We probably all remember the tuna noodle casserole our mothers made which featured a can of cream of mushroom soup. This is the dish that got my young family by until the next paycheck. The best part is, I loved it back then. Now I have the luxury of time to revamp those old classics. My Modern Tuna Casserole does not use condensed soup or the least expensive can of tuna on the shelf. This version uses solid white albacore tuna, fresh sautéed mushrooms, a rich creamy sauce, and quinoa penne pasta. The old crumbled cracker topping has been replaced by a little grated Swiss cheese, fresh tarragon and parsley.
This makeover is a good thing. I probably wouldn’t turn down the my mother’s tuna noodle casserole if she made it for me today, but my Modern Tuna Casserole is a much healthier alternative.
- 2 5.5 ounce cans solid white tuna, water packed
- 1 medium sweet onion (thinly slivered)
- 1/2 pound white button mushrooms (thinly sliced)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 cups whole milk
- 1 teaspoon white pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 pound Quinoa penne pasta (cooked and drained)
- 1/4 cup grated Swiss cheese
- Chopped fresh parsley and/or tarragon (to taste)
- Open the tuna and drain the liquid and discard. Set tuna aside. Cook quinoa pasta according to package directions to al denté stage, drain and set aside.
- Heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and mushrooms and sauté until soft. Remove the vegetables from the pan and add the butter. When the butter is melted, add the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes whisking constantly. Slowly pour the milk into the pan and whisk constantly until smooth and thickened. Add more milk if needed to thin the sauce. It should be the thickness of buttermilk. Add the salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, sour cream, and red pepper flakes. Add the vegetables and pasta to the sauce and stir to combine. Carefully fold in the tuna keeping it in chunks. Pour the casserole into an oven proof dish. Sprinkle with Swiss cheese and fresh herbs.
- Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes until hot and bubbly. Sprinkle with additional fresh herbs of desired and serve hot.