“That’s the best tuna casserole I’ve ever had!”
No, seriously, he said that last night after trying the recipe I tweaked a bit from the one in my Betty Crocker cookbook. It brought tears to my eyes. Here’s the recipe the way I made it!*
*blanket statements of amazingness from spouse not included.
1 box (16 oz) of pasta, any shape – I used egg noodles because my mother raised me properly
2 tablespoons of flour
4 tablespoons of butter, divided
1 ¬Ω cups milk
1 cup cheddar cheese
¬Ω tsp onion powder
¬Ω tsp of salt
Dash of pepper
2 cups frozen peas, thawed
2¬† cans tuna (12 oz total)
¬Ω cup dried bread crumbs or crunched up Wheaties cereal – I used bread crumbs
1. Preheat the oven to 350¬∞.
2. Cook and drain pasta according to the directions on the box. Pour drained pasta into the casserole dish and set aside.
3. Melt 2 tbsp of the butter in a saucepan. Add the flour and the salt to the melted butter and stir to make a paste. Slowly add the milk to the paste, stirring constantly. Cook over medium heat for about 8 minutes, continuing to stir constantly.
4. Add the cheese, onion powder, and pepper and stir until all cheese is totally melted. Remove from heat and let sit while you do the next step.
5. Flake tuna on top of the pasta. Add peas on top of that.
7. Pour the cream sauce over the pasta, tuna and peas and combine ingredients thoroughly.
8. Cover and bake for 25 minutes or until it is bubbly. While baking, combine bread crumbs/cereal with the remaining 2 tbsp butter, melted.
9. After the dish bakes for 25 min, remove cover, top with crumbs/cereal and bake uncovered for another 5-10 min, or until topping is toasted.
10. Listen to the rave reviews of your critics as they applaud you for nailing that elusive omigoshbestdinnerEVER meal.
Two closing thoughts from this humble kitchen experimenteress:
1. This went really well with a simple tossed salad and if you look closely, I just fed my husband two whole servings of vegetables in one sitting. (Please, PLEASE don’t tell him).
2. Because I am overly aware of the fact that my free time as I know it is soon coming to an abrupt and infantile ending, lately I have been doubling my dinner recipes as I make them and freezing one. I did that with this recipe and it was fabulously easy to prepare it doubled, plus I read online that it freezes really well. To cook it later all you have to do is put down the crying baby for a split second¬† and bake (starting frozen) at 350¬∞ for an hour.