Tuna Noodle Casserole

We were raised Catholic, so growing up in our house meant fish on Fridays during Lent. I can still hear young Tracy groaning, even in my memories. Ha!! She hates all things seafood related. Luckily, I like it. One of my favorite dishes to make on Lenten Fridays is this Tuna Noodle Casserole. It reminds me of a something my mom made when we were kids so, for me, it’s comfort food…creamy and cheesy with a crunchy breadcrumb topping. Yum! And honestly, the albacore tuna in this is so mild, I’m confident that even fish-hating folks like Tracy will like it! I’ll serve it to her next time she visits and report back. 😉  ~Erin



12 oz. uncooked egg noodles (I use No Yolks brand.)

3 pouches (2.6 oz. each) low sodium, white albacore tuna (I use Starkist brand.)*

2 cans (10 ½ oz. each) condensed 98% fat free cream of mushroom soup

1 can (10 ½ oz.) condensed cream of celery soup

1 c. fat free shredded cheddar cheese

½ cup chopped green onion (OR desired amount of frozen green peas, thawed)

1 c. panko breadcrumbs

1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp. salt

Nonstick cooking spray


Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Cook the egg noodles according to package directions, drain & set aside.

Spray a 9”x13” casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.

Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine tuna, soups, cheese, noodles, salt, and green onions; spread mixture evenly in prepared casserole dish.

In a small bowl, mix breadcrumbs together with olive oil; sprinkle evenly over tuna/noodle mixture.

I like to lightly spray the top with a bit more cooking spray, just to make sure it browns well, but that step is optional.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until brown and bubbly.

Weight Watchers info:  This makes 8 servings at 8 SmartPoints each on Freestyle.



Unstuffed Cabbage Casserole

This is the easiest (and tastiest) unstuffed cabbage casserole ever.  Why?  No cabbage chopping/shredding required!  Instead, I take the short-cut of using bagged cole slaw mix to cut down on prep time. Ain’t nobody got time to hand-shred cabbage.  ~Erin



2 bags (16 oz. each) tri-color cole slaw mix (shredded cabbage & carrots)

1 ½ T. minced garlic, divided

1 T. olive oil

2 ½ tsp. salt, divided

1 ¼ tsp. black pepper, divided

1 lb. 96% lean ground beef

1 onion, finely diced

1 tsp. thyme

2 tsp. paprika

½ tsp. oregano

1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce

1 (15 oz.) can petite diced tomatoes

2 cups cooked brown rice

3 cups shredded low moisture, part skim mozzarella

Crushed red pepper flakes for serving, optional


Cook brown rice according to package directions; set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

In a large, high-sided skillet, saute both bags of cole slaw mix in 1 T. olive oil until it’s wilted to about half its size (about ten minutes), stirring occasionally.  Add 1 ½ tsp. salt and 1 tsp. pepper in the process of stirring.  Remove from the skillet and set aside.

In the same skillet, cook the ground beef and onion with 1 tsp. salt, ¼ tsp. pepper, and ½ T. minced garlic until browned; then drain beef.  

Add thyme, paprika, and oregano and cook until fragrant (about a minute).  Add canned tomatoes and tomato sauce.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer on low for about 10 minutes.  

Add 2 cups cooked brown rice and stir to combine.  

Spray a 9×13 in. casserole dish with cooking spray.  Layer ingredients starting with half the coleslaw cabbage, then half the meat/tomato/rice mixture, and one cup cheese.  Repeat with the last half of cabbage, then meat/tomato/rice mixture but reserve the 2 cups of remaining cheese.

Bake for 25 or until hot and bubbly. Spread the top evenly with the remaining 2 cups of cheese.  Cook for 5 more minutes or until cheese is melted.  Sprinkle each serving with red pepper flakes, if desired.

Weight Watchers Info.:  This makes 8 servings at 7 Freestyle points per serving.

Pimento Chile Chicken


This Mexican flavored dish is rich and flavorful without being heavy. Mom snagged this recipe from her good friend (and my Godmother) Joyce, and it’s been one of the few things I’ve made regularly since I left for college – so good and so easy! The chiles aren’t too spicy so it can serve a crowd with varied spice tolerances. I like this piled up with pickled jalapeños and my favorite salsa. ~Robin


2 ½ c. cooked, chopped chicken breast (chopped into about 1/2” cubes

½ c. fat free chicken broth

1 ½ c. 98% fat free cream of mushroom soup (I use Campbell’s)

1 ½ c. Healthy Request Condensed cream of chicken soup

1 4-oz. jar pimentos, drained (1/2 c.)

