Wednesday, February 23, 2011

February 23, 2011: Tuna Casserole Recipe

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If you’re looking for a quick, inexpensive meal to serve your family, this tuna casserole fits the bill.

When I was growing up, Mom was always looking for inexpensive ways to feed our family of five. Some of her creations didn’t turn out so good, like the salmon-rice loaf or pan-fried liver I used to dread seeing on my plate… But others, like her macaroni salad and tuna casserole, were big hits. I don’t know where she got the idea to top the casserole with tater tots, but for me, that’s what makes it oh-so-delicious!

This recipe is based on one my mother used to make, with a few slight variations. My husband and my son, both of whom are picky eaters, really love this casserole. Okay, so they’re not gourmands, but…

Tuna Casserole

½ pound package macaroni, cooked
1 can cream of chicken soup (double this amount for a creamier sauce)
½ can milk
2 cans water-packed tuna, drained
½ can large black olives, sliced
½ jar sliced pimientos (optional)
½ medium-sized white onion, diced
½ package frozen green peas
Salt and pepper to taste
One package frozen tater tots
Shredded cheddar cheese (optional)

Heat oven to 350 degrees

Combine all ingredients except tater tots and cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Pour into a greased 13 x 9 inch pan or glass or ceramic casserole dish. Place the frozen tater tots on top of the mixture, covering the entire surface of the casserole (stand them up if it’s a smaller surface, lay them on their sides if you have a larger surface area). Bake, uncovered, for approximately 30 to 45 minutes, until the tots are golden grown. Sprinkle with grated cheese, if using, and pop back in the oven for about five minutes, until the cheese melts.

For a complete meal, serve the casserole with a green or fruit salad and a loaf of crusty French bread.

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