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Dinner Diva | Tuna casserole

In the scheme of things, there is nothing more important than knowing what’s for dinner. Well, maybe that’s a little hyperbolous (is there such a word?) but you get my drift, especially if those four little words send chills up your spine, “Mom, what’s for dinner?”

About 12 years ago, I entered a cooking contest online. The contest was called “Not Your Mother’s Tuna Casserole.” The object of the game was to make a tuna casserole that did not resemble something you dreaded as a child. You were allowed one convenience food (except for canned condensed soups) and it had to be something that was fast, easy and most importantly, delicious.

Well, I won the contest, and my life’s course was altered. Seriously. I became the Dinner Diva and wrote cookbooks, got myself a nice little website, and well…you know the story!

But you don’t want that story, what you really want to know is that recipe, don’t you? Can’t say that I blame you. This recipe is so good, my son actually asked for this for his birthday dinner when he was just a lad. Here’s the recipe, enjoy!


Not Your Mother’s Tuna Casserole
Serves 4
– 1 box Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, Premium White Cheddar
– 1/2 onion, chopped
– 1 can white solid albacore tuna, drained
– 1/2 tablespoon butter
– 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
– 1/2 cup skim milk
– 1 cup saltine cracker crumbs
– 1 cup Kraft 2% Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded

Boil water to make boxed mac and cheese. Cook the pasta and drain. My advise is to cook it a little less than the box calls for.

In the meantime, chop your onion and open your can of tuna. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium sized skillet, melt your butter and oil together. Add the onion and sauté till onion is translucent. Now add the tuna using your spatula to chop it up. Now add the milk, butter and sauce packet from the box and cook till nice and thick. Add the pasta back in and mix thoroughly. In a small bowl, mix the shredded cheese and cracker crumbs together.

Lightly grease a 2 quart casserole dish and place the mac and cheese mixture in there. Now top with cracker crumb mixture and bake till hot and bubbly, about 15 minutes.



For more help putting dinner on your table, check out Leanne’s website,, or her Saving Dinner book series (Ballantine) and her New York Times bestselling book Body Clutter (Fireside). Copyright 2008 Leanne Ely. Used by permission in this publication.

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