Tuna Noodle Casserole

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Ben’s going out with work colleagues tonight, so I thought I’d take the opportunity to make something for dinner that he’d normally turn up his nose at.

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What might that include? You may be asking yourself?

Well, for starters…tofu, squash, tacos, pork chops, eggs, brinner, loose meat sandwiches, roasted vegetables, peanut noodles, goat cheese, cream cheese, pesto, homemade pizza, soup, enchiladas, pumpkin, balsamic vinaigrette, beef, cheese, zucchini…

INHALE

Shall I keep going? ;)

What can I say, feeding a picky eater with high cholesterol is no easy task. Good thing he’s so dang handsome!

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So, what did I make on a night with no culinary boundaries? A night where I could choose anything to eat and that could even, if I wanted, include mayo, mustard or crunchy onions (a few more of Ben’s most hated foods)?

Tuna.

TUNA?

Tuna!

Dream big, right?! ;)

I have actually been dying to make Tuna Noodle Casserole for the past couple of weeks for Heaven only knows what reason!

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I didn’t eat a lot of tuna growing up, and wouldn’t go near it for years after a few too many Tuna Salad Subs from Subway in college, but for some reason the thought of a tuna-laced, creamy casserole studded with sweet peas and a cheesy, crunchy topping is all I’ve been thinking about lately.

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Tuna, as it turns out – unless it’s raw and from Miyabi 9 – doesn’t quite do it for my man, so I thought tonight would be the perfect opportunity to whip up a hot & bubbly dish for myself, with a leftover portion for tomorrow’s lunch.

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I started the casserole by making a thick and luxurious sauce. First I sauteed a small shallot in a bit of butter then added flour to thicken it up. Next I whisked in chicken broth and skim milk, then sprinkled in petite peas before letting the sauce bubble until it was nice and thick.

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Next I added the star of the show – the tuna! This is chunk light, whatever that means, packed in water.

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Finally I stirred in a wee bit of sharp cheddar cheese and combined the sauce with cooked egg noodles.

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I probably could have just taken this straight to the face, but there’s a crunchy, cheesy topping goin’ on top! :D

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I divided the tuna noodle mixture between two individual sized baking dishes that I picked up at IKEA a couple weekends ago, and sprinkled a mixture of parmesan cheese, panko bread crumbs and Italian seasoning on top.

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Baked ’til golden brown & bubbly! :D

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Tuna Noodle Casserole

Print this recipe!

Slightly adapted from Skinny Taste

Serves 2

Ingredients:
3oz egg noodles
1 Tablespoon butter
1 shallot, minced
salt & pepper
1-1/2 Tablespoons flour
3/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons chicken broth
1/2 cup skim milk
1/4 cup frozen peas
1-5oz can tuna packed in water, drained
1/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese
1 Tablespoon parmesan cheese
1 Tablespoon panko breadcrumbs
1/8 teaspoon Italian seasoning

Directions:

  1. Cook noodles in boiling, salted water until slightly undercooked. Drain, return to the pot and set aside.
  2. Melt butter in a medium-sized skillet over medium heat. Add in shallots, season with salt & pepper, and saute until softened, about 3-4 minutes. Add in flour and stir, cooking for 1 more minute. Flour and butter will be lumpy.
  3. Slowly whisk in chicken broth, breaking up the clumps of butter and flour. Once all the chicken broth has been incorporated, pour in the milk and bring the mixture to a boil. When boiling, add in peas. Turn the heat back down to medium and let the mixture bubble until thickened, about 5-6 minutes, whisking every minute or so.
  4. Add drained tuna to the sauce as well as more salt & pepper to taste. Turn off the heat and stir in cheddar cheese until completely melted. Pour the sauce into the pot with the cooked noodles and mix to combine.
  5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray two individual sized baking dishes with non-stick spray and divide the mixture evenly between the two.
  6. Combine parmesan cheese, panko bread crumbs and Italian seasoning in a small dish, then divide the mixture evenly between the two baking dishes. Spray the tops with more non-stick spray and bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

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I LOVED the crunchy panko and cheese topping on here, as it kind of mimicked the crushed potato chips that traditionally top a classic Tuna Noodle Casserole. It was a great texture contrast to the creamy noodles and tuna inside.

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Casserole craving officially squashed! :D

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In other news, while Ben is out for the evening, I’m staying in. With my Mom. We’re making cheesecakes!

Details to come… :)

Good night!

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Comments

  1. That’s SO cute and funny. Funny enough, my fiancee hates tuna, so I would totally make the same dish if he was away. Happy baking!

