This post goes out to my dear friend Renee. I will forever think of her as the source for this following recipe. She will tell you differently. Not sure why I am convinced that this was her recipe, but to this day, 12 years after first having made this, I still think of it as hers. She will tell you that she has never made tuna casserole. We'll agree to disagree, but I think you will have to agree that this is a pretty darn good casserole. My husband and son get pretty excited when it's on the weekly menu.
I call this a "pantry" recipe. All the ingredients required for the basic recipe are kitchen staples. Over the years I have fancied up this basic budget meal. Firstly, I make it with canned salmon instead of tuna. You get a good dose of omega-3 and I prefer the taste of the salmon over the tuna. Feel free to use tuna if you would rather. The second major change was adding tarragon. Tarragon has a licorice flavor that I think goes really well in this dish and elevates it to a respectable meal. So don't brush off this recipe. Try it at least one. I bet it will start making a regular appearance on your weekly menu!
1 cup elbow macaroni 1/4 cup italian seasoned bread crumbs 1 Tbs unsalted butter- melted 1 cup chopped celery 1/4 cup chopped shallots or onion (whatever you have on hand) 3 Tbs unsalted butter 1/4 cup flour 1 cup milk 1 cup chicken stock 1 Tbs chopped fresh tarragon 1/2 tsp salt 2 Tbs chopped fresh parsley 6-9 ounces canned salmon, drained and flaked
Preheat oven to 375
Combine bread crumbs and 1 Tbs melted butter- set aside
Cook noodles according to package al dente (6-7 minutes)- drain and set aside
Meanwhile, melt 3 Tbs butter over medium heat in a large saute pan. Add celery and shallot and cook until tender. Add in flour, cook for about 1 minute then add milk and stock, herbs and salt. Cook, stirring, until thick.
Add noodles and salmon to the pan and stir to combine.
Transfer to a baking dish, sprinkle with bread crumb/butter mixture and bake for 20 minutes.
I am a food obsessed mother and wife. Nothing makes me happier than talking about, reading about, growing, cooking and eating GOOD food, either by myself or with others (including my 4 year old food obsessed son, and my 8 month old daughter who is already a foodie). I started this blog to be able to share kitchen and grocery shopping tips, recipes and photos of what is going on in my kitchen. I hope it inspires you to enjoy good food!