Tips For The Best Tuna Noodle Casserole Recipe
- Cook the pasta just until al dente . The noodles will continue cooking in the oven, so you dont want them to be mushy or overdone.
- Use solid white albacore tuna in water .
- Drain the tuna fish really well before adding it to the casserole.
- Theres no need to thaw the peas before adding them to the dish. Just stir them in while theyre still frozen this will help them stay nice and green in the casserole .
- Taste the filling before baking, and season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, if necessary.
How To Store This Casserole
This casserole tastes best the same day it is made since the onions do get soggy if they sit around. However, if you have extras, you can store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. I recommend adding fresh fried onion topping for a nice crunch after warming up any leftovers.
To reheat, place leftovers in a microwave-safe container and heat until warmed. You can also warm this in a 350°F heated oven for 15 minutes.
Can You Freeze Tuna Noodle Casserole
Freeze the tuna casserole before baking. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap, cover with foil, and freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to enjoy, thaw in the refrigerator overnight, allow the dish to come to room temperature on the counter for at least 30 minutes, and then bake according to recipe instructions.
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What Kind Of Noodles For A Tuna Casserole
This simple tuna noodle casserole calls for egg noodles — a traditional ingredient in the classic dish. I like the fairly thin “medium” egg noodles, but you can also use “wide” or “extra broad” egg noodles. Feel free to get creative and take advantage of just about any pasta that you have in your pantry. Try elbow macaroni, penne pasta, spaghetti, or rotini, too!
Can Tuna Casserole Be Made In Advance
Tuna noodle casserole is great made in advance. Make the casserole as directed but, before adding the Panko and parmesan, cover the casserole and store in the refrigerator for up to a day or in the freezer for 1-2 months.
I dont recommend storing the unbaked casserole any longer than a day in the fridge, because as it sits, the noodles will start to soften as it soaks up the sauce. You may even want to cook the noodles a minute or two less than al dente.
If frozen, let thaw in the refrigerator overnight and add the Panko and parmesan before baking.
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Making Tuna Noodle Casserole: Step
Start by boiling the noodles. Hopefully you have a scale, so you can weigh out the amount of dry noodles, if not, I’ve shown the amount here in a typical cereal-sized bowl.
While the pasta is cooking, add the tuna, green onion, celery and frozen peas to a large bowl. Use a fork to combine and break up the tuna into chunks .
Next, stir together the sauce ingredients and add to the bowl with the tuna mixture.
When the pasta is ready, scoop out the pasta with a slotted spoon and add to the bowl with the tuna mixture. Finally, add the pasta cooking water to the bowl and stir it all together. .
Transfer to a baking dish, top with cheddar cheese and panko and bake!
Easy Tuna Noodle Casserole
If this easy tuna noodle casserole has you thinking a little differently about using canned goods in your recipes, Id encourage you to check out CansGetYouCooking.com to explore more canned food recipes. You can also search #CansGetYouCooking on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, or Instagram for more inspiration. Tag your own recipes with it to share!
Plus take a peek at these other popular easy casserole recipes that make use of canned foods:
- This custardy cream corn casserole is SO good youll want to scrape the dish clean to get every last bit of caramelized goodness!
- Or try this Jiffy corn casserole recipe that starts with a box of Jiffy corn muffin mix and uses both whole kernel sweet corn and creamed-style sweet corn for an easy weeknight side!
- This easy green bean casserole recipe is my familys version of the classic recipe and uses only 3 ingredients, including canned green beans!
- These cheesy hashbrown potatoes, filled with 3 different cheeses, are a Midwest classic at its best!
- This taco tater tot casserole takes a classic family favorite and gives it a spicy twist with canned enchilada sauce and green chilies!
- This baked mac and cheese casserole is easy homemade macaroni and cheese at its best!
- This divine ooey-gooey cheesy chicken and rice casserole recipe comes together with just 6 simple ingredients, all of which you likely already have in your pantry and freezer!
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What To Serve With Tuna Noodle Casserole
This casserole can be a bit on the heavy side, especially if you prefer to make the cheesy version, so I like to pair it with a really light and simple side salad. The delicate flavor and texture of the salad perfectly balance the creamy tuna casserole and it helps you get a little more green on that plate. Plus, it only takes five minutes to make! A simple Three Bean Salad might also be nice.
Nutritional values are estimates only. See our full nutrition disclaimer here.The equipment section above contains affiliate links to products we use and love. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Can You Freeze A Tuna Casserole
Yes, theres two ways to freeze it. A make-ahead method or you can freeze the leftovers.
For the make-ahead method, prepare everything up to the point of baking. Once youve combined everything with the exception of the breadcrumbs and Parmesan, transfer to a freezer bag or freezer safe container. When youre ready to serve the tuna casserole, defrost the mixture in the refrigerator overnight, top with Parmesan and bread crumbs and and bake.
Leftover, oven-baked tuna casserole can also be frozen. To do so youll want to flash-freeze the leftovers for a few hours in the original baking dish, then when its solid, remove it from the pan, place it in a freezer bag, and return it to the freezer. To cook, thaw overnight in the refrigerator and reheat.
