Tuna Noodle Casserole

Tuna Noodle Casserole

Tuna Noodle Casserole

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Baked golden Tuna Noodle Casserole in a yellow serving dish on a wooden trivet.

Tuna Noodle Casserole is one of my favourite family casseroles.  It has just the right ratio of noodles to sauce and is topped with buttery panko breadcrumbs. It’s also cheesy, hearty and comforting and a one scoop meal with the peas baked right in. It does take a little extra time to make the sauce, cook the noodles and bake, so I would say it’s a nice weekend casserole.  The recipe is simple and uses everyday ingredients, which means there are no unnecessary trips to the grocery store.  The kids will love it and you’ll likely get leftovers as it makes a 9”x13” pan. 

Cheese sauce in a stainless steel saucepan with a metal whisk in preparation for Tuna Noodle Casserole.

Be sure not to overcook the noodles as they will continue to cook slightly while baking in the sauce. I will generally cook them a minute or two less than the package instructions. To save time and be efficient, I like to start cooking the sauce while the water comes to a boil and the noodles cook. Get the kids helping by grating cheese and flaking the tuna. Enjoy!

Tuna Noodle Casserole served on a glass plate with a wooden fork on a wooden surface.

Author:  Compelled to Cook, adapted from Food Wishes

 

Baked golden Tuna Noodle Casserole in a yellow serving dish on a wooden trivet.
Tuna Noodle Casserole
Print Recipe
    Servings Prep Time
    6-8 people 30-35 minutes
    Cook Time
    35-40 minutes
    Servings Prep Time
    6-8 people 30-35 minutes
    Cook Time
    35-40 minutes
    Baked golden Tuna Noodle Casserole in a yellow serving dish on a wooden trivet.
    Tuna Noodle Casserole
    Print Recipe
      Servings Prep Time
      6-8 people 30-35 minutes
      Cook Time
      35-40 minutes
      Servings Prep Time
      6-8 people 30-35 minutes
      Cook Time
      35-40 minutes
      Ingredients
      Servings: people
      Instructions
      1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
      2. Cook noodles for slightly less time than package instructions so they are al dente (firm to the bite). Drain well.
      3. While noodles are cooking, melt the 1/4 cup of butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour until combined. Slowly add a cup of hot milk whisking constantly until the mixture is smooth and starts to bubble. Continue adding hot milk and whisking until all the milk has been added and the mixture is smooth. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes, whisking often.
      4. Remove sauce from heat and whisk in mushroom soup, 1 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Stir in half of the cheddar cheese, tuna, and peas until combined. Add drained noodles and stir to evenly coat.
      5. Spray a 9"x13" casserole dish with non-stick spray and pour casserole into the dish, spreading out evenly. Top with remaining cheddar cheese.
      6. Stir together breadcrumbs, melted butter, parsley and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Spread evenly over casserole and bake on the centre rack for 35-40 minutes until bubbly and the top is golden. Remove from oven and serve immediately.

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      Stroganoff Meatballs

      Stroganoff Meatballs

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      Stroganoff Meatballs in a red casserole dish resting on a wooden tray lined with a white kitchen towel.

      This a casserole that I’ve made time and time again. I love it because it makes enough for six people or provides plenty of leftovers, which is important for me as a shift worker. It’s also a comforting, family-style meal that is fantastic served over mashed potatoes. Stroganoff Meatballs is a great fall/winter recipe that you’ll want to make over and over.

      Raw beef meatballs rolled and arranged on a baking tray in preparation for Stroganoff Meatballs.

      For this recipe, you’ll notice that I insist you use a beef soup base such as Knorr OXO Beef in a Mug and not regular beef bouillon powder. This is not a sponsored post, but I’ve tried both beef bouillon cubes and regular beef bouillon powder. They just don’t have the same beef flavour that the soup base does, and it makes all the difference. I do hate to be so particular on an ingredient, but for this recipe I must insist that you use beef soup base such as Knorr OXO Beef in a Mug.  It’s worth the little bit of fuss, enjoy!

      Ingredients for Stroganoff Meatballs arranged on a small wooden board on a white kitchen towel.

      Author: Compelled to Cook, adapted from Companys Coming Casseroles cookbook 1985.

      Stroganoff Meatballs
      Print Recipe
      Servings Prep Time
      6 people 55-60 minutes
      Cook Time
      35 minutes
      Servings Prep Time
      6 people 55-60 minutes
      Cook Time
      35 minutes
      Stroganoff Meatballs
      Print Recipe
      Servings Prep Time
      6 people 55-60 minutes
      Cook Time
      35 minutes
      Servings Prep Time
      6 people 55-60 minutes
      Cook Time
      35 minutes
      Ingredients
      Beef Meatballs
      Stroganoff Sauce
      Servings: people
      Instructions
      Beef Meatballs
      1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
      2. In a large bowl combine all ingredients and mix until incorporated. Roll into 1-ounce meatballs (about 2 tbsp each) and arrange on a large baking tray lined with parchment. Will yield about 38 meatballs.
      3. Bake for 15 minutes and remove from oven. Reduce heat to 350°F.
      Stroganoff Sauce
      1. While meatballs are cooking, heat oil in a large dutch oven. Add sliced mushrooms and sauté until most of the liquid has evaporated and starting to brown.
      2. Add 2 cups water and OXO soup base and heat to a simmer, stirring to dissolve. Whisk together the cornstarch and 1/4 cup cold water. Add to pot, whisking constantly until mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat and whisk in mushroom soup until smoothed out. Stir in sour cream, Worcestershire sauce, parsley, paprika and pepper.
      3. Add meatballs to the sauce and stir gently to coat with sauce. Cover and bake for 30-35 minutes. Remove from oven and serve immediately over noodles, rice or potatoes.
      Recipe Notes

