When I first got out of the USAF in 1982, I lived with my sister in Londonderry, NH for about a year and a half. When I moved out to an apartment of my own, she passed on to me her copy of Betty Crocker’s Dinner for Two cookbook. One of the first recipes I made from this cookbook was Tuna Noodle Casserole. While I started with the basic recipe, as always, over the years, I have played around a bit with this and tried some different things.

Nom nom nom

Tuna Casserole

The basic recipe calls for a bag/box of egg noodles, a can of tuna, and a can of Cream of Mushroom soup. If you do not have the egg noodles, just about any type of pasta will suffice. I made this dish the other evening and used elbow macaroni in place of the egg noodles and it was just fine.

Here’s the simple version I made this week:
A box of elbow macaroni
One can of tuna (packed in water)
One can of Cream of Mushroom soup
Half a bag of frozen peas (or one small can of peas)
Ritz Crackers

Bring a pan of water to boil and pour in the macaroni/egg noodles/whatever. I usually throw salt and a tablespoon or so of olive oil into the water as I turn on the heat. Cook the noodles/macaroni per the instructions on the box. When noodles are done, pour into a colander and drain. In a casserole dish, place a layer of noodles on the bottom, then alternate with layers of tuna and layers of noodles until you run out of tuna. (You can add a little olive oil or butter and re-heat left over noodles/macaroni in the microwave for five minutes on half power so that nothing goes to waste.) On top of the layers of noodles and tuna, pour the peas as a layer then pour the cream of mushroom soup. Crumble the crackers on top and bake in the oven at 350 for about 30 minutes, until the crackers are browning.

As I mentioned, I used Ritz crackers for the topping this time but I have used saltines in the past and I think the original recipe from the Betty Crocker cookbook I linked above called for crumbling potato chips.

A casserole such as this is quick and easy for a week night meal. You can substitute a can of shredded chicken for the tuna. You can add more peas or maybe try green beans instead of peas. I do not care for cheese at all but you can add a layer of shredded cheese to the casserole under the crackers if you like as the whole idea of casseroles is the versatility.

As always, you should start with a basic recipe then embellish and experiment until you have a dish to your and your family’s taste then enjoy!

Photo from Keenan Pepper licensed under Creative Commons



Small town Kentucky country boy lived all over the country. Currently in Ruskin, FL