Jazzed up Tuna Casserole
From Light&Tasty magazine, this perks up Mom's traditional tuna casserole. It's sure to be comfort food for the whole family.
- Ready In:
- 3 cups uncooked yolk-free wide egg noodles
- 2 (6 ounce) cans tuna in water, drained and flaked
- 1 cup zucchini, grated
- 3⁄4 cup light sour cream
- 1⁄2 cup celery, diced
- 1⁄4 cup onion, chopped
- 1⁄4 cup light mayonnaise
- 2 teaspoons prepared mustard
- 1⁄2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1⁄4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup part-skim mozzarella cheese, grated, and mixed with
- 1⁄2 cup cheddar cheese, grated
- 1 medium tomatoes, chopped
- Cook noodles according to package directions, drain. In a large bowl, combine the noodles, tuna, zucchini, sour cream, celery, onion, mayonnaise, mustard, thyme, oregano and salt; mix well. Spoon half into a 2 quart baking dish coated with nonstick cooking spray.
- Sprinkle with half of the cheese mixture. Repeat layers. Top with tomato. cover and bake at 350*F. for 30-35 minutes. Uncover; bake 5 minutes longer. Yield: 6 servings.
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Terrific little recipe for a nice, light, tasty casserole that is healthy enough to take away the guilt, but which still provides the "comfort" in "comfort food"... With that said, however, I have a few suggestions... First, with respect to the herbs involved, I felt as if the thyme and the oregano were a little at odds with each other. What I would recommend is removing the 0.5 tsp of thyme and the 0.25 tsp of oregano and instead use 1 full teaspoon of marjoram. Marjoram is an extremely close botanical cousin of oregano. In fact, they're more like botanical fraternal twins. But marjoram has a sweeter, more nuanced, more delicate and far more floral profile. When I made this dish the second time, using marjoram in place of the thyme and oregano, I was told that the flavor was lighter and "more playful" (whatever that means, but it sounded like a good thing, lol). As for the main body of ingredients, I would respectfully suggest omitting the celery. Celery has become less and less popular over the past few years. As a chef, I get requests all the time to leave the celery out of dishes. I also notice that many customers ask the servers if a dish contains celery and then they pick a different menu item when they find out it does. And, let's face it, celery is providing crunch in this dish, not flavor. So, with that being the case, why not think outside the box and replace the crunchy celery with something equally crunchy, but which people will be pleasantly surprised to see in the dish? To this end, I would recommend omitting the celery and instead using diced jicama. Or, in the alternative, some diced water chestnuts. People will think this substitution is brilliant - especially if you go with the jicama! Since this dish is supposed to taste and feel light and summery, I might also consider replacing the diced onions - this time with thinly sliced rings of leeks. Leeks provide a more complex and yet comforting flavor to a dish. If you think you'll be missing anything, from a flavor perspective, by swapping the onions for leeks, you could always add a minced shallot to the leeks. Lastly, by way of garnish, I used scallions. They were a hit, but I think next time I'll use some finely diced chives. Or, even better - garlic chives! I hope these suggestions help some of you.
excellent! I used whole wheat noodles, and threw in peas as well. Sprinkled a bit of good quality Romano over the top before baking. Otherwise, followed to a T and it turned out great. As with most casseroles, it was even better leftover the next day, reheated for lunch with a side salad. My husband raved and asked to put it in the monthly rotation. Thanks again for another great recipe Sharon!