Monday, November 5, 2012

Tuna Casserole

Did you grow up on Tuna Fish Casserole? It was my mother's go-to dish if she was going to be super busy doing something else. We never complained about it. There's something comforting about tuna casserole.

With all the talk about mercury in tuna, I hardly ever make it anymore. I tried substituting salmon but it just wasn't the same. It has to be tuna.

So then I tried using organic soup instead of Campbell's. That was a disaster. There's nothing quite like good old Campbell's soup. I did use their heart healthy Cream of Celery Soup this time around and it worked out fine.


This is a recipe that I wrote in the back of my worn copy of The Joy of Cooking. I called it my Yummy Tuna Casserole. I actually wrote "loads of garlic powder" which I interpret to mean -- use it liberally!


Yummy Tuna Casserole

1 tablespoon olive oil
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
1 can Cream of Celery Soup
1 package broad egg noodles or fettucine
1 package frozen corn
2 cans tuna fish
1/2 to 1 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
two pinches sage
1 pinch thyme
loads of garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400 and grease a 9 x 11 baking pan.

Heat the olive oil and saute the mushrooms. Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the directions on the package.

When the mushrooms are cooked through, stir in the Cream of Celery Soup.

Drain the pasta and return the noodles to the pot. Add the mushroom mixture and all other ingredients except Parmesan cheese. Stir to mix, taste and add salt and pepper. Pour into the prepared baking pan. Sprinkle liberally with Parmesan cheese. Bake 45 minutes.


22 comments:

  1. Growing up, this was one of my favorites! And when I moved 90 minutes away for my first job, my mom usually fixed it for dinner if I was coming home for the weekend. Later on, my secretary would ask what I planned for dinner, and If I said tuna and noodles, she'd say, oh you're going out to eat - my husband didn't like it much. Now I rarely make it - too much sodium in the mushroom soup, and we've never found a satisfactory substitute.
    Thanks for the memories!

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    1. Aww, that's so nice of your mom. My mom always made my favorite when I came home, too. There is a lot of salt in it, but the Heart Healthy version tasted fine with 410 mg of salt. It makes a big casserole with at least eight servings, so that's not too bad.

      ~ Krista

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  2. Maybe a regional difference, instead of corn, my mom's tuna casserole had peas in it. I still love tuna casserole but my husband and my kids gag at the thought of tuna. Something is truly wrong with them. I also remember a twist she'd do by making it with Kraft Mac and Cheese, tuna, peas, and more cheese on top. Life is better with more cheese!

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    1. LOL! I suspect it's not a regional difference, more like a what-was-in-the-freezer difference. I've never heard of making it with Mac and Cheese -- what a clever idea!

      ~ Krista

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  3. I wouldn't think of making this Krista, but I'd sure eat what's in the picture:).

    Judy, that's a good twist. I'm afraid my stepkids lived on Kraft mac and cheese for a few years...

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    1. Casseroles never photograph well! We don't eat it often, and as I mentioned, I have tried making a healthier version, but it's just not the same!

      ~ Krista

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  4. Krista, I love tuna casserole, sometimes make a tiny version for one! The mayo is a good idea for moistness, and JudyMac I use peas too--for color contrast as much as anything. A trick I learned years ago: I start with white wine in a small saucepan, throw in whatever herbs I'm using and boil that hard until the herbs turn black. Gives the casserole an amazing flavor. Also works on chicken or turkey. But I have a son-in-law who would never ever touch tuna, so can't cook it for the family.

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    1. White wine in tuna casserole? Judy! Now that's gourmet tuna casserole, for sure!

      ~ Krista

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  5. Krista, my mom made this, too. Using Campbell's. Amazing how some recipes just follow years of tradition.

    ~Daryl aka Avery

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    1. It must have been in all the magazines around then, don't you think? Seems like everybody's mom made it.

      ~ Krista

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  6. My mom never made this, but the mom of one of my friends did, and she crushed up potato chips for the topping, oh yes and she had peas in her, it was soooooo good. My mom did make creamed tuna on toast which I also love. I sometimes make it just for my self, and I add a couple of hands full of sharp cheddar cheese to it. Perfect comfort food.

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    1. Ohhh, crushed potato chips as the topping. Yum! What a great idea. Creamed tuna on toast? What's the cream?

      ~ Krista

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    2. It is a basic white sauce, seasoned of course, and I add sautéed sliced celery. I sauté the celery in the butter before adding in the flour for the white sauce. Add salt, pepper and well drained tuna and heat thru, spoon over cubed buttered toast. If I could spell it I would call it a beshamell sauce, lol.

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    3. I have never heard of that! I'll have to try it. Thanks for sharing it, Diana!

      ~ Krista

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  7. Creamed tuna on toast made my mind do a mini time warp to Easter Morning when we would always have creamed eggs on toast. We'd peel the eggs, cut in quarters and mix into a white sauce. Spread on toast season with pepper and voila! Easter Morning breakfast. This is another treasured childhood meal that has never been served to my family because they don't like eggs! Hard boiled or scrambled, they won't touch them. I tell you, my family can be just plain weird at times!

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    1. It sounds delicious! I love eggs. You can bet I'll be trying this!

      ~ Krista

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  8. I have never had tuna noodle casserole but I'm tempted to try it. My father would not eat casseroles (he was a real Italian) so my Mom never made anything like this. I love the ease of a casserole--one dish and you're done!

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    1. I'm amazed by the number of people who never ate tuna casserole growing up -- and it seems like it was always the dads who didn't like it! LOL!

      ~ Krista

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  9. LOL, great post - we didn't have this growing up, but we did eat tuna fish and spaghetti, yes with red sauce. Marc and I were both served it, and (as bad as it *sounds*), it wasn't all that bad to eat. Like more than one reader of your post today, Krista, I think I just got nostalgic about making it again. Thanks for the foodie memory! ~ Cleo

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    1. Cleo, that's so funny, because one of my big complaints is that red sauce overwhelms the fish taste. Maybe that's what your moms were trying to do!

      ~ Krista

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  10. My tummy got filled by just looking at this mouth watering Tuna Fish Casserole. I Can’t wait to prepare this. Photos are really eye catching..

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    1. Thank you so much! Casseroles usually don't photograph well, but the crusty Parmesan on top does!

      ~ Krista

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