Picture this; it’s a cool, winter evening.
You’re in your coziest sweatpants, slippers, and you have a fire going in the fireplace.
The only thing that would make this scene better is a hot, comforting meal.
This tuna casserole from Ina Garten, also known as the Barefoot Contessa, is perfect for just that.
This casserole is not only delicious, but also frugal.
You can easily find all of the ingredients at your local grocery store, and it won’t break the bank.
The best part?
It only takes 30 minutes to make.
So, if you’re looking for a cozy, winter meal that won’t take all night to make, this Barefoot Contessa tuna casserole is perfect for you.
The basic framework for this Barefoot Contessa tuna casserole is canned products mixed with pasta and topped with cheese.
However, its greatest trait is the ability to adapt to your desired taste.
Don’t shy away from trying this simple delicacy that takes only 40 minutes to cook.
Tuna casserole is a classic dish dating back to the 1930s in Pacific Northwest.
Its first recognition was in Sunset Magazine written by Mrs.W.F.S in Washington.
The original tuna casserole recipe combined white sauce with mushrooms and topped with cheese.
However, the game-changer was the invention of cream mushroom by the Campbell’s soup company.
This recreation made it the simplest, quick recipe to make while on a budget.
Barefoot Contessa tuna casserole recipe
●2 10 oz. Cans solid light tuna in water drained and flaked
●2 cups shredded cheddar/parmesan cheese
●6 oz. frozen peas, thawed
●10 oz. egg noodles, dried
●2 cups bread crumbs, fresh sourdough
●6 ounces mushrooms, sliced
●1 cup yellow onions, diced
●5 tbsp. butter, unsalted
●1 tbsp. freshly chopped thyme
●2 tbsp. Dark soy sauce
●¼ cup wine, dry white
●¼ cup all-purpose flour
●1 cup whole milk
●1 cup low-sodium chicken/beef broth
●2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
●2 tsp. lemon juice
●Coarse salt and ground pepper
How to make Barefoot Contessa tuna casserole
●Step 1: Preheat the oven to 4000F
●Step 2: Melt 2 tbsp. Unsalted butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
Add the onions and cook until transparent or softened for about 7 minutes.
●Step 3: Add mushrooms, thyme, soy sauce, and Worcestershire sauce, and season with kosher salt.
Then increase the heat to medium-high Cook for about 7 minutes until the mushrooms release some liquid.
●Step 4: Add wine and bring to a boil and cook for about 3 minutes until reduced.
Set aside in a bowl.
●Step 5: Melt 2 tbsp.
Unsalted butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat, whisk in the all-purpose flour, occasionally stirring for 4 minutes until blonde.
●Step 6: Whisk in the milk, then chicken/beef stock, and stir for about 5 minutes until the mixture thickens.
The texture should thicken according to your desire.
●Step 7: Stir in the mushrooms, lemon juice, salt, and ground pepper.
Flake tuna into the sauce and gently combine using a fork.
●Step 8: Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the noodles for about 7 minutes or until al dente.
●Step 9: Stir in the shredded parmesan cheese, green peas, and cooked noodles.
Gently stir until well combined.
●Step 10: Toss the breadcrumbs with melted butter and salt in a medium bowl.
●Step 11: Add the remaining cheese over the casserole and top with the bread crumbs.
●Step 12: Bake for about 35 minutes until the topping is crisp and the sauce is bubbly.
Let it rest for a few minutes before serving. Enjoy.
What to serve with Barefoot Contessa tuna casserole
Dill carrots, steamed green beans, roasted cauliflower and broccoli, pickled beets/carrots, roasted tomatoes, and a mix of carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower.
Garlic bread, biscuits, or dinner bread rolls
Tomato salad, cucumber salad, beet and carrot salad, garden salad, or Israeli salad also works best as sides for this light barefoot Contessa tuna casserole.
Tips to make the best Barefoot Contessa tuna casserole
●Use fresh sourdough; it gives that crispy topping.
●Swap canned cream soup with homemade mushroom cream soup makes the difference in taste.
●Lemon and fresh herbs give a livelier taste, don’t skip that part.
●Draining the canned tuna enriches the flavors of the entire dish.
How to store Barefoot Contessa tuna casserole
Completely cool the tuna casserole before storing it.
Use plastic wrap with aluminum foil to cover the tuna casserole and store it in the fridge or freezer.
