During elementary school, my Mom and Dad would sometimes forget to put lunch money into my account. So on the days I couldn’t get a hot lunch, the lunch ladies would offer me a simple tuna sandwich. Back then, I truly despised tuna so I’d skip the sandwich and go hungry until I could get home and stuff my face with one of Dad’s delicious turkey sandwiches. Sad, but true.
I look back on this memory and think about how I wish I had the taste buds of an adult as a child because these days I find myself LOVING tuna. From honey mustard apple tuna salad to jalapeño cheddar tuna melts, I can’t get enough of the inexpensive, protein-packed amazing flavor that tuna brings to meals.
A couple of years back my bestie and I were talking about traditional recipes that we had growing up that could be made a little bit better for you. She suggested that I make a healthy tuna noodle casserole, as that was one of her favorites growing up. So I gathered up my reusable bags, headed to Trader Joe’s, threw around my tiny red cart like a woman on a mission and filled it to the brim with plantain chips (hi, I’m obsessed) and delicious ingredients for this healthy tuna noodle casserole.
What’s in tuna noodle casserole?
If you haven’t had tuna noodle casserole before, then you might be wondering what the heck it is. Traditional tuna noodle casserole is made with cream of mushroom soup, egg noodles, peas and of course tuna. Most people top it with breadcrumbs or even potato chips for a crunchy topping. It’s creamy, savory, and absolutely delicious!
Everything you’ll need to make a healthier tuna noodle casserole
I say, why not make tuna noodle casserole from scratch with better for you ingredients? My recipe is healthier, customizable and doesn’t involve any canned soup. Plus it’s EASY! To make this healthy tuna noodle casserole recipe, here are the ingredients you’ll need:
- Pasta: feel free to use any kind of noodles you’d like. I prefer shells, large elbow noodles, or bowties for this recipe. If you are gluten free, please feel free to use your favorite gluten free noodles.
- Butter: a little goes a long way in helping flavor and break down the onions and mushrooms, but also to make a slurry parmesan gravy sauce to coat all the pasta
- Veggies: we’re adding white or yellow onions (I find that white onions are best in this recipe), sliced baby bella mushrooms, and peas in this recipe.
- Herbs & spices: you’ll also need garlic powder and thyme, which creates an amazing depth of flavor and savoriness in this recipe.
- Flour: you can use all purpose flour, whole wheat flour or an all purpose gluten free flour in the sauce. Coconut flour and almond flour will not work.
- Milk: you have the option of using whatever milk you’d like. I have only tested this recipe with unsweetened almond milk, but I think skim milk or unsweetened cashew milk would work well.
- Cheese: parmesan cheese creates the perfect amount of sharp flavor melted into the sauce.
- Tuna: you’ll need two cans of tuna for this recipe. Make sure you drain the cans before adding the tuna to the casserole!
- Breadcrumbs: I still kept the delicious crunchy topping because who doesn’t love a good crunch? If you are gluten free, feel free to use gluten free breadcrumbs, gluten free potato chips that have been crushed up, or gluten free crushed crackers (Simple Mills crackers would be delish!).
Doesn’t it look down right FABULOUS? I was so elated about this tuna noodle casserole that I pretty much kept the entire pan to myself for the entire week, I reheated leftovers for lunch and dinner and gobbled up every last bite.
SO FREAKING GOOD. AND CREAMY. AND SAVORY. AND HOMEMADE! AND HEALTHY too. What more could you want?!
Customize your tuna noodle casserole
This easy tuna noodle casserole is great for customizing to your taste preferences as well! Here’s what I can recommend:
- Choose your veggies: if you’re not a mushroom fan, feel free to skip and add something like green beans or spinach instead. I think peas are a MUST in this dish, but you can also skip them if you’d like.
- Make it gluten free: make sure to do is use gluten free pasta noodles, gluten free all purpose flour and gluten free breadcrumbs (or substitute crushed up gluten free tortilla chips, potato chips or crackers).
- Go dairy free: simply use vegan butter, a dairy free milk of choice and dairy free parmesan cheese.
Freezer-friendly tuna noodle casserole
That’s right, this lightened up tuna noodle casserole is easy to make ahead of time and freeze for later! If you want to make this tuna noodle casserole ahead of time, simply:
- Make the recipe as directed, except do not bake the casserole.
- Put the casserole into a freezer container pan such as these, cover the container, then place it in the freezer until ready to bake.
