This classic dish was definitely long overdue for an upgrade. I use a homemade béchamel sauce, fresh cremini mushrooms, pasta shells (instead of egg noodles), then top it all off with crushed salt and vinegar potato chips for extra crunch. My version is contemporary, but still hearty enough to satisfy any craving for this classic comfort food.
Swap option: Feel free to use regular canned tuna or egg noodles for a more traditional version of this casserole.
- 1/4 cup salted butter, plus more for greasing dish
- 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 (8 ounce) package sliced cremini mushrooms
- 3/4 teaspoon table salt
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 8 ounces medium pasta shells
- 1 (6.7-ounce) jar Italian tuna in olive oil, drained and flaked
- 2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped, plus more for garnish
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup shredded sharp white cheddar cheese
- 1½ cups crumbled salt and vinegar potato chips
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease a 2-quart baking dish with salted butter.
2. Melt 1/4 cup butter in a large skillet over medium. Add the onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Increase the heat to medium-high, then add the mushrooms and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle with the flour, and cook, stirring constantly, about 1 minute. Reduce the heat to medium.
3. Gradually add the milk, stirring constantly; stir in the broth. Bring the mixture to a simmer, and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 2 minutes.
4. Cook the pasta in salted water, according to package directions, to al dente. Drain the pasta, and return to the saucepan. Add the mushroom mixture, tuna and parsley; stir gently to combine. Sprinkle with the pepper and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt.
5. Transfer the pasta mixture to the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with the cheese and crumbled potato chips. Bake until the top is golden brown and the edges are bubbly, about 25 minutes.
6. Let stand at least 5 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with more parsley, if desired.