2 4-oz. cans Hatch green chiles, chopped and drained (You can add a 3rd can if you’re just crazy about chiles like I am.)

10 oz. 50% reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese

6 oz. of Doritos (by weight) toasted corn tortilla chips, slightly crushed

Pickled jalapeños, green onions, and/or cherry tomatoes for serving (optional)



Mix all ingredients except Doritos and cheese. In a large casserole dish (I use 9” x 13”), layer ½ of chicken mixture, then ½ of cheese, then ½ of the Doritos.  Repeat the same layers once more, ending with Doritos on top.  Bake at 350° for about 40-45 minutes.  Cover top with foil if Doritos begin to brown too much.  Serve with pickled jalapeños and/or your favorite salsa.

Weight Watchers Info.:  6 points per serving in the new Freestyle plan; makes 8 servings.

The Best Mexican Casserole Ever

Do you have foods that immediately take you back to a certain memory in your life? Fried chicken reminds me of my Mammaw, and snickerdoodles remind me of spending the night at my friend Dana’s house. This Mexican casserole takes me back to the Home-Economics room at Chandler High School. During an FHA (our younger readers will know this org. as FCCLA) cooking contest, my friend Sherri made this incredible casserole that was modeled after a recipe of her grandmother’s. Every time I make this version (which is often), it’s 1989 again and we’re back in that classroom learning, laughing, and making sure our 80’s hair didn’t fall!


I’m still friends with all of those girls, and though we don’t get to see each other as often as we’d like, I’m so thankful for the memories of food, fun, and friendship that have stayed with me aaaaallll these years! ~Tracy



1 lb. 95% lean ground beef

½ c. chopped onion

2 c. condensed cream of mushroom soup, unprepared*

½ soup can of water

1 can Ro-tel tomatos with green chilis

1 package reduced sodium taco seasoning

2 c. shredded sharp cheddar or your favorite blend of cheese*

6 to 8 flour tortillas*


In a deep skillet, cook hamburger meat and onion. Add Ro-tel, water, taco seasoning, and soup. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, approximately 10 minutes.

Spray a 9 x 13 casserole dish with Pam or similar cooking spray. Pour a thin layer of the meat mixture into the bottom of the casserole dish. Lightly sprinkle approximately ½ c. of cheese on top of mixture. Tear tortillas into strips and place on top of cheese. Continue layering the meat, cheese, and tortillas, working to end with sauce and cheese.

Bake at 375°F until bubbly and heated through. Usually around 20 minutes.

Weight Watchers Info.: Makes 8 servings at 5 SmartPoints each.

*WW points were figured using 98% fat free soup, 50% reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese, and 6 medium fat free tortillas.

Aunt Annie’s Green Chile Corn Casserole

Ever have a day when all you want to do is hang out with the kids instead of spending time in the kitchen? Well, Robin felt that way daily while she was going to school and working full-time. 🙂 We’re sure many of you can relate to an overly busy schedule at times…Enter Aunt Annie’s green chile corn casserole!

Always one of our favorites, this rich and creamy corn dish with a mild chile flavor can be thrown together very quickly – and even cooked in the microwave if needed on those days when the oven is full.


Garnish with a pepper if you want to get fancy!

This recipe makes enough for a crowd, so you may want to cut it in half. This is the perfect side dish for busy week nights, but it’s decadent enough to serve on holidays.


2 4-oz. cans of chopped green chiles, drained (Hatch chiles are best, if available)

4 15-oz. cans of whole kernel corn, drained

2 packages cream cheese, softened to room temperature

1 stick butter, softened

½ c. of milk

Salt to taste


Heat oven to 350 degrees.*

Soften cream cheese and butter in the microwave (just enough that they’ll mix in well), heating on high for short intervals. Set aside.

Drain chiles and dump into a small separate bowl; remove any stray stems.

Place drained corn into a 3 quart, oven-safe casserole dish. Add drained chiles, cream cheese, butter, and milk. Stir together, then salt to taste (will taste saltier when cooked so be sure to err on the side of caution with salt). Cook until boiling.

Tip: For better presentation, stir well again before serving.

*If cooking in the microwave, loosely cover the dish with a paper towel to prevent splattering or, if using a lid, be sure to tilt the lid to the side to allow space for steam to vent for safety. Cook on high, first for 3 minutes, then in 2 minute intervals, stirring each time.