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Saturday, March 07, 2009
Tuna Noodle Casserole- Part 2
There are a gazillion tuna noodle casserole recipes. Here is a start online:

1. Cooks Illustrated:,178,141187-243199,00.html
2. Gourmet 2004:
3. Skillet version:
4. Healthy & Fit version:
5. Whole Wheat Noodle version:

And then the Lopez locavore recipe below:

All ingredients are found within a 100 mile radius of Lopez Island except for the tuna which is caught about 200 miles off the coast of Oregon. The organic whole wheat pastry flour is milled by Bluebird Grain Farms near Twisp, WA. which also might be on the outer perimeter of my 100 miles. I purchase it from our local Blossom Organic Grocery and use it to bake bread and make noodles. The onion, garlic, dill and parsley we grow in our garden or find at the farmers market here. I buy local chickens from Blossom Grocery and make chicken stock which is used in the soup portion. No one on Lopez sells raw milk which calls for a trip to Blossom for "local" organic milk from the Skagit County area. As for the mushrooms, well no one will fess up to where they really found morels or chantrelles. Frozen for use when not in season, they work just fine in a casserole. That leaves the salt, pepper, and sherry as non-indigenous ingredients. I could delete the sherry, scrape the salt off our southern facing windows and grind up one of our few, meager, hot chiles, and voila'. That's going to the locovore limit. But this is just a test, so let's not go overboard.

Lopez Tuna Noodle Casserole

1- 6 oz. can of Papa George Tuna
1- cup chicken stock
1/2- cup chopped wild morels or chantrelles
1- Tbsp whole wheat pastry flour
1- cup whole organic milk
1/4 cup minced onion
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp. chopped parsley...double amount if fresh
1 tsp. dill weed...double amount if fresh
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
6 oz of homemade whole wheat noodles, cooked (about 3 cups)


1 1/2- cups of breadcrumbs...from the homemade bread of course
1/4- cup of organic butter melted


1. Cook the noodles until al dente. Drain and put aside.
2. In a medium saucepan, saute the onion and garlic on med-low in a Tb. of butter
3. Add the flour next and make a roux.
4. Gradually add the chicken broth and the milk. Stir and warm up.
5. Heat until the broth mixture is thickened, but do not boil. You can use home grown cooked potato instead of flour to thicken the broth.
6. Take saucepan off heat. Stir in thawed out mushrooms, add herbs and spices. Some folks add peas too.
7. Put noodles in a greased casserole dish or an 8x8x2 1/2 pan.
Pour the thick soup mixture over the noodles.
8. Make buttered breadcrumbs and sprinkle them over the top.
9. Bake at 350. Check at 30 minutes: if breadcrumbs are browning too fast, cover lightly with a small cookie sheet for another 10-15 min.
10. Let it rest out of the oven awhile before serving.

Slow Food Land and Sea

Our local Slow Food Convivium is in San Juan County, in Friday Harbor on San Juan Island. Papa George Tuna is a member of Slow Food USA and our convivium for this area has a blog which lists local farmers, ranchers, and fishermen. My husband is not fishing locally however because there isn't much to fish for in Washington now.

Tuna Noodle Casserole
Recently it was reported in a local newspaper that one of the most Googled recipes of late was Tuna Noodle Casserole. The writer was seeking to link the downward spiraling economic times to a resurgence in comfort foods, ala Tuna Noodle Casserole. This classic dinner of the 1950's is much maligned for its fat, salt, and processed food content, so I will offer two recipes which use our very flavorful and healthy canned albacore. One recipe is my gold standard for crew food, and a family favorite. The other is a locovore recipe where the ingredients are found within 100 miles or close to that of Lopez Island, WA. where we are currently living. I'll give the first recipe in this blog posting and the Locovore recipe in a subsequent post.

Papa George Tuna Noodle Casserole

Large version: Halve the ingredients for smaller version

2- 6 oz cans of Papa George Gourmet Albacore
2- 8 oz cans of Cream of Mushroom Soup
2- 12 oz cans of Non-fat or low-fat Evaporated milk
1/2- cup dry sherry
1/2- cup minced onion
2- cloves garlic, minced
1- Tbsp parsley-dry or double that if fresh
2- tsp dill-dry or double that if fresh
1- tsp salt
1/4- tsp white pepper
12 oz bag of noodles, medium or wide....cooked
3- cups Panko crumbs
1/3- cup melted butter or marjerine

1. Cook noodles and drain when al dente.
2. Saute onion in butter or oil ( 2 tsp or so) in a deep sauce pan until onions are translucent and sweet, add garlic part way through. Med-low heat.
3. Add soup, milk, sherry, herbs, and spices. Stir and warm.
4. Add chunks of Papa George canned albacore. Some folks add the water in the can too for more flavor.
5. Lightly grease a casserole dish or 9 X 12 baking pan.
6. Spread noodles in casserole dish, and pour tuna soup mixture over all. Gently move the mixture around to mix.
7. Cover with Panko crumbs mixed with melted butter.
8. Bake covered with foil for 35 minutes. Uncover for 15 minutes or until crumbs are golden. Let sit for 10-15 minutes before serving. 350 degree oven.

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