Buttery, Comforting Tuna Casserole Made with Real Food
Do you need a new menu for dinner that isn’t super difficult but the whole family will love? I make tuna casserole for my daycare kids and they can’t get enough of it. I love it too. I have a formula for making my own homemade hamburger helper type meals that save me time and money on food, but are made without all the harmful chemicals that come in processed food. This tuna casserole is a spin on that idea.
Don’t you just love comfort food? Warm, creamy dishes that stick to your ribs are so satisfying. Something about it just makes you feel so nourished. This casserole is a great one.
I hear lots of providers and parents say, my kids aren’t big fans of tuna, but this is one of my most popular dishes. I recommend it hands down! If you are skeptical, give it a try. I love watching my kids laugh and talk to each other as they happily munch along on a delicious pasta dish.
Real food casserole
I love making homemade meals from scratch for my kids. I love knowing what goes into their food. I love being able to choose healthy ingredients for them to eat. Many casseroles and other meals call for “cream of” soups, but those are full of chemicals that aren’t good for our bodies. This dish has that creamy texture with whole food ingredients so you know what your kids (and you) are eating. Watch the blog for my ultimate guide to making your own “hamburger helper” type meals. It’s coming soon!
In this casserole, you can taste the buttery, crispy crackers. They flavor the whole dish. That extra crunch gives it something special that pleases everyone. Like I said before, it’s one of the dishes the kids eat best.
I like to do all the cooking in one pot. For this dish, you can to cook your pasta, dump it into the colander to drain and use the same pot to make the sauce. Then you don’t have to wash two pots. While the casserole is baking, you can wash out the colander and the cooking pot and have less dishes to wash after the meal.
I love watching the Pioneer Woman on Food Network and a few months ago I got to go see her for my birthday. She has her new Mercantile open in Pawhuska, Oklahoma. It’s only a few hours away from where I live. It was super fun to meet her. I met Ladd and Paige too. I will be writing more about that soon, so watch the blog for more on our trip.
My friend Cindy gave me the Pioneer Woman casserole dish and carrier for my birthday so I took it up there and had her sign it. Now we are best friends. Pretty soon I’ll probably be on her show. Especially after she sees my tuna casserole recipe. Tee hee. Anyway, I used my new Pioneer Woman casserole dish for my buttery tuna casserole. So fun!
There are a million variations you could make from this meal, so tweak it to what you like. If you don’t like tuna, used canned chicken, or roast up a whole chicken and use a couple cups of meat from that. If you want to use whole wheat noodles to add more nutrition, go right ahead. If you want to add more veggies, or something different, that’s fine too. Be creative and make it work for you!
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Buttery, Comforting Tuna Casserole
- 2 T. Butter
- 1 Onion Diced
- 2 T. Flour
- 1/2 C. Sour Cream
- 3/4 C. Milk
- 1 tsp. Salt
- 1/2 tsp. Pepper
- 2 tsp. Dill
- 1/4 C. Shredded Parmesan Cheese
- 1 bag Frozen Peas
- 1 pound Pasta Any shape you like, for daycare, I prefer smaller noodles to longer ones
- 1 Lg. Can Tuna Drained
- 8-10 Buttery Crackers Crushed
Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and set aside.
Use same pan. Put in butter and onion and cook until tender.
Add flour and stir until flour is slightly browned.
Add sour cream, milk, salt, pepper and dill.
Cook and stir until thick and bubbly. You can add pasta water or more milk if it's too thick.
Add frozen peas, Parmesan cheese (any other cheese you may want to add) and tuna.
Stir ingredients together and dump into a casserole dish.
Top with crushed crackers and bake at 350 until crackers are crunchy. (10-15 minutes)
Be sure to pin for later!