This weekend we were supposed to get mountains of ice and snow and be locked in our houses until Tuesday. I instantly had dreams of lazy days in my kitchen and ran to the store on Friday night to stock up on ingredients for the 18 recipes that popped in my head all at the same time.
Well we didn’t exactly get the wintry mix that the weather people were predicting and I didn’t exactly get around to making my 18 recipes. But I did make one of my very favorite comfort food dishes that I haven’t made in a very long time – tuna noodle casserole. This is my mother’s recipe and one of the very first dishes I learned to cook.
I don’t actually measure anything when I make this dish, so I’ve tried to estimate the measurements below.
Tuna Noodle Casserole
About 4 servings
Four servings of pasta, any kind
1 can cream of mushroom soup
¼ cup of milk or so
1-2 cups of shredded cheese, yellow or yellow/white mix
1 can tuna, drained
Potato chips or bread crumbs
A few notes about the ingredients. For the pasta I like to use bigger pasta like rotini or rigatoni. Elbows will work ok but I think they are a little too small and get lost in the sauce. As for cream of mushroom soup, it has to be Campbell’s. I have tried generic brand and it does NOT taste the same to me. Campbell’s is the creamiest. Finally for the shredded cheese you can really use any kind of yellow shredded cheese like cheddar or Colby or any kind of white and yellow cheese mix like Colby jack or a Mexican blend or Italian blend, just whatever you have on hand.
First cook the pasta according to package directions and drain. While the pasta is cooking, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In two quart casserole dish, mix together soup and milk until blended. Then stir in a few handfuls of cheese.
Stir in tuna. Now this is a very important step as this dish is called TUNA noodle casserole. When my husband and I were first married I made this for him and accidentally left out the tuna. So it was just noodle casserole. We didn’t realize the mistake until after we sat down to eat. I ended up microwaving the forgotten tuna and then threw it on top of the casserole. Hubby thought it was hilarious and still brings it up whenever I make this dish.
Next stir in the drained pasta until well coated. If you are feeling particularly healthy you can stir in some frozen vegetables at this point, like peas or carrots. I do this sometimes but not this time.
Then sprinkle another few handfuls of cheese all over the top. On top of that sprinkle crunched up potato chips or bread crumbs. Cover and bake for 25-30 minutes or until cheese is melted and a bit bubbly.
I was actually talking to my mom the other night about this recipe and she said she always wanted to try making individual casseroles. I think next time I will try that. I will mix the casserole the same way but in a big bowl, then spoon it into four two cup pyrex bowls or casserole dishes. Then sprinkle the tops with cheese and bread crumbs and bake on a cookie sheet for 20-25 minutes.
Four individual casseroles would be awesome because we could eat two and put the other two in the refrigerator or freezer for another meal. They would already be packaged up and ready to go. I can’t wait to try it next time.