Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Good Ol' Tuna Noodle Casserole

I'm very fortunate to have ended up quite the adventurous eater. As a child, I would pick and chose foods with ardent fury that I simply would and would not eat. Would you believe I never ate beans until college? ...told my friends' parents that I was allergic to milk because I hated the taste? ...refused to eat any sandwich that had been contaminated with pickle juice?

Well, luckily for us all I have turned out to be quite a charming and not-so-picky adult. :)

Tuna Noodle Casserole The worst offender on my "do not eat" list was hands down - canned tuna. I simply couldn't sit next to a friend or classmate who had a tuna sandwich. In college, my study buddy brought a snack pack of tuna and crackers and I swiftly put an end to our study dates.

I don't recall the first time I got over the canned tuna hurdle, but I can now safely say that tuna noodle casserole is one of my favorite comfort foods. While it certainly doesn't bring back any nostalgia of childhood, family dinners or momma's cooking, it does remind me of the early days of my relationship with hubby.

Tuna Noodle Casserole
Back when we were dating, I enjoyed cooking but had a very small kitchen and limited supplies (think a mish-mosh of pots and pans from college, the majority of which were hand-me-downs from my mother's kitchen or garage sale purchases). Since I was very much a budding cook, I stuck to lots of recipes using "convenience foods" like condensed soup or pre-packaged stir fry mixes. My recipe repertoire had its limitations, but I always had a few standbys that I knew would impress. Cooking for a new boyfriend required me to be calm, cool and collected in the kitchen (none of which I am today!) Tuna noodle casserole was my favorite dish to throw together so we could spend more time being googly-eyed and all that stuff that new couples enjoy.

Today, I like to think that I have gotten much better in the kitchen, but we still enjoy good ol' tuna noodle casserole more often than not. It's simple, delicious, and easy. To my old study buddy - I apologize. I'd be happy to have you and your tuna cracker snack pack over any day.

Good Ol' Tuna Noodle Casserole
1 tablespoon butter
3/4 cup diced onion
1 cup milk
1 (10.5 ounce) can condensed reduced-fat cream of mushroom soup
1 1/4 cups frozen green peas
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
2 cans tuna, drained and flaked
3/4 box of rotini cooked according to package directions
1/3 cup Italian breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 450° and spray a 2qt casserole dish lightly with cooking spray.

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté 3-4 minutes. Add milk and soup. Cook 3 minutes; stir constantly with a whisk.
Add peas, lemon juice, salt, pepper, garlic salt and tuna. mix well. Add drained noodles and toss to coat noodles with sauce. Pour into casserole dish.

Combine breadcrumbs and cheese; sprinkle on top and spray breadcrumb topping with nonstick cooking spray. Bake at 450° 15 minutes or until bubbly.

34 comments:

Pearl said...

Oh Sharon. You are SO adorable and hilarious. You know, I always hear these stories about how "I made roasted chicken and pasta to get my boyfriend to propose." And now I know that tuna casserole can be added to the list. :)

Jeff said...

I grew up in a household where we would and still fight over who got the pig's feet when mom made stuff cabbage.

I am opposite when I cook for a date. I tend to be the more over the top extravagant and borderline haute. Which is nowhere close to my everyday cooking style.

Nicely done and love a good throw everything in a casserole dish and call it a day dish.

M. Housman said...

That is so funny. My sister was a picky eater as a child and her reasons were always the same, simply put "I've turned it out."

I haven't had tuna noodle casserole since I was a child! My mom had a tuna casserole song she'd sing when she served it, well more like a jingle.

PS-I hate the way milk smells. I still won't drink it. Strike that, I'll drink it masked behind Kahlua.

Kim in the Kitchen said...

I hated eating lunch at friends houses as a child because there was invariably a tuna sandwich involved. I still cannot even stand the smell. How in the world did you actually put tuna in your mouth after years of hating it?! You're much braver than me!

