My nine year old daughter is really picky, she’d prefer to eat hot dogs or McDonald’s everyday. But, I’m one of those, “you get what you get and you don’t throw a fit” moms. I don’t do special meals and I don’t do “eat it or starve.” You just eat what I make and you don’t complain. I’m a good cook and I don’t cook food I know my kids can’t stand so I think that’s fair.
So what do you do when you have a cupboard full of tuna and a kid who says tuna is gross? You hide it in a casserole and don’t tell them what’s on it til they’ve ate it.
Enter Tuna Noodle Casserole. I have a base recipe that I twerk depending on what vegetable I have around that day. And my daughter, the picky one, who doesn’t like tuna or vegetables, eats at least two plate fulls and last time I made it, she said, “this is my favorite, it’s the best dinner you make. This even happened on a night I added extra veggies and didn’t put any chips on top.
I was telling my friend about my recipe and how it doesn’t have a fishy, tuna taste so maybe her kids that, like my daughter, don’t like tuna, could have the same experience my daughter did. It was during that conversation that I had a stroke of genius. What would make her kids want to try something new? Cupcakes! If you can bake it in a pan, you can bake it in cupcake pans and so, Tuna Noodle Cupcakes were born.
Here’s my base recipe.
Full package of cooked noodles of your choice
2 to 3 cans of albacore tuna (you can use regular too, my husband just likes the taste of albacore better)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
Shredded cheese (to mix in and put in top, use as much as you like)
Mix all ingredients together, except cheese. I’ve used peas, spinach and carrots (canned carrots). The possibilities are endless. My kids favorite was the peas and carrots mixed. Use sour cream and milk to your liking, the more you use the creamier it will be. You can also just use a second can of cream if mushroom soup instead. Stir in half of the cheese. Pour into pre-sprayed cupcake pans (you don’t need to line) or a casserole dish. Top with the rest of the shredded cheese. You can also top with crushed chips or bread crumbs. I’ve used both. Try flavored chips too, my boys were big fans of the bbq flavored chips and everyone liked the cheese flavored ones.
The cupcakes turned out great, they came out easily and my toddler thought it was the best thing ever.