      -It is a must to use beef soup base (preferably Knorr OXO Beef in a Mug)  I have tried to use regular beef bouillon cubes and powder, however, they do not have the same level of beef flavour and are not recommended for this recipe.

      -Meatballs can be made and cooked up to a day ahead.  Keep covered and chilled until ready to use.  Cook casserole for 40-45 minutes if using cold meatballs.

       

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      Skillet Chicken and Orzo

      Skillet Chicken and Orzo

      Weeknight cooking can be hard!

      You forgot to take something out of the freezer, the fridge is empty, and you only have an hour to get something on the table. This is just a few of the hurtles busy families face daily in the quest to enjoy a family meal together. Skillet Chicken and Orzo is a great weeknight meal that’s easy to prepare, dirties only one pot and can be on the table in about an hour. It’s also super delicious with minimal effort.

      A shallow serving dish with Skillet Chicken and Orzo garnished with fresh herbs by Compelled to Cook. A cast iron skillet with a serving spoon sits in the background.

      Tips to easier weeknight meals

      1. Make a meal plan for the week which can be as simple as writing down what meals you intend to prepare. Have fun with it by including the family in your choices. Including others helps to identify preferences and dishes that everyone likes.

       2. Make only one trip to the grocery store by purchasing the ingredients needed for each meal in advance.

      3. Take items out of the freezer to have completely thawed and ready for use.

      4. Make simple dishes that can be on the table within an hour or so.

      5. Make dishes that other family members can help with such as washing and chopping vegetables.

      6. Make only one meal that everyone can/will eat. So if you have a dish that everyone loves except the “onion” hater, then make the dish without onions and therefore suitable for everyone.

      7. Don’t be afraid to settle for something as simple as eggs on toast for supper.  Eggs are very nutritious and quick to prepare. Make them a great meal by simply sauteeing up a few greens, sausage and/or vegetables.  Top with olives, cheese, breadcrumbs, or chives for a great weeknight meal. 

      8. If you gotta give your 5-year-old a “grilled cheese night” in exchange for eating other meals later in the week, then everyone eats grilled cheese, making it about balance and compromise.  Besides, who doesn’t like grilled cheese!!

      9. Stick mostly to recipes/dishes you are comfortable and familiar with making during your busiest days.  No one wants to fumble around with a new recipe when time is tight.

      10. Make extra when you can and freeze for use later, either as a leftover lunch or a meal for someone who gets home late.

       

      Panfried chicken thighs in a cast iron skillet in preparation for Skillet Chicken and Orzo.
      Sauteed mushrooms in preparation for Skillet Chicken and Orzo in a cast iron skillet on a metal trivet.

      The key to Skillet Chicken and Orzo is to give the chicken and mushrooms a good sear. The mushrooms need a very hot pan and should not be overcrowded. Resist the urge to stir them and you will hear them “squeak”. That is a sign that they are becoming golden on the bottom and starting to release some of their liquid. The chicken also benefits from a good sear that helps to render the fat and crisp up the skin. Taking the time to brown both ingredients lends to a more flavourful dish that you’ll want to make again and again. Enjoy!

      A cast iron skillet with Skillet Chicken and Orzo ready to be served and garnished with fresh herbs by Compelled to Cook.

      Want more great weeknight options? Here are a few of my favourites.

      Tarragon Chicken Cutlets

      Red Curry Coconut Shrimp

      Mushroom and Arugula Quinoa Bowls

       

      A shallow serving dish with Skillet Chicken and Orzo garnished with fresh herbs by Compelled to Cook. A cast iron skillet with a serving spoon sits in the background.

