not your mama's tuna noodle casserole

When Bon Apetit had an article on "one dish wonders" I knew it was going to be a good month.  When one of the recipes was for Tuna Noodle Casserole with Leeks and Fresh Dill, I was sold.  I admit that tuna noodle casserole to this day is one of those frozen stouffer's dinners that I still might like to this day.  It was just so creamy and good, and yes- so midwest.  Well, I had a friend in need of comforting, and when I told her I'd bring dinner over, I knew what I'd be making.  In fact- I made this recipe 2 times in one week.  Yup, it was just that good.  

Recipe, adapted from Bon Apetit

1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 1/2 cups thinly sliced leeks
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup half and half
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
8 ounces wide egg noodles
1/2 cup grated Gruyere cheese- about 2 1/2 ounces
2 T chopped fresh dill
2 5-6 ounce cans tuna (mine were packed in water but you can do oil as well)
2 cups coarsely crushes salted potato chips

Butter your casserole dish.  We all know you have one either of your own or passed down from a relative.  This is the time to take it out- about 8x8x2.  Melt butter over medium heat, add leeks and sprinkle lightly with salt.  Cover and cook until leeks are tender, stirring often for about 8 minutes.  Add flour and stir for 1 minute.  Gradually add milk and half and half and simmer about 5 minutes, until roux thickens.  Stir in lemon juice, season to taste with salt and pepper and remove from heat.  

Meanwhile, cook egg noodles and once done drain, reserving 3/4 cup cooking liquid.  Pour noodles in sauce pan with sauce, add Gruyère and dill and stir to blend.  Add reserved cooking liquid little by little until the consistency is creamy.  Now, add the tuna and incorporate well.  Pour into the casserole dish and bake at 375 covered with foil for 20-30 minutes.  Remove foil, sprinkle potato chips on top and continue baking for another 10 minutes.  If you don't have chips, you could use some bread crumbs mixed with a bit of butter- words well for that crusty top.

Remove from oven and serve hot.  Comfort food at it's finest.  


  1. This was ABSOLUTELY awesome! such a good dish and so much better than my childhood version, even though i still love that too

  2. JUST letting you know LB i will be making this this week. i wish you were making it for me instead... so i could do nothing and just show up and eat, like old times. sigh... but at least i have your recipes if not your company.