Tuna Noodle Casserole
(American baked tuna and pasta dish)
Tuna noodle casserole was in deep vogue in the United States during the 1970s at a time when casseroles in general were all the rage. This filling dish was particularly popular since it could be quickly and easily thrown together with canned and dried goods that most people had in their cupboards.
The version of tuna noodle casserole given here eliminates the canned soup and substitutes a homemade sauce. However, the tuna still requires a can opener.
4 to 6 servings
- Fettuccini, broken up, or egg noodles -- 12 ounces
- Butter or oil -- 2 to 3 tablespoons
- Onion, chopped -- 2 cups
- Mushrooms, sliced -- 2 cups
- Butter or oil -- 3 tablespoons
- Flour -- 1/4 cup
- Chicken broth -- 1 1/2 cups
- Milk -- 1 cup
- Parsley, minced -- 1 tablespoon
- Thyme -- 1 teaspoon
- Salt and pepper -- to season
- Tuna, drained and flaked -- 12 ounces
- Peas -- 1 cup
- Lemon juice -- 1 tablespoon
- Breadcrumbs -- 1 cup
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain, rinse, drain again and set aside in a large mixing bowl.
- Heat the 2 to 3 tablespoons of butter or oil in a large saucepan over medium flame. Add the onions and sauté until they turn translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the mushrooms and saute until cooked through and wilted, another 3 to 4 minutes. Remove to a bowl and wipe the saucepan clean.
- Add the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter or oil to the sauté pan and return it to medium heat. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring, for about 1 minute. Whisk in the chicken broth, milk, parsley and thyme and simmer until thickened, 5 to 7 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Add the sauce to the cooked pasta and stir in the tuna, peas and lemon juice. Turn the mixture into a greased casserole dish and sprinkle evenly with the breadcrumbs.
- Place in the preheated oven and bake until the top is lightly browned and the casserole is bubbling, 20 to 25 minutes. Serve immediately with a side salad.
Tuna Noodle Casserole Variations
- Other Possible Additions: Saute some chopped celery or bell peppers along with the onions if you like. Stir in 3/4 cup shredded cheese, some chopped spinach or blanched green beans.
- Use all chicken stock or all milk if you prefer. Just make sure to have 2 1/2 cups of liquid in total.
- Toppings: Crumbled potato chips or canned fried onions are other favorite toppings for the casserole instead of the breadcrumbs.