I know this seems like just a plain ole tuna casserole but to me it is pure comfort food. This is exactly how I grew up eating this and it is the first dish I learned to cook. Back in the 80’s helicopter parents really didn’t exist and as a teenager I was left to fend for myself from time to time. Like most comfort foods they usually make you feel good inside and bring back good memories. This dish reminds me of a friend from my teenage years that sadly passed away June 23, 2018 from complications of diabetes at the age of 46 . My friend was a super picky eater and when we got tired of eating whatever we could pick up in a drive thru window this was our go to dish.
I met Kathy when I was 14 and we became fast friends . She was an only child , a tad bit spoiled and could be sassy at times but these are all the things I loved about her. A few years before I met her she had been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes , so she was on a restricted diet and needed insulin twice a day but she never let this slow her down. Kathy was my friend that over the years we shared all of our milestones together. We celebrated birthdays, we were in each others weddings , births of our children and even help throw showers for each other for all of these events. When she was a newlywed and her husband was not at home she invited me over to watch a movie and asked if I would cook this dish for her. This is one of my favorite memories as an adult with her , cooking tuna casserole in her tiny country blue kitchen .To this day I don’t remember the movie we watched but I remember this casserole and laughing and visiting with my dear friend. Once we both had kids sadly both of our lives got busy and we lost touch, we rarely spoke but when we did speak we picked up like we had seen each other the day before.
This is a classic casserole that is super easy to throw together and can be made in a pinch. The crushed up potato chips on top sounds strange but it is so good. The crunch and salty chips just makes this perfect. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have over the years.
- 12 oz package of elbow macaroni
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- 1/2 cup diced onions
- 2 10.5 oz cans cream of mushroom soup
- 2 half cans of milk
- 12 oz velveeta cheese
- 12 oz can of tuna packed in water drained
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1/2 a teaspoon of black pepper
- 15 oz can of sweet peas drained
- Lays potato chips
- Cook Macaroni according to the package
- While the pasta is cooking in a separate pot cook the onions in the butter until they are translucnet
- Once onions are cooked add soup then add a half a can of milk to each can , stir to get the thick soup off the side and pour it in the pot
- Add the velveeta and stir while it melts
- As it is cooking together add the drained tuna
- Add salt and pepper
- Once the cheese is completely melted add the peas
- Add the drained cooked pasta while it is hot
- Stir well until it is all mixed well
- When serving add a handful of crushed lays potato chips ontop
I grew up with this Tuna Casserole in the 50’s and 60’s and it always has crushed potato chips on top. Also, it was always baked in a casserole dish or 9×13 baking dish, not served from the pot.
This is basically the recipe from the Catelli macaroni box, without the chips or peas. It was one of the first things I learned to cook when I was in my teens (60’s). It was made with a lot of variations over the years, salmon, tuna, spam, whatever was handy. Any type of cream soup and I would use the cheese from the boxes of mac & cheese to save money. I had a big pottery bowl that was oven safe and would bake it in that.
That’s interesting , I’ve never heard called that. This is the way my mother made it, she would sometimes bake it also.
I WOULD LIKE A COPY OF TUNA CASSEROL
Hey Lizabeth, on the recipe card there is a picture of a small printer if you click that you can print the recipe.
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