Do you have those meals, those go-to meals, that are regularly served in your home? I think we all do. For different reasons I would imagine. One meal that is served at least once a month in our home is Tuna Noodle Casserole.
When I said that you just had one of two reactions. One, “Yum! My mom made that all the time when I was a kid!” Or two, in the tactful words of my uncle, “EW. That’s what’s wrong with you!”
My mom did make Tuna Noodle Casserole when I was a child. At the time I was not at all fond of the dish. Peas are one of the ingredients and I was quite the vegetable hater as a child. They’re still not my favorite…
I had not eaten this meal in a long time when my mom prepared if for my family after the delivery of my son. If you’ve ever had a baby you too are familiar with the ravenous postpartum hunger that comes. I could have devoured the entire dish by myself. My husband was new to the dish, never having it as a child, but he fell in love with it.
Honestly, it is so easy. I mean, painfully easy. I hesitate to call it real cooking. Regardless, I shall share it with you today!
5-Ingredient Tuna Noodle Casserole
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While I have seen several variations of this recipe which incorporate more ingredients, my version, which was passed down from my mother, only has 5 ingredients. Super easy!
- egg white pasta
- frozen peas
- cream of mushroom condensed soup
- Parmesan cheese
First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. (Unless you’re only prepping this dish to serve another night!) And cook the pasta by following the package directions.
After draining the liquid from the pasta, add the pasta back to your pot. I use a large stockpot for this recipe so I have room to stir the ingredients. I don’t particularly want tuna splattered all over my stove top.
Next add the frozen peas, cream of mushroom soup, and tuna to the pot. No, you don’t have to cook the peas beforehand! Amazing isn’t it?
I use a cup of frozen peas, a large family size can of the soup, and 15-16 oz of tuna. The great thing about cooking is that you don’t always have to measure precisely. (Baking, on the other hand, is a different story!) You can add more tuna if you want a protein boost or you can add more peas if you’re a weirdo.
Now stir that mess together!
My mom bought me these beautiful CorningWare casserole dishes for Christmas one year and I absolutely love them! I use them all the time and bake everything in them. One is a 1.5 qt. and the other is a 2.5 qt. They both have lids, which is the best part. Did I mention that I love them?
When I make this recipe, I use the entire bag of pasta and the ingredient amounts listed above. This is enough to fill both of my CorningWare dishes, which is exactly what I want. Make sure you spray your dishes with non-stick or grease with butter before the casserole goes in.
The smaller one is placed in the freezer and thawed another day, usually a week later. The larger one is the one we eat that evening or the next day. Depends on how proactive I am! Sometimes we have leftovers from the larger dish, which creates a lunch for my husband to take to work. Win!
Before you cook the casserole you need to sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese all over the top. Ha, you thought I forgot about the 5th ingredient, didn’t you?
Bake your casserole in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove the lid during the last 10 minutes. You should see the Parmesan slightly melting and browning.
If you do follow my method of preparing more than you need, do note one thing. You must completely thaw the casserole before baking it. I have found that if the casserole is not completely thawed, it will still be cold in the middle, even after 30 minutes in the oven. I prefer refrigeration thawing, beginning 2 days ahead. Meaning, if you want to eat your frozen casserole on Friday, place it in your fridge on Wednesday.
If you have a variation of Tuna Noodle Casserole or just a way that’s different from mine, I’d love to read about it in the comments below!