By Mike Thayer
I love casseroles, all types, dinner casseroles, breakfast casseroles, leftover casserole for lunch.... It's all good and the flavor possibilities and combinations are endless!
Casseroles can mean different things to different people, so just what IS a casserole anyway, how is it defined? For me, being a bachelor and pretty handy in the kitchen (patting self on back....), it means a simple to prepare one-dish meal, something that's got meat, a starch, a veggie and a gravy, or a sauce and/or cheese to go with it. It's a convenient mix of ingredients that go well together and is baked to perfection in the oven - THAT is a casserole. And yes, the dish it's baked in was named after it. Simplicity and convenience are keys to a good casserole, it can't be a complicated recipe that's labor intensive. If that recipe takes more than 10-15 minutes to prepare before you're throwing that dish in the oven, then it's NOT a casserole in my book.
Tuna Noodle Casserole, you either love it or hate it. I have a fond appreciation for this dish and like my Mom's Tater Tot Casserole, this was a regular meal in my childhood home, perhaps it's why I'm so fond of casseroles today. For haters of Tuna Casserole, my guess is either your mom was a terrible cook, or you simply just don't like canned tuna.
- Two, 5 ounce cans of tuna (I prefer tuna packed in olive oil, better flavor), drained
- 3 cups of egg noodles
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 Tablespoon dried, minced onion
- 1 teaspoon seasoning salt
- 1 can of cream of celery soup
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1-1/2 cups frozen peas & carrots
- 3/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley flake
Directions: Preheat your oven to 400 degrees, lightly spray/coat a casserole dish with olive oil. Cook the noodles according to the package instructions and drain. While those noodles are cooking, in a large bowl combine the tuna, garlic power, minced onion, seasoning salt, cream of celery soup, mayonnaise, black pepper and the peas & carrots, stirring to incorporate. Fold in the drained noodles and transfer everything into your casserole dish. Top with the Panko bread crumbs and bake for 20 minutes, or until the bread crumbs are golden, brown and delicious. Add a dash of Kosher salt and sprinkle with the dried parsley flake. Enjoy!
And here's another Bachelor on the Cheap benefit to casseroles, not only do they lend themselves to leftovers, but they freeze well! After you've enjoyed the casserole for dinner, portion it out, perhaps have some for lunch tomorrow and stash the remainder in the freezer for a future meal or two.
Next Up: Breakfast Casserole
Coming Soon: Inside-Out Ravioli
Spend Wisely My Friends.....
For more easy casserole dinner ideas, go to www.bacheloronthecheap.com