Tuna Noodle Casserole

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Homemade classic tuna noodle casserole, the quintessential American dish made from scratch and under $10 to make, the kids love it!

Homemade classic tuna noodle casserole, the quintessential American dish made from scratch and under $10 to make, the kids love it!
Tuna Noodle Casserole

Tuna casserole is classic comfort food! The ingredients are simple – canned tuna, mushrooms, peas, noodles in a homemade creamy sauce (without canned soup) finished with toasted breadcrumbs. Keeping canned tuna on hand is a great way to whip up quick lunches and dinners like the classic Tuna Melt or Tuna Macaroni Salad.

Homemade classic tuna noodle casserole, the quintessential American dish made from scratch and under $10 to make, the kids love it!

Lots of recipe call for canned cream of mushroom soup, cream of chicken soup or cream of celery soup. This recipe is made from scratch, with real ingredients, no canned soups.

Ingredients:

  • Noodles – for the noodles you can use no-yolk noodles, elbow pasta, penne pasta or brown rice pasta for gluten free
  • White Sauce – butter, onion, all purpose flour or gluten free flour mix, chicken broth and milk, plus optional sherry, for more flavor
  • Mushrooms – sliced baby bella mushrooms or white button mushrooms
  • Vegetables – Frozen petite peas or use peas and carrots
  • Tuna – canned albacore or chunk light tuna in water, drained
  • Cheese – reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese
  • Topping – whole wheat seasoned breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese
  • Fresh Parsley – for garnish

How to make homemade tuna casserole from scratch

  1. Cook noodles in a large pot if boiling salted water until al dente, or slightly under cooked by 2 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Melt the butter in a deep, large skillet. Add onions to the melted butter and cook on medium heat until soft, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the flour and a pinch of salt and stir well, cooking an additional 2-3 minutes on medium-low heat
  4. Preheat oven to 375F. Lightly spray 9 x 12 casserole with cooking spray.
  5. Slowly whisk in the chicken broth until well combined, increasing heat to medium and whisking well for 30 seconds, then add the milk and bring to a boil.
  6. When boiling, add sherry, mushrooms and petite peas, adjust salt and pepper to taste and simmer on medium, mixing occasionally until it thickens (about 7 to 9 minutes).
  7. Add drained tuna, stirring another minute.
  8. Remove from heat and add the reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese and mix well until it melts. Add the noodles to the sauce and mix well until evenly coated.
  9. Pour the mixture into casserole and top with Parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs. Spray a little more cooking spray and top and bake for about 25 minutes.
  10. Place under the broiler a few minutes to get the crumbs crisp (careful not to burn).

Variations

  • You can easily adapt this with different vegetables, try it with frozen peas and carrots, broccoli, etc
  • If you don’t like tuna fish, you can even use chicken or salmon.
  • Use whole wheat noodles in place of white noodles
  • Elbow macaroni can be used in place of egg noodles
  • Add some minced garlic with the onions
  • Top with baked, crushed potato chips or crushed ritz crackers in place of parmesan and panko

Can you freeze a tuna casserole?

Yes, there’s two ways to freeze it. A make-ahead method which is great for a busy weeknight meal, or you can freeze the leftovers.

For the make-ahead method, prepare everything up to the point of baking in the baking dish. Once you’ve combined everything with the exception of the breadcrumbs and Parmesan, cover tight with plastic wrap, then foil and label it with the name and date. To cook, defrost in the refrigerator overnight, top with Parmesan and bread crumbs and bake.

Leftover, oven-baked tuna casserole can also be frozen. To do so transfer the leftovers to an airtight container then freeze. To cook, thaw overnight in the refrigerator and reheat.

Is Tuna Casserole good the next day?

Yes, you can reheat tuna casserole the next day. For storage, refrigerate in an airtight containter up to 4 days.

adding peas to a pot with mushroomsPot with cheeseHomemade classic tuna noodle casserole, the quintessential American dish made from scratch and under $10 to make, the kids love it!Homemade classic tuna noodle casserole, the quintessential American dish made from scratch and under $10 to make, the kids love it!Homemade classic tuna noodle casserole, the quintessential American dish made from scratch and under $10 to make, the kids love it!

More Canned Tuna Recipes:

Homemade classic tuna noodle casserole, the quintessential American dish made from scratch and under $10 to make, the kids love it!
Print WW Personal Points
4.76 from 153 votes
Did you make this recipe?

Tuna Noodle Casserole

318 Cals 27.3 Protein 34.3 Carbs 7 Fats
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr
Total Time: 1 hr 10 mins
Yield: 6 servings
COURSE: Dinner
CUISINE: American
Tuna casserole, the quintessential American dish. Perfect for potlucks and under $10 to make. Made with canned tuna, mushrooms, peas and noodles in a creamy sauce (and no canned soup) finished with toasted breadcrumbs – so good!

