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Whoa, had no idea I could make my favorite takeout in casserole form! What a life hack!

Baked Ground Beef Chow Mein Casserole Recipe

Chow Mein, a beloved staple of Chinese-American cuisine, takes on a comforting twist in this Baked Ground Beef Chow Mein Casserole. Combining the rich flavors of a traditional stir-fry with the ease of a hearty casserole, this dish is perfect for weeknight dinners or potluck gatherings. The marriage of tender beef, vibrant vegetables, and savory noodles, all baked to perfection, promises to satisfy both the adventurous palate and the nostalgic heart.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, freshly grated
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 1 cup carrots, julienned
  • 3 cups cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 8 ounces cooked Chow Mein noodles or cooked spaghetti
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, grated (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Green onions or chives, chopped (for garnish)

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish and set aside.
  2. Cook ground beef in a large skillet over medium heat until browned, breaking it up as it cooks.
  3. Add diced onions, minced garlic, and grated ginger to the skillet with the beef. Cook until onions are translucent.
  4. Incorporate chopped celery and julienned carrots. Cook for a few minutes until they begin to soften. Then, add sliced cabbage and mushrooms, cooking until all vegetables are tender-crisp.
  5. Prepare the sauce by whisking together beef broth, soy sauce, oyster sauce (if using), sesame oil, and cornstarch in a small bowl. Pour over the beef and vegetable mixture. Stir well and simmer until the sauce thickens slightly.
  6. Combine cooked Chow Mein noodles (or spaghetti) with the beef and vegetable mixture in the skillet. Ensure everything is evenly mixed.
  7. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish. Top evenly with grated cheddar cheese, if desired.
  8. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, until the cheese is bubbly and starts to brown.
  9. Garnish with chopped green onions or chives before serving.
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Variations & Tips

  • Lighter Version: Substitute ground chicken or turkey for beef.
  • Cheese Options: Experiment with Monterey Jack or a cheese blend for different flavor profiles.
  • Vegetable Variations: Try bean sprouts, bell peppers, or water chestnuts for added texture.
  • Garnish Ideas: Sprinkle sesame seeds or crushed red pepper flakes for extra flavor and crunch.
  • Vegetarian Option: Omit beef and add extra mushrooms or tofu, adjusting seasoning to taste.

FAQs

Q: Can I prepare this dish ahead of time?

A: Absolutely! You can assemble the casserole up to a day in advance and refrigerate. Bake it just before serving for optimal freshness.

Q: How do I store leftovers?

A: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven or microwave until heated through.

Q: Can I freeze this casserole?

A: Yes, you can freeze it before baking. Cover tightly with foil and freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before baking as directed.

Q: What can I serve with this casserole?

A: Consider pairing it with steamed green beans, an Asian-inspired slaw, or a simple miso soup to complement the flavors.

Conclusion

Baked Ground Beef Chow Mein Casserole marries the flavors of traditional Chow Mein with the comforting appeal of a baked casserole. Whether for a family dinner or a potluck gathering, its fusion of ingredients and ease of preparation ensure it will become a favorite in your repertoire. Experiment with different vegetables and toppings to customize it to your taste, and enjoy the warm, satisfying flavors of this Midwestern-inspired dish.