Tuna Noodle Casserole

6 Oct

It just so happens to be National Noodle Day, so let’s celebrate with this recipe! My mom used to make tuna noodle casserole once in a while when I was a kid and it was so delicious! I was thinking about it one day and decided to look at recipes but when I started browsing online none of them really looked like they would match my mom’s. I know she did not use cream of mushroom soup and always used fresh veggies. Instead of calling to ask her, I ended up coming up with my own recipe. I love macaroni & cheese and have experimented with it a lot over the years, so this recipe incorporates a simple but delicious baked mac & cheese.

Time: 45 min prep, 20 min cook             Serves: 6-8

Ingredients


  • 1 small onion, white or yellow diced
  • 1/2 head of celery stalks, diced
  • 1 lb carrots, peeled & diced
  • 1 small head of broccoli, diced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • Mrs. Dash Original to taste
  • 2 cans tuna, drained (I use chunk white)
  • 1 lb elbow macaroni (may use farfalle, penne, rotini or egg noodles)
  • 3 tbsp butter, plus a bit extra to grease baking dish
  • 3 tbsp flour (I use whole wheat)
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded cheese (you can have fun here, mix it up between cheddar and pepper jack or any other that strikes you)
  • Emeril’s Essence seasoning to taste, about 1 tbsp
  • a handful of potato chips, smashed into small pieces

How to make it


  • Preheat oven to 400F. Prepare casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Heat olive oil in large saute pan over medium heat. Add veggies to pan and season with salt, pepper, and Mrs. Dash. Stir, and cover. Allow to cook for several minutes, stirring occasionally.Remember, they will cook a bit more while baking in the casserole so this is just up to your personal preference as to how crisp or soft you’d like them. Once the veggies are cooked, remove from heat and set aside.
  • As they cook, cook pasta according to directions. Generally a minute or two less than recommended is good as they too will cook more in further steps. Drain pasta & set aside.
  • In a medium-large pot melt butter over medium heat, add flour and stir occasionally for about one minute, or until flour is absorbed. Then whisk in milk, about a half cup at a time. Cook for three minutes, whisking occasionally, until it thickens somewhat. Add Emeril’s Essence to taste. Then, add about 2 cups of the cheese, veggies, and tuna and stir. Remove from heat and add pasta, mix well, then pour into casserole dish.
  • Top with remaining cheese and crushed potato chips. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until top reaches a light golden brown.
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