Can't believe I just found out I can make a casserole out of my favorite takeout. This is epic!

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A dish that marries the heartiness of Midwestern casseroles with the savory flavors and textures of Chinese chow mein, the Cabbage and Ground Beef Chow Mein Casserole represents a fusion of culinary cultures nestled in a comforting meal. The origins of chow mein trace back to the Chinese diaspora, where adapting traditional stir-fry techniques and noodles to available local ingredients evolved into what we savor today. This casserole takes the concept a step further, transforming the classic, often quick-cooked, chow mein into a baked dish that's perfect for prepping ahead and serving at family gatherings. Anyone looking for a satisfying, make-ahead meal that offers both familiar and exotic tastes will find this recipe a delightful addition to their repertoire.
This casserole, rich and hearty on its own, pairs beautifully with simple steamed vegetables or a crisp green salad dressed with ginger vinaigrette. For a full Chinese-inspired feast, consider serving it alongside dim sum appetizers like dumplings or egg rolls and finishing with a light dessert such as almond cookies or mango pudding.
Cabbage and Ground Beef Chow Mein Casserole
Servings: 6
- 1 lb. lean ground beef
- 2 cups cabbage, coarsely chopped
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 cups cooked chow mein noodles (or spaghetti)
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 1 bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 cup bean sprouts (optional)
- 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
- Green onions, sliced for garnish
1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.
2. In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté the ground beef, onion, and garlic with the vegetable oil until the meat is browned and the onions are tender. Drain any excess fat.
3. Add the chopped cabbage to the skillet, cooking until the cabbage wilts and becomes tender.
4. Stir in the cooked noodles, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, ground ginger, and black pepper, ensuring everything is thoroughly combined and coated with the sauce.
5. Fold in the shredded carrots, bell pepper, and bean sprouts if using, and pour in the broth, mixing well.
6. Transfer the mixture into the prepared baking dish.
7. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until everything is cooked through.
8. Garnish with sliced green onions and serve hot.
Variations & Tips
- For a vegetarian version, swap the ground beef with crumbled firm tofu or a plant-based ground beef alternative, and use vegetable broth.
- Feel free to incorporate other vegetables such as water chestnuts, snow peas, or mushrooms for added texture and flavor.
- To add some heat, include a dash of Sriracha or chili flakes into the sauce mixture.
- Leftover rotisserie chicken or cooked shrimp can also be used instead of ground beef for a different protein option.
- If you enjoy crispy noodles, scatter some additional chow mein noodles on top during the last 5 minutes of baking for an added crunch.
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