- Once ready to bake, thaw out the casserole in the refrigerator overnight. Once thawed, bake as directed!
More amazing comfort foods
- Buffalo Tuna Melt Stuffed Peppers
- Pesto Mushroom Chicken Lasagna Roll Ups
- Blow Ya Mind Cheddar Broccoli Chicken Pot Pie
- Stovetop Southwest Tuna Mac and Cheese
- Incredible Caramelized Onion Spinach Chicken Pasta Bake
Get all of my delicious comfort food recipes here!
If you make this healthy tuna noodle casserole, be sure to rate the recipe below and leave a comment! You can also follow me on Instagram and tag #ambitiouskitchen. Enjoy – xo!
Healthy Tuna Noodle Casserole
- 10 ounces dry pasta shells (or use rotini, fusilli, or whatever pasta you’d like)
- 3 tablespoons butter, divided
- 1 white onion, diced
- 8 ounces baby bella mushrooms, sliced
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour (or whole wheat flour or all purpose gluten free flour)
- 1 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk (or cashew milk or regular milk)
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 2 (5 ounce) cans tuna, drained
- 1 cup frozen peas
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- For the topping:
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs, gluten free if desired
- 1 tablespoon butter
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Spray a 2-quart baking dish or 9x9 inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray, or grease with olive oil or butter.
First boil the noodles until al dente, according to the directions on the package. Once done cooking, drain and set aside.
Cook your mushrooms: Place a large pot over medium-high heat and add in 1 tablespoon butter. Once butter melts, add in the mushrooms, onions, thyme and salt and pepper. Stir occasionally until mushrooms and onions are cooked down about 4-6 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
In the same skillet you cooked mushrooms, add in 2 tablespoons of butter and place over medium heat. Once butter is melted, whisk in a little bit of the flour and then slowly add in milk, a little bit at a time, alternating with the flour and vigorously whisking away any lumps. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for a few minutes stirring every so often, until the sauce thickens up. If it gets too thick, add in ¼ cup more milk.
Once thick, turn off the heat and stir in garlic powder, parmesan cheese. salt and LOTS of freshly ground black pepper.
Stir in cooked noodles, mushroom and onion mixture, drained tuna and peas. Season again with salt and pepper, to taste. Pour mixture into your prepared baking pan.
In a small bowl, mix breadcrumbs with melted butter. Sprinkle breadcrumb mixture on top of casserole and bake for 20-30 minutes. Serves 6.
How to make dairy free tuna noodle casserole: If you want to make this tuna noodle casserole dairy free, I suggest using vegan butter, a dairy free milk of choice and dairy free parmesan cheese.
How to make gluten free tuna noodle casserole: This tuna noodle casserole can easily be made gluten free too! All you'll need to make sure to do is use gluten free pasta noodles, a gluten free all purpose flour and gluten free breadcrumbs (or substitute crushed up gluten free tortilla chips, potato chips or crackers).
Recipe by: Monique Volz // Ambitious Kitchen | Photography by: Eat Love Eats
This post was originally published on September 10th, 2019, and republished on April 18th, 2022.
I have been very impatiently waiting for this recipe since you posted it on insta!
15 weeks manana and this looks like the PERFECT food for this prego momma’s!
It’s here!! So excited to share this recipe. Enjoy! 🙂
I made this and it was amazing! I substituted cheddar cheese for the parmesan. Delish!!
Love it! So happy to hear that.
Just made this awesome food today. It is so hearty and comfort food indeed! Thank you for sharing! (I wanted to give 5 stars but it won’t let me)
Love it! So happy you liked this one 🙂 We’re working on a fix for the stars – thank you for the heads up!
Made this for dinner last night–AMAZING! My 7-year-old loved it.
Amazing! I’m so glad.
This was my first time ever having or making tuna casserole and it was AMAZING. Thank you so much for such a delicious and easy-to-follow recipe.
So glad you loved it! Perfect dinner staple 🙂
Just wanted to let you know broth is not listed in the ingredient list, but is described in the recipe. I’m just going to use water, since I didn’t buy broth. Also, the amounts of butter listed differ between the ingredient list and recipe.
Hi Mary Beth! Thank you for the catch. I’ve updated the recipe, so it is now correct!
So tasty! Thanks 🙂
Absolutely! Glad you enjoyed 🙂
Made this last night and loved it! I grew up on tuna noodle casserole so I was so happy to find this healthier version. I didn’t modify anything, just topped with crushed up tortilla chips instead of breadcrumbs – came out great. Will be making again!
