Who doesn’t love comfort food? Comfort food is seriously some of the easiest dishes to make. They’re quick, full of flavor, filling and of course satisfying! With this being my favorite time of year I have to share with you a more basic meal I grew up eating. My Mom always whipped this up using those crunchy shoestring potatoes inside and on top and it was beautiful gluttony. Which you can do so if you like! But I love my veggies and it eases my guilt when I can mix them into a dish like this. I’m telling you though they add a fantastic gourmet flavor that you’ll be glad to have made a huge batch for leftovers.
And let’s face it… part of my mission in sharing this food blog is to make things a little more healthier without compromising flavor. If you don’t like leeks, use onion instead, actually add anything you like. If I have mushrooms in the fridge I’ll slice them up and add to the saute. And if you’re a garlic freak like me then try roasting a head of garlic and throwing them in the mix. YUM!
Place a large pot of water filled with water over high heat to get the water boiling for the macaroni.
Meanwhile saute the bell pepper, leek, jalapeno, salt, and pepper with olive oil over medium heat until they're almost soft. Then add the frozen peas. Stir the veggies around for another two minutes until the peas thaw then turn off the heat and set aside.
Cook the noodles from both mac 'n cheese boxes as directed on the box. Once you've drained the pasta and returned to the large pot, add the two cheddar cheese pouches that came with the boxed mac 'n cheese. Also add the can of cream of mushroom and milk. Stir everything together until it's well incorporated.
Lastly, fold in the 1/3 cup of grated parmesan cheese, albacore tuna, and sauted veggies. Place the casserole into a 9" x 13" baking dish (or a deep 9" x 9"). Sprinkle a thin layer of grated parmesan cheese on top with the remaining 1/4 cup.
Bake at 375 degrees F for 20 - 30 minutes or until it's bubbling and the top is golden brown.