Marilyn McQuade's Tuna Lasagna

Bear's Anecdote - I finally get to tell an anecdote of my eldest sister!! Back at St. Helena's grade school in Center Square, Pennsylvania, my three sisters and I were all enrolled. My big sister, Marilyn, would skip rope like the other kids, except she would skip to "three point one four one five nine..." (the digits of pi) or "Hydrogen, Helium, Lithium, Beryllium, Boron, Carbon, Nitrogen, Oxygen..." (the periodic table of elements). It was rather embarassing back then, but even then I think I was a bit proud of her. She has since earned her undergraduate and masters degrees from MIT in Nuclear Engineering. She edits engineering text books and has an unbelievably wonderful husband and set of kids. Her husband, Pete, is genuinely the nicest man I have yet met. Her eldest daughter, Becky, is spending time as an intern with the state legislature in Arizona. Her son, David, is a much accomplished musician and athelete. And her youngest daughter, Linda, has a mischievious sharp wit. If pride is a sin, well OK, I am guilty of the pride I have for my sister and her family!! It is a priviledge to know them all!

This is one of my nephew, David's, favorites, and it is particularly a good idea for lent!

Caution: Tuna Prowlers!

  1. In a large microwave-safe bowl, thaw out the vegetables.
  2. Add the tuna and 1-3/4 cans of cheese soup. Mix well.
  3. Spray a large casserole dish with cooking spray.
  4. Line the bottom with lasagna noodles. I have to cut or tear the noodles to fit, and there’s some hanging over the edge. That’s fine; the overlap can go onto the next layer.
  5. Spread about a third of the tuna mixture over the noodles.
  6. Cover the mixture with another layer of noodles.
  7. Continue layering.
  8. Depending on your dish, there may be a noodle left. Add it on if you like. The top layer should be noodle.
  9. Spread the rest of the cheese soup over the last noodle layer.
  10. Cover the casserole.
  11. For baking, I use a water bath. I put a good size towel on the bottom of a large shallow pan and pour about ½” of water in the pan. The casserole goes on top of the soaked towel, and the rest of the towel is wrapped around the casserole. This keeps the noodles from getting crunchy.
  12. Bake at 350°- 375° for about 45 minutes.

This recipe is extremely adaptable. You can add or subtract a can of tuna, use different vegetables, substitute other types of soup, sprinkle grated cheddar cheese over the top instead of soup, etc. It also lends itself well to scaling. I often make a ½ or 2/3 size just for David, who’s bonkers about this dish.

Makes 4-5 servings, or 2 if one of the diners is David.