    • Ruth Ann 11.12.2013

      LOL my husband hates all sorts of anything with fins. Of course he’ll eat the pricy lobster, scallops etc. go figure.
      Anyway, I like the recipe so I compromise. I substitute leftover chicken or ham.
      Bonus, you can make it extra meaty that way, there’s always more than that tiny 5.5 oz can of leftover meat. :)

  2. Melissa 12.14.2011

    Looks amazing…need to try this!

  3. Diana 12.14.2011

    Yum! Now I know what’s for dinner tomorrow :)

  4. Jodi 12.14.2011

    I made something similar tonight for me and the kiddos! I was in the mood for tuna too and this was a staple in my house growing up. My husband absolutely hates it, so I make it when he is working nights :)

  5. Samantha 12.14.2011

    My Mum used to cook tuna casserole whenever my Dad was away from work because he hates it so much he couldn’t even stand the smell in the house. And now I’ve also married a man that hates tuna. Can’t wait to try this recipe when he’s not around!

  6. Beth 12.14.2011

    OooOOO I love single serving style dishes! Is there anything more comforting in the wintertime than a casserole?

  7. This looks delicious! Definitely trying this!

  8. Eleni 12.14.2011

    Looks delicious and I have all the ingredients on hand. Perfect!

  9. I have to make this for myself. My husband also is not a fan, but whatever. More for me.

  10. Since I’ve gone vegetarian (about 9 months ago), TUNA is the only thing I ever crave. This looks sooooo so so good! I may just need to go pescatarian for a night. ;)

  11. It’s nice to have those nights with no culinary boundaries! Have fun with your Mom!

  12. Lauren 12.14.2011

    Tuna Noodle Casserole always reminds me of my mom. I love the idea of making it for 2 though. Such a good idea.

  13. Angle 12.14.2011

    That’s too funny! I make the dishes my husband hates when he travels for work. I can eat the same thing for a week and it doesn’t bother me. Tuna casserole sounds good. I’ll have to wait til he goes out of town.

  14. Stephanie Schimmel 12.14.2011

    That’s so weird – I made this for my visiting family just on Sunday!

  15. Lynette 12.14.2011

    I am normally not a big tuna fan, but this looks great and I KNOW my husband would love it!

  16. Ashley @ PCFO 12.14.2011

    I would never think to make this recipe, but it looks delicious! I also really like that you made double the recipe, to save some for lunch the next day – I need to start doing that!

  17. Amy 12.14.2011

    I do the same things when my husband isn’t home! It’s like I’m back to my single days when I can just eat a plate of roasted vegetables and not have to worry about making some kind of meat too!

  18. Katelyn 12.14.2011

    How does an Iowa guy turn his nose at pork chops?!? :)

  19. laura 12.14.2011

    this sounds delicious, i’d love this one!

  20. Great casserole, unfortunately my hubby won’t touch anything with tuna or casserole! :(

  21. Michelle 12.14.2011

    What it is about guys hating tuna fish…? Same story, growing up we loved when my parents went out for the night and got a babysitter because my mom always made us tuna casserole…cuz… My dad hated tuna. And I’ve married a man who hates tuna too!

  22. karenc 12.14.2011

    Kristin – I get a craving for good ol tuna and noodles now and then and I am most certainly going to fix your recipe next time – it sounds wonderful! I am a fellow Iowa fan – love your blog! P.S. I just went to Trader Joe’s and purchased the Cookie Butter which I will try tomorrow!

  23. Angie 12.14.2011

    Tuna casserole was one of our favorite family dishes growing up (especially Fridays during Lent). :) This looks delightful!

  24. Ty 12.15.2011

    Haha I made this tonight too… Almost exactly the same way! I had tuna steaks from trader joe’s in the fridge. Mmmm can’t wait for leftovers tomorrow!

  25. Funny! When my husband is out for the night I make brussels sprouts. He thinks they stink (like he won’t stop talking about how awful the house smells all night, ha) and won’t even think about tasting them. :)

  26. One time my husband told his friend (who is a good cook), “My wife makes this gourmet dish, tuna noodle casserole.” I was mortified, but it is his favorite. Men. :) Your version looks terrific!

  27. Mary 12.15.2011

    This sounds terrific. It is hard to find good recipes for two and this one looks delicious. I’m new to your blog, so I took some time to browse through your earlier posts. I’m so glad Idid that. I really like the food and recipes you share with your readers and I’ll definitely be back. I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary

  28. Allison 12.15.2011

    I have been having a huge hankering for tuna casserole lately too! Too bad I’m gonna try to fill my tuna fix with a can of tuna on top of some spinach for lunch today, def not the same…

  29. VeggieGirl 12.15.2011

    LOL, my man loves everything I eat thankfull, as a vegetarian I’m glad I dont have to make separate dinners!

