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Feb 25, 2012 08:59 AM

The nectar of the Gods, tuna noodle casserole....

What is your fav recipe? I made one last week and it was lack lustre. I used macaroni, cream of mushroom, frozen peas and topped with lays potato chips but it did not taste like the delicious tuna noodle of my youth. Please give me your recipes or advice. I need a tuna noodle that tastes like my gran made it. No cheese topping allowed, must be potato chips.

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  1. I can't remember my grandma's recipe, but I DO remember that she didn't drain the tuna, and added the oil/water (she almost always bought oil-packed tuna, but I don't remember which she used in casserole) right along with the tuna into the dish.

    1. Mine does not use canned soup but I promise you it will be great. Slice and saute mushrooms until brown, add chopped onion and celery and saute lightly. Sprinkle with a little bit of flour and then add milk and/or cream, stirring until it thickens. Add grated cheddar and stir until melted. Add tuna packed in olive oil that you have drained well, along with noodles. If too thick, add more milk. Crumble potato chips on top (I'm just guessing on this part because I don't use them) and put into hot oven until bubbly and brown on top.

      2 Replies
      1. re: escondido123

        Just made this - divine! Sneaked in leeks, carrots and no chips on top - and had no mushrooms so used frozen cĂȘpes and girolle mushrooms! I loved it, the kids loved it....One to remember

        1. re: escondido123

          Yes! That's the way I would do it, except with a splash of sherry in the sauce and crumbs on top instead of potato chips.

          In your face, Campbell's Cream of Mushroom!

        2. I'm 75 so I probably qualify as a tuna noodle expert. First off you MUST use oil packed tuna. DO NOT drain. You also need to use two cans of tuna for each can of mushroom soup The cans have shrunk since your grandma's day. I use half a 12 oz. bag of wide egg noodles. Right on with the potato chips. Good eats.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Plano Rose

            I totally agree with you about the proportion of canned soup to tuna, the correct noodle and the oil-packed tuna (I try to get the Italian tuna, packed in olive oil).

            But you left out the canned/botttled pimento...gotta add the pimento/red peppers: the fresh red pepper, even sauteed, do not work nearly as well as the jarred.

            Personally, I don't feel the need to add cheddar cheese...but that is a matter of taste and debate...the crumbled potato chips are not...they are what makes this dish memory-inducing.

            1. re: LJS

              I'm SO adding the little jar of pimiento next time. Thanks for suggesting it.

              1. re: LJS

                Never had it with potato chips, always a thin layer of cheddar. But pimento strips are mandatory

            2. This is actually the recipie I'm using tonight as I have some leftover turkey. When I do make it with tuna i use 2 cans. This recipie has always turned out great.


              12 Replies
              1. re: geminigirl

                This recipe is close to what I've come up with. I use tuna in oil but drain the oil off. Two cans minimum. And must be Campbells Cream of Mushroom in there.

                I've gotten away from cheddar, I add a soup can of Hellmans mayo and another can of milk to add creaminess instead.

                Extra mushrooms (I like to use dried exotics rehydrated in sherry, but regular are good too), lemon juice, worcestshire all make an appearance. While the noodles are boiling, I saute the mushrooms, some celery and onion in all the liquids plus a pat of butter til almost dry.

                The only thing I cannot go for is potato chips, so I use toasted bread crumbs for a topping.

                Oh and I like to add frozen peas to make it healthy.

                1. re: coll

                  Who makes tuna noodle casserole without peas? It's totally not the same without frozen peas added.

                    1. re: EWSflash

                      I don't like peas, so I have never made it with those nasty green orbs.

                      I use the cooks illustrated recipe.

                    2. re: coll

                      THAT'S IT COLL YOU MAKE IT I'M COMIN

                      after all mayo is a food group right?
                      I'll even let you slide and will enjoy the peas right along with you

                      1. re: iL Divo

                        Mayo is a great secret ingredient when baking, I use it in some casseroles and also to coat baked fish. Must be Hellmanns (or I guess Best for you) they add lots of eggs so it makes the dish puff up nicely, and the emulsification doesn't break.

                        I have a thing for peas, it was the only vegetable I truly enjoyed when I was a kid. But frozen only; Mom did like to also serve those pale Leseuer canned ones at times and they were not to my liking, not one bit.

                        1. re: coll

                          peas are possibly my favorite veg. they are without a doubt the kids' favorite. I was making dinner one night, he came in and said, "mom can I have 2 cans of the tiny peas for dinner please." ummmm ok honey

                          1. re: iL Divo

                            I agree, only I could never stomach canned peas, but the frozen baby ones? I just love them!

                            1. re: EWSflash

                              he's a mini me. love canned peas, always have, always will, so that gorgeous kid, that love of mine, is a male version of me

                          2. re: coll

                            I totally agree with coking with mayo.
                            I got "yucked" for recommending using mayo when grilling a sandwich, but I don't make grilled cheese (and whatever) without it.
                            It makes casseroles luscious.

                      2. re: geminigirl

                        A couple of years ago when I used to stock my mother's freezer so she would have meals on hand that she could heat up quickly, this casserole from Epicurious was one of her favorite recipes. I'd sometimes use panko instead of breadcrumbs and substitute gruyere for the cheddar, and would also add frozen peas.

                        1. re: JoanN

                          I often use buttered panko, too, since I tend to have panko on hand rather than regular breadcrumbs. I often add cremini mushrooms, sherry and thyme, as well.

                          Will have to try a TNC with gruyere. :)

                          Last night, I made a very quick stovetop version- not a proper casserole, but tasty for a 6 ingredient, 20 minute supper: pasta, cream cheese, tuna in olive oil (I use an Italian brand, that comes in personal size cans that are handy when making quick meals for one), frozen peas, dried thyme and freshly ground black pepper.

                      3. I sometimes do the Sandra Lee.... uh no.... I mean the Martha Stewart tuna casserole:

                        One change I make to that recipe is that I re-use the oil drained from the tuna to saute the bell pepper and then make the roux.

                        I usually use Cento tuna in olive oil. The better the canned tuna, the better the casserole... but the sky's the limit on prices of the really high-end canned tuna.