Tuna Casserole gets a bad rap. I blame it on icky school lunches from the 1980’s. . . not the most appetizing version of the dish! The Tuna Casserole I make is far better than that.
Why do I serve tuna? Well, my goal is always to work fish into my family’s diet around once a week. Not only is fish low in calories and good source of protein, fish that contain omega-3 fatty acids are good for your heart! While fresh Salmon and Trout are delicious, they are not very budget friendly. We eat them on occasion (and more frequently during fishing season when friends have extra to share) but many times the fish I use comes from a can–salmon and tuna. It’s cost effective (even more so on sale!), easy and stores in the pantry for ages.
This Tuna Casserole is a crowd pleaser at the Frugal Village Homestead. The yogurt, evaporated milk and cheese give it a creamy texture, but it’s not too wet or “goopy”. The veggies give some crunch and contrast (and a bit more nutrition). The tuna is flavorful but not the ONLY flavor (unlike the 1908’s “Tuna Surprise” we got in the lunchroom).
It’s also a very variable recipe. Add spices, change the meat or veggies. . . you’ve got a new casserole. Go to make it and you’re out of one thing? Substitute another. It’s still a casserole! Have leftover green beans from supper last night? Toss them in instead of the peas & carrots. Don’t have onion? Skip it or use some onion powder or dried minced onion (re-hydrated in a bit of warm water). You get the idea!
- 12 oz package of pasta bowtie, elbow, egg noodle etc
- 1 Onion
- 2 stalks Celery
- 1 can Cream of Celery Soup
- 1/2 C Yogurt
- 1 can Evaporated milk
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp salt or to taste
- 1 C Peas & Carrots
- 2 cans Tuna drained
- 2 C Shredded Cheddar Cheese
- 1/2 C crushed chips crackers or bread crumbs
Cook and drain noodles.
Dice onion and celery.
Mix noodles, onion, celery, cream of celery soup, yogurt, evaporated milk, tuna, salt & pepper, and 1 C of shredded cheese, and transfer to a greased 9X13 pan or large casserole dish.
Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
Sprinkle crumbs and remaining 1 C of cheese over the top of the tuna casserole and return to the oven for another 5 min or so--until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
You can use any type of noodle, or even 4 cups of cooked rice.
Substitute canned salmon, shrimp, crab, chicken or ham, or roughly a cup of leftover chopped meat for the tuna.
Use any type of cheese you like, or skip the cheese all together.
Mayonnaise can be used instead of the yogurt, and cream or milk instead of the evaporated milk. Do NOT use condensed milk--it's sweet. Blech.
Celery and onion can be sauteed in butter before adding to the casserole. I like the bit of "crunch" from leaving them uncooked. Plus it's faster.
Vegetables can be increased, changed, or left out.