Friday, April 8, 2011

Simple, Quick Stovetop Tuna Casserole

This is an old family favorite.  It may not even qualify as semi-homemade since all ingredients come from a can.  But, that is what makes it so quick and easy to make, especially on a Friday in Lent. 

I have to watch my sodium, carbs and fat.  I am going to provide the recipe as my mother use to make it (with one addition - the can of mushrooms), but know that you can substitute most of these with lower fat and lower sodium or no-salt added versions. 

For the tuna, I have found that there is more flavor in the recipe when using tuna packed in oil (drained, of course). But, if you have to really watch your fat, use the tuna packed in water.  I like to add a small can of mushrooms for more bulk, and in the recipe pictured above, I did not have canned peas, so I used canned green beans.  It changed the flavor as the peas added a slightly sweet twist.  However, green beans beef up the volume and are a good substitute for those watching their carbs. 

I am fortunate to be able to still control my diabetes with diet.  With regards to sugar levels, it means watching my carbs whether they come from table sugar or bread (plain white bread and other white, starchy items with little or no fiber are converted to sugar almost as fast as table sugar).  Diabetics and others who count carbs can subtract the grams of fiber from the total carb count and these kinds of noodles are more friendly on blood sugar levels.  The fiber prevents rapid swings and makes for more smooth rises and drops in blood glucose. I have a preference for Barilla Plus elbow noodles in this recipe, but didn't have any so I used the Barilla Whole Wheat shells.  Even if I didn't have to eat these kinds of fiber-rich noodles, I prefer the texture which is more chewy.  I suppose if you wanted to get creative, you could use some of the noodle substitute ideas here for even fewer carbs.

This recipe does not involve baking and it can be made in about 30 minutes. It is whipped up on the stove top and can easily feed a family of four.   In the picture shown, I used 1/3 less noodles from the box to get a creamier mix. 

  • 1 - 10 3/4 oz. can of Cream of Mushroom soup [using empty soup can], add 1/2 can of milk to help thin it - using more or less as desired)
  • 1 - 6 oz. can of tuna fish
  • 1 - small can of mushrooms
  • 1 - 14.5 oz. can of peas
  • 1 - approx  13-16 oz of noodles, cooked.
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Put the water on to boil for the noodles.  Add salt to taste.

In a large skillet or pan, begin to simmer the mushroom soup and milk.  This can scald easily so keep stirring it with a soft spatula and use very low heat. 

Once the soup is nice and fluid, add the tuna after draining.  Fold that in and let it simmer just a few minutes to infuse flavor.  Then fold in the peas and mushrooms. 

Let this simmer as the noodles cook.  Add more milk if it gets too thick.  Let it simmer for about 10 minutes.  If noodles are not yet done, you can remove the mushroom soup mixture from the burner until the noodles are within a minute or two of being done.  Drain the noodles, then fold them into the recipe while hot.

It's ready to serve!


Victoria said...

Thank you for the recipe; I will try it on Friday.

Momma376 said...

Thanks so much , it sounds yummy : )