Recipe: Tuna Stuffed Shells

by Jenn @ Frugal Upstate on June 9, 2011

These Tuna Stuffed Shells are classy enough to serve to company!  Consider it a grown up and somewhat gourmet-fied take on the classic tuna casserole.

Tuna (or it’s more pricey cousin canned salmon) can be a frugal cook’s friend.  Shelf stable, inexpensive and full of all those omega-3’s and things that we should be adding to our diet, it’s a great item to keep on your pantry shelf.

Tuna Stuffed Shells

Tuna Stuffed Shells

Ingredients

    Shells
  • 1lrg box of pasta shells
  • 2 6oz cans of tuna in oil
  • 1 C fresh bread crumbs
  • 1/4 C chopped onion
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 TBS Parsley
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • Sauce
  • 2 TBS Butter
  • 2 TBS Flour
  • 1 1/2 C Milk
  • 2-4 TBS Parmesan cheese
  • grind of pepper
  • dash of nutmeg

Instructions

  • Cook pasta until al-dente (note this means that it isn't completely soft but still has a bit of "hard' in the center)
  • Place cooked pasta in a single layer on a piece of wax paper. If necessary "re-form" the shells into their shell shape.
  • Combine tuna with it's oil, bread crumbs, onion, egg, parsely and lemon juice and mix well.
  • Spoon tuna filling into the shells and place in a single layer on a greased 9X13 baking dish. (An ice tea spoon or baby spoon works well for this if you have one.)
  • To make the sauce
  • In a saucepan, melt butter, then add flour and stir for a few minutes until it starts to bubble a bit.
  • Add milk all at once and then stir constantly till the flour/butter is completely dissolved in the milk.
  • Add cheese and spices and cook until thickened.
  • Pour sauce over prepared tuna shells & bake at 350 for 25 minutes.
  • Variations:
  • Use the more expensive canned salmon instead of tuna, or cook & flake 12 oz of your favorite fish, then add either 4 TBS or so of oil or mayo.
  • Play with your pasta. Use manicotti shells, lasagna noodles (to make a roll up) or even make homemade ravioli!
  • Don't have the time to make your own sauce? Start with a can of "cream of" soup, then add 1/2 C milk and the cheese and spices.
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Note:  If you are concerned about the mercury levels in tuna I recommend you read the United States Enviromental Protective Agency’s post on “What you need to know about mercury in fish & shellfish”–long story short, keep it to 6oz for Tuna in oil and 12 oz for light tuna in water a week and the average healthy adult is fine.  If you are feeding young children, are pregnant or nursing you may want to skip it all together

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