Are you cooking on a budget? Do you like flavorful food? If you answered yes to these questions then I am going to show you a simple and easy way to take box mac and cheese and turn it into tuna casserole. The ingredients will be at the bottom of this post.
First thing, you need to get any type of box macaroni and cheese. You take the pasta and you do as it instructs to make the pasta part. With the normal instructions, you are going to add just a little bit of salt and pepper to the water before it starts to boil. You will want to go ahead and preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. While the water heats up and starts to boil you are going to work on the sauce.
The sauce, most macaroni and cheese boxes come with either powder or if you splurge and get the kind with liquid cheese. Mine came with powder because I am working on a very strict budget and its cheap. But that comes later first your going to take an onion, yellow or whatever your preference is, your going to dice it up and put it into a saucepan, skillet, or whatever you prefer. After onions are in your pan you are going to take just a little olive oil, oil of your choice, or just simple butter.
After you put the oil or butter in a pan with onions you’re going to put it on medium heat and you’re going to mix them around until the onions become soft. After they are nice and soft you will take a small bag of frozen or canned peas( if using canned you need to make sure you drain them of water) and add to the onions.
While the peas heat up and start to suck up the flavor from the oil or butter and onions you will take just a pinch of salt and pepper and mix them into the mix of peas and onions.
By this time you should be ready to put the pasta into boiling water. Cook until they are tender. But while they are cooking you will continue to simmer your peas and onions. When the noodles finish cooking you drain them. On most boxes, it will say not to rinse the pasta. But I’m a rebel and I say screw the people who wrote that. I rinse my noodles with cold water to stop the pasta from cooking any farther. I let the pasta sit and drain the water off and I shake it a little to make sure the water is off. Then I leave it to drain and go back to my sauce.
I do follow the directions on the box on how to make the cheese sauce, kind of. I take butter, whatever type you like, I use actual butter with olive oil and sea salt, I put a little over a ¼ cup of butter in the pan with peas and onions. I mix the butter in and I go ahead and add the recommended amount of milk into the mixture. It continues to be on medium heat as I mix the milk in. I add in the packets of cheese powder. I mix until it has no clumps and its smooth and covers the onions and peas with the cheese sauce. I let them sit on medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring every once in a while.
After 5 minutes, you take any brand of chunk tuna and drain the water from the tuna. After you have done that take the tuna and add it to the cheese sauce. Mix it together until the cheese covers tuna, onions, and peas. You have mixed it this all together. You take basil, parsley, and rosemary. These do not have to be fresh can be store bought. Mix these together in the sauce.
Leave the cheese mixture on medium heat to simmer. While simmering go back to your noodles which should be fully drained and cooled.
Pour into a 9x13 in pan, sprinkle a pinch of salt and pepper on the noodles.
While you were putting the noodles in pan your mixture has been simmering in its juices. You’re going to now add just a little milk to the cheese mixture, just a little bit, this is to help loosen the juices so that when added for noodles, it will cost them. After the milk has been added you are going to turn it onto high and stand right there because you do not want it to burn. Stir in on high just until it starts to bubble.
When your mixture has bubbled you will take it off the heat and pour it on top of your noodles.
Once you have poured all of your cheese mixtures onto noodles you will then take a spoon and spread it out on top of noodles. Trying not to mix the noodles in the mixture, you want to let the cheese mixture just sit on top while the juices go through the pasta.
Your oven should be preheated by this point. You will take shredded cheese, again whatever you prefer, you will sprinkle it on top. You will then put it in the oven. Put it in the oven for about 15 minutes. You will start to smell the casserole. When you go to check your casserole the cheese on top should be melted. If melted you will pull it out and take a spoon and then mix the noodles, cheese mixture, and the melted cheese together.
After you have mixed this all together you will take more shredded cheese and cover the top of your casserole. Once you have put your desired amount of cheese on top you will carefully take aluminum foil and cover your casserole.
How I cover with aluminum foil is I take the foil and stretch it out to fit pan. Then since the pan is hot I take the pot holder and form it to the sides and the ends. Making out it is fit snug so it will hold in the moisture.
You will then place your casserole into the oven once more. You will leave it in the oven for about 10 to 15 minutes. So that the cheese melts on top. You will then pull it out and leave the foil on top of your casserole until it cools or you can serve piping hot. It’s whatever your preference is.
2 boxes of Mac n cheese
2 pinches of salt for water
2 pinches of pepper for water
2 packets of cheese in a box of mac n cheese
1 tbsp of basil
1 tbsp of parsley
½ tbsp of rosemary
1 bag of peas (12 oz)
1 medium onion
3 cans of chunk tuna
1 bag of shredded cheese
Pinch of salt
Pinch of pepper