Trying to come up with an idea for dinner that wouldn’t require a trip to the market, tuna casserole suddenly popped into my head.
With a quick check of the fridge and pantry, I realized, that I did indeed have the ingredients for tuna casserole - tuna, small pasta shells, an onion, broccoli, peas, cream of mushroom soup, milk, cheese, and potato chips.
This is a great easy recipe for those times you want to keep things quick and simple. I love a casserole’s make now, bake later versatility. You can mix it together when you have a few minutes to spare, place it in the fridge, and just pop it into a preheated oven at dinner time. While the casserole bakes you can prepare a quick salad, enjoy a glass of wine, or sneak in a few minutes of exercise.
After checking with several cookbooks this is the version of easy tuna casserole we’ll be having for dinner tonight.
Easy Tuna Casserole Recipe
1 1/2 to 2 cups uncooked macaroni shells or egg noodles (about 6 ounces)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 small onion, finely minced
2 6-ounce cans or pouches of tuna, drained and broken into chunks
1 10 3/4 ounce can cream of mushroom soup
3/4 cup milk
1 cup frozen peas, thawed or 1 cup chopped broccoli or both, whichever you prefer
1 to 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup crushed potato chips
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375F if you plan to bake the casserole right away. Otherwise preheat your oven 10 to 15 minutes before you want to pop it in the oven.
Grease a 1 1/2 to 2 quart baking dish. I used a 9-inch pyrex pie plate, but any shallow ovenproof dish will work.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a generous amount of salt and cook the pasta until al dente. If you are using broccoli, add it during the last 2 to 3 minutes of cooking. Drain.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the onion and mushrooms, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper and cook until they are soft, about 5 minutes or so. Give them a stir every now and then to make sure they don’t scorch.
Stir in the soup, milk, cheese, tuna, pasta, peas and broccoli (if using) until just combined.
Top with potato chip crumbs right before baking. Bake for 25-35 minutes, until browned on top and heated through. If your casserole has been sitting in the fridge it may take a little longer to bake; 45 minutes or so.
This easy simple tuna casserole makes 4 to 6 servings and is adapted from the Joy of Cooking.