Friday, July 26, 2013

Tuna Casserole

This is medium cheap, medium healthy, and in general kids love it. The degree of difficulty is a bit high, but only because of the white sauce part.  Once you get that under your belt, you’re good to go.

  • One package egg noodles
  • Three or four packages of tuna
  • Four or five tbs of butter or margarine
  • Four or five tbs of flour
  • Milk
  • Half a cup of cooked peas
  • salt, pepper, onion powder
  • one bag plain potato chips (or one sleeve saltine crackers)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Cook the noodles accord to the package.

While they’re cooking, melt the butter in a big skillet over a low heat.  Once it’s melted, stir in the flour. It will make a thick paste.  Once you’ve got a thick paste, you’re going to stir in the milk – maybe two or three cups of it, but I’ve never actually measured, just keep adding it until you’re there – stir in this milk at about two tablespoons at a time, mixing gradually.

The gradual part is essential.  You’re working toward a really smooth sauce here.  If you add the milk too fast, you’ll have lumps.  So a bit at a time, and mix with a wooden spoon. It will look like it’s not work at first.  Keep going.  Eventually the paste will begin to look saucy.  Keep adding gradually.

Once it’s kind of saucy, you can add milk slightly more quickly.  Once it’s really saucy, turn the heat up to medium, add in the salt, pepper, and onion powder (maybe a tbs of salt and pepper, and two or three tbs of onion powder) and mix well.

(If you added milk too fast and you’ve got lumps, you can put the sauce in a blender or food processor or use an immersion blender and blend them out.)

Add peas to the sauce.  Add tuna to the sauce.  Stir.  Turn off heat.

Drain the noodles.  Mix sauce and noodles together. (I do this in a large bowl or in the big pot I cooked the noodles in.)

Dump the mix in a big oven-proof casserole pan.  Pat down. 

Smash your bag of potato chips (still in the bag) into crumbs.  You can do this by opening a tiny hole in one corner and then beating the hell out of the bag with a rolling pin.  If you’re using cracker crumbs, do the same with them still in the sleeve.  Pour the crumbs on top of the casserole mix and spread out to an even layer.

Cook in the 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes, or until the potato chips are nice and brown and crispy.

 Serve hot.

This stores and reheats well.


  1. My preferred tuna stovetop casserole:
    1-2 packages of macaroni and cheese
    1 can tuna
    1/2 to 1 bag of frozen peas

    Make macaroni and cheese according to instructions. Put peas in while macaroni is cooking. After preparing macaroni and cheese, drain can of tuna and put tuna in.

    I think we had this about once a week when my parents were living apart and my mom was cooking.