I will admit that, up until a year ago, I thought tuna noodle casserole was the most horrid sounding dish. I ate tuna fish cold, in tuna salad, and that was about it. Tuna heated up with pre-made cream of mushroom soup? I just couldn't imagine how that combination would be good.
Then, about a year ago, a friend set out to prove me wrong. With an elaborate list of ingredients and his mother's recipe in tow, he baked the largest tuna noodle casserole I've ever seen. He scooped more and more into his bowl, but I started with just one tentative bite. I was prepared to hate it, to beg for something for dinner.
But, somehow, the flavors and textures won me over. I loved the crunchiness provided by the breadcrumbs that topped the dish and the noodles that were a little browned on the side. The cream of mushroom soup, when melded with a little cheddar cheese and milk, played a nice supporting role against the tuna. The peas added a delightful brightness to the dish. I eagerly filled my bowl, ate it all and then went back for more.
As I walked through the grocery store directionless this week, I spotted the egg noodles that feature prominently in the dish, and, recent convert that I was, decided to go for it. Rachael Ray's tuna noodle casserole dish served as my inspiration. I was hungry, and I didn't want to spend hours searching for a recipe. I knew that whatever Rachael had to offer, it would be quick.
Rachael Ray was recently selected as number 13 on Gourmet Magazine's list of 50 women game changers in food history. In selecting Rachael, Gourmet wrote: "She's heee-eere. Your TV's haunted by her, and, love or hate the woman, her always easy recipes have cured millions of their kitchen phobia."
My final recipe was quite true to Rachael's, although I added more of everything I love (peas, noodles, tuna), and I threw in some sharp cheddar cheese for good measure. It wasn't quite on the table in 30 minutes or less, but I didn't mind.
Be sure to visit all the other bloggers who made recipes by Rachael Ray this week:
Val - More Than Burnt Toast
Joanne - Eats Well With Others
Taryn - Have Kitchen Will Feed
Susan - The Spice Garden
Claudia - A Seasonal Cook in Turkey
Heather - girlichef
Miranda - Mangoes and Chutney
Jeanette - Healthy Living
April - Abby Sweets
Mary - One Perfect Bite
Kathleen -Bake Away with Me
Viola - The Life is Good Kitchen
Sue - The View from Great Island
Barbara - Movable Feasts
Kathleen - Gonna Want Seconds
Amy - Beloved Green
Linda--Ciao Chow Linda
Tuna Noodle Casserole
recipe adapted from Rachael Ray
This recipe serves four as an entree. I added extra noodles, peas and tuna, and was pleased with the results, but I've kept Rachael's original quantities below. Her recipe will yield a slightly soupier casserole; mine was a bit drier, which I preferred. As Rachael says, "It's just delicious."
1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Cream of Mushroom Soup
1/2 cup milk
1 cup frozen peas
2 cans (about 6 ounces each) tuna, drained
2 cups medium egg noodles, cooked and drained
2 tablespoons dry bread crumbs
1 tablespoon butter, melted
Stir the soup, milk, peas, tuna and noodles in a 1 1/2 quart casserole. Stir the bread crumbs and butter in a small bowl.
Bake the tuna mixture at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, or until hot and bubbling. Stir the tuna mixture. Sprinkle with the bread crumb mixture.
Bake for 5 minutes, or until the bread crumb mixture is golden brown.