Katie said...

Thanks!! I think I will make this for dinner tonight!!

Snooky doodle said...

oh this must be delicious. I ve never cooked tuna. must be so good. Nice dish :)

The Blonde Duck said...

This looks good! I love that it's so simple and easy.

I didn't eat tuna until college. Ben forced me to eat it. I won't eat it straight out of a can like he does, but I love tuna salad and croquettes and casseroles!

noble pig said...

I love tuna casserole...absolutely love and your version sounds great!

Christina Kim said...

Sharon, your stories are hilarious!! I love dishes that have sentimental value. This casserole looks very very yummy, and very comforting. I'm sure your study buddy has forgiven you!

Katrina said...

Grew up strongly disliking dinner when my mom would make tuna noodle casserole, but yours sure looks good! I need nice go-to dinners that aren't the same 4-5 things I always make. Putting this one on the list.

ttfn300 said...

brings back so many memories!!

MaryBeth said...

One of the best all time comfort foods, you simply can't go wrong with tuna noodle casserole. Please come by my blog and enter my new cookbook giveaway!

Kevin said...

That tuna noodle casserole looks good! I have been wanting to try making one.

Elyse said...

You know, for as much as I consider myself to have a broad palette, I have never tried tuna casserole. I've always been a bit afraid. But, seeing your pictures has convinced that I would love this dish. I mean, it looks totally yummy!

Grace said...

tuna hasn't grown on me yet, and i'm beginning to doubt that it ever will. i do love this casserole, though, but with chicken in lieu of tuna. :)

gammypie said...

My Mom would always make chicken rice casserole with canned grean beans and cream of mushroom soup. I couldn't stand it as a kid, but now I love it.

kat said...

Yummmmmm, tuna casserole always makes me think of being a kid

Cheryl said...

Gosh I have not made Tuna Noodle Casserole in sooo long, I think I will make it the next rainy day!

Bridgett said...

This looks so comforting. It has been so long since I had a good tuna casserole.

Bunny said...

I had a customer once who ordered a sandwich, no pickles he said, don't even wave it over the plate! LOL!! Poor pickles!! I love tuna noodle casserole too, your's look so yummy!!

Kathy - Cooking On the Side said...

An oldie but goodie for sure - this transported me back to childhood instantly!

Mo said...

I was the same way growing up! I had about 5 foods I liked. (And I wouldn't eat a vegetable to save my life. LOL)

This looks like comfort food at it's best!

claudia said...

your photos are so yummy!
I think I'll try this recipe, maybe with some variations because I don't think my husband will face the canned mushrooms cream inside it^^

Maris said...

I think men love dishes like these. Girls are always concerned about calories and how much fat is in a dish and men just eat them up and have seconds (although, I'd totally eat this and would probably love it, too! LOL.

BrittWilk said...

you've inspired me. i need to get over my fear of canned tuna. maybe someday. :)

MrOrph said...

Nice casserole Sharon. Unfortunately, my mom made some much of this when I was a kid, and not well I might add, I have sworn off tuna casserole for life. Yours looks amazing, but I just, I just can't. :-)

Ana Powell said...

Hi Sharon
Love reading your introductions and always delighted to visit your Blog and to see your beautiful recipes and photos x

tastymealsathome.com said...

tasty meal at home! hehe =)

Clumbsy Cookie said...

This screams homey confort food!

Maria said...

The hubs hates tuna, so I doubt I will be making this one. I can't eat it alone!

He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named said...

yes, i've been looking for a recipe. will try yours out. is it okay to pack in a sack lunch as well or is it only good fresh out of the oven?

Jen said...

this looks so yummy!!

tanya said...

made your recipe tonight- delish! Thanks

Anonymous said...

My husband claimed he hated tuna. I used cream of chicken soup with the cream of mushroom. He never knew he was eatting tuna thought it was chicken. The chicken soup took away the tuna taste.