Tuna Noodle Casserole

It is now November in the great land of 10,000 lakes. November brings with it brisk winds dropping temps and shorter days. I love this time of year as it encourages cuddling cooking and baking which are three of my most favoritist things on earth (aside from my husband and children). It’s also a really good time of the year in this region for the making of what are called casseroles (also known as hot dishes) which people from other parts of the world or country don’t understand. They are hard to explain but honestly they are some of my favorite meals.

Tuna noodle in particular!

I love tuna! No. Really!! I looooove tuna!

I will and have been known to eat it directly out of the can. I have fond memories of Tuna going back as far as I can remember. My Dad used to make Tuna with miracle whip and we’d sit and watch football while plopping that mix on saltines (Occasionally he’d splurge and we’d eat pickled herring on those saltines but that’s another post for another day!). One of my favorite memories of my Dad.

My Dad also makes THE best Tuna Noodle Casserole this side of the hemisphere! NO lie! When I was pregnant with son #2 I emailed my dad to ask for his recipe because I was craving it and none of the ones I found online seemed right. The email I got back made me laugh. It was one giant paragraph describing the ingredients the process and what NOT to do. At the end he stated “You best print this out because it took me about 20 minutes to type this shit up!” That’s my Dad for you! I decided I should probably write this down somewhere in case that print out of my dads email gets lost. I also thought about the fact that someday my Dad won’t be here and reading that last line will make me laugh and cry at the same time!

The recipe includes green olives which I don’t normally eat because of the Green Olive incident of 1981. I ate too many when I was 6 and spent an entire night vomiting green olives BUT including them in this recipe gives it a very unique flavor that I adore!! The husband was skeptical as well but after one bite he was sold.

So here is the recipe:

2 Cans of Cream of Chicken Soup

2 Cans Tuna (he recommends Solid White Albacore in water)

1 Can of milk or Chicken broth or a mix of the 2 (use one of the soup cans for this measurement)

8 oz of cheese (my Dad recommends cheddar or Velveeta or a combo of the two)

1/2 cup of chopped green olives with pimentos

1/2 cup of frozen veggies (he recommends peas to offset the color of the pimentos…hey presentation is everything! Right!?)

4 cups of egg noodles (macaroni will work if that’s all you have)

Directions:

Heat oven to 350ยบ.

While boiling the noodles combine all other ingredients in a saucepan and heat. DO NOT HARD BOIL. This will cause the milk to curdle and break the sauce which makes it grainy. Once the noodles are done drain and pour in a casserole or a 13×9 baking dish. Pour contents from saucepan onto noodles and stir.

If you want a topping crunch up a cup of cornflakes with 2 tbsp of butter. If you don’t have that or bread crumbs you can crush up some potato chips. I myself, self use the cheddar and sour cream potato chips. I think it adds to the flavor.

Bake for 30 minutes. Everything is already cooked so you are really just looking for it be get all bubbly.

This is really just a very versatile recipe in which you can add or subtract to your hearts content. I like it just this way but you could add chopped eggplant and use some Parmesan, for example, for a new twist on this classic dish. It really is the ultimate in comfort food.

I would have included a picture of this tastetastic dish however once it was pulled out of the oven it didn’t even have a chance to cool down before it was gone! It’s just that good!

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