  30. Alexa 12.15.2011

    Ooo, I’m not a tuna lady, but I’ll try this with canned chicken. Thanks for another great recipe!

  31. Cindy D. 12.15.2011

    Too funny! My hubs hates tuna casserole too. Every once in awhile I just have a craving and HAVE to make some…usually shared by a co-worker who has the same weird taste for it from childhood.

  32. Have fun making cheesecake!

  33. I love coming to your page for recipes! You always have so many delicous ideas and ones that my husband will eat as well!

  34. Danielle 12.15.2011

    Hey Kristin,
    Where did you get the plate that your bowl is sitting on that has text on it? It’s so cool! Was that an IKEA purchase, as well?
    Thanks!

    • Iowa Girl Eats 12.15.2011

      I actually found it on a clearance end-cap at Target a couple months ago!

  35. Shannon 12.15.2011

    Hey! My friend just moved back from Belgium and has been missing Speculoos. “What is Speculoos?,” you might ask. It’s the cookie butter you showed from Trader Joe’s!! I went out and picked up a jar today. She will be very pleased. THANK YOU!! : )

  36. Mmm… something so comforting about a creamy, rich casserole! Whipped up a Mexican-inspired one last night after seeing this. Thanks for the inspiration! ;)

  37. stacy 12.15.2011

    that looks delish! but i would definitely NOT be using “chunk light” tuna (bleck!!!) ….. solid albacore is SOOOO much better :)

  38. okay, I TRUST YOU. this better be a damn good tuna casserole.

  39. Lisa 12.15.2011

    Love tuna casserole! And this college comfort for version too…Kraft Mac and Cheese prepared per the instructions, stir in one can of cream of mushroom soup and one can of tuna…perfect winter food. I add mushrooms and peas too. You can add the bread crumb mixture to the top and bakd if you can wait that long.

  40. Jess C 12.16.2011

    I made this last night for my husband and I and it was a BIG hit! Thanks for the inspiration! I think this will definitely become a winter staple in our house, and I absolutely loved how easy it was to just make for two people. Thanks!

  41. Megan 12.16.2011

    It is really nice to be able to make whatever you want every once in a while for dinner! This is in the oven as I write this, it looks great. I didn’t have breadcrumbs so used some crushed croutons and crushed cheese crackers instead, otherwise folled the recipe exactly. Thanks for sharing~

  42. Alicia 12.19.2011

    I am totally making this when my husband isn’t home. He HATES tuna and I LOVE it! Thanks for the recipe!

  43. Elizabeth 12.28.2011

    I am going to make it for four people this week. Should I just double the recipe?

  44. Brandy 01.06.2012

    OMG – This is in the oven right now and it smells AMAZING!
    I substituted peas for corn and I didn’t have shallots (oops) so I threw in some minced garlic – I figured it would go well with the italian seasoning on top.

    Thanks so much for the recipe!

  45. […] the last episode of Ben’s Not Home For Dinner, I got up-close and personal with a creamy, comforting Tuna Noodle Casserole. A dish that I happen […]

  46. […] Creamy Casserole For Two | Iowa Girl EatsWhat can I say, feeding a picky eater with high cholesterol is no easy task. Good thing he’s so dang handsome! [] the last episode of Ben’s Not Home For Dinner, I got up-close and personal with a creamy, comforting Tuna Noodle Casserole. … Access Content […]

  47. Christi 02.12.2013

    This was excellent! I too make tuna casserole when my husband is out of town, so last night was my tuna casserole night! I didn’t want to use cream of mushroom soup so I’m very thankful I found your recipe! Thank you, thank you!! :)

  48. Larry Holmes 02.25.2013

    Hi, I am an Iowa guy who really likes tuna. Upon return from each tour of duty in Vietnam, we had tuna-noodle casserole, real whole milk, and sour cream and raisin pie for dessert. Yep, that is real homecoming, comfort food! Oh, crushed French’s Onion Rings are really good in the topping.

  49. Britt 06.18.2013

    This is one of the best tuna casserole recipes! I’ve added it to my regular dinner line up! :-)

  50. Sara 11.03.2013

    BEST! TUNA NOODLE CASSEROLE! EVER!
    I’ve tried several other recipes in efforts to avoid using canned soup as the casserole base, but this is the BEST. This recipe is the perfect comfort food! Thanks so much :)

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