Noodles À La Choy

A few weeks ago, Grace at A Southern Grace did a posting on a little treat made with chow mein noodles. It reminded me how much I used to love those things; I ate them by the handful just like peanuts. Got my hand swatted for it too. Anyway, Grace surprised me by turning them into a sweet. Who would have thought?

It also brought to mind a recipe I used to make quite a bit for my family: Hot Chicken Salad. And guess what's on top? You got it... those buttery, crunchy chow mein noodles. A neighbor gave me the recipe years ago. She said she found it in one of her many Junior League cookbooks. (Those cookbooks are gems; they're filled to the brim with tried and true family recipes.) This was a really popular dish years ago, exactly the kind I like to revisit or reinvent. So I dug it out of my file and made it for dinner a couple weeks ago. The dish was as good as I remembered...crunchy, cheesy and oh my I still love those Chinese fried noodles on top. It's been a long time since I made this so I worried the noodles would get too brown during baking, but they seem to get even more crunchy and buttery.  I'm giving you the basic recipe; you can improvise to your heart's delight!

Hot Chicken Salad


3 cups chicken, cooked and diced (see note below)
2 cups celery, diced
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1/2 cup water chestnuts, sliced
1/4 cup pimento, sliced
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
3 Tablespoons lemon juice
2 Tablespoons grated onion
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup chow mein noodles
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated


Mix chicken, celery, almonds, water chestnuts and pimento together in a bowl. Blend mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon juice, onion, salt and pepper. Toss together and put in casserole. Top with cheese and sprinkle with the noodles. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes.

: The Barefoot Contessa knows how to make perfect chicken for a chicken salad. I copied down her directions and have been making it that way ever since. She was right. The chicken is perfectly done, nicely seasoned and delicious. If you aren't using leftover chicken or turkey for this recipe, here are the directions for some nice juicy chicken breasts:

Place chicken breasts on a baking sheet and rub olive oil all over them. Sprinkly generously with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Roast in a 350° oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until cooked through. Cool slightly. Remove meat from the bones and discard skin.


  1. Ooooh I love noodles and who could resist this delicious crunch!I feel myself crunching off your delicious picture!

  2. Yummalicious! This looks divine.

    Happy Valentine's Day Sweet Friend! Wishing you a day filled with love.


  3. Hello dear ...thanx for ur kind words sweetie...u made my heart smile alot....

    Love this delightful crunch u add.....

    Stay tuned coz i have 3 awards lined up for u in a bit......

  4. Wow, you always find the most delicious things, although it's a bit crual posting this one on a Sunday evening when all the shops are closed and I can't rush out to buy the ingredients to make my own ;-) Your salad looks so delicious and I can only imagine how it tastes.

  5. wow. I have never seen anything like this. But it looks like cheese and crispy noodle heaven. I love those chinese noodles on salads or mixed into haystacks (probably similar to your friend's dessert?)

  6. Looks great. Love the little extra crunch and cheese on top.

  7. This reminds me of one of my favorite hot casseroles with almonds and water chestnuts... a cold version is brilliant Barbara!! I love those crunchy noodles too... I can't wait to make this when it warms up a little!!!

  8. This salad looks perfect for a quick and satisfying lunch!

    When I was little we would go to California pizza kitchen whenever I went on shopping trips to Chicago with my mom, and the ONE thing I liked best was the crunchy noodles on top of the Asian salad she always ordered!

  9. What a super salad. I bet that little bit of crunch makes it really fun to eat.
    Hope you had a happy Valentines Day.
    *kisses* HH
    p.s. i like the new header :D

  10. That really looks good! Will have to give this one a try.

  11. That sounds really good. I like the contrast in texture from the noodles. I bet the BF would love this (if I'm nice enough to make it for him). Thanks

  12. What a great dish!The noodles are a special ingredient in that dish...!

  13. Nazarina: Between the noodles, water chestnuts and almonds, this dish has a lot of crunch!

    Karyn: Hope you had a lovely Valentine's Day too!

    Vanilla: So glad you liked the recipe!

    Vanessa: I know, I'm such a meanie!

    Joanne: Yes, they were haystacks!

    Bryan: Me too!

    Deana: Glad you like it!

    Lucie: Those noodles are addictive!

    HH: Thanks! I wondered if anyone would notice...I tried to stay with the same colors which I think are happy colors.

    Lea Ann: Try it..it's really good.

    MSMeanie: Be a good sport and make it for him! I love the different textures too.

    Erica: Those noodles are really good in cold salads too.

  14. Oh yes, those noodles are what got me through la choy chop suey as a kid!! and don't you just love those old church, or jr league cookbooks. I love my grandmas old Betty Crocker cookbook with all her additional recipes and pages riped out and added too it. I'm the lucky one that got that!

    This one looks super good! thanks!

