Classic casserole gets makeover

dinner for $12 or less

December 10, 2008|By Kate Shatzkin | Kate Shatzkin,kate.shatzkin@baltsun.com

Tuna Noodle Casserole is a comforting family classic. This made-over version from a new EatingWell cookbook shaves calories and fat and speeds preparation. As a one-pot meal, it also fit our budget for a family of four, with some left over for another night.

shopping list

Egg noodles: $1.36

Olive oil: 17 cents

Onion: 50 cents

Mushrooms: $2.29

Wine: $1.28

Flour: 8 cents

Milk: 52 cents

Tuna: $2

Peas: 64 cents

Cheese: $1.74

Bread crumbs: 40 cents

From the pantry: salt, pepper

TOTAL: $10.98*

Note: Prices are calculated based on the amounts used in the recipe.

skillet tuna noodle casserole

(makes 6 servings)

8 ounces whole-wheat egg noodles

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, finely chopped

8 ounces mushrooms, sliced

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup dry white wine

6 tablespoons all-purpose flour

3 cups nonfat milk

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

12 ounces canned chunk light tuna, drained

1 cup frozen peas, thawed

1 cup finely grated parmesan cheese (divided use)

1/2 cup coarse, dry whole-wheat bread crumbs (see note)

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook noodles until just tender, 6 to 8 minutes or according to package directions. Drain and rinse. Position rack in upper third of the oven and preheat broiler.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, mushrooms and salt and cook, stirring often, until the onion is softened but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add wine and cook until evaporated, 4 to 5 minutes.

Sprinkle flour over the vegetables; stir to coat. Add milk and pepper and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly.

Stir in tuna, peas and 1/2 cup parmesan until evenly incorporated. Then, stir in the noodles (the pan will be very full). Remove from the heat.

Sprinkle the casserole with bread crumbs and the remaining 1/2 cup parmesan. Broil until bubbly and lightly browned on top, 3 to 4 minutes.

Note:: To make your own whole-wheat bread crumbs, cut crusts off 1 1/2 slices of whole-wheat bread and pulse in a food processor until coarse crumbs form. Spread crumbs on a baking sheet and bake at 250 degrees until crispy, about 15 minutes.

Recipe and analysis from "EatingWell Comfort Foods Made Healthy," by Jessie Price and the editors of "EatingWell"

Per serving: : 406 calories, 8 grams fat, 3 grams saturated fat, 53 milligrams cholesterol, 47 grams carbohydrate, 32 grams protein, 5 grams fiber, 684 milligrams sodium

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