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How to Make Tuna Casserole?

Regarding comfort food, tuna casserole is with meatloaf and scalloped potatoes. For centuries, it’s been a family favorite! Egg noodles, peas, celery, and mushroom soup are mixed with flaky tuna, topped with a buttery breadcrumb coating, and baked till bubbling. Serve this simple dish with Homemade Buttermilk Biscuits and a salad for a complete supper!

Tuna Casserole?

Recipes for belly-warming casseroles are one of our favorites. There’s something so soothing about a warm bubbly dish straight from the oven, whether Cheesy Chicken Casserole or Beef Taco Casserole. Surprise, this tuna noodle casserole has remained a favorite family recipe. It’s simple to make, but it’s also inexpensive, tasty, and adaptable. Almost any leftovers or vegetables may be put right in! Make this tuna fish casserole recipe your own!

What is Exactly Tuna Casserole?

Tuna casserole is a dish that features tuna as the main ingredient. Of course, a casserole is made of baked potatoes, vegetables, and meat in a creamy sauce. Some people associate casserole, particularly tuna casserole, with the 1950s, although casserole has a long and distinguished history, and tuna casserole can be prepared in various ways.

One of the reasons casserole became so popular in the 1950s was because it was simple to cook with store-bought ingredients. Noodles, a can of tuna, veggies, and a can of creamed soup, such as cream of mushroom or broccoli, were all used in many casserole recipes. The resulting casserole was often popular with the family, including picky eaters, because the components were cheap, easy to handle, and easy to obtain at the supermarket.

Casserole remains popular among cooks because it can be made in big numbers and frozen for later use or chilled and cooked later, making it practical for those looking for a quick weeknight meal. Casseroles are frequently served at potlucks, and in small towns, people may deliver casseroles to the homes of sick persons recovering from childbirth or mourning the loss of a family member as a nice gesture. Tuna casserole is still a popular dish.

How to Make Tuna Casserole?

It is an easy and delicious recipe, and You will love it:

Ingredients

  • 1 (12 ounces) package of egg noodles
  • ¼ cup chopped onion
  • 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup frozen green peas
  • 2 (5 ounces) cans tuna, drained
  • 2 (10.75 ounces) cans of condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • ½ (4.5 ounces) can of sliced mushrooms
  • 1 cup crushed potato chips

Directions

Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook pasta in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente; drain.
  2. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
  3. Thoroughly mix noodles, onion, 1 cup cheese, peas, tuna, soup, and mushrooms in a large bowl. Transfer to a 9×13 inch baking dish, and top with potato chip crumbs and the remaining 1 cup cheese.
  4. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the oven or until cheese is bubbly.

Tuna Casserole Variation

Here is the variation for tuna casserole:

  • Veggies: You can swap the peas for corn or other veggies such as broccoli, asparagus, zucchini, bell peppers, carrots, celery, etc. You will want to steam, roast, or boil the veggies before adding them to the pasta. An easy method is to add them to the boiling pasta during the last couple of minutes of cooking, as I do with asparagus in my BLT Pasta Salad.
  • Cheeses: You can mix the cheeses with any other favorite melting cheeses to create a different flavor profile:  mozzarella, Asiago, Gouda, smoked cheddar, Monterrey, Pepper Jack, Havarti, Colby, etc. Or add more cheese – yum!
  • Add-ins:  Sun-dried tomatoes, artichokes, green chiles, pimientos, pickled jalapenos, roasted bell peppers, etc.; add a fun variety.
  • Seasonings: You can swap some of the seasonings out for Cajun spices to mix things up.
  • Skip the protein. By omitting the protein, you can instantly turn this Tuna Casserole into an easy pasta casserole.
  • Swap protein:  You can use the Tuna Casserole as a base to make other casseroles by swapping the tuna for ground beef, Italian sausage, ground turkey, shredded chicken, ham, bacon, etc.
  • Make it gluten-free. To make this Tuna Noodle Casserole gluten-free, use your favorite pasta and gluten-free flour.

Why is My Tuna Casserole So Dry?

There are a few reasons why your tuna casserole comes out too dry:

  • There is not enough liquid in the mix, and the noodles suck it all up.
  • You might be using a baking dish that is too large for the amount of casserole you have.
  • You didn’t cover the baking dish with foil for the first 35-45 minutes.
  • Cooked too long.
  • The recipe you are using might be a bad one.

What do you Eat with Tuna Casserole?

Tuna Casserole?

In its most basic version, the tuna casserole consists of canned tuna, boiled noodles, and crunchy cheese topping. The beauty of this casserole is that it can be customized to your preferences and level of effort. Make a bechamel sauce instead of the bottled cream soup.

Vegetables can be added or changed to suit your preferences. Instead of canned tuna, use oil-poached tuna. To prepare a more animated version, add lemon and fresh herbs. Combine the tuna, vegetables, and sauce in a mixing bowl, then place into shells and top with that delicious crispy topping.

