Chicken Chow Mein Hotdish Recipe

March 20, 2018 (Last Updated: August 15, 2020) - As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

A Classic Upper Midwest recipe right here. Comfort food all the way. This Chicken Chow Mein Hotdish Recipe is sure to make your family happy and maybe give you a glimpse into what they thought Chinese food was back in Middle America 1970s.

Overhead Shot of Chow Mein Hotdish

While we are in the midst of our hotdish series, I wanted to share another common hotdish recipe that is made throughout the Midwest. We have already made the first hotdish recipe, a from scratch hotdish, and now we are going to make a chicken chow mein hotdish.

Why Chicken Chow Mein?

We have made plenty of ground beef versions of a hotdish and the dish is just much more versatile than this. As we talked about in our post that defines hotdish, a defining component is a protein. That doesn’t need to be hamburger and can absolutely be chicken. That is what we are going to do!

Inspired By A Church Cookbook

Well, I already knew that this is a pretty common hotdish to make, but I did not have an exact recipe. I mean, the just of it is pretty simple… cream o’ stuff soups, chicken, rice, chow mein noodles. To zero in on the recipe I wanted to feature, I pulled out the ol’ 1984 Our Savior’s Lutheran Church cookbook (75th Anniversary Edition). This cookbook is from Colfax, ND and where my father-in-law was born and raised. He also lived there with his wife until they moved to Fargo in the 80s. In fact, the cookbook has a recipe from my mother-in-law printed in it! She is church famous!

So, there is a hamburger chow mein hotdish in this cookbook that I used as my inspiration for my chicken chow mein hotdish. The original recipe uses hamburger and I already decided that was going to be changed out. Also, I am going to change up the amounts of the veggies.

Is This Chicken Chow Mein Recipe a Hotdish?

Well, as we defined previously, to be a hotdish, the ingredients must meet some criteria:

    • Cream of something soup OR, less commonly, you may see a tomato base
    • Some kind of protein, with hamburger being the most common.
    • Vegetables, but they should be sized to fit into a single bite
    • A starch, generally pasta or potato. Also, sized to fit into a single bite
    • A crispy topping. Tots, chips, or even chow mein noodles.
    • Optionally, cheese

Our chicken chow mein recipe definitely meets all of these criteria. There is starch in both the rice and the chow mein topping. It has the soup, the veggies, and a crispy topping. Like a casserole, it is cooked in one dish.

After having developed this recipe, I can say that I really like it! This is one tasty hotdish.

chicken being cooked in a red and black caste iron pan

chicken chow mein pre-baked stuff without chow mein noodles

finished chicken chow mein

Is this Asian food?


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Chicken Chow Mein Hotdish Recipe

chow mein hotdish in a bowl

This Chicken Chow Mein Hotdish is an excellent comfort food that is easy to make and really tasty! Serve this one to your family for an easy and great dinner.

  • Author: Ben
  • Prep Time: 30 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 Hour
  • Total Time: 90 Minutes
  • Yield: 4 Servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Chinese


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound chicken breast, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup onions, chopped
  • ½ cup celery, chopped
  • 1 can chicken rice soup
  • 1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • ½ can water
  • 2 cups Dried Chow Mein Noodles


  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Add olive oil to pan and heat to medium
  3. Add chicken breast
  4. Cook until chicken is about half done and add onions and celery
  5. Cook until chicken is done
  6. In 1.5 Quart Casserole dish, add all ingredients
  7. Mix
  8. Cover and bake for 30 minutes.
  9. Remove cover and bake for an additional 30 minutes
  10. Remove from oven and optionally top with more chow mein noodles
  11. Serve

Keywords: chow mein hotdish

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  • Reply
    Kiki Johnson
    March 20, 2018 at 11:43 am

    This Hotdish looks amazing an I love that you found some inspiration in an old church cookbook! Just out of curiosity…what’s your mother-in-law’s recipe?

    • Reply
      March 20, 2018 at 12:13 pm

      Ha! She actually had two recipes in there. One is a beef stew. Here is a pic of it.

    • Reply
      March 20, 2018 at 12:14 pm

      She also had a buttermilk pancake recipe in there.

  • Reply
    Bintu | Recipes From A Pantry
    March 20, 2018 at 12:44 pm

    I love that an old church cookbook inspired you – this chow mein hotdish looks absolutely delicious

  • Reply
    Kristina @ Love & Zest
    March 20, 2018 at 1:07 pm

    I love finding recipes that I can eat in instead of eating out! This looks delicious!

  • Reply
    March 20, 2018 at 1:46 pm

    I rememeber the ground beef version of this one, it was one of my mom’s go to’s when I was growing up. Pretty sure I’ve got a church cookbook with the recipe 🙂

  • Reply
    March 20, 2018 at 1:59 pm

    I guess I’ve led a sheltered life because I’ve never heard of a hotdish. Well, I’ve heard of similar dishes, just not the name “hotdish”. Live and learn! Looks great though, and I too, love the church cookbook inspiration. I probably have 10 old church cookbooks in my collection. They’re treasures!

  • Reply
    Carrie | Clean Eating Kitchen
    March 20, 2018 at 2:22 pm

    Such a comforting dish and perfect for feeding a crowd! I love that you’ve swapped out the beef for chicken breast

  • Reply
    Announcing Our Chow Mein Series - Ramshackle Pantry
    April 19, 2018 at 10:02 am

    […] prior to that we investigated the hotdish. As a part of the hotdish investigation, I made a Chow Mein Hotdish, which really is a Midwestern classic dinner. The hotdish recipe really got me thinking. How did […]

  • Reply
    Marlynn | Urban Bliss Life
    October 15, 2018 at 11:45 am

    I’ve never heard of “hotdish” as a category of foods before so I find this all fascinating! This chicken chow mein hotdish looks so delicious and comforting.

  • Reply
    October 15, 2018 at 11:58 am

    I haven’t heard the phrase hotdish in ages! This one looks better than take out for sure!

  • Reply
    October 15, 2018 at 12:07 pm

    I feel like I have learned so much about the hotdish! I’ve never been to the Midwest so this is all new to me. So comforting! This makes me want to look through all my family’s old church cookbooks.

  • Reply
    October 15, 2018 at 12:36 pm

    This looks delicious and much healthier than ordering a takeaway too.

  • Reply
    Lauren Vavala @ DeliciousLittleBites
    October 15, 2018 at 12:44 pm

    I haven’t seen a casserole (hotdish) like this before! So unique and it sounds delish!

  • Reply
    October 15, 2018 at 12:48 pm

    What a creative twist! I love all these flavors – I’m sure it’s amazing!

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