Homemade Tuna Noodle Casserole Recipe
Our Homemade Tuna Noodle Casserole Recipe
Tuna noodle casserole is a timeless comfort food. You've no doubt eaten it a time or two. So has your mother, your grandmother, and quite possibly your great-grandmother. It's changed over the years of course, and there are many variations.
It's not uncommon for hurried cooks to use canned soup to help create this dish, but that's not the way cooks of a few generations ago did it. The recipe I share here is a homemade tuna noodle casserole that is a bit more old-fashioned. It's flavorful, but I'll warn you: It's not low fat. It's a recipe that was passed down to me long ago, and I'm sure it was altered a bit by each person who made it. Although I don't eat this dish often, it does bring back memories.
Most sauces made from scratch have significantly less sodium and have a richer flavor.
- 1-1/2 cups macaroni or wide egg noodles
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms
- 1/4 cup butter or margarine
- 6 ounces canned tuna, chunked
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup low sodium chicken broth (or homemade)
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
- 1/4 cup grated Swiss Cheese
- 1/2 cup buttery cracker crumbs
- Preheat oven to 375°. On the stovetop, cook the noodles in boiling water for 8-9 minutes. Drain and place them in a 9x9" baking dish.
- Meanwhile, cook the frozen peas on the stovetop in boiling water for 7-8 minutes, drain, and place them in the 9x9" pan with noodles. Mix.
- Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add sliced mushrooms and saute for 2-3 minutes. Remove the mushrooms with a slotted spoon and place them on top of the noodles and peas in the baking dish.
- Add tuna to the baking dish.
- Mix flour with the remaining butter in the saucepan. Whisk and allow to cook for 2 minutes. Gradually add chicken broth while whisking. Once the sauce is smooth, add cream. Simmer for a few minutes until the sauce is thickened. (add more chicken broth if it thickens excessively)
- Stir in grated cheeses, and allow them to melt. Add pepper and stir the sauce thoroughly.
- Pour the sauce over the ingredients in the baking dish. Top with cracker crumbs.
- Bake in the 375° degree oven for 30 minutes or until bubbly.
The recipe I shared uses a sauce that to me is reminiscent of a Mornay sauce. However, the sauce, as well as other components, can be altered, of course.
- If you want a lower fat version, you can use low-fat margarine, half n' half or perhaps even milk instead of the cream, and either switch to low-fat cheeses or no cheese at all. You could potentially make a simple white or béchamel sauce by leaving out the cheeses.
- If you have no crackers on hand, breadcrumbs can be substituted but are best if they are drizzled with a small amount of butter before baking.
- If you prefer a different type of noodle, that can easily be switched as well.
- This dish is also quite satisfying if you use salmon instead of tuna.
What to Serve With This Casserole
You can serve anything you like with this warm and comforting casserole, but I often served it with one or two of the following:
- A simple crisp green salad
- Sliced garden tomatoes
- Cooked tender-crisp green beans
- Cooked tender-crisp carrots
- Grilled asparagus
- A crusty bread
All of these are simple and can easily be put together once your main dish is in the oven.
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© 2010 Christine Mulberry