You can serve tuna casserole with different things:

Something with Veggies

  • Dill carrots
  • Steamed green beans
  • Peas
  • Roasted cauliflower & broccoli
  • Pickled beets
  • Pickled carrots
  • Steamed carrots
  • Snow peas
  • Braised mushrooms
  • Roasted tomatoes
  • Broccoli, carrot & cauliflower mix
  • Braised leeks
  • Snow peas

Something Starchy

Just Salad

Can you Freeze Tuna Casserole?

This Tuna Noodle Casserole is super convenient to double when making, so you can serve one for dinner and have one for later. It is best frozen before it is baked.

  • Make and assemble according to directions up to the point of baking. You can add the panko if you want the casserole 100% assembled, OR for crispier panko, toast and add it right before baking.
  • Let Tuna Casserole cool completely (not from baking but the warm sauce).
  • Wrap casserole securely with plastic wrap, then with aluminum foil.
  • Label and freeze for up to 3 months.
  • When ready to eat, defrost the casserole in the refrigerator for 24-48 hours until completely thawed.
  • Let casserole stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before baking.
  • Bake at 350 degrees F for 40 minutes, uncover and bake an addition 10-15 minutes or until hot and bubbly and cheese is melted.

Can I Prepare Tuna Casserole Ahead of Time

Absolutely! The Tuna Casserole is a great casserole to put together ahead of time; make sure the noodles are al dente, so they don’t soak up too much liquid. You can also prepare the sauce and pasta in advance. The following is a list of your options:

Assemble and Refrigerate

  • Ensure that your noodles are cooked al dente and rinsed in cold water, so they don’t keep cooking.
  • Take care the sauce isn’t too thick as it will thicken more sitting in the refrigerator.
  • Assemble the casserole according to recipe instructions up to the point of baking. Cover casserole with foil and refrigerate.
  • When ready to bake, let Tuna Casserole sit on the counter for 30 minutes before baking.
  • Bake at 350 degrees F for 40 minutes, uncover and bake an addition 10-15 minutes or until hot and bubbly and cheese is melted.

Make Sauce in Advance

  • You can make the sauce up to 3 days in advance.
  • Refrigerate sauce in an airtight container.
  • Gently heat in a large skillet before using, adding additional milk as needed to thin to desired consistency.

Cook Noodle in Advance

  • You can cook the pasta al dente up to 5 days ahead of time.
  • Rinse noodles with cool water.
  • Toss with a drizzle of oil to prevent them from sticking together.
  • Transfer to an airtight container or freezer bag and squeeze out excess air.
  • Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

How to Reheat?

To reheat the Tuna Casserole, cover it with foil and bake it at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, or until hot and bubbly. Individual servings of Tuna Noodle Casserole can also be reheated in the microwave with good results. I sometimes add a splash of milk to the casserole before reheating it, then stir it in to make it as creamy as the first day.

Using the oven is not cost-effective if you have one piece of casserole remaining. So go ahead and use the microwave to reheat your meal in minutes.

Cut the Casserole into Smaller Pieces

When using a microwave oven, it’s much more crucial to chop the dish into smaller pieces. The dish’s surface will soon heat up, but the inside will stay nearly entirely frigid. As a result, slice or chop the dish into smaller pieces.

Place the Leftovers in a Container that can be Heated.

To avoid it being damaged in the microwave, only use a microwave-safe container. Place the sliced pieces on a plate and lightly spread them to cook evenly. Cover the container with microwave-safe plastic wrap, leaving a small gap to enable steam to escape.

Cook for Roughly 2 Minutes on High Heat

It will take around 2 to 3 minutes to heat the casserole thoroughly. Preheat the microwave for one minute on high with the preheating setting. Remove the casserole from the oven, flip the pieces as needed to ensure equal cooking on all sides, and place it back in the oven for another minute. Then check to see whether it’s hot enough. If not, wait 30 seconds more, then 30 seconds more if necessary.

Conclusion

A classic American meal is Tuna Noodle Casserole. Egg noodles are mixed with canned tuna and baked in a creamy sauce. Peas are a traditional component, corn is frequently included, and Cheddar cheese is a favorite addition to add more flavor to this classic recipe. Typically, tuna casserole is topped with a crispy coating. A bread crumb combination, cornflakes, crushed potato chips, or canned fried onions are all popular toppings.

Solid white albacore and skipjack/light tuna are the two most common types of tuna available in the canned goods area of your supermarket. The solid white albacore is more expensive but tastes less “fishy.” It has three times as many omega-3 fatty acids. Unfortunately, it contains three times as much mercury. Therefore it should only be consumed once a week.

A crunchy topping, such as bread crumbs or crumbled chips, is commonly added to tuna casserole. This coating should crisp up during baking, so the dish should be baked uncovered.