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What Makes This Tuna Casserole Healthy
Most tuna casserole recipes call for processed ingredients and lots of fat. I made a few modifications so this recipe is healthier than others WITHOUT sacrificing taste or the delicious creamy texture.
- Its lower in fat: I used less butter than other recipes, and replaced half the milk with chicken stock. You can also use veggie stock. I also only used 1 cup of shredded cheese on top.
- Its made with whole grains: I used whole wheat pasta instead of traditional egg noodles. You can use any kind you want- I chose fusilli, but rotini, penne, or whole grain egg noodles would work.
- It has NO processed ingredients or canned soups. Many similar recipes require canned cream of mushroom soup, which is often high in fat and salt. Instead, I used healthy, fresh mushrooms, and a thick creamy base made from scratch to control how much sodium is in it.
Tips For Tuna Casserole Recipe
- Dont overcook pasta! Egg Noodles are thinner than other noodles so it is critical to not overcook them, especially because the noodles will continue cooking in the oven. I recommend testing your pasta about 2 or 3 minutes before the box recommends pasta should be al dente meaning it should still be a little firm in the center/ have a bite to it.
- Stop pasta from cooking. Strain and rinse your pasta with cold water to prevent it from continuing to cook.
- Prevent pasta from clumping. If youre not using the cooked pasta right away, toss it with a little olive oil. This will prevent it from sticking together.
- Flake the tuna into large chunks. The tuna will continue to separate as you toss to combine it with the pasta and sauce, so dont flake it apart too much before combining or it will turn into mush.
- Cook flour for two minutes. Two minutes can seem like a long time but dont cut it short you want to make sure to cook out the raw flour taste.
- Simmer sauce until thick. The sauce should seem a little on the thick side because it will thin out once baked with the tuna and peas.
- Thin sauce if needed. The sauce can become too thick if its simmered at too high of heat or for too long. But dont worry, its SO easy to fix! Simply stir in a little milk or chicken broth until it reaches desired consistency.
- More cheese. The sauce in the Tuna Casserole recipe is more cream than cheesy so feel free to add extra cheese for a cheesier casserole.
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Tuna Casserole Edited Without Soup
No canned soup mix in this recipe! Mushrooms, onions, and water chestnuts go into this casserole. From: MVANWINKLE at AllRecipes, modified by Marcel
Provided by Marceld
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit .
- Butter a medium baking dish with 1 tablespoon butter.
- Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.
- Add egg noodles, cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until al dente, and drain.
- Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a skillet over medium-low heat.
- Stir in the onion, celery, and garlic, and cook 5 minutes, until tender.
- Increase heat to medium-high, and mix in mushrooms.
- Continue to cook and stir 5 minutes, or until most of the liquid has evaporated.
- Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan whisk in flour until smooth.
- Gradually whisk in milk, and continue cooking 5 minutes, until sauce is smooth and slightly thickened.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Stir in tuna, peas, mushroom mixture, and cooked noodles. Transfer to the baking dish.
- Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a small bowl, mix with bread crumbs, and sprinkle over the casserole.
- Top with shredded cheddar cheese.
- Bake 25 minutes in the preheated oven or until bubbly and lightly browned.
Which Tuna Is Best For Tuna Casserole With Egg Noodles
I recommend solid white albacore tuna in water for this recipe. Either StarKist or Bumble Bee brands are my preference. The albacore tuna has a mild taste than chunk light tuna, and a more firm, solid texture that holds up better when mixed into the dish. Make sure that you drain the tuna really well before combining it with the other ingredients. You don’t want a watery casserole filling!
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Frequently Asked Questions About Cheese Tuna Noodle Casserole
HOW TO MAKE THIS RECIPE MORE DIETARY FRIENDLY?
For low carb you an use a protein noodle. To watch calories use a butter alternative and low fat or fat free cheese and a lower fat milk.
CAN I SUBSTITUTE CAN CONDENSED SOUP FOR THE SAUCE?
Of course, this method makes a beautiful rich sauce but to save time, you can use the cream of celery, cream of chicken soup, cream of mushroom soup or cheddar cheese soup.
CAN THIS CLASSIC TUNA NOODLE CASSEROLE RECIPE BE DOUBLED OR HALVED?
Indeed, make the full recipe and freeze half for a future meal or double the recipe for a crowd.
WHY IS MY TUNA NOODLE CASSEROLE DRY?
The main culprit is not enough liquid. Make sure that the sauce is evenly distributed throughout the noodles and also cover the casserole with foil for all but the last ten minutes.
What We Love About This Tuna Casserole With Noodles Recipe
While the popular version of this recipe was introduced by the Campbells soup company in the 1940s, this recipe has been around for centuries, find out more history here. In this old fashioned tuna noodle casserole I do not use a prepacked soup, however I make a rich creamy sauce for the casserole.
- 35 Minute Meal: This is a quick and easy make ahead meal or freezer meal.
- Easy Ingredients: All found in pantry or fridge.
