Monday, July 15, 2013

Tuna Noodle Casserole

When my parents were first married - they scraped to make ends meet.  One staple of their meals was the Tuna Noodle Casserole (with potato chips on top).  It never sounded all that appetizing and I love potato chips and tuna fish.  It might be worth reexamining at this point.  Here's a recipe from Pinch My Salt.

Homemade Tuna Noodle Casserole 
Serves 8
  • 12 ounces wide egg noodles 
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped 
  • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms (can substitute white button), finely chopped 
  • 1 stalk of celery, finely chopped 
  • 7 tablespoons butter, divided 
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme or 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme 
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour 
  • 4 cups whole milk 
  • 2 small (5 oz) cans of chunk tuna (water or olive-oil packed), drained and flaked into small pieces 
  • 1 1/2 cups peas (either frozen or fresh peas that have been shelled and blanched) 
  • 6 ounces medium cheddar cheese (I use Tillamook), shredded 
  • 1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease a 13×9-inch baking dish.

Cook egg noodles in a large pot of salted boiling water until almost tender; drain, rinse briefly under cold water, and return to pot off the heat.

Meanwhile, heat milk in microwave or on the stove just until warm then set aside off the heat. Heat 4 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium heat and cook onions, mushrooms, and celery with a generous pinch of salt until all the water from the mushrooms has evaporated and the mixture is starting to brown and smell really great, about 12-15 minutes. Stir in the thyme and cook for a few seconds until fragrant and then stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for about a minute (mixture will be quite dry – that’s okay). Turn up heat to medium high and pour milk into the flour mixture, whisking to break up any clumps. Stir constantly until sauce is thickened and bubbly. Turn off heat and season well with salt and black pepper to taste.

Add sauce to the noodles in the pot along with the peas and tuna. Stir everything together well and at the very end stir in the shredded cheddar cheese. Pour the mixture into the greased baking dish.

Melt remaining three tablespoons of butter and toss with the breadcrumbs. Sprinkle buttered crumbs over the top of the casserole. Bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until the bread crumbs are evenly browned and filling is bubbly. Let sit for 5-10 minutes before serving.


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