I really took it back a number of decades last week with this recipe for Tuna Noodle Casserole. It was one of my favorites growing up, and even though my palate has changed significantly over the years, and is more refined…I will never…I tell you never…not love this recipe. I not only love it for the taste, but also for the memories it gives me of growing up…many fond memories…I had to call my Mom the night I made this…just to say hey and tell her how much I love her!
This is definitely not a diet-friendly recipe…but one you should indulge in once in a while…totally worth it! This recipe is enough to fit in a large glass baking dish…you can cut in half if you so desire…would not recommend though…leftovers…if you have them…are wonderful the next day…or even at midnight…or you can easily freeze!
Boil water for the noodles…cook to just al dente…do NOT forget to salt the water. As the noodles are cooking, melt 1 1/2 sticks of the butter in a pan. Add in the onions red pepper flakes. Sweat down the onions for about five minutes.
Drain and slightly rinse the tuna. Place the tuna in a bowl with one and one-half cans of the cream of mushroom soup. Mix gently to break up the tuna. Season with a touch of salt and black pepper. Pour the butter/onion mixture in the bowl…stir well to combine all of the ingredients…breaking up any large pieces of tuna as you go.
I know what you are thinking…does not look that appetizing? I assure you it is. Gently fold in the noodles…if you feel like the noodles are not coated enough…add in the final half can of the mushroom soup. I used both cans in my dish. Throw in a few tablespoons of fresh or dried parsley.
Line a baking dish with butter. Pour in tuna mixture. In a bowl, microwave the remaining half stick of butter. Add in the panko breadcrumbs and mix well. Mixture should not be buttery…the breadcrumbs should soak up the butter…add more breadcrumbs, if needed. Top casserole with the breadcrumb mixture.
Cover and bake at 350 for about 20 minutes. Test middle to make sure everything is steamy. Remove cover and broil for a few minutes to brown the top. Serve with your favorite veggie and ENJOY my version of Tuna Noodle Casserole. Check out my entire “That 70’s Food” blog. I am sure it will bring back a few fond memories for you!