BA's Tuna Casserole with Leeks and Fresh Dill


After all my moaning and groaning yesterday over my mailman, not only did the Bon Appetit come but he delivered it personally to my door with a smile. It's like he read my blog and was shaming me with kindness. Well, I had already printed out the recipe for Tuna Casserole, wasting paper, so not only am I cruel to government workers but I hate the planet. I need to work on my karma.

Lets talk about other things. Like tuna, and casserole. I loved this dish! The modern twist was still reminiscent of all the parts I loved about the classic. Creamy and crunchy like olden times with an added brightness from the dill. Somehow the Gruyere combined with the milk and cream almost tasted exactly like a can of Cream of Mushroom soup! Only better. If you grew up loving this hot dish like me, try, try.

(Did a couple things differently. I used fusilli pasta instead of egg noodles for more texture. I used 1% milk. I mean, cream, whole milk AND cheese? Is that really necessary? Next time, I would use one more can of tuna, I think it needed more.)

Tuna Casserole with Leeks and Fresh Dill

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
2 1/2 cups thinly sliced leeks (white and pale green parts only; from about 2 large)
1/4 tsp celery seeds
1/4 cup flour
2 cups milk
1/2 cup half & half
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
8 ounces pasta
1/2 cup grated Gruyère cheese
2 T chopped fresh dill
2 5-6 oz. cans albacore tuna
Salt and pepper
Salted potato chips

Preheat oven to 375. Slice and clean leeks. I slice first, and then place them in a bowl of water to clean. Let it sit for a few minutes, and the sand will fall off leeks.

Melt butter over medium heat in saucepan. Add leeks and celery seeds to melted butter and season with salt. Saute covered for 8 minutes, or until leeks are soft.

In the meantime, do some prep work. Start boiling your pasta water. Grate Gruyere cheese (I may have grated more than 1/2 cup... I went to college in Wisconsin) and chop your fresh dill.

After leeks have sauteed, add flour and stir for 1 minute.

Then, add cream and milk. Simmer until sauce thickens, stirring often, about 5-7 minutes. Add lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat.

Once water is boiling, add salt and pasta. Boil pasta until al dente (slightly underdone) because it will continue to cook in oven.

Drain pasta and then place in large bowl. Pour leek sauce over pasta and stir.

Add Gruyere and chopped dill and stir.

Finally, add drained and crumbled tuna. Stir!

Place mixture in a buttered 8x8x2 inch baking dish. Cover with tin foil. Bake for 20 minutes, covered.

After 20 minutes, remove dish and remove foil. Break potato chips over casserole, covering completely. Like the cheese, I added more chips than the recipe called for. What?! I used 1% milk!

Bake uncovered for another 10 minutes. Tuna Casserola!

I ate helping after helping and I can't wait for leftovers today. Minnesota Hot Dish, you rule the school.


Ashleigh said...

What a clever way to clean leeks. I always do it differently each time. And what is that that you served with it?? Looks really good Siri. The whole thing. I want it.

Gretchen said...

I like the addition of lemon to the cream sauce...don't think they put that in the old can of Cream of Mushroom soup. I guess I'll have to make this for myself and eat it for a week!

Mark said...

my mother made this every week, sometimes fridays...it never looked like this.

iamchasingthirty said...


Siri said...

Ashleigh, it's a salad. I just wrote about it!


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