Tuna Casserole

This was my absolute favourite meal as a kid. My mom always made it with jellied salad on the side – green Jello with grated carrots mixed in. Sometimes we would even have those crispy chow mein noodles to sprinkle on top. Sheer bliss! So in the interest of posterity, here’s the recipe to the best of my recollection. I usually just wing it now, but this way my grandkids will be able to try it if they want a taste of nostalgia.

serves 4-6 people – tastes just as good reheated

2 cans flaked tuna in water, drained

2 cans cream of mushroom soup

2 soup cans whole milk

1 tsp EACH dried thyme and oregano

10-12 button mushrooms, sliced

1 can water chestnuts, sliced (optional but they add a lovely crunch)

3 green onions, chopped

3-4 pieces celery, chopped

750-900 g broad egg noodles, dried

1 tsp salt

fresh-ground pepper

Fill a large pot with water and 1 tsp salt and set on the stove to boil. Once water boils, add noodles. Cook until al dente and then drain. Rinse in cold water and set aside.

Preheat oven to 375 F/190C. Take out a medium sized deep casserole dish (glass or Pyrex works best, with a lid if possible.)

Chop mushrooms, celery and green onions. Open soup can and mix contents with the milk and herbs. Open tuna cans and drain.

Assemble the casserole: Start with 1/3 of the noodles, then distribute 1 can of tuna along with 1/2 of the chopped vegetables and 1/3 of the soup mix. Sprinkle with fresh ground pepper to taste. (I DO NOT season this with salt, as the soup has salt and the noodles were salted. I prefer to let people season it at the table if need be.) Repeat this layer – noodles, veggies, soup mix, pepper – then top with the last of the noodles and the last of the soup mix.

Bake covered for approximately 40 minutes, until sauce is boiling. Remove the lid and bake 5 more minutes to brown the top. (GILDING THE LILY: Add grated cheddar to the top when you remove the lid and bake until cheese is melted.)

Serve warm, with jellied salad if desired 🙂

 

 

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