Growing up my family used to eat a lot of pre-fabricated type meals. Like Hamburger Helper, frozen stir fry’s, and many meals from Campbells Condensed soups. So when I think of Tuna Noodle Casserole I always think back to the way my Mom used to prepare it- Campbells Cream of Mushroom Soup, egg noodles, white albacore tuna in water, peas, AND always crushed potato chips on top. Mmmmm, yum! Now, I don’t think her recipe was anything special, just what came off of the soup can probably. But what I remember most fondly about that meal was the potato chips… they just go so well with tuna! When I was younger I used to crush some up and put them in my tuna sandwiches too haha boy, talk about being a healthy kid, huh? Eh, I survived. Unfortunately though, I’ve kicked the potato chip habit completely so the recipe I am sharing with you today doesn’t include that one special twist.
I found this recipe off of Pinch My Salt, where she also talks about the fondness between tuna casserole and her Mother. Her recipe is essentially how my Mother used to prepare it too (except my Mom never used cheese and hers didn’t do the potato chip thing). I was feeling nostalgic not too long ago and thought I’d whip some up.
I made two tiny tweeks to my preparation though- I used Healthy Request Mushroom Soup and I used a specialty brand of tuna. My Father-in-law was on this “healthful” tuna kick while I was home so he gave me a few cans of this tuna he had been ordering from a company in Washington. Apparently he read an article that had all these interesting things about tuna and mercury and where to find the healthiest tuna with the lowest levels of mercury. And WOW, can you taste the difference. It hardly tastes like tuna at all to be honest. More like chicken, just very meaty. So between the healthy tuna and the Healthy Request soup, my tuna noodle casserole did not come out how I remembered it. Specifically lacking a desired amount of salt (I am used to having potato chips on my casserole so something was definitely missing). That’s not to say that this recipe isn’t great, it’s a very good recipe. I just recommend using all the old stand-bys: regular soup and normal, store-bought tuna. And you should be good to go! You are now armed with a great, traditional tuna casserole recipe.
But, if you are like me and have anxiety when you use condensed cream soups, you should try this one from scratch.
- 6 oz. egg noodles (wide or extra wide), cooked*
- 1 small can of tuna, drained and flaked with a fork
- 1 can cream of mushroom soup
- ½ cup milk
- 1 cup frozen peas, cooked
- ½ cup (or more) grated sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 cup fresh bread crumbs cooked in 1 T. butter until slightly crisp
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- In a large bowl, stir together first six ingredients until well combined.
- Spread into a small greased casserole dish (8x8-inch approx.) then sprinkle bread crumbs evenly over the top.
- Bake uncovered in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes and serve warm.
adapted from Pinch My Salt