  15. This looks just delicious! We're big fans of those chow mein noodles here too!

  16. Oh my goodness Barbara! I cannot wait to try this. It looks so delish! Your Valentine treat does too. I just may have to put on a couple of pounds and try it as well.
    Thank you so much for your visits, I love it when you stop by and leave me such kind words.

  17. Now that's a salad I could enjoy :)

  18. well now, isn't this interesting! i happen to still have half a bag of those crunchy little sticks, so perhaps i'll mix it up and try this savory creation! it'll be hard for me to diverge from my obsession with sweets (i totally planned to make another batch of haystacks), but your dish looks sooo tempting. :)

  19. A gorgeous dish, Barbara!!

    MMMMMMMMMMM,..very apart too!
    Lovely food!

    I just gave you an AWARD!! Congrats!

  20. Lyndsey: Those old cookbooks are fabulous. Everybody put their favorite family recipes in them.

    Cookbook: I love them...and put them in lots of cold salads too.

    June: You can cut the calories by using lo fat mayo and sour cream...

    Anita: Thanks!

    Grace: I had never heard of haystacks before your posting. Not sure whether I should thank you for that or not!;)

    Sophie: Thank you! That was so sweet of you!

  21. Oh my gosh, that is the chicken salad of my youth!! White Trash Motherlode, but sooo delish!

    Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

  22. Barbara, Love the new banner!
    This is just the kind of recipe my family adores. Thanks for sharing. Hope your Valentine's Day was sweet.

  23. You know I used to collect Junior league cookbooks! I love this recipe it reminds me of that era!

  24. Beautiful chicken salad. I have totally forgotten about the popularity of chow mein noodles growing up. You are right they add an extra crunch to chicken salad.

  25. Oh yum! I can't wait to try it, but it won't be this week...

  26. Delicious looking chicken salad. Interesting combination of ingredients.

  27. The crunchy chow mein noodles on top of the delicious chicken salad sound terrific! Yum!

  28. looks great i need to try those noodle and you know how i like to try things he he

  29. Barbara, that is one great hot chicken salad. And I love your use of the chow mein noodles. Not only does it add crunch, it adds a unique texture and look to a classic recipe.

    Also, I just wrote down Ina's roast chicken method. It is simple & ease. Which makes it a keeper.

    Many thanks....

  30. CHicken salad is one of my most favorite things ever, and the varieties are infinite,aren't they? Yours looks fab.

  31. This looks like the best chicken salad ever.

  32. mmm, looks so crunchy and delicious! i love that flavor!

  33. Michigan kids all got them on the top of a casserole! I don't remember ever getting them in Chinese food!

  34. TKW: Love that expression!

    Pam: Thanks. I like the change.

    Taste: I used to have a huge collection too, but space constraints made me sort through and put favorites on my computer.

    Velva: They're good in all sorts of salads.

    Chan: No problem!

    Elra: Thanks!

    Natasha: I'd forgotten how good this was!

    Rebecca: They're really good.

    George: It much more flavorful; can't believe I was actually simmering them.

    Hungry Dog: I can think of lots of things to add to this and you can make it lower in calories too.

    Duck: It's pretty good for a hot salad....not many of those around.

    Teresa: I should have made it sooner!

    BD: Mother TRIED to put Chinese food on top but we gave her a hard time; 1 tablespoon tops. None of us really liked Chinese food as kids. Tastes sure change!

    Kitchen Butterfly: Try it...it's really good.

  35. The noodles are definitely the star in this dish and I absolutely love them. What a great recipe!

  36. I love chow mein noodles too! And I do eat them like peanuts as well :) And guess what? one of my favourite cold salads uses them as garnish too so I can so see how this would work. It sounds very moreish!

  37. Barbara, Great new header! What a fun and interesting recipe I have made a sweet cookie type dessert with them, (they were way too sweet) but nothing like this. Sounds delicious. I have tried BC's recipe for the chicken and you are so right, it is easy, delicious and works every time. I may just make some roasted chicken tomorrow night as we are having yet another snow storm!!
    Hope your Valentine's Day was filled with sweetness.

  38. Barbara, what a nice salad...with the crispy noodles...looks delicious...can imagine the taste of it :-)

  39. I love all the crunch in this salad - especially the water chesnuts! MMM! Lovely!

  40. Hi Barbara,

    This looks delicious and I love the thought of chicken salad with crispy noodles. Thanks for sharing this recipe and I would like to try this.
    Your new blog header is lovely.

    Have a great week

  41. Love this Barbara look nice! and yummy! gloria

  42. I love those crunchy noodles, too! This I gotta try. Who would've thought to combine those noodles with mayonnaise and cheese. Genius!

  43. Bridgett: It's amazing how many people love those noodles!

    Shaz: Yes, I've served them in cold salads too.

    Bunny: One storm after another...down here no snow of course but we get mighty chilly!

