grown-up tuna casserole


Growing up, my family ate mostly American. By this, I mean that if mom wasn’t dishing out macaroni and cheese, she was probably sprinkling crushed potato chips on a tuna casserole.


But I was proud of this. Because if you look at American food, there isn’t much we’ve developed as a settler country other than dreaded Chili-Mac pops and corn-dog pizza…except for the casserole. And though the original casserole was actually the product of a French immigrant, I think we can still take credit for our modern, “add soup” variation, known as tuna noodle casserole.



With that said, I bring you this sophisticated version of an age-old classic. And best of all, I’ve added wine.



Grown-up Tuna Casserole 

(Serves 6-8, Recipe courtesy of Rachael Ray)

1/4 loaf of day-old crust bread

1 bag of extra-wide egg noodles

1 pound of tuna steak(s)

1 cup good white wine

1 bay leaf

5 peppercorns

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

4 tablespoons butter

12 white mushrooms, sliced thin

freshly ground salt and pepper, to taste

1 tsp. ground thyme

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1.5 cups chicken broth

1 cup half-and-half

1 cup frozen peas

chopped flat-leaf parsley, for garnish

Place bread in the oven at 425° F and toast loaf for 20-30 minutes. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt, then pasta. Cook according to package directions to al dente. Drain.

Place tuna in a small skillet and add wine; add just enough water to cover fish. Add bay leaf and peppercorns. Bring liquids to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cover skillet. Poach fish 12 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Add extra virgin olive oil and 2 tablespoons of the butter. Add mushrooms and season with salt and epper. Saute gently 5 minutes. Sprinkle in type and flour and cook 1 minute, stirring with a whisk (here, you are making the cream of mushroom soup). Whisk in chicken broth, then cream. Adjust seasonings. Add frozen peas.

Remove poached tuna to a bowl and flake with a fork (make sure the pieces are small to avoid an overly fishy taste in each bite).

Ad noodles and tuna to mushroom sauce. Remove from heat and transfer mixture to a casserole or serving dish (I used 9×14).

Use the biggest holes on a box grater to grate bread into large crumbs. Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a small cup in microwave and pour melted butter over bread. Scatter bread crumbs and parsley over the top of the casserole. Serve immediately.

Will last, refrigerated, in an air-tight container for about 4 days.



Filed under Dinners

7 responses to “grown-up tuna casserole

  1. I love this, Emily! I, too, had plenty of casseroles and pot roasts in my day–variations were to accommodate my heavy English heritage (ok…still meat and potatoes/bangers and mash/shepherds pie)…and they are such comfort food! I will have to give this a try. :)

  2. Tamsin Harriman

    This looks yummy! I’ve actually never had tuna noodle casserole, having grown up in a vegetarian household. I may have to give this a try…

  3. Debbie Moceri

    Hey Emily

    This sounds wonderful! Love the fresh group twist on the tuna with the homemade mushroom sauce.

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