Tara's Food Notebook

In Defense of Tuna Casserole

Is there room for tuna casserole on the comfort food bandwagon? When does a trend become too comfortable?

Had I taken it too far? Last week, I sent an email to a few of my favorite onsite chefs to see what they thought about tuna casserole. I wrote:

"So I’m working on a story for the March issue about what new and exciting ways you could make, say, a tuna casserole? It’s a great comfort food and economic, too, right? I’d like to hear your thoughts on this and possibly interview some of you and/or a chef from your organization."

One of the first responses I got back from a chef was something like, "Whoa, it must be cold in Cleveland! Ha ha, we did this for Veterans Day (implied snicker)." Others wrote back saying that it's not that healthy and (unspoken) not very cool.

I wondered, isn't there room on the comfort food bandwagon for good ole tuna casserole? Was this too extreme, too "out there?" When does a trend become too comfortable, anyway? Is it the use of canned soup that makes it not cool? (This is the only recipe I make at home where I allow myself to use that shortcut) Is it the crushed potato chips on top? But wouldn't that add a cool "rockabilly" element? No?

I had a lot of questions. Luckily, I heard back from chefs who are doing seafood casseroles that are, rest assured, cool. Be sure to read my Menu Mix page in the March issue of Food Management to find out what I found!

Discuss this Blog Entry 1

Anonymous (not verified)
on Apr 1, 2013

You got me thinking about tuna noodle casserole. So I went home and made what I thought was a wonderful, healthy casserole. I used canned cream of mushroom soup without any MSG, 2 cans 3 ounce water packed tuna, whole wheat penne pasta, frozen peas and topped with low-fat mozzarella. I thought it was great.

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Tara Fitzpatrick

Tara Fitzpatrick is senior editor of Food Management and has been a full time staff editor since 2008. She covers food, culinary and menu trends. Favorite food? “Lox on a bagel....
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