Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Broccoli Tuna Casserole

Leftovers in our house are no accident.  I guess that I really shouldn't call them leftovers because it's not simply food that didn't get eaten for dinner - it's food that has been planned for and calculated into the grocery shopping.

Ben likes to take the leftovers to work for lunch and the kids even pack it in their lunch boxes occasionally.  If we've accumulated a lot of leftovers in the refrigerator, I pull them out for weekend lunches.  We make a huge buffet of leftovers on the kitchen island and let everyone fill their plates with whatever they choose.  (Almost like being at Golden Corral - sort of.)

A lot of the food that I prepare one day, gets turned into something else on another day so no one is even aware that they're eating leftovers.  (Remember the skirt steak that became fajitas and then steak salad and then fajita pizza?)

The point is that I normally prepare more food that my family will eat in one meal - on purpose.  It takes careful planning, precise calculations and more times than not - a whole lot of guess work to figure out exactly how much my family will eat on any given day.  Planning for leftovers is not a job for the faint of heart.  Even the most careful plans can all be thrown out the window if just one person gets particularly hungry and eats everything all at once.  (Teenagers - They have the weirdest eating habits.)

I considered doubling this recipe for Broccoli Tuna Casserole from the October issue of Taste Of Home but I was banking on the fact that my family would eat about half for dinner and I could save the other half for lunches.  It's especially hard to judge how much they will eat when I make a new recipe because I just never know what they're going to like.  It was a gamble but I decided to just make one recipe and hope for the best.

Broccoli Tuna Casserole
5 cups egg noodles
1 teaspoon butter
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon thyme
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cup broth
1 cup Monterrey jack cheese
4 cups frozen broccoli florets
2 pouches tuna
1/3 cup panko
1 Tablespoon butter, melted

Cook noodles according to package directions.  Transfer to a 3 quart baking dish.

Melt 1 teaspoon butter in skillet.  Add onion and cook until softened.

Stir together cornstarch, milk and seasonings.

 Gradually add to pan.

Stir in broth.

Bring to a boil.  Cook and stir 2 minutes until thickened.

Stir in 3/4 cup cheese, broccoli and tuna.

Pour over noodles and stir to combine.

Sprinkle remaining cheese on top.

Combine panko and 1 T. butter and sprinkle over cheese.

Bake 45 minutes at 350.


Turns out - my family really enjoyed this tuna casserole.  They didn't eat the ENTIRE pan but they did eat most of it.  It was a super yummy meal for a cold winter's night.


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