Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tuna melt casserole

I am trying to incorporate more fish into my diet. This is particularly difficult for me considering I can't stand the way fish smells. Usually, the smell is so overpowering that all I taste is the smell. So I've got to find a way to work around that.

Canned tuna is hit or miss with me. Sometimes the canned stuff is so super stinky and other times the smell is very mild. I found this recipe in the book "Family Feasts for $75 a week" by Mary Ostyn. This was one of the books I read in February that got me so angry. After making this recipe I still don't understand how this lady only spends $75 a month on groceries. This casserole was not substantial enough the way it was written.

First off, this recipe calls for 10-12 dry croutons. Um..really? That is not enough to soak up the liquids. I increased the croutons and decreased the liquid and it seemed like a better ratio. I reduced the amount of tuna the recipe called for because I worried about the fishy flavors/smells. Next time I will use the 3 cans that the original recipe calls for. I made a bunch of other changes to the original recipe too. I will post my altered recipe below.

One more thing before I do, this casserole is definitely not a stand alone casserole. I felt it needed at least a side salad. We ate that for dinner the first night and Mrblocko and I did not feel satisfied. By 8:00 both of us were raiding the pantry for snacks. So the next day (since I had planned on this feeding us for two meals) in addition to a side salad, I served our casserole portions over shell noodles. I also added some lightly steamed carrots. That did the trick nicely.

My additions and alterations certainly make this dish fall out of the "$75 a week" category, but it tastes better and that's good enough for me.

My altered Tuna Melt Casserole (adapted from "Family Feasts for $75 a week" by Mary Ostyn.)
2-3 cups of croutons (I make mine from leftover bread. I cube it, store it in the freezer and toast them as needed) (There should be enough bread to fill the entire bottom of a 9x13 pan)
3 5-6oz cans of tuna in water, undrained
one medium onion, minced
1 shallot, minced (I happened to have a shallot that needed to be used, if you don't have any shallots, feel free to use garlic. I happen to like garlic so I would use 4 cloves, minced)
2 ribs of celery, minced
3 T butter, melted
1/2 t pepper
heaping 1/2 t curry powder
2 c milk
3 eggs, lightly beaten
2 c grated cheese, dealers choice (I used Sharp cheddar and Colby Jack)

Preheat the oven to 400F. Spray a 9x13 dish with cooking spray. Spread bread in dish. In a large bowl combine tuna, onions, shallot, celery, butter, pepper, curry, milk and eggs. Pour tuna mixture over bread. Spread the mixture with a spatula, making sure that all the bread is covered. Top with cheese. Bake until the casserole starts to puff up, and the cheese melts, 25-35 min. To reheat leftovers, preheat oven to 400F and bake for 20 min until heated through and cheese gets melty again.


  1. I want to say something witty about tuna casserole . . . OK, once when I was dating my hubby I made it for dinner, he started eating it, I started eating it, and I looked at him and said "do you like this?" His reply was "no" . . . we ordered a pizza! I've tried it so many times . . . and what's funny is that I like all the ingredients, just not together. Oh well . . .

  2. I haven't been able to post a comment on blogger all week. Weird!

    We didn't really eat a lot of tuna casserole growing up. We did eat a lot of tuna salad, and I hated that. I guess my parents lived on that for a good long while because it was one of the few things my mom knew how to cook.

    I've totally been there with the dinner and take out. Double points for your hubby letting you declare the dinner unfit for consumption!

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