Love that!! So happy you found this one.
Best tuna noodle casserole we’ve made! Fresh mushrooms give a great burst of flavor. I increased ingredients by about 50% to use all of 16-oz box of pasta shells. Also sprinkled Parmesan over bread crumb topping for extra touch. Definitely a keeper!
Perfect! So glad you all loved this one. Parmesan is the perfect topping, too.
This is amazing! I could eat all six portions myself ☺️
So delicious! Glad you enjoyed 🙂
This was okay. My main issue was that it turned out pretty dry. The flavor was good though!
Hmm that’s so odd, I haven’t had that issue and make it quite often. Perhaps it was the flour you used? Next time feel free to add a splash more milk!
We don’t like mushrooms, so we skipped them and added an extra half cup of peas. Thought it was funny that my husband didn’t read this post, but the first thing he said was “Mmmm, comfort food.”
Perfect! So glad you both enjoyed 🙂
I made this last night and it was absolutely delicious! Thank you!
So happy to hear that! One of my favs 🙂
Could this be frozen after cooking?
That should be fine! I have some instructions in the post for freezing before baking, but to do so after baking I would recommend bringing it to room temp and then freezing the entire pan. I would also make sure you double wrap it so that the casserole does not dry out (assuming you are freezing the entire pan.) Once ready to reheat, thaw it out and bake it covered at 350 degrees F for 30-45 minutes or until heated through.
Another great recipe! I was hesitant about using almond milk in the sauce but the end flavor was so good! Love the how the thyme subtly comes through too. Yum!
It adds the perfect creaminess! And yes those herbs are delicious 🙂 glad you enjoyed!
Making this again for my family tonight, my toddler never eats mushrooms or tuna but she LOVES this!
Amazing!! So happy to hear that 🙂
Tuna noodle are my favorite. Kindly make more of dishes regarding tuna noodles. My kids love it.
So happy to hear that!
Skipped the mushrooms because we were out, but thoroughly enjoyed by my picky husband and toddler!
So happy they loved this one! It’s delicious even without mushrooms 🙂
My boyfriend and I used to make tuna casserole as our poor student dinner in college but so this gave us total nostalgia. We try to eat fresh, unprocessed dinners now and both loved this version. I used chickpea shell pasta and skipped the breadcrumbs to save time. I bet if we compared it side by side with the boxed stuff, this would be 100x better.
Aw love that! I’m so glad you two found this recipe – so delicious.
I was very very skeptical about using almond milk. I tend to be very picky with very sensitive taste buds, so I can taste right away when things taste “off.” Even while I was cooking the almond milk with butter/flour, I was thinking how this will not go well (at that step, the almond milk mix had an off sweetish flavor like a dessert even though I used unsweetened, non-vanilla almond milk). But somehow all the flavors came together at the end. My husband LOVED this dish and kept on gushing about it as we were eating. To me, it still tastes a tad bit off (Again, I’m very sensitive) but overall the dish is pretty great. My husband has asked me to make this every week.
I’m so glad he loved it! Feel free to use any type of milk you’d like, too, if you’re sensitive to almond milk 🙂
Made this recipe for the first time last night and we loved it! I’m always hesitant to use almond milk because sometimes I think it can change the taste, but my husband had no idea. It tastes like a cleaner and more well balanced version of our childhood favorite. It definitely still gave us all the feel goods of an old favorite comfort food! We will be making it again soon!
So happy you guys loved it! Comfort food at its finest 🙂 you can also feel free to use regular milk in this if you like!
Since I’m not leaving my house right now, I had to use whatever I had. I did not have mushrooms, so used celery, onion, and part of a leek. I used almond milk, rotini, and toasted bread to make breadcrumbs. Even though I did not have nearly enough Parmesan cheese, this was delicious. I doubled the recipe and froze it, so we’ll have it next week, too. Looking forward to making it with the right ingredients and quantities.
Perfect! This one’s great for customizing. So glad you enjoyed!
LOVE this recipe! I am a fan of comfort food dishes & this one hits the spot! So creamy and delicious, I’d recommend to everyone. Also, one time I didn’t have mushrooms or peas, so I subbed asparagus & corn (don’t ask 😂) & it was just as delicious!!
Perfect! This one’s great for customizing with veggies you have on-hand 🙂 so comforting!
Love this recipe!! I always add extra tuna & breadcrumbs.
Perfect! So delicious.
