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.
This is a late response, but i know these threads keep getting read, just as I found this one through Google!
I have a few things that really jump start my TNC; one is lotsa jarred ginger. I use almost all of the small jar. Another is using Trader Joe's Lemon Pepper Papardelle pasta, and the last is herbs. use fresh herbs if possible,and whatever is currently available of cilantro, basil, oregano, thyme, chives and tarragon; herbs add so much! Get my crumb topping from blenderizing herb/butter croutons. I also use saltine cracker crumbs browned in butter, and like potato chips too!
All this is very nice with the usual onion and celery.
Won't help you at all at this point but my favorite recipe I made last September using oil canned albacore we had canned ourselves, cream of mushroom soup I had made using Chanterelles we had foraged ourselves and really great Italian pasta (http://www.ritrovo.com/i-14800cas-pan...). It was probably the most expensive tuna casserole ever but oh man was it good.
I still use the pasta and our tuna when I make the casserole now (I froze some of the soup but I'm out). I like to add a little celery for texture and just a little lemon zest as well. I use campbells cream of mushroom and a little dijon - sometimes a spoonful of mayo. I top it with French's fried onions - that's our favorite topping by far but I'm sure potato chips would be great too.
Thanks for the suggestions. I mixed a few of the suggestions and am just finishing up the end of my TNC. I did use oil packed tuna as well, made a huge difference.
So here was my recipe:
-small bag of egg noodles
-2 cans campbells cream of mushroom
-2 cans oil packed tuna (I did not drain1, drained the other)
-about half a red pepper chopped finely (thats what I had on hand)
-maybe about 1/2 a cup of frozen peas
-1/2 cup of mayo (this was my fist time trying this)
-pepper, i goofed and though I added too much
-topped with crumbled chips
Verdict: Delicious. I think the oil packed tuna makes the difference. The mayo did add tang as well. I thought the amount of pepper I added would be too much, actually was nice with the creaminess. Will be making this again. Although it was very rich, served with some steamed brocolli it was a perfect comfort meal. Thanks again.
My family's secret is anchovies!!!
My Nonna makes hers the " traditional " way with the mushroom soup.
I always knew when I made it at home that something was missing. She revealed her
Secret ingredient to be a couple of anchovy fillets minced really small.
I will never go back, it just adds the extra punch the tuna is missing and adds a bit of saltiness.
Ever since I found the original recipe on the side of a bag of dry curd cottage cheese at Safeway many long time ago, this has been my favorite recipe for TNC. Of course, like any recipe, it has been subject to modification over the years.
Gourmet Tuna Casserole - makes about 8 generous servings
12 Oz Pasta (fettuccini or small shells work well)
1 Lb. Dry curd cottage cheese *see note
2 6 ½ Oz Cans Tuna, drained (or if oil packed, not)
1 cup Sour Cream
2 Cans Mushroom soup
1 Med Onion – minced
1 cup Celery – diced
2 Cloves Garlic - minced
1 Tsp Salt
Pepper to taste
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce – or more
4 Oz Parmesan cheese – shredded
Cook pasta al dente and drain. Combine all ingredients except Parmesan and mix well.
Pour into large casserole and sprinkle generously with Parmesan.
Bake about 1 ¼ hours, or until bubbly and cheese starts to brown.
Note* If dry curd cottage cheese is not available, you may rinse regular creamed cottage cheese in a strainer under running water and let it drain. One large container ( 1 ½ #) works out about right.
This recipe is easily halved.
Quantities are flexible. I usually use more onion, celery and garlic.
My first dinner I made for my family (while growing up), I made a tuna casserole, with a flour and water paste as thickener. With green food coloring.
They didn't have seconds. But were encouraging. ha!
Every time I see the title of this thread, I am imagining a pureed casserole, drunk through a straw.
I hadn't made TNC in decades until a year ago. It was disappointing, I think because tuna is no longer the quality it once was. I used oil-packed albacore, can't recall which national supermarket brand. For that matter, I don't think the cream of mushroom soup has the flavor it once did, either. If I make it again I will splurge on imported canned tuna.
I had a friend years ago who made a wonderful upscale TNC. She made a cream sauce with onions, roux, milk, and cream cheese. She added sliced olives and drained jarred artichoke hearts and topped it with parmesan bread crumbs.
This week I am trying out the recipe in the last issue of Cooks Country magazine - complete with potato chip topping and egg noodles. I'll report back.
When I was 19 I always made the Kraft Mac and cheese and mushroom soup variety on Friday night- I was a starving art school student and it was the highlight of my week
I made a double batch of this- it made a ton- 2 large aluminum pans and a two person casserole. I used a big food processor for lots of the many steps. Cheddar and monterey jack are grated, The topping is a combo of butter, white bread, chips and some of the grated cheese and processed in the food processor, The tuna is flaked and combined with warm olive oil, lemon juice s&p. Chopped red pepper and onion are sauteed separately in butter as are sliced white mushrooms. The sauce is made with a roux and chicken broth and half and half - cheese added at the end, Egg noodles are cooked al dente.and frozen peas straight from the bag are the final ingredient. All combined and topped with chip mixture, 15 minutes at 425 . Heavenly.
I sometimes do the Sandra Lee.... uh no.... I mean the Martha Stewart tuna casserole: http://www.marthastewart.com/340388/m...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.