One of my favorite recipes was the tuna casserole my mother used to make. Tuna casserole and buttered toast. Great for lunch or dinner!
This is an easy recipe to put together. The toughest part is chopping onions and celery. It’s one of those recipes that I usually have most of the ingredients on hand, but I might need to run to the produce store for celery.
Did you know that celery freezes?
You can’t eat thawed celery as if it’s still fresh, in a salad or stuffed with Cheese Whiz, but frozen celery does really well in soups and casseroles.
I chop up the celery, put it in a freezer bag, put the date on it, and into the freezer it goes. Frozen celery only stays good for a few months. Eventually you’ll see the little celery pieces with ice stuck on them. They’re pretty much tasteless by that point. Chuck them out.
I often use frozen celery in my Super Easy Instant Pot Vegetable Barley Soup.
I usually keep cashew nuts in the house. I’m a vegetarian and nuts are a good source of protein. I’ll often thrown a few cashews onto my salad or grab a handful to snack on. This is the most expensive ingredient to buy, at around $10 for a 500 gram (21 ounce) container, but it lasts a long time. For more information, see this article on the benefits of cashews.
Chow mein noodles are nice to keep in the house for stir fry dinners or Chopstick Tuna Casserole. I got away from keeping noodles on hand while I was working towards a healthier lifestyle because their shelf life isn’t too long, only a few months. They’re back in my cupboard again. The only place I can find the Mr. Noodles brand is at the produce store I frequent. The Farkay brand of chow mein noodles is more commonly kept on grocery store shelves. Nothing at all wrong with Farkay, I use this brand the most. It’s just when I’m thinking of tuna casserole, I can get celery and Mr. Noodles at the produce store at the same time.
I can also pick up an onion there. I’m not a huge onion fan. When a recipe calls for an onion, it never seems to need a full onion. And even if it did, I’d still cut it back! As for the leftover onion, I can chop and put in a freezer bag – perfect for soup and casseroles.
This recipe is easy to put together in a short period of time. From start to table in less than an hour. I used to eat a quarter of the recipe and then go back for seconds. Then finish off the rest of the casserole the next day.
I’m working really hard at portion control, because fear is a great motivator for weight loss. I eat a quarter of the recipe and have a salad, not toast because I don’t usually keep bread in the house anymore. If you have bread – enjoy! It goes great with the Chopstick Tuna Casserole!
Then I put a portion on a plate in the fridge to eat the next day. The last two portions go into small freezer bags and I’ll usually eat them later in the month. Defrost and reheat in the microwave.
I use a round casserole dish for this recipe, but you can use a square pan. Whatever you have on hand.
And speaking of whatever you have on hand, I don’t usually have a can of mandarin oranges in my cupboard. Sometimes I remember to buy them. It’s no big deal. The canned oranges are totally optional. They just add a sweet tang to the recipe, and give it more of an Oriental meal experience.
Chopstick Tuna Casserole
- 1 can cream of mushroom soup
- ¼ cup water
- 1 cup chow mein noodles
- 1 can (7 oz.) tuna
- 1 cup sliced celery
- ½ cup toasted cashew nuts
- ¼ cup chopped onion
- 1 small can mandarin orange slices (optional)
- dash of pepper
- Preheat oven to 375° F.
- Combine soup and water.
- Add 1 cup noodles, tuna, celery, cashews, onion, and pepper and toss lightly.
- Place in casserole dish and sprinkle a handful of chow mein noodles over top.
- Garnish with mandarin orange sections if desired.
- Bake in 375° F oven for 20 minutes.
Chopstick Tuna Casserole is included in my cookbook Recipes My Mother Forgot. If you’d like to buy a Kindle copy, the link is below. You’ll be taken to Amazon, and if you make a purchase, I’ll receive a commission from the sale.