Recipe: New Tuna Casserole 

Looking for a Southern comfort food that everyone enjoys? Casseroles are easy to prepare, and they provide a satisfying, well-balanced meal in one single dish. Make-Ahead Tuna Casserole raises the bar to another level of delicious. It’s an overabundance of flavor! Cheesy, crunchy, creamy, and fresh, this casserole is dinner perfection in its purest form. Make it days in advance of hosting a dinner party, birthday celebration, or holiday festivity, and give yourself extra time to enjoy the event. After all, we Southerners love to socialize and visit. Why stay in the kitchen cooking when you could just pop this Make-Ahead Tuna Casserole in the oven when time allows? White tuna, sharp Cheddar cheese, snappy green beans, and ziti pasta complete the delectable dish. Casseroles freeze nicely, and the Make-Ahead Tuna Casserole is certainly no exception. Prepare it in advance, and enjoy being worry-free on the day of your event. Scrumptiously filling and less-stress preparation, the Make-Ahead Tuna Casserole is a win-win!

Begin this creamy casserole recipe with cooking the ziti pasta. Prepare the green beans by boiling them in salted water for about one minute, or until they are crisp and tender. Next, sauté the fresh leeks and mushrooms in two tablespoons of butter until they are lightly browned. Transfer your leek mixture from the skillet to a small bowl. Next, melt four tablespoons of butter in a skillet over medium heat while whisking in the flour. Gradually add the cream and broth, and bring the mixture to a boil. Don’t forget to stir often! After reducing the heat to medium-low, slowly whisk in the Cheddar cheese and Parmesan cheese until your sauce is thick and smooth. Add in salt and pepper for a bit of flavor. Next, stir your cream mixture into the cooked pasta, and add in the tuna, beans, and leaks. If you're hoping to freeze your casserole, create a bed with aluminum foil, and add the mixture to a glass casserole dish. You can sprinkle on the chip-and-Parmesan mixture before freezing, or let it crisp up by adding when you're actually ready to cook. Let your frozen casserole thaw in the fridge for 24 hours before you're planning to cook it, and allow it to sit for 30 minutes at room temperature before popping it in the oven. Add a little extra Parmesan, and your casserole is ready to go!

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