    Juliana: It's very rich, so you can use lo fat mayo, cheese and sour cream in it.

    Aimee: Yes, the water chestnuts add just the right crunch.

    Carolyn: Thanks! I love the colors in it!

    Gloria: Love your mango recipe!

    Bella: It really is an old fashioned chicken salad, but hot.

  44. I love your new header - it's so colorful!

  45. Love your chicken salad! and I love those crunchy noodles. Copied and saved, thanks :) Those noodles are also good as haystacks candy with melted chocolate and mini marshmallows. but your way just a handful so good!

  46. Hi Barbara
    Your recipes always look delicious. This is definitely one I plan to make.

  47. Barbara,
    You make so many great recipes from my childhood. It just reminds me that we ate some pretty tasty stuff growing up.
    I love Junior League cookbooks. I have a collection from around the country. I try to get one from each city I visit, you can usually find them in airport gift shops.

  48. Hello,

    We bumped into your blog and we really liked it - great recipes YUM YUM.
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  49. Nice! I love it - gonna have to try it for myself to see if it tastes as good as it looks :)

  50. Daaaang! This looks yummiful. Insanely, intensely yummy!

  51. Chicken salad is one of my favorites! I think I would love a hot chicken salad. It looks even better with that cheese!

  52. I love those crunchy noodles, and they sound great in a chicken salad!

  53. Is there any kind of food you can't make seem fabulously delicious??!!!!! YUM!

    :) T

  54. Hehe I eat them from the packet too! Great idea to add crunch to a salad. I saw Grace's post and making them sweet was so clever too!

  55. What a wonderful idea to add those crunchy noodles to teh salad!!!! OMG YUMMM

    I think im going to check out the book you mentioned...sound right up my alley..(^^) thanx for the visit!

  56. Blonde Duck and Simply Life: Thanks! I love the colors.

    Dishes: That's what Grace made..haystacks.

    Rhondi: Thanks!

    Mimi: They are the best source for old family recipes; also church cookbooks.

    Vincent: I'm flattered.

    Phoenix: I promise, it is.

    Dionne: Love the old family favorites!

    Debbie: The cheese is a must!

    Lisa: I've loved those noodles since I was a kid!

    Tracey: Can I serve it in your newly-done dining room?

    Lorraine: I love Grace's posts!

    Zurin: I think you'll love the book. I gave it to lots of people as a gift last year.

  57. Gotta love those recipes kept in the recipe corners of our mind! I love chicken salad, and never ever would have dreamed to heat it up. And with Chinese noodles...my family is sold.

    Many thanks, Barbara.

  58. I would have to say this is the epitome of fusion home cooking! hahaha Chow mein noodles and mayo! Sound like a winner to me. I would probably have to find another type of noodle besides the chow mein one though, it has gluten. boooo. Maybe GF spaghetti!

  59. I'd forgotten about those noodles. They're really a wonderful crunch to add to dishes. Like this one! Thanks for this recipe.

  60. It was an amazing V-day dinner. We never go out to nice places, so it was just magical.

  61. Diane: Or more likely they were in my mother's head...never written down!

    Vickys: Fusion home cooking....funny! :) Sorry about it not being GF.

    Kate: If Grace hadn't posted haystacks, I probably wouldn't have remembered it either!

    Duck: So important to go out once in a while and have a romantic evening.

  62. Remember these being a staple on any salad bar back in the day? I really like how you used them in the chicken salad.Defninite must try!

  63. A great crunch for a chicken salad. I always keep them on hand too. Looks delish!

  64. wow great idea! Adds a really nice texture!

  65. Katherine: I make a broccoli slaw that uses those ramen noodles in the salad, uncooked. Really a good salad.

    Natashya: It's been interesting how many people really like those noodles!

    Pigspigscorner: An old recipe, but still a good one!

  66. Chow mein in a sweet dish? It's so crazy, I'm in love with Grace already! But using them on chicken salad (which is both sweet and savory) is awesomely brilliant, too!

  67. I love those crunchy Chinese noodles too! This looks like a delicious salad!

  68. I could eat a big bowl of this right now...what a treat. Thank you so much ...I will be making this. xoxoxo

  69. Mmmmmm, yummy AND crunchy! Delicious:)

  70. Oh yumm....such a wonderful meal! Love the addition of the crunchy topping.

  71. oh very nice. love those noodles, put them on asian salads...nice thought to use them as a topping...

  72. Barbara, you are so right. This is an old recipe. In fact I have a handwritten copy of one very similar with the chow mein noodles on it in one of my first cookbook binders.

    I too bake my chicken Ina's style and it always works. Thanks for reminding me to look through my files. This will seem like finding an old friend.

  73. My MIL used to put chow mein noodles in melted chocolate and make crunchy candy. I haven't had chow mein noodles in too long. This recipe sounds wonderful!



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