If you’ve never liked Tuna Casserole….
If you don’t like tuna casserole, I sympathize. I can’t stand the taste of it. But I’ve worked up a different tuna casserole recipe, that has little if any, relation to that other horrible thing. This one actually tastes good. I was motivated by a challenge thrown at me a few years back, so I began my quest to create a dish made with canned tuna that actually had flavor. One thing I knew, it could NOT contain that horrible mushroom soup everyone puts in the regular casserole. But what could I find to replace it that would make a good base and provide flavor to the dish? As years went on, anytime the subject came up, my immediate reaction was, “YUK! How can you eat that stuff?”
This Was The Challenge
When the challenge was thrown at me I had voiced that same opinion in a group of women and one of them said, “Well can you come up with a better recipe?” I decided then and there I’d accept the challenge and see what I could do. I wanted a tuna casserole that I could actually eat and enjoy. It wouldn’t be easy, because getting rid of that slimy mushroom soup was a priority. But what should I replace it with? The first attempt didn’t work well, because I used cream of celery soup, and there was no flavor to the casserole. Next I tried adding dried minced onion with the celery soup, thinking it would jazz up the flavor. It helped, but still not enough to make it tasty, so I put the recipe out of mind for a while figuring it was a challenge I might not be able to meet.
My Eureka Moment!
Then one day while making my Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas, which uses cream of chicken soup, I had a Eureka moment! Why not try this for the base soup needed for the tuna casserole? As soon as I got the chance, I tried it out, still using the minced onion. Quite an improvement, but again not quite as flavorful as I wanted. But I kept working with it and my family and I were the guinea pigs.
The Final Triumph and Recipe
Eventually, the recipe that I came up with worked, and one little flavorful herb, olive oil and some salt and pepper made all the difference. That was all it took to give it that last great flavor and now I can eat tuna casserole, well that is, as long as it’s mine. You will find MY Tuna Casserole Recipe below. So if you’re one of those who doesn’t like regular Tuna Casserole, you may like this.
Nancy’s Tuna Casserole
2 cans white albacore tuna in water (there are different instructions for oil canned tuna below in this recipe)
1 can cream of chicken soup
3/4 soup can of milk
1/2 bag (approximately) egg noodles
1 small can of peas or peas and carrots
3/4 to 1 cup dried minced onions (not less than the 3/4, but more if you like onions)
2 teaspoons Marjoram leaves (There is NO substitute for this!)
1 teaspoon Kosher salt (If you use regular salt, just use 1/2 teaspoon)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper (This is optional)
2 Tablespoons pure virgin olive oil, divided (if you’re using oil canned tuna, reduce olive oil to 1 Tablespoon and put it on the cooled noodles only.)
20 Saltine crackers, broken up or any suitable cracker
3/4 cup shredded four-cheese
Boil egg noodles per package instructions, except cut the time short by two minutes.
Do NOT omit the following step: drain egg noodles, rinse with cold water until cool. After rinsing, pour 1 Tablespoon olive oil into noodles and mix so they are well coated. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, place contents of two cans of tuna broken apart with a fork, cream of chicken soup, milk, dried minced onion, Marjoram leaves, salt and pepper, and 1 Tablespoon olive oil, if you are using water canned tuna. Combine until everything is well distributed.
Pour cooled egg noodles into the tuna mixture, combine well so the noodles are well distributed throughout the mixture.
Stir peas and carrots into the mixture.
Pour into a 9X13 glass baking dish, using a spoon or spatula to level out the mixture.
Break up crackers and sprinkle over the top of the casserole.
Sprinkle a small amount of shredded four-cheese mix over top of crackers.
Place casserole in oven and set temperature for 350 degrees and your timer for 30 minutes. When the timer goes off if the top isn’t browned and crisped to your liking give it a few more minutes.
Now THIS is a tuna casserole I like and so does my entire family. Try it, you may find it as delicious as I did!
If you like casseroles and find them a healthy timesaver and delicious family food, here are a few books of recipes for casseroles. You might, like I did, put your own “twist” on a recipe from one of these books. This is the time to “experiment” with your food and your tastes.