Mention tuna-noodle casserole, and you’ll find that just about everyone has something to say about it. For many of us, it was standard fare at the family dinner table. A can of cream of mushroom soup, a can of tuna, a can of peas, a bag of noodles, and voila! The All-American Casserole.
We may laugh about all the cans involved, dismiss it as “oh-so-1950s,” and poke fun at its pale, bland appearance (thank goodness for the peas!). Still, deep down inside, all that ridicule feels a little dishonest—kind of like making fun of an eccentric relative we’re all secretly very fond of.
Then there’s writer Ellen Brown, founding food editor of USA Today, who’s ventured to give the much-loved hot dish a makeover. Her version begins with a homemade white sauce instead of the canned soup. Add dried porcini mushrooms, mozzarella cheese, fresh thyme, and “a significant amount” of sautéed onions and celery. Top with crushed kettle-cooked potato chips.
Well, well. It all sounds very tasty. But is it tuna noodle casserole? What do you think? Do you have a favorite tuna casserole “upgrade?” Or do you choose to let the classic recipe well enough alone?