I will admit I am not a fantastic cook, but I do know when something tastes good and frankly, Tuna Helper Tetrazzini has a fabulous flavor. If you were served this in a restaurant you would come back for more.
Description and Ingredients
Packaging: The dinner kit comes in a box that fits neatly in your pantry. I keep a couple boxes on hand for impromptu dinners along with the tuna needed to make it. Inside the noodles are in a clear plastic bag, and the sauce mix is in a thicker cloudy white plastic pouch. The instructions are printed on the back of the box and are easy to follow. There are no extra suggestions printed on the box but it does suggest going to their website www.tunahelper.com for more ideas. I visited the website and did not see any suggestions and it seemed less than easy to navigate.
I have often wondered why they do not partner with Starkist and just include the Tuna but perhaps it is that a lot of people might prefer to mix this with chicken or turkey. Even though it does not mention that on the box or the website it sure seems like it would taste equally good with poultry.
The Sauce Mix: The little package of Sauce Mix is pale yellow in color with small flecks of seasoning.
The noodles: The noodles look like spaghetti but shorter. Each noodle is about 2″ long.
Other Ingredients needed to make this: Tuna, Milk, Butter, and Hot Water
This is probably one of the easiest meals to make. I usually serve it with Peas as I think it goes well with this dish. Before you start you will need two 5oz cans of tuna drained. I use one 11oz package of Starkist chunk light tuna in water which has so little water it does not need to be drained. This probably adds more tuna to the dish than the 1 oz since I am not draining this. My husband and I like it that way. You also need to add Milk, Water and Butter or Margarine. I use butter because I prefer the taste and do not like eating fake fat.
To start choose a large pan with a lid. I like to have a little extra room so that you do not have to worry about something splashing over. I like to start by putting the tuna in the pan. Since I am using the tuna in a pouch what I do is first add that to the pan and then add the 2 1/3 cups of hot water. I measure the water and then pour it into the empty pouch to get any leftover tuna that I can not get out. I then add the 3 tablespoons of butter to give it a chance to melt before adding the cold milk. After the butter is mostly melted I add the 1 1/3 cup of milk and the contents of the seasoning packet as well as the noodles.
Then all I have to do is turn up the heat until the mixture starts boiling, then reduce the heat and simmer for 12 minutes. During that time I put the peas in the microwave and set the table. Once the 12 minutes are up, you will want to let this sit on the stove for 5 to 10 minutes. The sauce will thicken in this time. I usually remove it from the heat and leave the cover open a crack to let some steam escape. This smells so delicious you will have trouble waiting the short time required for thickening the sauce.
Taste and Experience
One thing I love about this meal is how easy it is to prepare, for that reason I keep it on hand so that I can throw together a quick impromptu dinner at any given time with very little notice. I make this for my husband and myself and we always have left overs which never go to waste. We love peas with the Tuna Tetrazzini and when I put it away I always mix the peas right in with the left overs.
When I make this I usually make it according to the box but add a little white pepper. My husband and I both love the taste. I am not sure how healthy it is for us given some of the ingredients so we do not eat this often but it surely is delicious and we really enjoy it every time we have it.
Nutritional Information: I package makes 5 servings. I will give the nutritional info on the boxed meal only. Adding Tuna Milk and butter can add a different amounts depending on what you use. Calories 140, Total Fat 1g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 460mg, Total Carbohydrates 28g, fiber 1g, sugars 2g, protein 5g. The prepared meal approximately doubles the calories of what is in the box. Adding lower fat milk or cutting back on butter could cut down on the calorie count. I have used less butter and not noticed any difference in the taste.
Final Thoughts and Rating
While this would get five stars for ease of preparation and taste, I have to admit when browsing the ingredient list there are a few things that I could live without. For that reason it gets 4 instead of 5 stars from me.