This dish is the perfect addition to your weeknight repertoire. Made with canned tuna, cream of chicken, dairy, and pasta, it is cheap, simple, and quick. It is a great way to break from the mold and try something new.
This recipe describes how to make a satisfying pasta dish to share with family or others that requires little time and simple ingredients.
- Technical ability:
- Familiarity with cooking utensils, stove tops, and measuring cups.
- Time for completion:
- 20 minutes
- Necessary equipment:
- Measuring cup
- 1 medium to large sized pot
- 1 small pot/saucepan
- can opener
- spoons/rubber spatula
- 5 cups water
- 2 1/2 cups pasta
- 1 10.5 oz can cream of chicken
- 1 5 oz can of solid white tuna
- about 1/2 cup of milk
- 1/4 cup of shredded cheddar or colby jack cheese
- 1/8 tsp pepper
- salt, to taste
This recipe feeds approximately four people.
When working around a stove top and with burners, be sure to exercise caution as to not burn yourself or any objects nearby.
Step 1: Assemble the Tools
Gather all the ingredients. Because this recipe calls for simple ingredients, it is easy to modify to your various needs. If you are looking for more whole grains in your diet, use whole wheat pasta, as shown here. If you are watching your fat intake, use skim milk and/or low fat cheese. If you are trying to consume less sodium, omit salt entirely and use a reduced-sodium cream of chicken. The ingredients used are shown in the first figure.
You will need two pots. One large pot will be used for cooking the pasta and one smaller pot or saucepan is for the sauce. A colander is used for draining the noodles, however if you don't have one, a lid for the large pot will work as well. Also needed is a measuring cup for the water, noodles, and cheese. A small measuring spoon can be used for the pepper. Spoons or rubber spatulas are needed for stirring, and a can opener will be used for the tuna and cream of chicken if necessary. The second figure shows some of the items used.
Step 2: Boil the Water for the Pasta
Pour 5 cups of water into the large sized pot. Place the pot on a burner and turn the burner on to high heat in order to bring the water to a boil.
Step 3: Prepare the Cream Sauce
This will be done while waiting for the water to boil. Open a 10.5 oz can of cream of chicken. If the can does not have a pull-tab, use a can opener. Empty the cream of chicken into the smaller pot. Before throwing away (or recycling) the can, fill it halfway with milk (whichever kind of milk you prefer). The figure shows what this should look like. Half a can of milk is equal to approximately 1/2 cup of milk. Pour the milk into the pot with the cream of chicken.
Step 4: Add the Tuna
Open the can of tuna with a can opener if there is not a pull tab. Drain the tuna by pressing the already opened lid tightly against the tuna while holding it over a sink, as can be seen in the first figure. Empty the tuna into the pot with the sauce mixture. The sauce should look similar to the second figure.
Step 5: Add the Cheese and Spices to the Sauce Mixture
Measure a quarter cup of shredded colby jack, cheddar cheese, or other preferred type of cheese. This can be seen in the first figure. If you don't have shredded cheese, you may use one slice of cheese instead. Pour the shredded cheese (or place the slice of cheese) into the pot with the sauce mixture. Pour 1/8 of a teaspoon of pepper over the sauce mixture. Add salt to taste. Again, you may omit salt entirely if you're watching your sodium intake.
The final sauce mixture should look like the second figure shown.
Step 6: Place the Sauce Mixture on a Burner
Lightly stir the sauce together. It does not need to be completely mixed together; it will combine naturally when heated. The sauce should look like the figure. Turn the burner on to low-medium heat.
Step 7: Cook the Pasta and Sauce
Measure out 2.5 cups of your preferred pasta. Once the water is boiling, pour the pasta into the pot. This can be seen in the first figure. Stir occasionally. Wait for the pasta to become tender, about 8-10 minutes, depending on your selected pasta. The pasta should be al dente.
While waiting for the pasta to cook, stir the sauce somewhat frequently, making sure it doesn’t burn or stick to the bottom. The sauce will begin to combine and lightly bubble. If it begins sticking to the bottom of the pot or bubbling intensely, reduce the heat. The sauce should end up looking like the second figure.
Step 8: Drain the Pasta
Once the pasta is tender and the sauce is heated and combined, remove both pots for the burners. Pour the pasta into a colander in order to drain. Return the pasta to the pot.
If you do not have a colander, you may use a lid fitted for the pot you're using. Place the lid over the pot and leave a small opening for water to come out (but not the pasta). Drain the liquid over the sink.
Step 9: Combine Sauce and Pasta
Pour the sauce mixture over the pasta. It will originally look like the first figure. Using a spoon or spatula, stir the mixture until the sauce and pasta is fully combined. It should look similar to the second figure shown.
Step 10: Serve
Divide the pasta onto four plates.
If the dish tastes too much like chicken, consider adding more salt and pepper or more cheese.
Now that the dish is complete, it may be paired with a garden salad or with bread and butter.