Chow Mein Noodle Hotdish Recipe

Chow mein noodle hotdish recipe, a classic Minnesotan recipe!

Did you know that a true Minnesotan doesn’t accept food until the third offer? Take it from me – a born and bred Minnesotan – that would be much too forward and verging on rude. Here’s how a scene may play out at a Sunday evening get-together among friends or neighbors:

  • Host: Do you want some more dessert?
  • Minnesotan: Oh no, I really shouldn’t.
  • Host: Oh come on now. Are you sure?
  • Minnesotan: Ya – I think I should pass.
  • Host: There’s still a lot left and I really don’t want to bother with leftovers. Are you sure?
  • Minnesotan: Oh, well, I really shouldn’t. But if you insist…

Back in college, I had a speech communication professor from Thailand. In our intercultural communication class, he showed us a video called “How to Speak Minnesotan”. It gave a comical but realistic look at some common Minnesotanisms: The long goodbye; waving to the driver of an oncoming vehicle; extreme modesty. Things that make so much sense to us, but may seem a little peculiar from the outside.

Lesson #5 was my favorite: Eating in Minnesota.

What Is Hotdish? (From How To Talk Minnesotan)

  • Hotdish is served hot
  • Hotdish is served in a dish
  • Hotdish typically appears at church suppers, weddings, 4H meetings, and funerals

Chow mein noodle hotdish

Generic Recipe For Hotdish (from How to Talk Minnesotan)

Mix together 2 cans of cream of mushroom soup, 1 pound of cooked pulverized meat, 2 cans of pale vegetables. Stir. Salt to taste. Pour in baking dish. Bake between 400 and 700 degrees, until a crust forms. (See below for real recipe).

Want to learn how to talk Minnesotan yourself? Watch this amusing and slightly esoteric video – and prepare to be entertained:



More Hotdish Recipes


Chow Mein Noodle Hotdish
Yield: Serves 5 or 6 hungry Minnesotans

Chow Mein Noodle Hotdish

This hotdish recipe is hearty and filling. Make a night out of it and watch your favorite Minnesota-themed movie like Fargo, New in Town, or Juno.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cans cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 package frozen stir fry vegetables
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups chow mein noodles, divided


  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Brown ground beef and onion. Place in the bottom of a large casserole dish. Mix in soups, frozen vegetables, half of the green onions, seasonings, and 1 cup of chow mein noodles.
  2. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and top with remaining chow mein noodles. Return to oven and bake for additional 15 minutes or so, until hotdish is hot and bubbly, and chow mein noodles are browned.
  3. Top with remaining chopped green onions and serve.

14 Responses to “Chow Mein Noodle Hotdish Recipe”

  1. 1

    Violet — April 9, 2013 @ 5:15 am

    Great, thank you. I like dishes that are easy to make:)

  2. 2

    Tess @ Cake and Vodka — April 9, 2013 @ 3:02 pm

    I love easy meals-thanks so much!

  3. 3

    Eileen — April 9, 2013 @ 5:16 pm

    Classic midwest! I grew up in Chicago, so we had casserole instead of hotdish, but hey–it’s all the same food group. “Things in pyrex,” perhaps? 🙂

    • Haley replied: — April 9th, 2013 @ 9:48 pm

      Only the most sophisticated of Minnesotans call it “casserole” 😉
      But you’re right – it’s all pretty much the same thing!

  4. 4

    Karen Harris — April 9, 2013 @ 10:13 pm

    So funny! This looks and sounds like the pot luck dishes that I loved eating while growing up. Yum, I can almost taste it.

  5. 5

    SnoWhite @ Finding Joy in My Kitchen — April 10, 2013 @ 2:09 am

    LOVE how to talk Minnesotan!!! And, love a good hotdish. In fact, my grandmother has been known to make this very dish!

  6. 6

    Weekly Menu Plan - WTCW #98 - Just Us Four — May 1, 2013 @ 12:02 pm

    […] Friday:  Make your own version of Chinese takeout by dishing up this chow mein noodle hotdish. […]

  7. 7

    Steffen W. — December 9, 2015 @ 11:51 pm

    Just came across this amazing looking and sounding hotdish, but was left with one question i hope you can answer (since the video is down and not able to help here anymore):
    Are the noodles already cooked? If not, what chow mein noodles were you using? 🙂
    Thanks for your answer!

    • Haley replied: — December 16th, 2015 @ 5:05 am

      Hi Steffen,
      Great question. The chow mein noodles aren’t cooked. I buy them in the Asian food section of the grocery store. It looks like you’re from Germany, I believe, so I don’t know how easily you can find them there. They’re very crunchy and ready to eat out of the bag. I hope that helps!

  8. 8

    Steffen W. — December 21, 2015 @ 2:22 pm

    Somehow i wasn’t able to figure out how to reply to your reply Haley so i have to write another comment… sorry 🙁
    Your comment helps more than just “a bit”. It’s exactly what i hoped for. 🙂
    And yes i’m probably able to get my hands on some Chow Mein Noodles in Germany. (So yes you “guessed” right ^^) I just have to figure out if the chow mein noodles you’re reffering to/used are mor like the ones you kinda “have to cook” for a while ( or those instant wok noodles you can sue without cooking them first ( But i think i’ll go with the last one 😀
    Thanks again! 🙂

    • Haley replied: — December 23rd, 2015 @ 10:50 pm

      The second link looks about right – as long as you can eat them right out of the package?? Hope you like it Steffen!

  9. 9

    Steffen W. — January 11, 2016 @ 12:21 pm

    Me again xD. I was about to make the hot dish tomorrow and realized i have everything, but how much (gram/oz) is one package stir fry vegetables? There are a lot of package sizes… sounds 750g ok? ^^

  10. 10

    Sarah — December 4, 2017 @ 12:57 am

    Can this be made in a crockpot? 🙂

    • Haley replied: — December 26th, 2017 @ 8:07 pm

      I think so, but I’ve never tried it. I would brown the beef before putting in the crockpot, then heat on low for an hour or two… just check to make sure it’s all heated and ready to go. Add the chow mein noodles at the end.

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