If casserole means a whole bunch of foods thrown together, and then baked in the oven, we rarely had casseroles growing up. Not tuna casserole, not green bean casserole, nada.
But we did have lots of "fake casseroles"- with all the same ingredients that would go in a casserole, only cooked on the stovetop, and not baked.
This tuna noodle "casserole" is a reincarnation of the tuna noodle "casserole" my sister and I used to make growing up. When we'd want to fix up a quick meal, Violet and I would take some cooked pasta, make some chicken soup from consomme, add a can of tuna and some meunster cheese and green beans or corn, and heat it up in the microwave until the cheese was melted. It was really yummy and we felt awesome that we knew how to cook something "professional" like that.
As I learned more about healthy eating, and moved to this country where meunster cheese isn't as readily available (and cheese in general is super expensive), I started making my tuna casserole by mixing tuna fish with sour cream, salt, garlic powder, and corn, and adding cooked pasta to it. And it was always a hit...
But since going gluten free and dairy free, I sadly have not been able to enjoy this favorite dish of mine.
The other day, Violet mentioned tuna casserole in conversation, and my mouth started watering! It had been so long since I had any, and I was overcome by a sudden urge to make it ASAP. No matter that I can't eat dairy or gluten, and I wouldn't be using any of the processed foods I used to put in mine... I'd figure out a solution so I could have my tuna casserole!
This recipe was a conglomeration of about a million dairy free tuna casseroles I found on the net, plus some ideas of my own... and as we always made it growing up, this tuna "casserole" isn't really a casserole because it isn't baked. But it certainly hits the spot, and was better than the tuna casserole we used to make growing up.
If you're not dairy free, feel free to use regular milk in place of the coconut milk in this recipe, and of course, use regular pasta instead of gluten free pasta if you have no need for that.
1 package cooked gluten free or regular pasta
2 1/2 cups coconut milk (I use homemade coconut milk) or regular milk
2 cans of tuna in water, including the liquids (1/2 cup liquids total)
2-3 teaspoons salt
1 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 cup onion flakes or half an onion
2 cups frozen or fresh green beans cut into one inch pieces.
1 can mushrooms, strained, or equivalent amount of mushrooms fresh
1/2 teaspoon black pepper (optional)
1/3 cup potato starch, corn starch, or tapioca starch
1. If using fresh onions and/or mushrooms, chop small and saute until golden. If using dry, skip this step.
2. Mix the coconut milk, tuna liquids, salt, garlic powder, onion flakes, green beans, and black pepper together, reserving 1/2 cup of coconut milk. Cook until the onion flakes are reconstituted.
3. Mix the potato starch with the reserved coconut milk, and add them to the pan. Mix well, and cook until thickened.
4. Add the mushrooms and tuna. Mix well.
5. Add the noodles and mix well.
6. Add more salt if needed.
Are you a fan of tuna casserole? What do you put in your tuna casserole? Does this look like a recipe you'd try?
Are there any recipes you made from when you were little, and then went through many reincarnations until you ended up with your current version?