Ordinarily, I am not a big fan of tuna. However, the rest of my family really enjoys it, so I try to serve it a few times a month for them to enjoy. That usually takes the form of tuna salad sandwiches or tuna pasta salad for lunch. Rarely does tuna make it on to the dinner rotation.
When I do make a tuna dish for dinner, I rely on an old-standard – tuna noodle casserole. I make it a little bit different every time by varying the spices a bit. I actually really enjoy this dish. Every time we have it I think I should make it more often. Maybe I’ll start now!
- 1 lb. elbow macaroni, fully cooked and drained
- 1/4 c. butter or margarine
- 4 stalks celery (including leaves if from the heart), diced
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 1/4 c. flour
- 1 t. salt
- 1/2 t. black pepper
- 1 1/2 c. milk
- 1-2 cans water-packed tuna, fully drained
- 3/4 c. mayonnaise
- 2 c. frozen peas
- Spices to play along with, in any amount and combination – curry, dill, cayenne pepper, Italian seasoning, cumin, thyme, lemon pepper, Herbs de Provence
- Salt and pepper to taste
1. In a small saucepan, melt the butter or margarine over medium heat. Stir in celery and onions. Cook for 3 minutes, until veggies are slightly cooked but still crispy. Whisk in flour, salt and pepper. Cook 2-3 minutes. Whisk in milk, bring to a boil and simmer until thickened to a condensed cream-of soup consistency. Cool.
2. In a large bowl, combine cooled sauce, tuna, mayonnaise and peas. Stir in any additional desired seasonings and salt & pepper, to taste. Add cooked noodles, stir to coat and pour into a large casserole dish. (Can be refrigerated until dinnertime at this point.)
3. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, until heated through and bubbly.
Some optional topping ideas: shredded cheese, breadcrumbs mixed with melted butter, crushed potato chips or crackers, crushed goldfish.
Stop by $5 Dinners for more $5 Dinner Challenge.