Sunday, March 27, 2011

Grown Up Tuna Noodle Casserole

When I was a kid I loved tuna noodle casserole.  Since my Mom usually was cooking things like schnitzel, or gulas with knedlicky, it was always a treat to have American food.  I even loved it on those occasions when I would get "hot lunch" at school instead of carrying brown-bagged liverworst or sardine sandwiches on homemade rye bread (try trading THOSE sandwiches to your typical American second-grader!).

Anyway, since we are having a cold snap in North Carolina this week (high temp 45 degrees), Doug and I were craving comfort food... and of course tuna casserole came to mind.  We decided to update the classic Campbell's soup recipe with a homemade cream of mushroom soup spiked with sherry, and then tossing with lots of tuna and frozen peas.  I am also an absolute fan of a potato chip topping too, so we just added some grated parmesan cheese to jazz it up a bit.

The result is a really rich and creamy casserole with hunks of mushroom and tuna bathed in a lobster thermidor-like sauce.  YUM!  This Casserole is fancy enough to serve at a retro dinner party, comforting enough to bring to a friend who is under the weather, and delicious enough to show up those biddies at the church luncheon!  Smack yo Mama Ozzy good!

Piping HOT from the oven!

Grown Up Tuna Noodle Casserole
Serves 12

1 lb wide egg noodles
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
8 oz. button mushrooms thickly sliced
8 oz. shiitake mushrooms thickly sliced
1 Tbsp minced shallot
1 stalk celery finely diced
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried tarragon
1/2 cup flour
4 cups milk
1/4 cup dry sherry
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
8 oz. Swiss cheese grated
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
2, 12 oz. cans of water-packed Tuna

Parmesan Potato Chip Topping
1 1/2 cups crushed potato chips
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Crush potato chips in a large ziplock bag using a rolling pin.  Add parmesan and shake bag to mix.

In a large pot, melt butter.  Add shallots and mushrooms and cook over high heat tossing frequently until mushrooms are carmelized.  Add celery, thyme and tarragon and cook 5 minutes longer.  Add flour and toss to coat mushrooms.  Add milk and whisk to dissolve flour.  Add sherry, cayenne, nutmeg, salt and pepper.  Cook while whisking until soup is thick.  Remove from heat.

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Prepare egg noodles according to package directions, drain and add cooked noodles to mushroom soup and stir to mix.  Add tuna, cheeses and peas and toss to coat.  Transfer to a well-buttered 9x 13 baking dish.  Top with Parmesan and crushed potato chip topping.  Bake 30-40 minutes until hot and bubbling and slightly browned.


  1. How long do you bake it and at what temperature?

  2. Oops never realized I left those important details out... 350 F for 30-40 minutes! Thanks for catching my mistake!