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This Tuna Casserole features tuna, noodles and vegetables in a homemade creamy sauce. It’s topped with a crispy breadcrumb topping and then baked until hot and bubbly.
Tuna Noodle Casserole
We’re always looking for more easy dinner ideas, especially homemade comfort food recipes like this tuna casserole. This recipe is made from scratch, without canned cream of soup. The creamy sauce takes just minutes to stir together on the stove. Making the casserole from scratch with wholesome ingredients makes this tuna casserole so flavorful.
Casserole recipes, like Chicken Casserole, Hamburger Casserole and this tuna casserole, are some of my favorites to make for my family for dinner. Not only are they comforting, but once you put a casserole in the oven you have time to clean up the kitchen or prep a side dish while it bakes.
Why You’ll Love this Recipe
- Easy Dinner Idea: Frozen vegetables and canned tuna make this recipe easy to put together.
- Classic Family Favorite: With noodles and cheese, this homemade tuna noodle casserole is perfect for a family dinner.
- Comfort Food: The crispy topping and creamy casserole with noodles are so comforting.
Tuna Casserole Recipe Ingredients
Here’s what you’ll need to make this tuna noodle casserole recipe. Find the full recipe with ingredient amounts in the recipe card below.
- Egg Noodles: Egg noodles are the classic noodle used in tuna casserole. Their soft texture works really well here, just like it does in Chicken Noodle Soup.
- Butter: The butter has three purposes in this recipe: it adds richness and flavor, it’s used to sauté the onion and celery, and it combines with the flour to make a roux, which thickens the sauce.
- Onion and Celery: These two veggies provide lots of flavor.
- Flour: To thicken the sauce.
- Chicken Broth and Milk: Using a combination of broth and milk produces a sauce that is creamy without being too heavy. It’s best to use whole milk to make the sauce rich and creamy.
- Salt, Pepper and Dried Thyme: To season the casserole.
- Frozen Peas and Carrots: You do not need to thaw or pre-cook them before adding them to the pot.
- Canned Tuna: Be sure to buy canned tuna in water, not oil. Any type that you like will work; light tuna is lower in mercury than white albacore. Skipjack is a good, lower mercury option. Craving more tuna recipes? Try a Tuna Melt or Tuna Salad.
- Cheddar Cheese: To add irresistible cheesy flavor!
Crispy Panko Topping
To make the crunchy topping, you’ll stir together panko breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese and melted butter. The butter ensures that the topping gets nice and crispy and golden brown in the oven.
How to Make Tuna Casserole
- Cook the egg noodles in boiling water according to package directions. Be careful to not overcook them, or they may fall apart in the casserole.
- In a large skillet, cook the onion and celery in butter until softened.
- Add the flour and stir for 30 seconds to cook off the raw flour taste.
- Stir in the chicken broth, milk and seasonings. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until thickened. Then remove the pan from the heat.
- Stir in the frozen veggies, tuna, shredded cheddar cheese and cooked noodles.
- Put the mixture in a 9×13-inch baking dish.
- Stir together the topping ingredients and sprinkle the topping over the tuna casserole.
- Bake, uncovered, at 375° F for 15-20 minutes, until hot throughout and golden brown on top.
Wondering what to serve with your tuna casserole? Try one or two of these side dishes:
- 8 ounces wide egg noodles
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup chopped yellow onion
- 2 ribs celery, chopped
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1 ½ cups whole milk
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme, or 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1 ½ cups frozen peas and carrots
- 2 cans (5 ounces each) tuna in water, drained
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, 4 ounces
- ¾ cup panko breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
- chopped fresh parsley, optional, for serving
- Preheat oven to 375° F.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the egg noodles and cook according to package directions, being careful to not overcook them. Drain and rinse in cold water.
- Meanwhile, melt the 3 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Once melted, add the onion and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 4-5 minutes.
- Add the flour to the skillet and stir for 30 seconds to cook off any raw flour taste. Then stir in the chicken broth and milk, followed by the salt, pepper and dried thyme. Cook, stirring often, for 2-3 minutes, until the sauce thickens.
- Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the frozen peas and carrots, tuna, shredded cheddar cheese and cooked noodles. Transfer the mixture to a 13×9-inch baking dish.
- To make the topping, in a medium bowl, stir together the panko, grated Parmesan and 1 tablespoon melted butter. Sprinkle evenly over the casserole.
- Bake, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes, until casserole is hot throughout and topping is golden brown. Serve, garnished with chopped fresh parsley if desired.