Tuna Casserole for a Wintery Serene

Tuna casserole. Cheap, easy, and perfect for a wintery night.

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I feel wintery today. For me, “wintery” means “not sad exactly, but quiet and solitary and a little fragile”. When I’m feeling this way, I don’t want to cook or write or really do much of anything. So tonight, you get an old standby recipe from me, and I get a delicious tuna casserole made by my kid, who really is a wonderful person for taking care of me when I need taking care of.

You also get a cost breakdown. I used to do that on my general cooking blog, and may make a habit of doing it here. Would it be helpful? Annoying?

[It’s also the first week I’ll be skipping French Fridays. I was just not up for it this week. I may manage it later this weekend.]

Super-easy Tuna Casserole
Use less cheese if you like; James likes his tuna casserole super-cheesy

8 ounces frozen peas
1 pound dried pasta (I used mini lasagna noodles, but anything from elbows to spaghetti works just fine)
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons butter
1 small onion, diced
2 (7-ounce) cans tuna, drained
1.5 pounds cheddar cheese, grated or cubed, divided

Place peas in a colander — you’ll thaw them by draining the hot pasta over them. Whisk flour into milk and set aside. Cook pasta until almost done, then drain over peas and set peas and pasta aside. In the same pot, sauté onions in butter over medium heat until the onions are soft, then add milk/flour mixture and stir constantly until the sauce is thickened. Add half a pound of cheese and stir constantly over low heat until all the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth.

Combine pasta, peas, sauce, tuna, and salt and pepper to taste. (You can do as I do and use the same pot, if it’s oven-safe, and then this is a one-pot meal.) Top with the remaining pound of cheese and bake at 400F until cheese is browned (approximately 30 minutes). You can also bake it longer at 350F; whatever works for your schedule and cooking vessel. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Serves 8.

Cost breakdown

peas [.68]
pasta [.88]
milk [.27]
flour, salt, pepper [negligible]
butter [.13]
onion [.11]
tuna [1.78]
cheese [3.00 — the Grocery Outlet is a great place to get good, real cheese for $2-$3 per pound]

Total: $6.85 ($.86 per serving)

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Author: Serene

I run The Mom Food Project, which was born out of love for my mom and a desire to preserve the recipes of my childhood, which didn't actually exist in written form until I quizzed my mom and wrote the recipes down.

2 thoughts on “Tuna Casserole for a Wintery Serene”

  1. I feel the same, exact way when I feel “wintery”. Sometimes I think we were twins separated at birth.
    Thanks for the recipe! I’m looking forward to it AND I love the cost breakdown. Super neat.
    Oh – and where is the Grocery Outlet?
    xxx

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