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Old-Fashioned Tuna Noodle Casserole

12 oz. uncooked wide egg noodles
6 Tbsp unsalted butter
4 Tbsp all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 (6-oz.) cans oil- or water-packed tuna, drained well
1-1/2 cups frozen green peas
black pepper
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1-1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs

1. In a large sauce pan over high heat, cook egg noodles according to package directions until flexible but still very al dente. Drain and set aside.

2. In a large sauce pan over medium heat, melt 4 tablespoons unsalted butter. Whisk in all-purpose flour until a smooth roux forms. Whisk in milk until smooth. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring frequently, and cook for about 3 minutes or until slightly thickened. Remove from heat, and stir in cheddar cheese until melted and smooth. Stir in tuna and peas, and season with salt and pepper.

3. Spray baking pans that meet your portion needs with cooking spray. Fill the prepared pans 3/4 full with tuna mixture.

4. In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Add garlic, and stir for 30 seconds. Add panko breadcrumbs, and stir until well combined. Sprinkle garlic crumbs over tops of filled baking dishes. Cook completely, cover with foil, label, and freeze.

To bake after freezing: Bake frozen in a 375° oven for about 50 minutes (for a 4-cup portion) or until heated through, bubbly, and lightly browned on top.

Variations: You can add all kinds of vegetables to this casserole. Try blanched baby carrots, green beans, broccoli, or sliced and sautéed mushrooms.

Makes 8 1-cup servings.

Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 50 minutes

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Easy Freezer Meals
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