Not Your Grandma’s Tuna Casserole

A Fresh take on the perennial classicI’ve always loved a casserole.  One dish, all your dinner needs met, what could be better?  However many casserole ingredients disagree with Richard’s palate, and the traditional mushroom and peas base of tuna casserole is no exception.  Plus, I like casseroles that reheat well, and the egg noodles usually found here can turn into mush re-heated, not to mention how icky re-heated crushed potato chips on top can be! But I didn’t want to cut this dish out of my rotation.  The solution?  Come up with something different and new that still pays homage to the classic!

Ingredients

  • 1 box bow tie pasta
  • 1 package Tex Mex shredded cheese
  • 2 cans reduced fat cream of celery soup
  • 2 cans of tuna packed in water, drained
  • 1/4 cup margarine or butter, melted
  • head of celery
  • green pepper
  • 3 TBS fresh chives, chopped
  • 2 cups crushed corn flakes

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Cook the pasta until al dente.  Drain.

Chop the celery and green pepper.  Combine with tuna, chives, and undiluted soup in a large mixing bowl.  Add the drained pasta and mix well.  Fold in the shredded cheese and transfer mixture to a greased (I use cooking spray) 2-quart casserole dish.

Drizzle the melted butter or margarine into the crushed corn flakes and mix well until thoroughly combined.  Spread evenly over the top of the casserole.

Bake 40 minutes.

I love the delicate, fresh flavour that this casserole has, with the switch from onions to chives it has a green, springtime flavour that isn’t overwhelming.

016By the by, there is a reason the cheese goes in last.  When it hits the hot pasta it starts to melt and clump a bit, so you want to fold it in gently (but well!) and get it right into your pan!  I’d also suggest sprinkling it evenly across the top of your mixture, folding in, then repeating.  Adding too much at once makes it more difficult.  And don’t sub plain cheese for the Tex Mex unless you plan on adding additional crushed red pepper!  It has a lot to do with the flavour-making here!

The casserole in the dish, ready for the crunchy topping!
The casserole in the dish, ready for the crunchy topping!
Make sure to slowly drizzle in the butter as you add it to the cornflakes, to keep from having some areas dry and some over-saturated
Make sure to slowly drizzle in the butter as you add it to the cornflakes, to keep from having some areas dry and some over-saturated.
When the casserole comes out of the oven, the top will be browned, crunchy and delicious!
When the casserole comes out of the oven, the top will be browned, crunchy and delicious!
And the inside will be creamy deliciousness.  Can I get a chorus of "Yum!"
And the inside will be creamy deliciousness. Can I get a chorus of “Yum!”

I hope you’ll give this alternative to the classic tuna casserole a try.  Let me know what you think of it below!

What did you think?