There are many different variations of this recipe. Where I added cannellini beans, some people use water chestnuts or chopped green pepper. You can also try cream of celery soup instead of cream of mushroom. Some people even use broken ramen noodle bits instead of chow mein noodles.
About the author:: Lee Zalben was a PB&J-loving kid that 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.
- Yield:serves 6
- Active time: 20 minutes
- Total time:1 1/2 hours
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (or other light vegetable oil)
- 1 cup onion, diced (about 1 medium)
- 1 cup celery, diced (about 2 large stalks)
- 2 (5-ounce) cans tuna (solid white albacore in water)
- One (14-ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup roasted unsalted cashews
- 1 1/2 cups chow mein noodles
- 1 (15-ounce can) cannellini beans, drained
Adjust oven rack to center position and preheat oven to 350°F. Heat the olive oil in the skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add onions and celery and cook, stirring frequently, until translucent, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer vegetables to a large bowl.
Add the tuna, mushroom soup, lemon juice, 1/4 cup of water, black pepper, and 2/3 cup of cashews. Mix well. Gently fold in 1 1/4 cup of the noodles and the beans.
Apply a light coating cooking spray to the baking dish. Add the casserole and top with the remaining cashews and noodles.
Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 30 minutes. Be careful to make sure that the cashews and noodles don’t burn. Let the casserole rest for at least 20 minutes before serving.