Tuna Noodle Casserole (yeah...for real)

I don’t even care that I’m about to talk about tuna casserole like it’s blog-worthy.  Don’t even care.

Oh but I did care last night.  Last night, when my husband walked in from a work-related happy hour, I was all like “So I made dinner, and I was going for sort of a baked pasta with tuna in a light cream sauce, and hey, isn’t tuna, like, your favorite food on the planet?  But really, you’re so easy to please, cooking for you is like a dream.  And I see you got a nice little buzz going on there…alright, alright.  Can I also just say that you’re looking very manly these days?  Have you been working out?  More?  Working out more?  I couldn’t be more excited for you.”

I admit, I was darn-near apologetic in serving this meal to him, and therefore ashamed to offer it up to you.

But today’s a different story apparently.  No shame here.  Why?  Because one bite of this and I was like Augustus Gloop lapping up the chocolate river just before falling in and going up the pipe.  I swear.  Two bites and things got a little obscene.

No but seriously, I wanted to put on a wet suit and do dolphin dives in these noodles.  Yes, my keyboard DOES have a backspace button, why do you ask?

Truly, this meal was so surprisingly delicious and easy I might even add it to my cop-out dinner cookbook which is full of other ho-hum, weeknight game-changers just begging to be made-OR WAIT.  Would anybody in my family object if I served this for Easter dinner?  In the formal dining room?  On our wedding china?

Long story annoying, I really liked this recipe for Tuna Noodle Casserole.  It was altogether quick and easy, rich and delicious, comforting and healthy.  But if you must refer to this recipe as “Seafood Pasta Bake”, I’d understand.   “Tuna over Pasta with Creamy Peas”?  Uh yeah, sure.  “Tuna Surprise?”  Eh…maybe I think move on.

Tuna Noodle Casserole
Adapted from Iowa Girl Eats
Serves 2
3 oz whole wheat egg noodles
1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, finely diced
1 tbs flour
3/4 c + 2 tbs low-sodium, fat-free chicken broth
1/2 c skim milk
1/4 c frozen peas
1 5-oz can tuna packed in water, drained
1/4 c 2% sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 tbs Parmesan cheese
1 tbs panko breadcrumbs
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Coat a small baking dish (8x8 square would work) with cooking spray, and set aside.  Cook the egg noodles in boiling, salted water until slightly undercooked or al dente.  Drain, return to the pot, and set aside.
Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, and add the oil.  When hot, add in the onion and season with salt/pepper.  Saute until softened, about 3-4 minutes.  Sprinkle in the flour and cook for an additional minute.  It will be lumpy!
Slowly whisk in the chicken broth and break up the clumps of flour.  Once incorporated, add the milk and bring the mixture to a boil.  Add in the peas, and then reduce heat to medium and let the mixture bubble until thick, about 5-6 minutes, whisking occasionally.  Add in the tuna and additional salt/pepper to taste.
Turn off the heat and stir in the cheddar cheese until completely melted.  Add in the cooked noodles and stir to combine.  Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish.
Combine the Parmesan cheese and panko in a small dish, and sprinkle it over the top of the noodle mixture.  Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

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