Easy Pantry Seafood Casserole, with smoked seafood, sea vegetables, dried mushrooms, dried chilies in a coconut gravy; pantry only ingredients.
Who doesn’t love a great seafood dish, year round! I know I do, especially having lived alongside the Chesapeake Bay.
But, did you know there’s a huge variety of really delicious seafood options that have been preserved and stored in a can?
Of course you know this because many of us grew up on tunafish sandwiches!
I never knew what tuna looked like until I became an adult.
Therefore, we are going to make a terrific seafood casserole from seafood, in a can.
Why Seafood Casserole?
You’re starving, it’s mealtime and you didn’t have time to shop!
Sound familiar? No worries, this is exactly what you need and you are gonna love it!
It’s the fall and winter season, and casseroles are just what folks want during these cold days.
In the summer months, I enjoy a Smoked Okra Gumbo with the addition of crab in it.
Crabs, where I come from, are in season all summer long.
With the onset of the autumn season, therefore colder waters, I hunger for a creamy Oyster Chowder.
Oysters are in season during the colder months of the years.
However, a seafood casserole is perfect year round simply because it can have a huge variety of seafood selections that come from around the world.
What’s In A Good Seafood Casserole?
Much of my life, I was familiar with a tuna casserole. Often it had mayonnaise in it, which I prefer only if it’s Homemade Mayonnaise.
Fortunately, because of world goods that are easily available, so many other choices can go into a great seafood casserole.
- Sardines – rich in omega-3’s, D, protein and calcium and a cost-effective way to make an easy seafood meal.
- Smoked kippers – which are actually herring fish which are smoked and canned in a special way.
- Smoked mussels – are impressive in taste and texture and often overlooked in the pantry department.
- Mackerel, smoked or not – loaded with nutrients and flavor but even more, many canned seafood products are high in calcium because they contain small bones that are easily chewed (rarely noticed), giving us plenty of calcium in a delicious meal.
Obviously, the next ingredient to consider in a casserole is the sauce, or roux.
A great sauce needs to have depth of flavor. How are we going to get that from a pantry?
The Well Stocked Pantry
Instead of going to the fridge to make this scrumptious casserole, we will be using only ingredients found in a well stocked pantry.
You’d be surprised what great flavors can come from items tucked away in a pantry.
Obviously, there will be lots of canned goods, which is why I keep an assortment of types of seafood on the shelf.
However, for a sauce that has a creamy element, I will be using coconut milk, of which I always have several cans in my pantry.
Secondly, instant rice noodles can be cooked fast in the coconut sauce and aid to thicken the sauce.
What A Great Pantry Casserole Looks Like
A great pantry casserole has all the elements you’d find in a fridge casserole; proteins, veggies, spice, carbs and layers of flavor.
In this scrumptious seafood casserole I am going to show you how to obtain all those requirements, and produce depth of flavor, using sea veggies.
If you love Asian food, you may already have many of the ingredients, as I found I had when I made an Izakaya (Japanese Tapas), gathering at my home.
For texture, I found a great brand of chips, made from healthy ingredient that had both lime and chili to sprinkle across the top.
Therefore finishing off this great casserole with all the umami you’d want!
How To Make A Pantry Seafood Casserole
Let’s get the sauce started first and watch how fast the rest comes together.
First, a drizzle of sesame oil goes into a stovetop pan first, followed by coconut milk and the dried mushrooms.
Very quickly the mushrooms come back to life and a lovely earthy flavor and aroma lays the foundation for the sauce.
Secondly we place the rice noodles, spice and torn pieces of nori into the coconut milk.
You won’t believe how fast the nori elevates the seafood flavor in the sauce! Give the noodles a moment to soften in the liquid.
Be sure to keep an eye on them because they will drink up the liquid fast. An added drizzle of wine or water will help to keep the sauce, saucey!
Next, we will transfer this mixture to a casserole dish, layer on the seafood choices and finish it off with a generous sprinkle of crumbled chips across the top.
Finally, heat the dish in the oven for a short time, and serve.
- Frying pan with a lid
- Measuring spoons
- Casserole dish – individual or a size for 2 servings – these are my favorite individual casserole dishes, especially since not everyone wants all the same ingredients!
- Processor, blender or hammer to crush the chips
- Stovetop and an Oven
- Sesame oil
- Coconut milk
- Dijon mustard
- Nori sheets
- Dried Chanterelles or other dried mushrooms
- Seafood spice
- Instant rice noodles
- Water or white wine
- Smoked mussels
- Smoked kippers
- Chili lime chips
Easy Pantry Seafood Casserole
- 2 Individual heat-proof dishes
- 1 tbsp Sesame oil
- 15 oz Coconut milk canned
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard or powdered mustard
- 2 Nori sheets (7×9 inches)
- 1 oz Dried Chanterelles
- 1 tbsp Seafood spice to taste
- 2-3 oz Instant rice noodles
- Water or white wine – as needed
- 4 oz Smoked mussels
- 6-7 oz Smoked kippers
- 1 cup Chili lime chips crushed
- In a medium frying pan, drizzle the sesame oil around the pan set on medium heat. Add the coconut milk, mustard, spice and chanterelles, lid on. Simmer on low until bubbles form. Continue to cook until the chanterelles become moist.
- Add the torn pieces of nori and noodles and continue to simmer on low, lid on. Stir occasionally to break apart the noodles. Once the noodles have softened and can be blended throughout the sauce, turn the stove off. If the mixture dries too quickly, drizzle a little water or white wine to keep the sauce wet and gravy-like.
- Place the seafood evenly between two individual casserole dishes, lightly oiled to keep gravy from sticking.
- Evenly distribute the mushroom and noodle mixture between the two dishes, saving a few mushrooms for the top.
- Evenly distribute the seafood between both dishes.
- Coarsely chop the chips and evenly sprinkle across the tops of both dishes and finish the tops with remaining mushrooms. This can be done ahead and warmed later in the oven.
- Preheat oven to 325. Place the casserole dishes in the oven, covered, for 15 minutes. Remove the covering and heat another 5 minutes to give a golden finish to the crumbs. Serve.