Thursday, April 7, 2011

Simple Foods: Tuna Helper? I think not!

I ran across another great recipe last week that is a perfect substitute for yet another convenience food pitfall.  You know the one I'm talking comes in the box.  With all the salt.  And the preservatives.  And the sauce powder.  

I'm the first to admit that I frequently grab for boxed convenience foods on evenings when I've had to work all day, or when the kitchen is cluttered, or when I'm just feeling plain lazy and don't feel like cooking.  Bad, bad, I know, but hey, nobody's perfect!  

Imagine my surprise to find a recipe that fits all the same criteria as that certain boxed dinner:  it's quick, it's tasty, the kids gobble it up, but it's healthier!  It's made from real ingredients, not freeze dried vegetables and seventeen other things I can't pronounce.  

Like most of my recipes, I found this one on  The actual recipe is here, accompanied by photos and reader comments, but I'll give you the quick and dirty version below:


  • 1 (12 ounce) package egg noodles
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup frozen green peas
  • 2 (6 ounce) cans tuna, drained
  • 2 (10.75 ounce) cans condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/2 (4.5 ounce) can sliced mushrooms
  • 1 cup crushed potato chips

  • Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook pasta in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente; drain. 
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C)
  • In a large bowl, thoroughly mix noodles, onion, 1 cup cheese, peas, tuna, soup and mushrooms. Transfer to a 9x13 inch baking dish, and top with potato chip crumbs and remaining 1 cup cheese. 
  • Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until cheese is bubbly. 

The only changes I made were to omit the mushrooms (we're not fans), and to use cream of chicken soup instead of cream of mushroom, because it's what I had on hand.  The result?  A cheesy, flavorful casserole that the entire family enjoyed!  I will definitely make this casserole again, and I'm excited to have found a good standby recipe that works even better than boxed convenience food when I'm pressed for time or feeling like a lazy cook!  

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