Back in the old days, it seemed like there was a church potluck every other week. Every time it was a chance to try the things that other people had on a regular basis. Back then there wasn’t much in the way of international cuisine at potlucks, but every now again some new ingredients would spring up- usually either in casserole or dessert form. Church supper hot dish is one of the recipes from that era and fixing this has been a blast from the past.

Hot dish is is an invention of the 1930s and is a nice way to feed a lot of people with not a lot of money. It was first mentioned in a cookbook from the Grace Lutheran Ladies Aid in Minnesota in 1930 and that version had tomato soup and pasta in it. But, here’s the beauty of hot dish- you can make it with whatever you have on hand.

The secret to this particular hot dish recipe is a layer of crunchy chow mein noodles on both the top and the bottom of this surprisingly good casserole. However, we’ve also seen hot dish made with tater tots, crushed potato chips, croutons, and more.

The basic formula for any hot dish is that it needs to have at least one protein, one starch, and one vegetable.

In the middle lies a beef and vegetable mixture that’s brought together with the mother of all casserole bases: cream of mushroom soup.

To make this casserole you’ll need to start by browning ground beef in a skillet and then set aside the beef.

Then in the same pan you sauté the vegetables in butter and then simmer with water to create a nice sauce.

Then the beef, veggies, and cream of mushroom soup are combined and poured over a bed of crispy chow mein noodles.

After baking for 20 minutes covered you add the cheese topping and the rest of the noodles and bake another 10 minutes or so.

And, that’s all there is to this nostalgic dish. You can change up any of the veggies, add your own spice blend, and use whatever you have on hand to make this yummy dinner. It’s what they would have done in the old days!

Serves 8

30m prep time

45m cook time

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2 cups sliced peeled potatoes
  • 2 cups celery, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup carrots, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup green bell peppers, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped onions, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 10.75-ounce cans condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
  • 1 5-ounce can chow mein noodles, divided
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 350˚. Grease a 2-quart baking dish.
  2. Brown beef in large skillet. Remove from pan and set aside.
  3. In same skillet sauté potatoes and vegetables in butter on medium heat for 5 minutes. Cover with water and let simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Combine beef, soup, and vegetables.
  5. Line casserole dish with half the chow mein noodles and spoon beef and vegetable mixture on top.
  6. Bake covered for 20 minutes.
  7. Sprinkle cheese and remaining chow mein noodles on top of casserole and bake uncovered for another 10-12 minutes.

Recipe adapted from CD Kitchen.

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