The flavor was really good but I ended up having way more than what would fit in the recommended baking dish. I ended up filling a 9×13 baking dish and felt like there was way more pasta than needed. I think I’ll cut back on the ounces of pasta next time but otherwise the flavor was good!
It could have potentially been the noodles you used or how you measured the noodles. Glad you liked the flavor though! Next time feel free to use less noodles if that is your preference.
A great recipe that is easy to make your own with your choice of veggies. Leftovers if there are any are just as fantastic. Thank you!
Absolutely! Perfect dinner 🙂
This didn’t last long to make a photograph of it…. we loved it! So I will definitely make this again and wanted to say I like the options to use other types of milk, noodles etc. Leaves lots of room to explore more! Thanks for sharing.
Amazing! So happy to hear that. And yes, great for customizing!
If you’re on the hunt for an incredibly comforting, nourishing, easy-to-throw-together, feel like you’re being hugged meal with ingredients you probably already have in your pantry, THIS IS IT! This was my first time having tuna noodle casserole, and honestly, I was a bit skeptical about the concept of tuna mixed with noodles. But I trust Monique, and the moment I tasted it, I knew to never doubt her again.
IT’S INCREDIBLE! Will definitely be a repeat in my household.
I improvised a bit, since I didn’t have frozen peas, so instead I added an equal amount of chopped celery and cooked that with the mushrooms and onions. For the breadcrumb topping, I used crushed Simple Mills crackers, and it was delish! Just make sure they’re fully crushed.
Thanks for another winning meal, Monique!
Absolutely! This one’s great for customizing with what you have on-hand. The Simple Mills crackers sound AMAZING. Glad you loved this, Nicole!
This was so fantastic. I only had purple onion so I used that & small jar of chopped pimentos. My pasta was small egg noodles.
It tasted so different from when I made it with canned cream of mushroom soup & store bought bread crumbs.
This is a keeper.
Love it! Such great comfort food 🙂
I used spinach instead of mushrooms, and Panko breadcrumbs. Turned out delicious! Hubs loves this recipe, will make again! Thank you 🙂
Perfect! Such a great dinner 🙂
Can this tuna bake be frozen .
Yep! Check out the blog post for freezing instructions 🙂
Loved this recipe! Very comforting which we need right now. My parents loved it as well and both had seconds. Thanks for another winner 🙂
Absolutely! So glad everyone loved it 🙂
Going on repeat. It was delicious. I made zero modifications, thank you!
Perfect! So happy to hear that!
I just love all your recipes! I made this one today and used chickpea pasta (only ingredient chickpeas) and gluten free flour. It worked very well!
After it cooked is it ok to freeze
I followed the directions very closely, proportions of ingredients were followed carefully, but the dish was (1) dry and (2) lacking flavor. In other words, it was bland. Would’ve perhaps benefits from more sauce and, I think, a more flavorful cheese, like a good cheddar. It was light on flavor for sure.
Strange! I’ve always found this to be perfectly sauced and flavorful. You may want to add more salt next time, or feel free to incorporate another cheese.
One of the best tuna casseroles I’ve made. The only ingredient I added was 2 cloves of chopped garlic with the mushrooms and onions. We loved it. Thanks.
So happy to hear that!!
My favorite Tuna Casserole had too much sodium, I went looking and yours seemed just the thing.
I was disappointed that SODIUM WAS NOT LISTED in Nutrition.
Hi Kevin! The sodium content depends a lot on the brands + any additional salt used in the recipe, which is why we don’t list it. I’d suggest taking a look at the back of the brands you’re using in the recipe to get a better idea!
Delicious! Appreciate the make ahead/freeze direction
Absolutely! Perfect, easy dinner 🙂
This casserole is INCREDIBLE. I followed it to a T and it came out perfectly. One person in my family that doesn’t like tuna loved this meal! There are so many textures in it that go together so well making each bite exciting and fun to eat. Love love love this comfort tasty food 🥘
Amazing! So glad everyone loved it!
I made this delicious casserole and it turned out great. I added a little more tuna and some other items that are listed in this recipe to have a little more. I also added, instead of just peas, a stir fry blend of veggies because I wanted corn and carrots in it, too. It turned out perfect. It fit in a 13×9 casserole dish.
My husband said it was very good. So I am keeping this recipe for sure for a monthly bake. Thank you.
Love that! Glad you both enjoyed 🙂
I appreciate that the recipe is editable by #of servings desired. I also like the adaptations to gluten free and dairy free choices.
