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