Fall means comfort foods, and this Cheesy Tuna ‘n Homestyle Noodles with Broccoli was just what we needed! Who doesn’t love old-fashioned dumpling noodles swimming in rich, creamy cheese, right?
And I had one can of chunk white albacore tuna just begging to be included! I also had one head of broccoli in the freezer, and dinner plans were easily made!
I’m not one for using canned soups often, but the creamy broccoli kind works nicely in noodle and casserole dishes, so what the heck! In it went!
I personally don’t care for the cheesy broccoli soup, but if you prefer that one, you can certainly use that instead. I think the regular cream-style has a better flavor, though, and there’s plenty of cheese in this. So any extra isn’t really needed.
Speaking of “cheese”….though a lot of people think that Velveeta is the spawn of the food devil, it’s another thing that I really don’t mind at all. It truly isn’t that much different than cheese slices.
So Velveeta it was, but I also used a little shredded cheese, too. Just so the cheese Nazis wouldn’t spontaneously combust. Fire shooting out of their eyeballs, ears and nostrils isn’t a very pretty site.
*So, if you’re a Velveeta hater, please don’t leave nasty comments. Just choose whatever cheese makes you happy.
Along with the usual suspects, is an unexpected ingredient. My favorite noodles!
They’re made by Reames, and you can find them in the frozen food aisle at most grocery stores. And though they aren’t homemade, they sure pass for being homemade!
(My ex MIL used to use them and fool everyone into thinking she had made them herself…until I saw the bag in the garbage can…) Then she went back to making them homemade. hehe.
But frankly I prefer these. They’re more like how my family made them. Rolled out thicker and cut into narrower noodles. This way, they don’t overcook to total mush and break up into bits when you try to stir the pot and even eat them.
I so miss my Great Aunt Lola’s homemade noodles, though!! She was famous for them and made them the best! What an amazing cook she was!
But since she’s no longer with us, and I don’t always have the patience or time to make them myself, these babies do the trick just fine!
And speaking of tricks, there is one little trick to making this dish. After you get everything done and mixed together, let it sit, (covered), for at least ONE HOUR. Noodles are thirsty li’l buggers! And they’ll drink up any excess liquid.
If you absolutely cannot wait a second longer, I know, kids and hubby moaning from the other room hearing those ever familiar words, “STARVING!”, and “GONNA DIE!”, you can always eat this the first day in bowls with a spoon. I won’t tell. Don’t take too much extra of that cheesy sauce, though. The noodles will need them overnight as it chills and drinks it up.
With this, the longer it sits, the better it gets. If making the day of, you can always up the cornstarch to 3 Tbl., but it will still need to rest a bit, so the noodles can absorb all that yummy stuff and give those noodles extra flavor, too.
But trust me on this. Let. It. Sit. And it will be perfect in about 1 to 1 1/2 hours! And, it will still be warm, so no need to reheat it!
And the next day, they won’t be dry, either. If this should somehow occur, though, and they’re still thirsty, no worries, just add a small splash of milk, and maybe a tiny pinch of salt, when reheating to bring it right back.
So, if you’re hankering for a comforting fall dish, add this to your meal plan this week! A true family pleaser that even kids enjoy! Take care and I’ll see ya soon!
- For Sauce:
- 1 stick salted butter
- 1 medium onion
- 1 - 2 ribs celery, sliced
- 1 large clove garlic, finely minced (or ¼ tsp. garlic powder)
- 1 small head broccoli, cut florets bite-sized, chop stems
- 2 cups chicken bouillon (2 cups boiling hot water mixed with 1 Tbl. Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base)
- 12 oz. Velveeta cheese, cut into small pieces
- ½ cup finely shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 (10½ oz.) can cream of broccoli soup
- ⅓ of a soup can of whole milk (or heavy cream) mixed with 2 Tbl. cornstarch
- 1 (12 oz./9 oz. drained) can chunk white albacore tuna in water, drained very well
- 1 (24 oz.) bag Reames Frozen Homestyle Egg Noodles
- ⅛ tsp. regular ground black pepper
- salt to taste if needed*, I didn't need to add any, but you may want some
- In large deep frying pan over medium heat, sauté in melted butter the onion and celery until softened. Add garlic and sauté 1 minute longer. Add the 2 cups prepared chicken bouillon and broccoli florets, and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add cheeses, cover for a few minutes, then stir gently until melted. Sir in soup and the milk mixed with the cornstarch, bring to a simmer, and simmer, stirring gently, until thickened.
- Drain tuna, and stir in, breaking up into small pieces. Cover and set aside.
- In large pot, bring 4 quarts water to a boil, add salt (about 1 Tbl.), add noodles, stir gently, and cook according to package until done, but not over cooked.(20 minutes. Stir a few times during cooking to make sure they aren't sticking together or to the bottom of the pot.) Drain well. Add back to pot.
- Pour creamy broccoli mixture over noodles, add pepper (and salt if needed), and fold gently to coat noodles. Cover and let rest for 1 hour. (Noodles will absorb excess sauce.) Do not add liquid when reheating unless absolutely needed. (Sauce will thin and noodles will loosen when reheated.)