Nothing is more popular at my house than Dad’s Tuna Casserole. This is THE go-to comfort food at my place. Over the years house guests have requested it, new boyfriends have been tested by whether or not they liked it. This is definitely a fave and as such it has largely escaped being put up on the hoist for a modernization to make it lighter and more modern. In my defense, I will point out that in my version I have always stir fried about 3 pounds of veggies into this dish… it’s packed with fibre and good nutrition… a Veteran Move all by itself!
I have been making this dish since the mid-80’s. I vaguely remember that the first iteration was based on a recipe taken from a Robert Crumb cookbook. At the time, stir frying a selection of veggies was a departure for a tuna casserole. The fact that you could choose whatever you had in the crisper and not rely on a set collection was also different for the day. Over the years I’ve probably settled on a basic selection but I really do use it to close out on bits and bites left at the time.
Key to this venerable casserole’s popularity is a secret ingredient. While it’s true I choose cheese that is especially ‘melty’ and I have replaced elbow macaroni with a casserole pasta that is better designed to hold the sauce, the Veteran Move is Golden Mushroom soup thoroughly mixed in to the stir fry. It really makes this dish stand out. Mushroom soup is no stranger to tuna casserole. Over the years I’ve tried flavoured soups like onion mushroom, garlic mushroom, even wild mushroom but the tried and true is Golden Mushroom also known as Beef Mushroom. It can be a little tricky to find but it’s well worth the effort… believe me go find some and try it!