Properly stored, Barefoot Contessa tuna casserole can sit for 2 hours maximum at room temperature, 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator, and up to 3 months in the freezer.
Reheating Barefoot Contessa tuna casserole
USDA regulations advise reheating leftover meat to an internal temperature of 1650F.
Reheating refrigerated Barefoot Contessa tuna casserole takes about 35 minutes in the oven at 3500F, 25 minutes in the air fryer at 32500F, and about 5 to 8 minutes in the microwave.
Thaw frozen tuna casserole before reheating to prevent mushy noodles.
Nutrition Facts: 1 serving
●Fat 18 g (Saturated Fat 11 g, Trans fat 0.3g)
●Cholesterol 100 mg
●Sodium 580 mg
●Potassium 294 mg
●Carbohydrate 53 g (dietary fiber 2.8g, sugars 1.8g)
●Protein 20 g
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
1.Why is my Barefoot Contessa tuna casserole dry?
There are a few reasons for this.
First, inadequate liquid in the mix, and the noodles suck it up.
Secondly, your baking dish is too large for the size of the casserole you’re preparing.
Lastly, you didn’t cover the baking dish with foil during the first five minutes of baking.
2.How do I fix dry Barefoot Contessa tuna casserole?
Simply add more liquid.
Chicken or beef stock will liven a dry tuna casserole.
Cover up with foil while baking to absorb the liquid and retain the moisture that prevents it from drying out.
3.Do you eat Barefoot Contessa tuna casserole warm or cold?
You can serve it hot or cold.
However, due to the cheese topping, its best enjoyed warm.
Canned tuna can be served cold or at room temperature.
4.What is the best way to reheat Barefoot Contessa tuna casserole?
First, the oven temperature and time of reheating vary based on the size of the casserole dish and the content.
But it’s better to reheat at moderate temperature (300F -340F) for about 25 minutes or until it’s thoroughly hot.
Alternatively, you can reheat the servings of tuna casserole separately in the microwave.
5.Can you eat leftover Barefoot Contessa tuna casserole?
Yes, you can.
Refrigerate the leftovers in an air-tight glass container to maximize its shelf life.
Properly stored, Barefoot Contessa tuna casserole can last up to 4 days in the refrigerator.
This tuna casserole from Barefoot Contessa combines three frugal flavors, canned tuna and noodle pasta topped with cheese into a filling comfort dish that’s budget-friendly.
The recipe is simple, and it’s best for crowds and family dinners.
Feel free to try out and twist the ingredients to your liking.
Barefoot Contessa Tuna Casserole Recipe
- 2 10 oz. Cans solid light tuna
- 2 cups shredded parmesan cheese
- 6 oz. frozen peas
- 10 oz. egg noodles
- 2 cups bread crumbs
- 6 ounces sliced mushrooms
- 1 cup diced yellow onions
- 5 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp. freshly chopped thyme
- 2 tbsp. Dark soy sauce
- ¼ cup dry white wine
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tsp. lemon juice
- Coarse salt
- Ground pepper
- Preheat the oven to 4000F
- Melt 2 tbsp. Unsalted butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add the onions and cook until transparent or softened for about 7 minutes.
- Add mushrooms, thyme, soy sauce, and Worcestershire sauce, and season with kosher salt.
- Then increase the heat to medium-high Cook for about 7 minutes until the mushrooms release some liquid.
- Add wine and bring to a boil and cook for about 3 minutes until reduced.
- Set aside in a bowl.
- Melt 2 tbsp.
- Unsalted butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat, whisk in the all-purpose flour, occasionally stirring for 4 minutes until blonde.
- Whisk in the milk, then chicken/beef stock, and stir for about 5 minutes until the mixture thickens.
- The texture should thicken according to your desire.
- Stir in the mushrooms, lemon juice, salt, and ground pepper.
- Flake tuna into the sauce and gently combine using a fork.
- Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the noodles for about 7 minutes or until al dente.
- Then drain.
- Stir in the shredded parmesan cheese, green peas, and cooked noodles.
- Gently stir until well combined.
- Toss the breadcrumbs with melted butter and salt in a medium bowl.
- Add the remaining cheese over the casserole and top with the bread crumbs.
- Bake for about 35 minutes until the topping is crisp and the sauce is bubbly.
- Let it rest for a few minutes before serving.