One of my all time favorite dinners, growing up, was tuna noodle casserole. I’m sure many people my age have their own favorite version of this classic dish. My mom made the one with lots of peas inside and crushed potato chips on top.
Now that I’m a grown up (most days, anyway 😉 I still love a good tuna casserole. It’s comfort food, don’t you think? However, I don’t keep canned peas in the house, and I thought there had to be a more gourmet way to replicate the crunchy goodness of crushed potato chips. Let me tell you that panko really does the trick.
The main difference between panko and regular breadcrumbs is that panko are large flakes, rather than just little crumbs. This textural difference means that panko absorbs less grease and cooks up lighter and crisper than your run-of-the-mill breadcrumb.
Crunchy Creamy Tuna Casserole
2 cans (10.5 oz each) condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 cup milk
2 cups frozen country style mixed vegetables (the one without the peas)
2 cans (10 oz. each) tuna in water, drained
4 cups hot, cooked extra wide egg noodles
1 cup shredded Mexican four cheese blend, divided
2 Tbsp. panko breadcrumbs
1 Tbsp. butter, melted
Stir soup, milk, mixed veggies, noodles, and half the cheese in a 3 qt. casserole dish.
Bake at 400F for 30 minutes or until hot.
Mix panko with butter in a bowl and sprinkle over tuna mixture. Top with the remaining cheese.
Bake for an additional 5 minutes, or until golden brown. If mixture is already hot and bubbly, turn the oven to low broil for one minute to brown the panko/cheese mixture more quickly.