Absolutely! Enjoy 🙂
I added celery to this recipe for added texture and flavor. It was delicious! Didn’t even miss the canned soup usually added to this casserole. I also skipped the butter and used coconut oil in it’s place. Topped it off with whole wheat breadcrumbs to keep in even healthier. Thanks for sharing this recipe. I will definitely be making this again!
Perfect! Love that!
I did not grow up with casseroles and I would bet my mom hasn’t touched a can of tuna in her life so I did not have anything to base this recipe off of.
All I can say is WOW.
10/10 dish that I will be making this again and again!
I added 2 stalks of celery to the mushroom/onion mix as well as some chili flakes.
I also used a higher end tuna canned in lemon and oil and that worked wonderfully.
I love how peppery this dish is (I really went for it, as you suggest) and I love how quickly it comes together!
Thank you for another great recipe!
Amazing! Also the lemon tuna sounds delicious. Glad you enjoyed!
Another delicious, comforting meal. So good with whole wheat pasta!
Absolutely! Great for fall and winter.
Delicious light alternative. I used it for meal prep and it was perfect!
Such a great dinner!
So good! I made half to freeze and half for now, but something tells me the freezer meals won’t last in there long! I followed the directions, but added a couple cloves of garlic with the onion and mushrooms and some Parmesan to the bread crumbs topping.
Absolutely delicious, maybe better than the original version!
Perfect! Best dinner for fall & winter 🙂
Dare I say better than my childhood tuna casserole? This was spot on! A well rounded dish leaving you satisfied. The perfect comfort dish on a chilly day.
Absolutely! Comfort food at its finest 🙂
One of the first things I learned to make as a kid was a tuna casserole with a canned soup base – every time I make this I’m thankful for how my skills have progressed.
As written this dish has a very classic flavor profile. I usually add some chipotle powder for a hint of warmth and a little extra milk for a creamier end product.
Perfect! So glad you enjoyed!
SO GOOD! I used oat milk and GF pasta instead and it turned out amazing 🙂 ate leftovers for breakfast today..
Perfect! Good enough for breakfast 😉
First time i made this recipe.
But, with 5 stars I couldn’t resist.
It was awful no flavor and dry.
I was very disappointed. After it took me a good hour to get it in the oven.
I did everything the recipe called for.
So sorry to hear that, Laura! Did you follow the recipe exactly? It should be super flavorful and not dry (just like the photos and video). I wish I could help troubleshoot!
This was SO delicious. My kids and husband loved it so much. I used Cheddar style Daiya in the white sauce and topped it with both Daiya and gluten free bread crumbs. The white sauce was just so amazing I’m trying to find excuses to make it for other dishes. I did use Trader Joe’s Umami seasoning in it.
Love it! So glad it was a hit!
Thanks so much for sharing this Monique. I love casseroles and I feel like you can never go wrong with the classic tuna version. I also appreciate you showing us how to freeze this casserole. That is super helpful.
Absolutely! Hope you love this one 🙂
all i can say is my husband had 3 large helpings and as i was cleaning up dinner i could NOT. STOP. EATING. this dish. 🙂 even though it’s a little time consuming (but not much) i love that this healthier version exists for an update to an old classic. thank you!!
Absolutely! So glad you both loved it!
I love this recipe Monique! I have made it well over 4 times now. Only thing that changes is the kind of milk I use and I added some cheddar instead cause its usually what I have in the fridge.
Perfect! So glad you love this one!
Tuna noodle casserole is one of my absolute favorite foods but the classic recipe always leaves me feeling kind of gross after. SO grateful for this version… same hearty comfort dish with better ingredients (although I do still top with Lays potato chips instead of breadcrumbs!).
This has become a dinner staple. The flavour is really comforting; super creamy. It doesn’t take very long to put together. Everyone enjoys it!
OMG This is sooooo delicious. I used panko bread crumbs on top.
Love it! Glad you enjoyed!
I made this recipe months ago as is (loved it) and I made it again last night. Time was of the essence and I skipped the baking and breadcrumbs and it was just as delicious as the first time!
Perfect! Glad you love this one!
Not your grandma’s TNC! I made this for my 11-month-old daughter and SHE LOVED IT. I have never been a huge fan of tuna noodle casserole and I even thought it was delicious. Will definitely be making it again.
Amazing! So happy to hear that!
Really yummy recipe! Have kept this one and will make it again! 😆👏🤗😋
So glad that you’re enjoying it, Kay!
