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Homemade Tuna Helper

Elevate Your Dinner Game with Homemade Tuna Helper

healty meal, low carbs meals, keto meal

Are you tired of the same old boxed dinners? Step into the world of homemade comfort food with our delicious Homemade Tuna Helper recipe! Bursting with flavor and wholesome ingredients, this dish takes the classic tuna casserole to new heights. Creamy, cheesy, and packed with nutritious veggies, it’s a satisfying meal that’s perfect for busy weeknights or cozy weekends. So, grab your apron and let’s whip up a batch of this homemade goodness together!

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounce egg noodles, cooked
  • ⅓ cup yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup frozen green peas
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 6 ounces cream cheese
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • 7 to 10 ounce tuna
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped, divided

Instructions:

  1. Cook the Egg Noodles: Cook the egg noodles according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  2. Prepare the Sauce: In a large skillet or saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook until softened, about 3-4 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the onions and stir to combine, cooking for an additional 1-2 minutes to form a roux.
  3. Add Milk and Cream Cheese: Gradually pour in the milk, whisking constantly to prevent lumps from forming. Add the frozen peas and corn, stirring to combine. Cut the cream cheese into cubes and add it to the sauce, stirring until melted and smooth.
  4. Season the Sauce: Stir in the grated parmesan cheese, Dijon mustard, garlic powder, black pepper, and kosher salt, mixing until well combined and the sauce is thickened.
  5. Incorporate Tuna and Noodles: Add the drained tuna to the sauce, breaking it up into chunks with a fork. Add the cooked egg noodles to the skillet, tossing gently to coat them evenly with the sauce.
  6. Garnish and Serve: Sprinkle half of the chopped parsley over the top of the tuna mixture. Serve the Homemade Tuna Helper hot, garnished with the remaining parsley.

Cook’s Notes and Variations:

  • Add Crunch: For added texture and flavor, top the casserole with a layer of buttery breadcrumbs or crushed potato chips before baking.
  • Veggie Variations: Feel free to customize the dish with your favorite vegetables. Try adding diced bell peppers, carrots, or broccoli for extra nutrition and color.
  • Cheese Choices: Experiment with different types of cheese to customize the flavor. Sharp cheddar, Gruyère, or Swiss cheese would all work well in this dish.

Keto and Low Carb Versions:

  • Keto Option: To make this recipe keto-friendly, replace the egg noodles with zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash. Use heavy cream instead of milk, and opt for full-fat cream cheese and parmesan cheese. Ensure the tuna is packed in oil rather than water to increase the fat content.
  • Low Carb Option: Similarly, for a low-carb version, swap out the egg noodles for shirataki noodles or cauliflower rice. Use almond flour or coconut flour instead of all-purpose flour for thickening the sauce, and choose low-carb vegetables such as broccoli or spinach.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q: Can I use canned tuna instead of fresh tuna?

A: Yes, canned tuna works perfectly in this recipe. Simply drain the tuna before adding it to the sauce.

Q: Can I make this dish ahead of time?

A: Yes, you can assemble the casserole ahead of time and refrigerate it, covered, for up to 24 hours before baking. Alternatively, you can freeze the casserole (unbaked) for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before baking as directed.

Q: Can I use different types of pasta?

A: Absolutely! Feel free to use your favorite pasta shape in place of egg noodles. Penne, fusilli, or macaroni would all work well in this recipe.

Q: Can I add other seasonings or spices?

A: Yes, feel free to customize the seasoning to suit your taste. Add a pinch of cayenne pepper for extra heat, or fresh herbs like thyme or dill for added flavor.

Q: Can I make this dish vegetarian?

A: Yes, simply omit the tuna and add extra vegetables or plant-based protein alternatives such as tofu or chickpeas.

With its creamy sauce, tender egg noodles, and flavorful tuna, Homemade Tuna Helper is a comforting and satisfying meal that the whole family will love. Whether you’re cooking for a busy weeknight dinner or a leisurely weekend lunch, this homemade version of a classic favorite is sure to hit the spot. So, gather your ingredients and get ready to enjoy the delicious flavors of this comforting casserole. Bon appétit!

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