Creamy Tuna Noodle Casserole

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Tuna Noodle Casserole
Creamy Tuna Noodle Recipe

This Creamy Tuna Noodle Casserole is great to add to the recipe repertoire for a tasty comfort food meal.  Add a side salad and some homemade biscuits like either my Whole Wheat Biscuits or my standard white Tea Biscuits, and a filling and satisfying meal awaits.

Tuna Noodle Casserole
Creamy Tuna Noodle Casserole

What is a Casserole?

At its simplest, a casserole is a meal-in-a-dish that typically combines some kind of starch, protein, vegetables, seasonings, a sauce to bind them all together, and a topping.

The most common types of starches used in casseroles tend to be pasta or rice.  They are great fillers and really do extend the number of servings that can be gotten from a casserole.

There are several options for the protein component that commonly include meat, cheese, or fish. Sometimes, a combination of protein sources will be used in a casserole. This adds variety to the casserole content as well as flavor.

Some kind of vegetables are typically included in a casserole. These can be fresh vegetables that are sautéed or they can be frozen veggies, or even canned. Vegetables are swapable in casseroles.  For example, if a recipe calls for peas but your family does not care for peas, then swap the same amount of another vegetable like corn.

Common seasonings in casseroles include garlic, herbs, and spices for flavor boost.

The typical binding sauce for many casseroles is a cream-based soup though the sauce may be made entirely from scratch. There are so many different kinds of cream soups on the market today that there is one that will suit almost any kind of casserole content. Using a canned soup speeds up the making of a casserole.

Toppings for casseroles vary.  Buttered breadcrumbs, crushed crackers, nuts, potato chips, tortilla chips, or cornflake crumbs are all good toppings for casseroles. They add great texture as well as dress up the casserole.

Tuna Noodle Casserole
Buttered Breadcrumb Topping on Creamy Tuna Noodle Casserole

Advantages of Casseroles

Cost

Casseroles are, depending of course on the ingredients, fairly economical to make. By combining several ingredients, like noodles and vegetables for example, to make the casserole, the content volume is increased and this extends the number of servings.

Typically, many of the ingredients are not too costly for most casseroles.  For example, in the Creamy Tuna Noodle Casserole, a 170g can of tuna is transformed into a casserole that will feed 4-6 by combining other ingredients like noodles, a can of cream-based soup, some basic sautéed vegetables, cheese, and frozen peas or corn.  Savvy shoppers can usually find at least some of these items on sale in grocery stores which decreases the overall cost of the casserole.

If we were to compare this to a typical meat/fish-and-potatoes meal, you can get a lot more servings from the casserole more economically than, say, buying fish filets, steak, or chicken breasts in which case it is necessary to buy enough individual portions for the number of people to be served.

Casseroles are a great way to use up leftover meat.  If you have meat from roast poultry, beef, or a ham, this can be combined with other ingredients to form a casserole to make good use of the leftovers and create an economical and tasty meal.

Tuna Casserole
Creamy Tuna Noodle Casserole
Convenience

Most casseroles can be made in advance and refrigerated until it is time to bake them later in the day or even the next day. Better still, in my opinion, many casseroles can be frozen, unbaked, and then popped into the oven when needed for a quick meal. Casseroles are a regular staple in my freezer and they are a part of my batch cooking repertoire. I like to serve a side salad with a casserole so, while the casserole is baking, it gives time to whip up the salad.

Easy to Make

For the most part, casseroles are quite easy to make and don’t require any special cooking skills, equipment, or cookware. Casseroles, therefore, are ideal for cooks of all skill levels.

Meal Variety

Casseroles are great to add variety to meal menus. They offer a break from the usual meat-and-potatoes style dinners. Who doesn’t love the scent of a casserole baking in the oven at mealtime and doesn’t it whet the appetite to see a hot bubbly casserole coming out of the oven!

Tuna Noodle Casserole
Creamy Tuna Noodle Casserole

Tips for Making Casseroles

  • Prepare all the ingredients before assembling the casserole  – chop the vegetables, shred or grate any cheeses called for in the recipe, measure out the amounts of ingredients, open cans, mix up the sauce with any seasonings required, prepare the topping.
  • Slightly undercook the pasta as it will receive additional cooking when the casserole goes into the oven.
  • An easy way to freeze a casserole is to line the baking dish (suitable for freezing) with aluminum foil, leaving enough overhang of foil enough to cover the casserole. Grease the foil. Place the casserole ingredients into the greased foil-lined baking dish.  Cover with the foil overhang. Place inside an airtight freezer bag. Freeze completely (about 24 hours). Remove frozen casserole from the baking dish, wrap the foil-wrapped casserole tightly in plastic wrap, and place it in an airtight freezer bag, label and date it, and return it to the freezer.  When ready to bake the casserole, remove it from the plastic and foil and place the casserole back in the original [greased] baking dish, ready for the oven. This frees up the baking dish for other uses and takes up less freezer space as casseroles will stack more efficiently without their baking dishes. The frozen casserole can be thawed overnight in the refrigerator or baked from frozen state. Note that frozen casseroles will take longer to bake than indicated in the recipe for a freshly made casserole. If the casserole starts to brown too quickly, loosely tent it with aluminum foil.
  • To eliminate the possibility of the casserole bubbling over (and making a dreaded mess in the oven), only fill the casserole dish about three-quarters full.
  • Let the casserole rest for about 10 minutes after removing it from the oven and before serving it.  This will allow the liquid in the casserole to simmer down from the bubbling and to thicken and absorb into the other ingredients. It also allows the casserole to cool slightly to a more edible temperature.

