Tuna Noodle Casserole from Scratch

Yield: One 5 quart casserole

Prep Time: 1 hour
Cooking Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

1/2 lb. jumbo elbow macaroni (use any pasta shape you like!)
2 cups chicken stock (I use chicken bouillon cubes. To make: Drop in two cubes into two cups boiling water. Boil until cubes have dissolved)
4 medium onions
1/2 stick butter
5 tbsp flour 
1 cup milk
3 tablespoons dried parsley
1 quart frozen peas (I use whole sugar snap peas. Alternatively, you can use two 15 oz. cans of shelled peas)
2 cans chunk white tuna (5 oz. cans)
2 cups shredded cheddar or monterey jack cheese
2 packets of Ritz crackers, crushed (Tip: Put two Ritz cracker packets into plastic bag and crush by hand until crumbs resemble large bread crumbs)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400F. Boil 4 quarts water in 6 quart pot. In the meantime, chop onions into small dice. Add macaroni to pot and boil until fully cooked (around 11 minutes). Drain pot and pour cooked pasta into separate bowl. Return pasta pot to medium-high burner and add 1/2 stick butter. As soon as butter is melted add onions, salt, and pepper. Put lid on pot and cook onions until softened, about 10 minutes. Next, add 5 tablespoons flour to onions, stir vigorously and cook onion-flour paste for 2 minutes. Slowly begin adding chicken stock and milk to pot and stir continuously. Simmer until thickened. As soon as liquid has thickened, add in dried parsley, salt, pepper, cooked macaroni, frozen peas, tuna, and cheese. Bring pot to a simmer. Pour tuna noodle mixture into casserole dish that has been either buttered or sprayed with nonstick spray. Pour a little milk at the sides of the dish to prevent a dry casserole. Top casserole with cracker topping. Place dish into oven and bake for 10 minutes or until cracker topping is slightly brown. To avoid an overly browned topping, top casserole with aluminum foil and return to oven to cook for an additional 30 minutes. Look for a ready casserole that is golden brown and bubbling around the edges. Enjoy!

     


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