Tuna Noodle Casserole

So tonight we decided to slum it a little, and I threw together a tuna noodle casserole. We have a bunch of cans of tuna from a Sam’s trip we made when we moved in, so we decided to reclaim some cabinet space, while cooking something that fits the unseasonable cool, rainy day. I started from the Cooking for Engineers recipe (an awesome website, check it out), but quickly deviated into a different creation.

Tuna Noodle Casserole
Sauce:
4 tbsp butter
1/4 cup flour
2 1/2 cups milk
Casserole Base:
1 tbsp butter
1/2 white onion
1 bunch green onions
2 stalks celery
6 oz mushrooms
1 tsp dried thyme (3 tsp fresh, if you have it)
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp garlic powder (only if it’s decent, otherwise mince a garlic clove, and add to aromatics)
24 oz egg noodles (yep, from the freezer section)
4 cans tuna (20 oz), drained
1 cup shredded cheese (we had cheddar, so we used it)
Bread Crumbs, to top
Method:
Use a standard white sauce method for the sauce (melt 4 tbsp butter, add flour, make roux, add milk, stir until thick).
Melt remaining butter in saute pan. Finely dice the veggies, and add them to the butter. Saute until limp (if you can get some gold on them, so much the better, but I was getting impatient). Cook noodles according to package instructions (I pulled them a little early, so they wouldn’t turn too mushy). Add veggies to thickened sauce. In a large bowl, dump the tuna, sauce, and noodles, and stir to combine. Add half of the cheese. Adjust seasoning. Pour into greased baking dish, and top with remaining cheese and breadcrumbs. If you are so inclined, you can melt some more butter and toast the breadcrumbs first, but we were just not motivated to do that tonight.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes, until bubbly around the edges and toasty on top.

Now, for full disclosure, we only used 3 cans of tuna, but we both think that an additional can would have been a good idea. Far better than the typical “cream of ____” base for a casserole-much less salt, and a much cleaner flavor.

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