There are those times when I go totally gourmet – cooking something just for the sake of wanting it to be literally and tastefully beautiful. There are those times when I cook just for the health of my family. And there are those times when I just want a yummy casserole.
Unlike Tuna Casserole, which I make with canned tuna, I really prefer fresh salmon for this casserole. And I cook salmon every week for my lunches anyway, so it’s no effort to tack on an extra half pound at the grocery store. A night or two before I plan on making this dish for my family, I’ll take the fish, throw it on a small baking sheet, season with kosher salt, pepper, and Old Bay (of course), and bake at 400F for ~15min. And I line the baking sheet with foil, so there isn’t even any cleanup! This recipe is really good and feeds the four of us (2 adults and 2 kids) for 2 nights.
- 8oz small shell-shaped pasta
- kosher salt
- 1 large carrot, shredded (~½ c)
- 1 can condensed cream of celery soup, undiluted
- ¼ c light mayonnaise (I like Hellman’s Canola mayo)
- 1 can milk (use the empty soup can to measure)
- ½ c shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 c frozen peas, thawed (*see Note)
- 8oz fresh salmon, cooked and flaked in ½-in chunks
- ¼ c finely diced onion
- 10 Ritz crackers, crushed
- Old Bay seasoning, chives for garnish (optional)
Preheat oven to 350F.
Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil. Add a fistful of salt. Add the pasta shells and cook according to the package directions just to al dente. Half way through that cook time, add the shredded carrots to the pot of water to cook as well.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl combine the soup, mayo, milk, cheese, peas, salmon, and onion.
Drain the pasta and carrots, and add right away to the soup mixture. Toss and pour in a 2-qt baking dish. Top with the crushed crackers. Bake 30-40 minutes until nice and bubbly. Optional: dust with a little Old Bay and sprinkle some snipped chives for garnish. Serves 6.
*Note on the peas: I say “thawed” because as a recipe writer, I feel the need to say that. But you don’t have to thaw them – just throw them in :)