Friday, October 24, 2014

Foodie Fridays: Tuna Noodle Casserole from Scratch

While I have already posted a recipe for the classic 1950s Tuna Noodle Casserole using the ubiquitous-at-the-time canned cream of mushroom soup, I have been wanting to find an equally easy and even tastier version made from scratch that has the same comfort food appeal.  Tuna Noodle Casserole from Scratch from Allrecipes seems to be that recipe!  The ingredients are simple and easy to find (no exotic extra ingredients added), the preparation is straightforward and uncomplicated, and the taste is an enhanced version of the original.  This recipe may take a little longer to prepare, but when you have the time it is a much more satisfying substitute for the canned soup casserole -- the fresh mushrooms in particular make all the difference!

Tuna Noodle Casserole from Scratch

1/2 C. (8 T.) butter
8 oz. medium egg noodles, cooked and drained
1 small onion, finely diced
1 stalk celery, finely diced
1 clove garlic, minced
8 oz. white or cremini mushrooms, roughly chopped
1/4 C. flour
2 C. milk, preferably at room temperature
salt and pepper to taste
2 cans (5-6 oz. each) tuna, drained and flaked
1 C. frozen peas, thawed
4 T. panko or plain bread crumbs
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese

Melt 1 1/2 T. butter in a skillet over medium-low heat.  Add the onion, celery, and garlic and cook for 5-8 minutes, or until tender.  Increase the heat to medium-high and stir in the mushrooms.  Cook for another 5-8 minutes until the mushrooms are tender and most of the liquid has evaporated.

Melt 4 T. butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Whisk in the flour until smooth.  Gradually whisk in the milk, being careful to avoid lumps.  Continue cooking for 5 minutes until the sauce is smooth and slightly thickened.  Season with salt and pepper.  Stir in the tuna, peas, mushroom mixture, and cooked noodles.

Butter a medium baking dish with 1/2 T. butter and pour in the casserole mixture.  Microwave the remaining 2 T. butter in a small bowl until melted (at least 30 seconds on my microwave).  Mix in the panko and sprinkle over the casserole.  Top with the cheese.  Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes until bubbly and lightly browned.  Serves 6.

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