Tuna Noodle Casserole, for those days!

17 Jan

We all have “those days”. Well, I’m pretty sure I just had two of those days, rolled up into one! Sometimes we need some quick comfort food. That’s why I love recipes like this old-fashioned but lightened up Tuna Noodle Casserole.

I had an 8 am conference call, which I took mostly from home because of a 9 am Doctor appointment. Just a check-up; no need to feel bad – I’m not sick. Preventative. When I was called out of the waiting room to be measured and weighed the nurse told me there had been some computer issues and they were running behind. Daughter number 3 texted me around the same time and told me that she had forgotten to take money to school today for the out of town basketball game. So over an hour and a half later, I left the Doctors office. Healthy!

Rather than call the hubs to see if he could run some money to the school, I chose to stop at Starbucks, pick up 2 coffees, one for me and one for him, get some cash at the bank and drive 17 miles to the high school and then the 5 minutes home. The Hubs works from home.

I was going to drink my coffee and head to work. Then I realized that slow little leak under the kitchen sink that I had been handling by letting the drips be caught in a gallon ice cream tub for me to dump, had gotten entirely out of control. Reluctantly I mentioned this to the hubs. He reluctantly acknowledged that he heard me. We are neither one plumbing aficionados. Hence the ice cream bucket under the drip.

Not sure quite where to start the hubs went under the house to check the pipes. They looked fine. So, I mentioned that it might be easiest just to cut out the sheet rock under the sink and expose the pipes so we could get a better look. He did. We found the leak and had come up with a vague plan.

We needed a pipe cutter. I went to my dad’s house to borrow one. He couldn’t find it (no surprises). I went back home and told the hubs that I would pick the 2 little ones up from school. After that I would drive to a nearby town to a small lumber yard home improvement store where my younger brother works. There I could buy a pipe cutter and we could take the cut pipe somewhere and they would tell us what to do. I was a bit worried about my plan, for some of the obvious reasons.

My brother showed me a pipe cutter that was more workable in my little space. I was thrilled! Then he talked to me about the kind of pipe I have (I did know that I have copper pipe) and showed me a new product that can take the place of soldering pipe connections, in certain circumstances. Mine seemed to fit the criteria.

I headed home and gave the hubs the pipe cutter. He cut out the piece of pipe with the leak, and I drove the five miles back to show it to my brother. There they had the pipe and two of the three connectors that I would need. My brother wasn’t sure if the hardware store in my town would have them or not. This means I might have to make the long drive (17 miles) into “town” as the locals say.

I was thrilled to discover the local hardware store had a comparable product! With a little bit of work and maneuvering and a couple of tries, the hubs and I got it all put together! I had to do the attaching at the wall, since it was such a small space and have smaller hands. It was cramped, even for my 5’1” and small hands…

When the water was turned back on and we were more than satisfied with the results I quickly fed daughter number 3 some Tuna Noodle Casserole so the hubs could run her over to basketball practice.

I had managed to whip up a light version of Tuna Noodle Casserole while we were working on the pipe repair. It’s a good thing we had put some water into containers before we shut it off to fix the pipe!

So, I didn’t get all of the grand cooking or baking done that I had planned for today, nor did I get any real work done on the personal or professional front. I did, however, get my leaky pipe fixed which needed done. An added bonus is that I got to work with my husband to solve that pesky problem. I know from my childhood how frustrating remodeling and fix-it projects can be. We made it through. I think we both have newfound respect for each other when it comes to plumbing. Oh, and for my little brother!

As for the tuna noodle casserole. I liked it. The hubs and daughter number 3 actually thought it was the best I’ve ever made. Daughter number 4 wasn’t too thrilled about any aspect of it. She didn’t like the shell-roni that I used or the crunchy stuff on top. Furthermore she couldn’t believe that I had put TUNA in it. I tried to make her understand that it wouldn’t be tuna noodle casserole….oh, never mind!

I hope you enjoy!


Tuna Noodle Casserole (light)

  • 8 ounces shell macaroni
  • 2 cans tuna (light, in water; drained)
  • 1 can healthy cream soup (or cream soup substitue)
  • ½ cup skim milk
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ teaspoon prepared mustard
  • ½ cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 ounce grated parmesan cheese
  • Butter flavor nonstick cooking spray
  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. 

  2. Cook the noodles according to the directions. 

  3. Mix soup, Worcestershire, mustard and milk in a small bowl. 

  4. Place cooked noodles in a 9×13 inch baking dish. Flake and stir in drained tuna. Pour soup mix over the top of the noodles. Stir to combine. Sprinkle panko over the noodle mixture. Sprinkle grated cheese over panko. Spray with cooking spray. 

  5. Bake for 30 minutes, or until cheese is melty and the casserole is hot throughout.

Peas may be added to the casserole, or served as a side dish.

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Posted by on January 17, 2012 in Dinner Recipes


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