The Baker Upstairs: Tuna Casserole

1.05.2020

Tuna Casserole

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This creamy comfort food tuna casserole is made from scratch, and totally delicious!

This creamy comfort food tuna casserole is made from scratch, and totally delicious!

I know what you're thinking - tuna casserole? Really? But, yes! Tuna casserole! And not just tuna casserole, but incredibly delicious, comfort-food-to-the-max tuna casserole. I know that for a lot of people, tuna casserole is that dish you grew up eating and always secretly (or not so secretly) hated. My husband talks about the tuna casserole from his childhood like it was the boogie man, always waiting around the corner to get him. (No offense at all to my mother in law - she's a lovely cook! I think he may have just been a picky child...)

I never ate tuna casserole growing up, so I had no opinion one way or the other about it. However, since I happen to love tuna, and love to make easy pasta dishes, I was bound to come up with my own recipe for it sooner or later. The first time I made this tuna casserole, my husband rolled his eyes at me, reminded me of his childhood tuna casserole-related trauma, and agreed to choke down a few bites for the sake of keeping the peace. Within a few minutes, he had finished his bowl and gone back for seconds. That is the power of this tuna casserole, my friends!

This creamy comfort food tuna casserole is made from scratch, and totally delicious!

The creamy homemade sauce is what really sets this tuna casserole apart. As a rule, I try to avoid using condensed soups (mostly because I don't like the way they taste), and making the sauce from scratch is almost as simple as opening a can. Mix in some shell pasta, tuna fish, and frozen peas, and you've got a delicious and hearty meal! If I'm in a hurry, I'll serve it straight from the skillet, but if I have a little extra time, I love to bake it in the oven with a buttery cracker topping for maximum deliciousness. My kids love this casserole as much as my husband does, and I love knowing I'm not scarring them for life by feeding it to them. :) Even if you don't think you'll like tuna casserole, you should definitely give this one a try!

This creamy comfort food tuna casserole is made from scratch, and totally delicious!

Tuna Casserole

for the casserole:
1/2 pound shell pasta
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 large can (7 ounces) tuna packed in water, drained
1 cup frozen peas

for the topping:
1/2 sleeve Ritz crackers, crushed
2 tablespoons melted butter

Preheat the oven to 350. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. While the pasta is cooking, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Whisk in the flour, stirring well so that the flour is completely incorporated. Cook 2-3 minutes, until golden and bubbly. Slowly add the milk, a little at a time, whisking constantly to prevent lumps. Cook, stirring frequently, until the sauce is smooth and thick. Add the salt and pepper, taste, and adjust seasonings as needed. Stir in the tuna and frozen peas, and cook until the peas are warmed through. Stir the cooked pasta into the sauce. In a small bowl, mix together the crushed Ritz crackers and melted butter. Pour the pasta mixture into a 9 x 9 baking dish. Sprinkle the cracker topping over the top, and bake 20-25 minutes, until the topping is golden and the sauce is bubbling. Let stand 5-10 minutes before serving.

This creamy comfort food tuna casserole is made from scratch, and totally delicious!

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