Tuna Casserole: A Comfort Food

Monday, February 08, 2016

Everybody has that food that reminds them of when things were easy or was a favorite growing up. For me, my mom's tuna casserole comes to mind, and can be made virtually lactose free. I say virtually because there is still a tiny bit of lactose in one of the ingredients in the recipe. If you can eat a tiny bit of lactose without a problem, this recipe is for you. I took a Lactaid pill just in case, and there was no discomfort later. For me, I avoid cheeses, yogurt, milk, and creams (unless they're lactose free) and only can handle food with traces of regular dairy. So, the fact that this wasn't an issue for me was exciting. 

I was always the last at the table when my mom made this. I always dug through the fridge searching for the leftovers the next day after she made it. For whatever reason, this food always reminds me of home, and always tastes delicious. Her recipe isn't the same as the ones you find online. I know people think tuna casserole and get squeamish, but I promise, this is much better than those casseroles you've had before. This ain't your mama's tuna casserole, this is MY mama's casserole. There aren't peas or pimentos or something else that seems completely wrong for tuna fish. 

It's just noodles, creamy sauce, chopped onion, and tuna fish and tastes fantastic. My husband has always hated tuna casserole, but loves this recipe. We devoured the entire casserole dish full in two sittings. (There are no other pictures because we ate it too fast to photograph.)

(Serves 8-10. You can half this recipe if necessary.)

+ 1 - 7 oz. pkg wide egg noodles
+ 1 cup chopped onion
+ 6 tbsp (butter or vegetable oil)
+ 1/4 cup flour
+ 2 1/4 cup milk (I used Lactaid Milk)
+ 1 can Cream of Chicken soup (this has some lactose in it)
+ 2 - 7 oz cans tuna fish (drained)
+ Optional - shredded cheese

Cook noodles in a pot with salted water and drain when done. While noodles are cooking, cook the chopped onion in the butter or oil in another pot. Blend in the flour until the mixture is smooth. Slowly add the milk and cook the mixture until thick, stirring constantly. Stir in soup and drained tuna until mixed well. Put cooked noodles in greased 3-quart casserole dish and pour soup mixture on top. Stir to combine. Bake uncovered at 350° F for 35 minutes. When two minutes remain, sprinkle a layer of cheese on top. When we make this, I put cheese on only half, so that my side stays mostly lactose free. 

Let me know what you think if you make it. 

+++What's your favorite comfort food?

My mother's tuna casserole recipe. // The Joy Blog - www.thejoyblog.net

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