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There are a few dishes that take me back to my childhood. Not because I ate them all the time, but because I have fond memories of eating them. Tuna Noodle Casserole is one of those dishes for me. It's a comforting combination of creamy noodles, tuna and green peas all topped with cheese and crushed potato chips. This recipe isn't identical from the one you would find from the canned soup company, but I think it's better. My little tweaks make it my own, and it's a dish that my kids gobble up every time I make it.
Last night my two oldest came back for seconds - and that's saying a lot for my Princess who has always eaten like a bird.
It's super simple and is ready in 35 minutes or so.
Put 1/2 - 3/4 of a pound of pasta in some salted boiling water to cook. (The more pasta you add, the drier your final dish will be.)
Meanwhile, put 1 can of condensed cream of mushroom soup (or cream of celery if you don't like mushroom) into a bowl.
Fill the soup can 1/2 the way up and then add it to the soup. Whisk to combine.
Add 1/2 tsp of granulated garlic
1/2 tsp onion powder
and 1/4 tsp each salt and freshly ground black pepper into the bowl.
Add 2 cans of tuna packed in water, undrained.
1 cup of frozen, defrosted peas. (I didn't take the time to defrost them tonight and they came out a little crunchy in the final product. Next time I will take the 45 seconds to nuke them in the microwave before adding them to the dish.)
Mix everything until thoroughly combined.
The pasta should be about done now. (Al-dente: with a little bite left to it) Add it to the tuna mixture. I make this casserole in this Mix-n-Serve bowl every time. And every time I think Why didn't I get a bigger bowl? It's always a challenge to get it mixed well and not spill all the pasta onto the counter. You might want to start with a bigger bowl than I did.
When everything is mixed well, pour it into a greased 2 qt casserole dish.
Top with cheddar cheese,
I do however think that the original Lays are the best for toppin', but any potato chip crumbs will do.
Just cover the top evenly. Then it gets baked in a 350F preheated oven for 25 minutes - until the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbly.
Just serve and eat. Casseroles are one pot wonders. You don't need anything else for dinner, but I suppose that a side salad might be nice.
Here's the recipe:
Tuna Noodle Casserole
1/2 - 3/4 pound of small pasta (we use Rotini) - the more pasta the drier the dish will be
1 10 3/4 oz can of condensed cream of mushroom (or celery) soup
1/2 can of milk
1/2 tsp granulated garlic
12 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 5 oz cans tuna packed in water, undrained
1 cup of frozen, defrosted peas
shredded cheese to cover the top (we use cheddar, but Colby Jack or Parmesan would be nice too)
crushed potato chips to cover the top (Lays original recommended)
Preheat the oven to 350F. Boil the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water until al-denta (cooked, but with a slight bite left to it). Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl whisk together the soup and milk until there are no lumps. Add the garlic, onion, salt, pepper, tuna with it's juice, and peas until well combined. When the pasta is cooked, drain it and add it to the tuna mixture. Toss together until all the noodles are coated and pour into a greased 2 quart casserole dish. Cover the top with shredded cheese. Cover the cheese with the crushed potato chips. Bake @ 350F for 25 minutes - until the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbly. Serve hot.