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Made-from-Scratch Tuna Noodle Casserole

Fresh ingredients improve on everyday tuna noodle casserole. This weeknight staple is still a cinch from scratch -- see how easy it comes together.

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This recipe for tuna noodle casserole is a made-from-scratch version of the classic tuna noodle recipe. Using fresh ingredients and topped with Panko bread crumbs, it updates the timeless family dinner idea. Start by pre-heating the oven to 375 degrees. Then, grease a 1-1/2 quart casserole dish. To make the sauce, melt a quarter cup of butter in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Add one cup of chopped celery, three quarters of a cup of chopped sweet red pepper, and one quarter of a cup of chopped onion. Cook the vegetables until they're tender, about 8 to10 minutes. The red pepper adds a nice flavor and color to the dish. Next, you'll stir in a quarter cup of all-purpose flour. One to two tablespoons of Dijon mustard-- depending on your taste-- a half a teaspoon of salt, and a quarter of a teaspoon of ground black pepper. Stir it altogether, and then add two and a quarter cups of milk. Cook the sauce, whisking it constantly to remove any lumps until it's slightly thickened and bubbly. Now, we can add three cups of wide noodles that you cooked according to the package directions. That's about 5 ounces of dried noodles. Then, add a 12-ounce can of chunked white water-packed tuna that's been drained and broken into chunks. Gently stir the sauce and tuna with the noodles, being careful not to break up the tuna too much. Transfer the mixture to the casserole dish. Now, we'll prepare a topping. To one half cup of Panko bread crumbs, add a quarter cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese, one tablespoon of snipped fresh parsley, and one tablespoon of melted butter or margarine. Stir the topping until it's combined. Sprinkle it evenly over the noodle mixture. Bake the casserole uncovered until it's heated through, about 25 to 30 minutes. Let it stand for five minutes, and it's ready to serve. Tuna noodle casserole, delicious proof that sometimes, the classics are a classic for a reason.