Ingredients

  • 6 ounces no-yolk noodles, or egg noodles of choice
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 medium onion, minced fine
  • 3 tbsp flour, or gluten free flour
  • 1 3/4 cups fat free chicken broth
  • 1 cup 1% milk
  • 1 ounce sherry, optional
  • 10 ounces sliced baby bella mushrooms
  • 1 cup frozen petite peas, thawed
  • 2 5 oz cans tuna in water, drained (I used albacore)
  • 4 ounces 50% reduced fat sharp cheddar, such as Cabot
  • 2 tbsp parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp whole wheat seasoned breadcrumbs
  • fresh parsley, chopped for garnish

Instructions

  • Cook noodles in salted water until al dente, or slightly undercooked by 2 minutes. Set aside.
  • Melt the butter in a large deep skillet. Add onions and cook on medium heat until soft, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the flour and a pinch of salt and stir well, cooking an additional 2-3 minutes on medium-low heat
  • Preheat oven to 375°. Lightly spray 9 x 12 casserole with butter flavored cooking spray.
  • Slowly whisk in the chicken broth until well combined, increasing heat to medium and whisking well for 30 seconds, then add the milk and bring to a boil.
  • When boiling, add sherry, mushrooms and petite peas, adjust salt and pepper to taste and simmer on medium, mixing occasionally until it thickens (about 7 to 9 minutes).
  • Add drained tuna, stirring another minute.
  • Remove from heat and add the reduced fat sharp cheddar and mix well until it melts. Add the noodles to the sauce and mix well until evenly coated.
  • Pour into casserole and sprinkle the top with parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs. Spray a little more cooking spray and top and bake for about 25 minutes.
  • Place under the broiler a few minutes to get the crumbs crisp (careful not to burn).

Video

Nutrition

Serving: 1/6th of casserole, Calories: 318kcal, Carbohydrates: 34.3g, Protein: 27.3g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 34mg, Sodium: 660mg, Fiber: 3.6g, Sugar: 6g
WW Points Plus: 8
Keywords: casserole recipes, easy tuna noodle casserole, healthy tuna noodle casserole, Skinny Tuna Noodle Casserole, tuna casserole

 

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597 comments

  1. Could I make this with shredded chicken instead of tuna?

  2. This is in my regular rotation along with your chicken enchilada zucchini boats! This one feels like home but is completely from scratch which makes me feel good about what I’m putting into my body. Thanks for this!!

  3. Where and when do you add the milk? I didnt see it. 

    • Direction #5- Slowly whisk in the chicken broth until well combined, increasing heat to medium and whisking well for 30 seconds, then add the milk and bring to a boil.

  4. I made this last night with Monterey Jack cheese (all I had on hand).  It was wonderful!

  5. DELICIOUS!! I’m making it again tonight because I loved it so much when I made it a couple weeks ago! I added 2 cans of tuna instead of one, because I felt there wasn’t enough tuna last time but I love this recipe

  6. I made this BUT I used cauliflower rice instead of pasta. Followed the recipe exactly but that and let me tell you, it’s FANTASTIC.

  7. I loved this! It reminded me a lot of tuna helper but healthier.

  8. Is this cooking sherry ir sherry vinegar ?

    • It’s sherry, the alcohol. Tip – get a better quality sherry from the liquor store. Much better than cooking sherry from the grocery store.

  9. Really great recipe! Prepared exactly as written. Kids and husband all liked it. Cannot wait to make this one again! 

    • I’m kind of a foodie and would normally not even think to make a tuna casserole but I was looking for ways to use canned tuna and came across this recipe.
      I basically made it exactly as directed but added a bit more fresh-grated Parmesan to the breadcrumbs than was called for. It was truly delicious and I will definitely make it again.
      If you follow the recipe properly, there is the exact right amount of liquid. I let it sit on the stovetop and cool for about 15 minutes after it came out of the oven and it was perfect 😊😋

  10. Yummy casserole! Followed recipe exactly, came out perfect. The only thing I did different is I add the juice and zest of a small lemon and fresh Italian parsley when I make tuna casseroles. It brightens and enhances tuna. This will be my forever Tuna Casserole recipe!

  11. I made this today as my meal prep for the week!!! I added a few chopped up carrots, thyme, garlic, and another can of tuna. The sauce was perfect, not runny at all.  AND very flavorful!!!  I ate some tonight and it is delicious!!!  I look forward to having it this week again.  I always love your recipes!! You are one of my go to sites when meal planning.Thank you!!!

  12. I sautéed the mushrooms along with the onions and some salt, pepper and thyme. I think this adds a lot of flavor compared to tossing the mushrooms in with the liquid later on. I also used fresh grated parmesan cheese instead of cheddar (maybe about 1/3 cup). With these modifications, it came out great. Even the baby liked it!

  13. I’m from the midwest so this is a comfort meal from my childhood. My husband thinks tuna casserole is an abomination. I made this anyway for myself- guess who ate it and liked it? The husband and the kids all enjoyed this. I loved that it was packed with flavor despite being a healthy remix. Also so happy to have a meal with leftovers for lunchs!

  14. This was NOT a casserole, it was soup!! Way too much liquid as written. I followed the measurements and instructions to a T but I was very disappointed. Next time I will make my own version – with a lot less liquids.

  15. Really delicious! Added some thyme, cracked pepper, and red pepper flakes to the sauce to add some oomph. Excited to have half this week and freeze half for later.

  16. Love this modernized throwback recipe. Everyone enjoyed it!

  17. This was so yummy!  The fresh mushrooms are such a nice touch. So much better than the canned soup!