      A shallow serving dish with Skillet Chicken and Orzo garnished with fresh herbs by Compelled to Cook. A cast iron skillet with a serving spoon sits in the background.
      Skillet Chicken and Orzo
      Print Recipe
        Servings Prep Time
        3-4 people 50 minutes
        Cook Time Passive Time
        25 minutes 2 minutes
        Servings Prep Time
        3-4 people 50 minutes
        Cook Time Passive Time
        25 minutes 2 minutes
        A shallow serving dish with Skillet Chicken and Orzo garnished with fresh herbs by Compelled to Cook. A cast iron skillet with a serving spoon sits in the background.
        Skillet Chicken and Orzo
        Print Recipe
          Servings Prep Time
          3-4 people 50 minutes
          Cook Time Passive Time
          25 minutes 2 minutes
          Servings Prep Time
          3-4 people 50 minutes
          Cook Time Passive Time
          25 minutes 2 minutes
          Ingredients
          Servings: people
          Instructions
          1. Preheat oven to 350℉
          2. Heat 1/2 tbsp oil in a cast iron or oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Pat chicken dry with a paper towel. When the oil is hot add chicken thighs and cook about 5-6 minutes per side until skin browned. Remove to a plate.
          3. Using the same skillet, heat the remaining oil until hot over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and allow to cook without stirring until bottoms are golden and moisture is starting to evaporate. Once they have browned give them a stir and continue to cook for 1-2 minutes. Add garlic and shallots and cook for 3-5 minutes until starting to soften, stirring occasionally.
          4. Add wine and allow to reduce for about 3 minutes. Stir in broth, orzo, cream cheese, herbs, salt and pepper. Once the cream cheese is fully incorporated add the chicken back to the pan with the skin side up. Push chicken down into pasta as far as they will go. Cover with a lid or tin foil and bake for 20-25 minutes.
          5. Remove from oven and turn oven to broil. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and broil for 1-2 minutes to melt the cheese. Remove from oven and allow to rest for 2 minutes prior to serving.
          Recipe Notes

          I personally like the garden vegetable cream cheese, however you may also like the garlic cream cheese.

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          I may receive compensation for purchases made through this site, at no cost to the purchaser. Compelled to Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com
          Meaty Baked Pasta

          Meaty Baked Pasta

          Well, baked pasta is far from anything new.  This little version is my own yet very similar to many that are out there.  It’s more of a reminder of how wonderful a baked pasta can be.  There are a few steps involved so I wouldn’t call it the best weeknight meal.  However, Meaty Baked Pasta is just what the family calls for on the weekend.  

          With this pasta casserole, you will find a meaty sauce that includes ground beef and Italian sausage, a light and creamy ricotta cheese layer that helps to balance the acid in the tomato sauce.  More sauce hugged pasta with chunks of tomato that is broiled oozy with mozzarella and parmesan.  It’s the kind of dish you know you should stop eating, but just can’t.

          It serves many with even a few leftovers.  If planning ahead, you may want to assemble in two casserole dishes, bake one and freeze the other for a later meal when time is not your friend. 

          Meaty Baked Pasta is homey, satisfying and best of all cheesy!  It’s not diet friendly, so I won’t pretend that it is.  Everything in moderation, right?  Enjoy!

          Meaty Baked Pasta is hot and cheesy from the oven in a blue casserole dish with handles. There is a serving spoon half tucked into the pasta. The dish rests on a cork pot holder that is draped with a white and navy towel. Fresh basil sits in the background.
          Meaty Baked Pasta
          Print Recipe
            Servings Prep Time
            8-10 people 40 minutes
            Cook Time Passive Time
            40 minutes 5 minutes
            Servings Prep Time
            8-10 people 40 minutes
            Cook Time Passive Time
            40 minutes 5 minutes
            Meaty Baked Pasta is hot and cheesy from the oven in a blue casserole dish with handles. There is a serving spoon half tucked into the pasta. The dish rests on a cork pot holder that is draped with a white and navy towel. Fresh basil sits in the background.
            Meaty Baked Pasta
            Print Recipe
              Servings Prep Time
              8-10 people 40 minutes
              Cook Time Passive Time
              40 minutes 5 minutes
              Servings Prep Time
              8-10 people 40 minutes
              Cook Time Passive Time
              40 minutes 5 minutes
              Ingredients
              Servings: people
              Instructions
              1. Heat olive oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes until starting to soften, stirring often.
              2. Add ground beef and Italian sausage. Cook until browned and no longer pink, breaking apart any large chunks and stirring often. Dab out any excess fat with a paper towel.
              3. To the meat add marinara sauce, diced tomatoes, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper and chili flakes.
              4. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat, cover and cook, stirring occasionally for 20- 25 minutes to meld flavours.
              5. While meat sauce is simmering, cook pasta according to package directions using well-salted water. (about 1 tbsp regular salt to 4 litres of water). Drain pasta and set aside.
              6. Preheat oven to 350℉.
              7. In a small bowl stir together ricotta, half of the mozzarella, half of the parmesan, dried basil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
              8. Lightly spray a 9"x13" casserole dish with non stick spray. Add half the cooked pasta and half of the meat sauce to the casserole dish. Stir to combine. Spread with ricotta cheese mixture.
              9. To the pot with the remaining pasta add remaining meat sauce. Stir to combine and pour over ricotta cheese layer. Top with remaining half of mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
              10. Bake uncovered for 30-40 minutes until bubbly. Broil for 2-3 to blister the cheese. Remove and allow to rest 3-5 minutes prior to serving.

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              I may receive compensation for purchases made through this site, at no cost to the purchaser. Compelled to Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com