I'm one of those rare Americans who never ate "Tuna Noodle Casserole" for dinner. My Mom wasn't really a big fan of canned tuna, so it's just not something she made.
That said, now that I'm an adult and the primary cook for my family, I can't help but turn to quick and easy weeknight meals like casseroles. When you don't feel like slaving over the stove after a day at the office, casseroles are the perfect hands-off approach to dinner. And who says it has to be tuna anyway???
Weeknight Noodle Casserole
1/2 package of wide egg noodles
1 cup chopped leftover chicken, beef, ham, pulled pork, or canned tuna
1 cup frozen veggies (peas, broccoli, etc.)
1 can of cream of celery soup, golden mushroom souup, or broccoli cheddar soup
water or milk
1/2 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
3 tablespoons of butter, melted
salt & pepper to taste
1) Cook and drain noodles according to package directions
2) In a separate bowl, mix the bread crumbs and butter until it resembles wet sand.
3) Heat a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the frozen veggies, can of condensed soup, and use the empty can to measure 3/4 of a can of milk or water. Stir with a whisk and heat until the mixture smooths out into a sauce. Add the chicken and salt and pepper to taste if needed. Remove from the heat.
4) Mix the noodles into the sauce, thinning with a little milk or water if it gets too thick. Pour the mixture into an oven-safe casserole dish.
5) Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture evenly over the top. Bake in a 350 degree oven until the top begins to brown and the mixture is bubbly and heated through.
6) Serve and enjoy!
Side Notes: For those of you who prefer to cook "from scratch," the soup can be easily substituted with a medium white sauce (aka bechamel). I've done it when I don't have soup on hand and it works beautifully. Just add a bit of salt and ground pepper for seasoning. Add some cheese for a cheesy casserole.