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Not-Your-Mama’s Tuna Casserole

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Not-Your-Mama's Tuna Casserole

Not-Your-Mama’s Tuna Casserole

Jessica Braider
This zesty, protein and fiber packed tuna casserole is definitely not your mother's tired out recipe (Sorry, Mom!). Salsa and black beans give it a Southwestern flavor, which may sound odd, but it’s a delicious combination dreamed up by Scramble fan Sara Emley. You can make the casserole even healthier by adding up to 1 cup of corn kernels, diced zucchini, or chopped broccoli or tomato.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Servings 8 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 8 oz. egg noodles
  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 red or yellow onion diced
  • 1 red or green bell pepper diced
  • 6 oz. chunk light tuna in water drained (optional)
  • 1 cup corn kernels, diced zucchini, or chopped broccoli or tomato (optional)
  • 15 oz. reduced-sodium canned black beans or kidney beans (or use any variety) (or use 1 1/2 cups home-cooked beans for every 15 oz. can), drained and rinsed
  • 10 oz. reduced-sodium condensed tomato soup
  • 10 oz. low fat milk (or use any variety)
  • 1 cup salsa (look for brands with no sugar added),
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 2 Tbsp. bread crumbs (store-bought or homemade)(use wheat/gluten-free, if needed)

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. In a large pot, cook the noodles according to the package directions. When they are done, drain and run cold water over them to cool them. Spray a large (2-quart or bigger) casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat and sauté the onions, peppers and tuna (optional), and any optional vegetables, for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until they are softened. Stir in the beans and remove the skillet from the heat.
  • In a small saucepan over low heat, combine the soup, milk and salsa.
  • Put 1/2 the noodles in the casserole dish. Cover them with 1/2 the vegetable-tuna mixture and 1/2 the cheese.
  • Top that with the remaining noodles and vegetable mixture.
  • Pour the tomato-milk-salsa sauce over everything. Top it with the bread crumbs and the remaining cheese.
  • Bake it for 25-30 minutes until the top is browned and the sauce is bubbly. Serve it immediately or refrigerate it for up to 3 days, or freeze it for up to 3 months.

Slow Cooker Directions:

  • No need to pre-cook the noodles. Put the oil, onions, bell peppers, tuna (optional), beans, tomato soup, milk, salsa, any optional vegetables and 3/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese in the slow cooker, give it a quick stir to combine, and cook on low for 6-10 hours, or high for 3-4 hours. 30 minutes before serving, add the noodles, and push them gently into the mixture (or stir slightly) to make sure they are immersed in the liquid. 5 minutes or so before serving, top with the bread crumbs and remaining 3/4 cup Cheddar cheese and allow the cheese to melt. This will be very hot when served; for little ones, let stand for 5 minutes or so before eating. (Slow cooker cooking times may vary—Get to know your slow cooker and, if necessary, adjust cooking times accordingly.)

Notes

Do Ahead or Delegate: Cook the noodles and store tossed with a little oil to prevent sticking, dice the onion and the bell pepper, shred the cheese if necessary and refrigerate, or fully prepare and refrigerate or freeze the dish.
Scramble Flavor Booster: Use spicy salsa.
Tip: If the casserole is very full, set it on a baking sheet in the oven to avoid it spilling over and making a mess.
Nutritional Information Per Serving (% based upon daily values): Calories 370, Total Fat: 11g, 17%; Saturated Fat: 5g, 25%; Cholesterol: 65mg, 22%; Sodium: 460mg, 19%; Total Carbohydrate: 45g, 15%; Dietary Fiber: 6g, 24%; Sugar: 10g; Protein: 21g
Like this recipe? Check out The Scramble's family-friendly meal plans to see just how simple getting dinner on the table can be!
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