Thursday, October 2, 2008

Cheesy Tuna Bake

I am really trying hard to use the foods that we have in the pantry, save on the grocery bills. Surgeries can be pricey... and groceries are one area I can cut back on easier. So it's been fun attempting to change up cheap frugal recipes that are the staples I made on busy or "who cares" kind of days. Make them less boring, more nutritional and filling, while still being frugal about it.

Tuna noodle casserole is a dish that our family grew up with. You can do all sorts of seasonings with it, very mild and versatile. We would do Lawry's seasoning salt, or Lemon Pepper, my personal favorite! It's also quite cost efficient. Noodles, tuna, cream of mushroom soup, and a little milk.

I took the basic recipe and jazzed it up a bit! I like how it turned out, and hoped that we would have some leftovers for the next day for lunch. But my son was apperantly hungry and ate2 huge servings. Thus, no leftovers! :-( There is, however, a dish of it in the freezer for later...

1 box of rotini, cooked according to package directions
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup sour cream
2 cans tuna, undrained
1 - 1 1/2 cups shredded cheese
3/4 evaporated milk
1/4 cup butter, melted
12-15 saltines, crumbled

Mix soups, sour cream, tuna, cheese, and milk. Stir in pasta. Spoon into a 9x13 casserole dish, or 2 8x8 dishes. Top with crumbled saltines, and sprinkle the melted butter over.

Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes. Let sit a few minutes before serving.

The evaporated milk was to boost the calorie count for my oldest, whose meds cut his appetite and we try to give as many calories in his servings as we can. Feel free to use skim milk or whatever you have. You want it to be quite wet, plenty of liquid, or it will be really dry after baking. The pasta sucks up even more liquid while baking. This turned out the perfect amount of creamy, and the buttered saltine crumbs tasted yummy!

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