 1 cup of cooked rice. Pour ⅓ cup of the sauce over the rice and 1 cup of the veggies and chicken mixture. Top with a small handful of crispy chow mein noodles and the scallion greens.