Chef, food stylist and blogger Maria del Mar Sacasa knows a lot about food these days, and one fact in particular: Quinoa is here to stay. The tiny superfood grain wears a surprising number of tiny hats — which is to say, it goes wherever you say it goes. Stir-fry, burgers, stuffing, even tuna noodle casserole! Break out a pack of quinoa noodles and remember: Quinoa is no passing phase.
I know what you’re thinking: tuna noodle casserole? Really? This one-pot wonder might have a bad rap, but that’s because it has always been made with “convenience” ingredients like cream of mushroom soup. Ditch the canned goop and make your own sauce. Add plenty of buttered mushrooms, some good cheese, and, of course, quinoa noodles, and you’ve got comfort in a pot. Oh, and sprinkle some potato chips on top, just to keep it classy.
- 1 cup quinoa fusilli
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- olive oil
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup cremini mushrooms, cleaned and thinly sliced
- 1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
- finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 3 tablespoons quinoa flour
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- pinch cayenne pepper
- 2 cups milk, warmed
- 1 cup grated white cheddar cheese
- 3/4 cups good-quality olive oil–packed tuna, drained
- 1 cup Potato chips, crushed
- 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
For the casserole
Cook the pasta until al dente according to the package instructions in a 4-quart/4-liter pot of boiling, salted water. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water, then drain, toss with a drizzle of oil, and cover the pasta with foil to keep it warm.
In the same pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and onion and cook, stirring, until the onions are softened and the mushrooms are golden, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in the lemon zest and cook for 30 seconds longer. Add the flour, garlic powder, and cayenne and cook for 1 minute.
Slowly stir in the milk. Stir in the cheese and tuna, bring to a simmer, and cook until the cheese is melted and the mixture begins to bubble. Stir in the noodles and season with salt, pepper, and lemon juice.
Serve immediately, topped with crushed potato chips, parsley, and lemon zest.