The first signs of autumn, my favorite season, are just starting to appear! The first few leaves are starting to pop with color, school buses full of chattering children rumble down the road, and football games are getting ready to begin! The college games have already started and the NFL games are so close I can hardly stand to wait! Since moving to the east coast, I don’t get to see my team very often anymore, but when it’s televised out here, you can be sure there’s a Bears fan jumping up and down and rooting for them with all her heart!!
The days are already noticeably shorter, and with less daylight, I like to have supper done and cleaned up while the sun’s still up. Though I like to spend hours during the afternoon making soups, stews and comforting dishes like pot pies, I also do enjoy a good, stick-to-your-ribs casserole now and then, too! Casseroles are great because you can make them any time of day and they’re ready to just pop into the oven when you’re ready! (Let them rest on the counter while the oven heats up.) I don’t use many pre-made cans of soup, rarely actually, but I’m not a food snob, either, and do have a few recipes that I enjoy adding them to. I don’t think using a few cans a year ever killed anybody. Nor did an annual block of Velveeta. So this is one of those casseroles that is made to just be enjoyed and not worry about every single little thing. At least it’s loaded with fresh veggies and whole wheat noodles can be subbed if preferred. It’s pretty quick to throw together, easy as can be, and one of my hubby’s favorites. It’s amazingly creamy, loaded with cheeses and fresh veggies, so what’s not to love? You can even add a little grated carrot in there, too, if you happen to have some on hand. It’s also very good in this but I didn’t happen to have any this time. And the mushrooms can be swapped out for peas, green beans or even corn if someone in the family can’t tolerate them. Always remember that recipes are a guide and always make to your own personal tastes.
“Mostly” all mixed up and “almost” ready to top….glad I caught it in time!
*Notice anything missing? Ha! I forgot to add the mushrooms, celery and onions still sitting on the stove…arg. Back into the bowl it went.
All nicely covered with tons of cheese and soon to be a gooey cheesy topping of melty yumminess!!
Done baking, resting and waiting to be devoured!
Now what kid could resist this?? (Us big kids, too!) 😉
Creamy, cheesy, and loaded with goodies! I served with bread ‘n butter and a simple salad.
Casserole season has begun! I do hope that this one makes the grade, the kiddos love it and clean their plates, and the family dinner table is full of laughter and “first day of school” stories! It’s hearty, filling and all of that creamy, cheesy sauce hides the broccoli so well that even the pickiest of palates can’t refuse! Enjoy and I hope this makes for a great start to the week!
KID-APPROVED CHEESY TUNA NOODLE CASSEROLE with FRESH BROCCOLI, MUSHROOMS, CELERY & ONIONS
1 can cream of broccoli soup
1 can of cream of mushroom, cream of celery or cream of chicken soup, (your choice as they all work just fine)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
3/4 cup milk
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. coarse ground black pepper
10 oz. Velveeta Cheese, cubed
1 (12 oz.) can white albacore tuna in water, drained well
1 Tbl. butter
1 small onion, diced
1 (8 oz.) carton fresh sliced mushrooms, can sub canned or jarred well drained
1 rib celery, thinly sliced
1 medium head broccoli, florets cut small and some of the stems chopped (approximately 3 cups)
1/2 of a 1 pound bag wide egg noodles (or 5-6 cups uncooked)
1 cup shredded white italian blend cheese, I used Kraft’s “With A touch Of Philly”
1/2 cup shredded mexi-blend cheese, I used Sargento’s “Off the Block”
1 tsp. dried parsley
In large mixing bowl, combine well the first 8 ingredients. Microwave on high about 5 minutes, stirring well after each minute to melt Velveeta. “Mostly melted” is fine. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Stir well, scraping sides, cover with a dinner plate and set aside.
Place cut up broccoli into a small bowl with 2 Tbl. water. Cover with a sheet of paper towel, microwave on high for 3-4 minutes until tender. (*Check stem pieces.) Fold into soup and cheese mixture, recover. Set aside.
While broccoli is cooking, in medium frying pan, melt butter and sauté onions, celery and mushrooms 5 minutes or until tender. Fold into soup/cheese mixture, recover and set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large saucepan, bring water to a boil, add 1 tsp. salt and noodles and cook until tender according to package directions. Mine only took 6 minutes. Fold into soup/cheese mixture.
Spray a deep 2-quart casserole dish or 13×9 baking dish and spoon/pour noodle mixture into prepared dish. Top evenly with shredded cheeses and sprinkle with dried parsley. Cover with lid or foil and bake in 350 degree oven for 25 minutes until bubbly. Remove lid/foil, and bake another 5 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes before serving.