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.

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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 »