One of my favorite guilty pleasures is taking a trip down memory lane with a good old homemade "soup casserole". Just about every red-blooded American kid grew up eating some variation of this one dish wonder, made with a can or two of condensed "cream of" soup, some pasta or rice and a variety of other inexpensive pantry and refrigerator staples. It was the quick and easy way for mom to put a hot meal on the table in a hurry and usually fed not just her own hungry brood, but often a neighborhood kid or two as well. If you've ever been to a pot-luck supper at church or school or even at the local firehouse, you're bound to have had a taste of at least one of these hearty, comforting and very shareable concoctions.
On Friday nights during Lent, Tuna Noodle Casserole was one of my mother's go-to suppers and I have to admit that back in the day, I wasn't always a fan. Don't get me wrong... My mother was a good "simple cook" and she made a mean meatloaf and some killer potato salad, but she wasn't really big on adding different seasonings or ingredients to a dish, unless the recipe specifically called for them. As much as I love and miss her, when it comes to cooking, I am definitely not my mama. I've done a lot of experimenting in the kitchen over the years and although I don't always succeed, the results are usually something that I'm happy with. Of course, the true test when it comes to new recipes, is whether or not the family likes it. Well... this little re-mix on the classic was a big success in our house, so I thought I'd share it with you.
(Sorry that I don't have step by step pics, but I hadn't originally planned on posting this. It was Hubbs that suggested that I should... gotta love that man!)
Not Your Mama's Tuna Casserole
- 1 Pkg Extra Wide Egg Noodles, cooked and drained
- 4 Cans White Albacore Tuna, drained well and flaked
- 2 Cans Cream of Mushroom Soup
- 1/2 Cup Sour Cream
- 1/4 Cup Mayonnaise (not salad dressing/Miracle Whip)
- 1 Tsp Dijon Mustard (heaping)
- 1/2 Cup Milk, Half & Half or Cream
- 2 Cups Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
- 1 Tsp Garlic Powder
- 1 Tsp Onion Powder
- 1 Tsp Dried Thyme
- 1/2 Tsp Cayenne Pepper (optional)
- Salt & Pepper
- 1 Cup French Fried Onion Rings
- 1 Cup Potato Chips
- 2-3 Tbls Butter, in small pieces
Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Put the fried onion rings and potato chips into a zip-top bag and crush them with your hands or a heavy object until they're the consistency of coarse breadcrumbs. Set aside.
Mix all of the ingredients (except the topping) in a large mixing bowl. Pour into a lightly greased 9x13 baking dish and sprinkle the topping mixture over the entire surface. Dot the top with the little pieces of butter and bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until it's hot and bubbling around all sides and the top is golden brown and crunchy.
The casserole can be made ahead of time and refrigerated, but if you do this, wait until just before putting it in the oven to add the topping and butter. You'll also need to increase the cooking time to about 45 to 50 minutes.
You can also add in any kind of veggie that you like, if you want to make this a real one pan meal. I usually serve steamed broccoli or green beans on the side. I know the veggie that's most commonly associated with tuna casserole is peas, but alas, the Frasier household is a pea-free zone. :~)
Don't forget that you can print this (or any) recipe using the "Print Friendly" button at the foot of each post. It's a great little feature that allows you to remove any pictures (or any text that isn't relevant to the recipe) before printing. That can save on ink and paper & in today's economy, who doesn't want to save a little cash when you can?!
Yay! I'm so flattered! My Pork Chops Pizziola was featured this week at Inspire Me Mondays, hosted by the very lovely Ramona at Create With Joy! Please stop by and say hello to Ramona and join in on her wonderful Monday party!