March 19, 2012

Tuna Noodle Casserole for 100

Last month was my first time cooking a Pottstown Cluster Community Meal for those in need.  You can read about my adventures with Shepherd's Pie for 100, and get the recipe, HERE.  This time around I tried my hand at tuna noodle casserole.  Truth be told, I had not had any dealings with tuna noodle casserole since the early 90s.  That said, when I saw that a case of tuna and five pounds of pasta were available to me, I knew that the casserole and I were to be reunited.

My brilliant daughter did the math and determined that I would need 42 five ounce cans of tuna.  I am grateful that, once again, my beloved was happy to come to my aid. ♥  He helped me open cans and more cans, chop, stir, stir and stir some more, drain, name it.  And, he WASHED ALL OF THE DISHES! <swoon>  If you should decide to take on the Tuna Noodle Casserole for 100 challenge and have any questions, do not hesitate to ask.


5 lb. dry noodles, egg noodles are ideal (I used penne as that was what was available)
1 lb. butter or margarine
2 lb. celery, chopped
2 lb. onion, chopped
3 ½ c. flour
2 gal. milk
2 gal. chicken stock (I used ¾ c. Better Than Bouillon that I bought at Costco)
1 Tbsp. ground black pepper
1 c. dried parsley
2 tsp. salt
4 lb. mild cheese (American, mild cheddar, jack, Colby, any combination)
13 lb. canned tuna, water packed, drained and flaked
1 ½ c. lemon juice
3 lb. frozen peas


Because I did not have a bathtub-sized pot, I divided the recipe in half and made it twice.  This took a loooong time, but was worth it.
  • Heat salted water to rolling boil.  TIP:  Add salt to pasta water, but never add oil.  Oil prevents sauce from adhering to pasta.
  • Slowly add noodles.  Stir constantly until water boils again.  Cook for 6 minutes.  Drain well.  Do not overcook.  Set aside.
  • Melt margarine or butter.  Add celery and onions.  Cook for 5-6 minutes.
  • Add flour and stir until smooth.
  • Add milk, chicken stock, pepper, parsley and salt. 
  • Stir in cheese, a bit at a time.  Cook for 30 minutes, or until thickened, stirring and scraping the bottom continuously.  Stir, stir, stir!
  • Stir in peas. 
  • Add cooked noodles, tuna and lemon juice.  Stir gently to combine.  Cook over medium heat for 6-8 minutes.
Pour into 6 medium half steam table pans, or 3 full steam table pans.  I used 3 full sized ones that I bought at, you guessed it, Costco.

At this point, I covered the pans with foil and refrigerated until the next day.  From a refrigerated (cold) point, I baked the filled pans at 400 degrees for 3 hours, removing foil the last 30 minutes.

Many, many thanks to our wonderful volunteers for whom the Community Meal Program would not be possible.   And, a big thank you to Christ Episcopal Church.  Christ Episcopal will also be hosting the homeless overnight, every night, for the month of April.  This gives me goosebumps.  What an amazingly wonderful thing to do. For information on how you can help with the overnight stays, check out The Ministries at Main Street HERE.

Hunger is the No. 1 health risk.  It kills more people every year than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined.  Staggering. In addition to providing a hot meal five days a week to those in need in my very own community, the Pottstown Cluster of Religious Communities also has a Food Pantry.  The Food Pantry provides groceries for those in need.  Sadly, the Cluster's Food Pantry shelves are bare.  They are in dire need of the following:

Drop off your donations at the Pottstown Cluster, located at 57 N. Franklin Street.  Enter through the rear of the building between the hours of 8:30 and noon.  Thank you!

In addition, The Pottstown Mercury and the Community Lab, of which I am proud to be a member, are sponsoring a Fill the Media Lab Food Drive with the goal of collecting 20,000 food items and 1,000 bottles of laundry detergent.  It is my understanding that you can label your donations specifically for the Pottstown Cluster.  Click HERE for a list of drop-off locations.  Thank you again!

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1 comment:

Tami said...

I am so proud of you and all the volunteers! (and the tuna noodle casserole looks delish!!) ♥