Tuna Cashew Casserole: Is This Really a Thing?

That's Nuts

A weekly dose of nutty history, pop culture, and recipes from Lee Zalben, aka The Peanut Butter Guy.


Working in the nut and nut butter business and writing this column, I come across a lot of interesting recipes. Some are shared by customers, some by readers like you, and some I discover while doing research.

While looking into some interesting new uses for the non-nut parts of the cashew plant (more on that another week) I stumbled across a recipe for something called Tuna Cashew Casserole. I thought it was a one-off—a single recipe that someone's mother threw together one night, one that evolved into a family favorite that was shared with a small number of people.

But further investigation revealed hundreds of variations across the Internet. Most use cream of mushroom soup as a base, and chow mein noodles as a bulking agent. Other ingredients like vegetables vary wildly, as do their ratios to the other components.

Needless to say, I was intrigued. As much as I know about nuts, how had I never heard of this combination before, let alone tasted it?

I put together my own unique version of this recipe, and included some cannellini beans for some additional creamy texture, and a little lemon juice for freshness. I'm not really a casserole person, but the result wasn't half-bad. My only conundrum with this recipe is that it seems like an inexpensive, filling meal to warm you up on a cold night. But the cashews add about $8.00 to this recipe (at least, at New York City prices). While it's not as pricy as steak, it hardly fits nicely within a budget.

Have you tried Tuna Cashew Casserole before? Does your family have their own unique take on this recipe; or do you have any other unusual recipes using cashews?

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Tuna Cashew Casserole »

About the author: Lee Zalben was a PB&J-loving kid who grew up to be the founder and president of Peanut Butter & Co., which began as a Greenwich Village sandwich shop serving nothing but peanut butter sandwiches and expanded to include the now-famous line of all natural flavored peanut butter. Lee is a graduate of Vassar College and enjoys traveling the world in search of interesting foods made with peanuts, tree nuts, and seeds. When he's not working, eating, flying or writing, he enjoys scuba diving and training elephants.