Tired of pasta? This tuna noodle casserole recipe may be just the thing you need. It has soft egg noodles, tender peas, and umami tuna, all coated with the good ol’ cream of mushroom soup. And in this recipe, we’re making everything from scratch— no preservatives, tons more flavor! Let’s take a look at the process.
Making Cream of Mushroom from Scratch
Start by heating olive oil and butter in a pot over medium heat. When it’s all melted, stir in onions and garlic until fragrant, then add the mushrooms. Once the mushrooms are golden, add chicken stock, white wine, seasoning, and herbs, and simmer for around 5 minutes. Stir in the cream and you’re done!
We found that most tuna noodle casserole recipes use dry white wine instead of white wine. “Dry wine” is a term to describe a wine in which all of the grape sugar is converted into alcohol. Hence, when you take a sip, there is no sweetness to it. Our recipe uses only a little wine, so regular white wine available in the cupboard was what we went for.
Regarding the mushrooms, brown mushrooms are often used in the cream of soup. We believe, however, that white mushrooms work just as well. They belong to the same species, and it’s only their skins that are different. We chose brown mushrooms simply because they are more aesthetically appealing.
Choosing Egg Noodles
Some tuna noodle casserole recipes call for pasta, which works just fine. However, the reason we prefer egg noodles over pasta here is that they are less dense and less expensive. We want light bites of noodles that have a creamy texture, not really carby ones.
When you go noodle-hunting, there should be two types of egg noodles on the shelf. One is thin, cylindrical, and the other is flat, thin. For this recipe, we recommend using the latter type since it’s not so easy to break when baked in the oven. Also, thanks to the large surface area, it will soak up the moisture and flavor of the milk and cream, making it more tender.
How Long to Cook Egg Noodles
Most of the time, we wait for the water to boil, toss the noodles in, wait for how long the package tells us, then take them out. With this recipe, we need to undercook the noodles a bit. Because we’re baking the noodles with liquid, being a little underdone helps with absorption. So, as our package said to cook the noodles for 4 minutes, we did ours for 2 minutes only.
In case your noodle package mentions no cooking time, chew a strand after every minute. If they’re not hard but still undercooked, they’re ready.
What to Serve with Tuna Noodle Casserole
As this is a creamy, comforting dish, we wanted to pair it with a contrasting side. Something like a tangy, simple salad— contrast both in texture and flavor. And, to finish the meal, we recommend a green smoothie for a healthy and delicious energy boost. It looks green, yet tastes nothing like vegetables. Both the salad and drink help to balance out the creaminess of the casserole.
Tuna Noodle Casserole Recipe
Cream of Mushroom
- 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- 0.5 oz unsalted butter
- 2 oz onions
- 3 tbsp garlic
- 6 oz brown mushrooms
- 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1/6 cup white wine
- 1 1/2 cup unsalted chicken broth
- 1 tsp fresh thyme
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 5 oz dry egg noodles
- 4 oz frozen peas thawed
- 6 oz unsalted light tuna
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- 1/2 tsp brown gravy mix
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 cup parsley
- 2 tbsp breadcrumbs
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter melted
- Add oil to a pot, and melt butter in it over low heat. Stir in onions and garlic, and cook for about 2 minutes.
- Add mushrooms and stir for another 4 minutes on medium heat. Add flour and stir for another 1 minute. If it’s too dry, add about 1-2 tbsp of the chicken stock to avoid burning.
- Add wine, stock, thyme, salt, and pepper. Simmer for 11 minutes over medium heat.
- Add cream and turn off the stove. Stir well.
- Preheat the oven to 450°F.
- Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook egg noodles for 2 minutes. Drain.
- In a large baking dish, combine cooked noodles, tuna, peas, milk, gravy mix, pepper, and the home-made cream of mushroom.
- Mix breadcrumbs and melted butter in a small bowl until lumps are formed. Sprinkle that mixture on top of the casserole.
- Put the casserole on a baking tray, and bake it in a preheated oven for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, you can make the salad and blend the smoothie.