- Family Friendly: Creamy sauce, noodles and a crunchy top, whats not to love.
- Adaptable: Can make it low-fat or low sodium.
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How Do You Make Homemade Tuna Casserole From Scratch
- You start by making a simple white sauce which eliminates the need for processed canned soup.
- Add any veggies you wish here. In this recipe I used peas and mushrooms, you can swap them out for broccoli, asparagus, carrots, etc.
- You can swap the egg noodles for whole wheat if you wish.
- If you dont like tuna fish, you can even use chicken or salmon.
Freezing Tuna Noodle Casserole
You can also freeze this casserole without the layer of fried onions. Simply add the fully cooled casserole mixture to an aluminum pan, top with shredded cheese, and cover with multiple layers of plastic wrap and foil . This will store well for up to 3 months when covered properly.
To enjoy, thaw in the refrigerator the night before. To enjoy, preheat the oven to 400°F and top the casserole with fried onions. Bake for 20-25 minutes uncovered.
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Best Ever Tuna Noodle Casserole Creamy Cheesy And Completely Delicious This Casserole Is Even Adored By Those Who Say They Hate Tuna Noodle Casserole
My whole family loves this casserole, it has been passed down 4 generations now with a few adjustments here and there.
This Best Ever Tuna Noodle Casserole is my moms recipe and it can not be beaten. In fact, every other tuna noodle casserole to me is dry and blah. Most people when I say that I am making my moms Best Ever Tuna Noodle Casserole state how much they hated this dish growing up and I tell them to give it a chance. Beg them more like it.
I think most of us that grew up in the 70s-80s have the idea that all casseroles are dry and crumbly noodle dishes. But my mom was the exception. Even her Tater Tot Casserole is extremely creamy.
Look at all that cheese.
When I met my husband and told him I love tuna noodle casserole he thought I was crazy and then he had this recipe and forever changed his mind.
Fall for me is all about comfort food. Warm cheesy dishes that are full of carbs. LOL!
This makes my mouth water, nothing like a good cheese pull.
How To Make Tuna Noodle Casserole Step By Step Photos
Start by finely dicing one yellow onion. Add it to a skillet with one tablespoon of butter and sauté over medium until the onions are soft.
While the onions are sautéing, slice 8oz. of mushrooms. Add the mushrooms, ¼ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp pepper to the skillet with the onions and continue to sauté until they are tender. Transfer the sautéed vegetables to a clean bowl.
Add two more tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of flour to the skillet. Continue to cook over medium, whisking the butter and flour together as the butter melts. Continue to cook and whisk for about one minute after the butter and flour mixture begins to bubble and foam. The butter and flour mixture helps thicken the sauce.
Add 2 cups of milk, 1 cup of vegetable broth, and 4oz. cream cheese to the skillet. Continue to cook and whisk these ingredients together over medium heat until the cream cheese has fully melted and the sauce begins to simmer.
Add the cooked onions and mushrooms and ½ cup frozen peas to the creamy sauce. Stir to combine. Taste and add more salt and pepper . Set the sauce aside.
Begin to preheat the oven to 350ºF. Bring a pot of water to a boil, then add 8oz. wide egg noodles. Boil for about 7 minutes, or just until tender. Drain the noodles in a colander.
While the pasta is boiling, mix together the Parmesan breadcrumb topping. Melt one tablespoon of butter in a small bowl, then stir in 2 tablespoons of breadcrumbs and 2 tablespoons of grated Parmesan.
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Recipe Tips For Success
Like every good dish, there are some recipe tips, and swaps to make this the BEST meal ever for your family.
Tuna While I prefer canned albacore tuna in water, you could use it in oil, or a different variety like chunk light. Chunk light tuna will taste a bit fishier though. Fresh, cooked tuna can also be used.
Noodles You can use elbow macaroni if you prefer although I really love how the egg noodles are lighter in flavor and texture.
Cheese I used sharp white cheddar, but you could use Swiss, gruyere, or even yellow cheddar. Shredding chunk-style cheese yourself is more beneficial because it doesnt contain the binding agents that the bagged cheeses have.
Instant Pot Tuna Noodle Casserole
This post may contain affiliate links. Please see disclosure for more information. Published: Jul 6, 2021 by Dee
Instant Pot Tuna Noodle Casserole with pasta, peas and carrots in a cheesy creamy sauce is a quick and easy dinner the whole family will love! This homemade tuna casserole recipe is made from scratch without soup or boxed mixes, and it’s absolutely delicious!
If you’ve ever had old fashioned tuna noodle casserole, you know it’s definitely comfort food. Back in the day, my mom made the best tuna noodle casserole recipe and a lot of other recipes with canned tuna, including Tuna Helper and tuna fish patties — especially during Lent when we ate meatless meals often.
I make my Instant Pot Tuna Casserole recipe from scratch without cream of mushroom soup. It’s super easy, budget friendly and a quick weeknight meal. If you’re looking for easy Instant Pot recipes, you’ll love this pressure cooker tuna noodle casserole!
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