It was a very busy day today between errands, shuttling children here and there, enjoying a boys’ high school volleyball game and having lunch with a wonderful friend, Karen, so taking the time to bake something complex wasn’t in the cards. I didn’t even exercise. So, I decided to bake dinner. The great thing is I was able to prepare it, stick it in the fridge before we left for the volleyball game and then popped it into the oven when we came home. I didn’t want to bake it while we were gone because like the lasagna, it would have overcooked and I really didn’t want to eat an overdone tuna casserole with crunchy noodles. Besides, the cooking time is shorter than the lasagna. I’ve made this dish so many times over the years that I now have it memorized and can’t remember where the original came from. Mom used to make this, too, but I don’t think it’s hers.
Since giving birth to our son almost 14 years ago, the only seafood I have been able to eat or smell is tuna, and at times even that makes me nauseous. Oh, and on rare occasion I can eat Tilapia. Other than that, NO way! When we moved west from Rhode Island, it wasn’t that big a deal for me leaving most things New England because I really can’t stand beach sand (YUCK!) and even the thought of eating seafood make me want to…well, I won’t go there, you know what I mean. Therefore, this may be the only fish-type recipe you will see during the course of 365 days. Maybe there will be some sort of Tilapia dish, but don’t hold your breath.
Tuna Noodle Casserole serves 4
3 cups wide egg noodles
1 tablespoon butter
½ cup onion, minced
2 large stalks celery, diced
1 5oz. can solid white tuna in water, drained
1 10 3/4oz. can condensed cheddar cheese soup
1½ cups milk
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup Italian style bread crumbs
Preheat oven to 375ºF.
Boil noodles according to directions, drain and set aside.
Melt butter in large skillet. Add onions and celery and sauté til tender, about 5-10 minutes.
Empty condensed soup into a medium bowl. Add milk and whisk together. Set aside.
Add tuna to skillet, breaking apart with a fork. Add soup/milk mixture and bring to boil.
Stir until heated throughout, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and add noodles. Mix until everything is thoroughly combined.
Spoon into an 8×8-inch baking dish.
In a small bowl, mix together Parmesan cheese and bread crumbs. Sprinkle evenly over top.
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until bubbly.
I have also substituted Cream of Mushroom soup for the Cheddar Cheese, but I like the cheesy goodness better. It’s like mac and cheese with tuna mixed in. Ok, not really, but kinda.
My rating system is on a scale of 1-4 with 4 being the best. The Tuna Noodle Casserole earns 3½ rolling pins. I like the cheese, it’s not too tuna-ey (new word), and the bread crumbs with the parmesan cheese give it extra flavor and a nicely textured topping.
Spring break for the kiddos next week and a daughter home from college. I plan to have them helping me out a few days in the kitchen with some recipes I think they’ll enjoy. Time to put these youngins to work.