My Oh-Crud-I-Forgot-To-Make-Something Easy Dinner Idea
You’ve probably been there before. Busy with errands, appointments, play time, nap time, answering emails, and all the sudden it’s almost dinner time. Oops, that crockpot dinner never made it into the slow cooker hours ago like you planned, and not even a simple chicken breast sits in your fridge to quickly fry up with some veggies and suffice as a meal. You can hear those hungry bellies off in the distance, and the dreaded hanger is imminent.
What does one do?
In my house, I often resort to tuna casserole. It seems to be one of the things we always have all the ingredients for, and can quickly be put together, making for an easy dinner for a busy mama.
Package of noodles – the kind isn’t important, but I tend to go with the spirally ones if we have them. Rotini. Also, if you don’t want to make a lot, you could just go with half a pack, but I always prefer to make more and cook less often.
2 cans of cream of mushroom or brocolli condensed soup (or one of each, as I did this time – use what you’ve got, friends). If you opted to go with half a pack of noodles since you like to cook one meal at a time, you only need one can.
Veggies – I go with broccoli, onion and bell peppers. I’ve also used a bag of frozen mixed vegetables (peas, corns, carrots, beans) in a pinch.
2 cans of tuna (again, only use 1 if you are not into making your life easier).
Cheese – Cheddar is the usual, but we were low so this time I topped it off with mozzarella we happened to have.
Tortilla chip crumbs – What are the crumbly pieces left in the chip bag good for? Topping casseroles. I save them for just this purpose.
What you do:
Step 1. Boil your noodles. I used to swear you did not need to do this step and could just mix the noodles in with the other ingredients dry, but after the terrible casserole fiasco of 2014, where I was proved horribly wrong, I always boil them up first.
Step 2. Chop up your veggies while you’re waiting for the water to boil and noodles to cook.
Step 3. Mix the cooked noodles, veggies, tuna and soup together. Here I used a big bowl because I forgot the dish-saving procedure: boil noodles in the biggest pot so everything can be mixed in there.
Step 4. Load the mixture into one large baking dish to make it all at once, or into two smaller baking dishes to keep one in the freezer.
Step 5. Top with shredded cheese and tortilla chip crumbs. Pop your casserole in the oven at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes. If you chose two dishes, cover the other, label it and put it in the freezer to pull out on another night.
If you have some greens to make a salad with, voila! Otherwise, take comfort in the fact that you’re not going hungry and that there are some vegetables within the casserole.
A yummy, filling, and fairly nutritious easy dinner. What more could you want? My toddler even decided she liked it too, which made me very happy since she’s not much of an eater, and rarely will eat what we’re eating for dinner. Win!