Rule #286: The classics never go out of style.
This Cheesy Tuna Noodle Casserole is the stuff of comfort food LEGEND, y’all! I remember having this growing up, and it was always a favorite at the table. You can’t go wrong with pasta, a creamy sauce, and a little tuna all tossed together with cheese and topped with… wait for it… Kettle chips! That extra crunch of the chips with the cheesy topping adds a delicious texture!
Ohhhhh, hello there, you delicious Comfort Food Situation, you.
Here’s our all-star line up for tonight’s oh-so-yummy Tuna Noodle Casserole Showdown.
We use Banza pasta for most every pasta dish because it’s got more protein and fiber and fewer carbs than traditional dry pasta.
The only thing with Banza pasta is that you’ve got to keep a close eye on it while it’s boiling. It tends to boil over easily, so don’t go start a Netflix show while you’re cookin’ yer pasta, mmmk? Just boil 1 lb. of rotini pasta (doesn’t have to be Banza though) in a large pot of heavily salted (like the sea) water for 8 minutes or until al dente.
While the pasta boils, go ahead and start mixing the tuna casserole ingredients. Start with the star of the show: Le Tuna. I use 3 cans of solid white tuna, drained.
Next, add in 3 cans of cream of mushroom soup.
Then, add 8 oz. (2 cups) of shredded mild cheddar cheese.
Next, add in 1 1/2 cups of whole milk.
Then, throw in a cup of frozen green peas.
Now, I like to use Trader Joe’s Onion Salt as the seasoning for our casserole. If you don’t have that on hand, just sub for the spices listed below in the recipe.
Finally, toss in your cooked pasta!
Give everything a vigorously hungry stir.
Then, spread it into a casserole dish coated with cooking spray.
Now, for the REAL reason we’re here: the TOPPING! Crumble on about 4 oz. (bags are usually 8 oz. each) of crushed kettle chips, then sprinkle on 4 oz. (1 cup) of shredded mild cheddar cheese.
Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes, until the top is golden bubbly. Then, cover with foil and let rest for 10 minutes. By letting it rest, you’re letting the casserole kinda of soak up its own moisture. If you cut into it right away (I know, I know… waiting is such sweet sorrow), then your casserole could be a wee bit runny.
After you’ve let it rest for the appropriate amount of nap time, DIG IN!
Now, just put on those comfy pants, light a candle, and get down-and-comfy with this little dish.
Cheesy Tuna Noodle Casserole
1 lb. rotini pasta (penne or elbow macaroni are fine, too)
3 (11-oz.) cans cream of mushroom soup
3 (5-oz.) cans tuna (solid white is our preference), drained
8 oz. (2 cups) mild cheddar cheese, shredded
1½ cups whole milk
1 cup frozen peas
2 tsp. Trader Joe’s Onion Salt Mix (OR 1½ tsp. Kosher salt + 1 tsp. garlic powder + ½ tsp. dried, minced onion)
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
4 oz. kettle chips (usually ½ of a regular bag)
4 oz. (1 cup) mild cheddar cheese, shredded
Preheat oven to 350.
Spray a large casserole dish with cooking spray.
Bring a large pot of heavily-salted water to a boil. Cook pasta until al dente (about 8 minutes). Drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, mix together the remaining casserole ingredients in a large bowl (cream of mushroom through pepper). Add in cooked pasta and stir to combine.
Pour casserole mixture into prepared dish, crumble chips over top, then sprinkle with remaining cheese.
Bake, uncovered, for 45 minutes, until casserole is bubbling and topping is golden brown. Remove from oven, cover with foil, and let rest for 10 minutes.