Tuna Casserole

Originally published on May 2, 2012

I really don’t understand why tuna casserole gets such a bad rep. It’s the classic example of taking really simple ingredients and turning them into something that is absolutely magical. Warm, bubbly, delicious, and all those aromas that are just pure comfort no matter how you slice it. I confess to even wanting this dish so badly sometimes when I’ve been out of ingredients that I’ve been very lenient with my substitutions. Broken up lasagna noodles and yes I admit, even chopped up string cheese for the top when I didn’t even have a crumb to spare. Might not be as magical then, but still pretty good – and that’s hard to do when you’re talking about cooking with string cheese! This one’s the real deal though, and exactly how it was meant to be!


1 package egg noodles 
2 cans tuna, drained and flaked 
1 cup frozen peas 
4 tablespoons butter; plus 4 tablespoons, melted 
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 onion, finely minced 
4 cloves garlic, sliced 
4 tablespoons flour
Pinch of nutmeg
1 tablespoon ground mustard
2 1/2 cups milk 
White pepper
1 1/2 cups fine bread crumbs


1.) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Line a 9″ x 13″ casserole dish with aluminum foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray.

2.) Take the 1 1/2 cups fine bread crumbs, combine them with 4 tablespoons of melted butter and stir to thoroughly combine. Set aside.

3.) In a medium-sized saucepan, melt four tablespoons of butter with one tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Once melted add minced onion, four slices of garlic, ground mustard, and nutmeg. Stir and allow to cook for one minute. Add flour and stir to thoroughly combine in the fat. Cook for two minutes. Then, slowly whisk milk in a little at a time,  stirring constantly. When all milk is added, add a pinch of salt and white pepper. Continue stirring until milk has thickened, about 5 – 7 minutes.

4.) If water has boiled by this point, add a very generous dash of salt along with the egg noodles. Cook for about 4 or 5 minutes, then drain completely. Place in casserole dish.

5.) To the noodles in the casserole dish add tuna, peas, and milk mixture. Stir to thoroughly combine and then shake casserole dish gently to even it out. Sprinkle the entire top with the bread crumbs soaked in butter.

6.) Place in the preheated oven and bake for 20 – 25 minutes until the entire dish is bubbly and the top is golden brown.

7.) Serve and enjoy!