I didn’t grow up eating casseroles. I guess we just weren’t that family. I don’t think either of my parents ever made a casserole for us. I can’t really think of what they made actually.
My dad is Sicilian. He makes Italian food. Pastas. My mom is mixies. A little English, a little Swedish, a little Finnish, a little Welsh that kinda stuff. I don’t really think my mom had a specific genre of cooking. She cooked everything. She is a fantastic cook by the way. No casseroles though.
I’ve never had tuna casserole before. I saw the recipe in the Rocco DiSpirito book and figured why not give it a shot?
I bought the book a couple of weeks and finally decided to make one of the recipes listed in it.
It’s one of those “swap this for that” kind of cookbooks. I’m totally into those, conceptually.
Sometimes you need real butter, white sugar and all-purpose flour. I didn’t say these items are particularly good for you, I just said you need it. Ya know, so food tastes good. Why would her royal majesty Miss Paula Deen add butter to everything if it wasn’t so freakin’ tasty? Yeah, that’s what I thought.
This casserole was actually quite good. There weren’t too many crazy swaps. Reduced fat cheese for full fat, panko bread crumbs instead of regular, etc. That I can deal with. If I didn’t tell you what was in it, you’d never guess it was the “healthy” version of the traditional tuna casserole. If you care, it’s 351 calories per serving versus the traditional 826. Shaun T. would be proud of me.
It was tasty. It’s a good base recipe. Next time I’ll fancy it up a little. Add bacon or ham, sautéed onions and garlic, maybe more cheese…stuff like that. For now, it works. I really liked the mustard flavor throughout. This is an odd statement for me to make since mustard is disgusting. Putting mustard on a hot dog makes me cry. Using mustard instead of mayo on a sandwich is just plain wrong.
If you want a good tuna casserole recipe, this is a good starter. What’s nice is that you won’t have the urge to unbutton your pants when you’re done!
Makes 6 servings
Nonstick cooking spray
6 ounces whole wheat rotini, or any short cut pasta
3/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
3/4 cup 2% Greek yogurt, I used 0%
3 Tablespoons Dijon mustard, I used stone-ground mustard
5 ounces (1 1/4 cups) shredded 50% reduced-fat cheddar cheese
18 ounces canned albacore tuna, packed in water, drained
1 1/2 cups frozen sweet peas
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup whole wheat panko bread crumbs, mine weren’t whole wheat
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F. Spray an 8x8x2” baking dish with cooking spray, set aside.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once the water is boiling, add your salt. Add the pasta and cook according to the package directions, about 9 minutes. Drain and set aside.
In a medium bowl, mix the sour cream, yogurt, mustard and cheese together. Add the cooked noodles, drained tuna and peas.
Stir gently until the pasta is coated.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Pour the mixture into a prepared baking dish and sprinkle with the panko bread crumbs.
At this point, I would add several pats of butter. For this recipe, I obviously did not. What I did was spray the top with a light misting of cooking spray.
Throw it into the preheated oven for about 20 minutes. For the last 5 minutes, I kicked the oven up to broil and let it get nice and crusty brown. If you do this, make sure to watch the oven carefully. When the broiler is on, your food can go from brown and toasty to up in flames in about 2 seconds.
Be careful and enjoy :)!