Creamy Tuna Noodle Casserole

Ingredients:

4 oz raw medium or broad egg noodles, cooked according to package directions

2½ – 3 tbsp butter
3 oz white button mushrooms, sliced
2/3 cup sweet pepper (red, yellow, or orange, or any combination thereof), coarsely chopped
½ cup celery, sliced
1/3 cup onion, diced

1 – 284ml can Cream of Broccoli and Cheese Soup
2 tbsp sour cream
1/3 cup milk
1 tsp liquid chicken bouillon mixed with ¼ cup hot water
1½ tsp Dijon mustard
½ tsp garlic powder or garlic salt
1/8 tsp dried dill
Pinch cayenne

1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
2 tbsp finely grated Parmesan cheese

1 cup frozen peas or corn (or a mix of both)
1 – 170g can chunky light tuna in water (drained)

½ cup coarsely ground bread crumbs
1½ tbsp melted butter

Green onions, sliced, for garnish (optional)

Method:

Boil water in large pot for noodles. Grease 1½ quart casserole dish.

Assemble and measure out all ingredients (except the frozen peas or corn). Chop vegetables. Shred the Cheddar cheese and grate the Parmesan cheese. Drain the tuna.

In large bowl, mix the soup, sour cream, milk, liquid bouillon and water, mustard, garlic powder or salt, dill, and cayenne. Stir in the Cheddar and Parmesan cheeses. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Begin cooking the noodles according to package directions, cooking them just until they are al dente.

In large skillet, melt the butter. Add the mushrooms, pepper, celery, and onion. Cook, stirring continuously, over medium heat for 4-5 minutes, until onion becomes transparent and the vegetables soften slightly.

Drain and rinse the cooked noodles in cold water to prevent them from sticking together.

Melt 1½ tbsp of butter to mix with the bread crumbs.

In large bowl, flake the tuna. Add the noodles and sautéed vegetables along with the frozen peas and/or corn. Pour in the liquid ingredients. Stir gently to completely combine ingredients.

Transfer mixture to prepared casserole dish. In small bowl, mix the melted butter with the bread crumbs and stir with a fork. Sprinkle bread crumb mixture over casserole.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, just until edges of casserole become bubbly. Remove from oven and let casserole rest for about 10 minutes before serving.  Garnish with sliced green onions, if desired.  Serve with a side salad and biscuits, rolls, or bread.

Yield: 4-6 servings

Tuna Noodle Casserole
Creamy Tuna Noodle Casserole

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Creamy Tuna Noodle Casserole

This nostalgic Creamy Tuna Noodle Casserole is a classic comfort food dish that is easy to make and full of great flavor.
Course Main Course
Keyword casserole, tuna casserole
Servings 6
My Island Bistro Kitchen Barbara99

Ingredients

  • 4 oz raw medium or broad egg noodles, cooked according to package directions
  • 2½ - 3 tbsp butter
  • 3 oz white button mushrooms, sliced
  • 2/3 cup sweet pepper (red, yellow, or orange, or any combination thereof), coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup celery, sliced
  • 1/3 cup onion, diced
  • 1 – 284ml can Cream of Broccoli and Cheese Soup
  • 2 tbsp sour cream
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 tsp liquid chicken bouillon mixed with ¼ cup hot water
  • tsp Dijon mustard
  • ½ tsp garlic powder or garlic salt
  • 1/8 tsp dried dill
  • Pinch cayenne
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 2 tbsp finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup frozen peas or corn (or a mix of both)
  • 1 - 170 g can chunky light tuna in water (drained)
  • ½ cup coarsely ground bread crumbs
  • tbsp melted butter
  • Green onions, sliced, for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. Boil water in large pot for noodles. Grease 1½ quart casserole dish.
  2. Assemble and measure out all ingredients (except the frozen peas or corn). Chop vegetables. Shred the Cheddar cheese and grate the Parmesan cheese. Drain the tuna.
  3. In large bowl, mix the soup, sour cream, milk, liquid bouillon and water, mustard, garlic powder or salt, dill, and cayenne. Stir in the Cheddar and Parmesan cheeses. Set aside.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  5. Begin cooking the noodles according to package directions, cooking them just until they are al dente.
  6. In large skillet, melt the butter. Add the mushrooms, pepper, celery, and onion. Cook, stirring continuously, over medium heat for 4-5 minutes, until onion becomes transparent and the vegetables soften slightly.
  7. Drain and rinse the cooked noodles in cold water to prevent them from sticking together.
  8. Melt 1½ tbsp of butter to mix with the bread crumbs.
  9. In large bowl, flake the tuna. Add the noodles and sautéed vegetables along with the frozen peas and/or corn. Pour in the liquid ingredients. Stir gently to completely combine ingredients.
  10. Transfer mixture to prepared casserole dish. In small bowl, mix the melted butter with the bread crumbs and stir with a fork. Sprinkle bread crumb mixture over casserole.
  11. Bake for 25-30 minutes, just until edges of casserole become bubbly. Remove from oven and let casserole rest for about 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with sliced green onions, if desired. Serve with a side salad and biscuits, rolls, or bread.

Recipe Notes

Yield: 4-6 servings

If you like tuna, you may also enjoy this recipe as well:

Classic Tuna Melts

Pin this Custom Photo to Your Favorite Pinterest Board for Later Retrieval!

Tuna Casserole

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