Although I intentionally way undercooked my pasta, I thought this tasted much better before it was baked.
Hi, Linda! Do you mean that the pasta overcooked while baking?
Hi! Would this work with rice or spelt flour? Thanks!
I haven’t personally tried it, so not quite sure! If you’ve had luck with those in thickening bechamel sauces, go for it! 🙂
This way be a dumb question , but I don’t really ever eat tuna … what kind of tuna in can should you use for this recipe ? do you use tuna in water for this recipe ? Thanks
Very excited to try this one out
Not a dumb question at all! You can use any tuna you like, but I usually get it packed in water 🙂 ENJOY!
LOVED it! I didn’t have mushrooms so omitted those, I used Panko breadcrumbs which I had on hand, and I used 14 oz of tuna, because my cans were 7oz each….but it still was delicious! Thank you!
Nice, so glad that all worked out and that you loved it!
Woohoo! Happy you enjoyed it!
Loved this recipe, but any suggestions on how I can prevent it from getting too dry without adding more calories. My friend suggested I put some pasta water in the cream of mushroom mixture. What do you suggest?
Pasta water is a great idea!
Healthy, hard to tell. Since the butter, tuna, cheese and milk all add CHOLESTEROL.
But you conveniently left that OUT of your nutritional values. Hmmmm.
We don’t calculate cholesterol but you’re welcome to use an online nutritional calculator to do so. Also this is made with unsweetened almond milk to lighten it up a bit.
My crew doesn’t eat mushrooms… assuming I can just leave them out… or is it important for texture? Is adding celery an option or will it be too watery? Thanks!
Don’t think you need it for the texture, based on what I saw. I’m pretty sure you can leave it out.
You can definitely leave them out!
Shouldn’t there be some type of broth used in the recipe? 1 3/4 cup of milk doesn’t seem like enough liquid for all the flour. Thanks!
Nope! I’ve found it’s enough liquid.
I was pretty disappointed. Based on the other reviews, I thought this would become my new favorite, quick recipe. Two hours later, I think I can say the following:
This recipe isn’t simple, or easy. I found it very, very involved. Usually, when making tuna casseroles I want the recipe to be SIMPLE. (I fancier recipes when I have time for fancy). There are too many steps, and way too many bowls for the recipe to be considered simple. The prep takes a long time, between making pasta, mushrooms and onions with different spices, and milk and flour as well as the cleanup, between the frying pan, pot and bowl to wash, in addition to measuring cups and spoons, and cutting boards and knives (and counters).
Also, did I mention the time it takes to get from the measurements to the instructions? It would drastically improve the recipe and cut down the time making it if the measurements were listed inside the instructions, to take away all that time scrolling and searching for amounts.
The recipe didn’t mention if the cooking at the end should be covered or uncovered. I kept the casserole uncovered. The noodles on top got a bit crunchy.
The amount of veggies was also a bit stingy (you could’ve easily upped it to 1 1/2 or even 2 cups of peas, corn, carrots etc.), and there was lots of butter, so in case you wanted to consider this recipe healthy – I would.
Were the results worth it? It was yummy. But… Don’t think I’ll be making it again. As I said, tuna casserole recipes should be simple. This one wasn’t.
Just for the record, here’s the bowls I dirtied (before this recipe even got in the oven!): 1. the pasta 2. onions and sauce 3.onion bowl until sauce is ready 4. pasta drainer 5.butter and breadcrumbs
Sorry to hear this took longer than expected! I haven’t found it to be too time-intensive, but I appreciate the feedback. You cook it uncovered. You might find some quicker recipes you like in my 30-minute meals category 🙂
I love this recipe! So easy and hearty, good enough to please everyone! I used to make it dairy-free with no parmesan, dairy-free butter, and either almond milk or coconut milk. Still just as delicious! Now I prefer to make it with the parm, it just adds an extra layer that dairy-free cheese can’t really replicate. Sneaky vegetable in here too, with the peas and mushrooms, and easy to sneak in others since the sauce is so great! I never had tuna casserole growing up, yet this recipe is so cozy and nostalgic that it feels like I’ve been eating it since I was born!
I made this last night, and OMGosh! It screams comfort food! So easy and tweakable (is that a word?). Very creamy and satisfying. I highly recommend this recipe! It’s going into our family recipe file. Thank you for the scrumptiousness!
I have always made the usual tuna casserole (which we like very much), just tuna, noodles, cream of mushroom soup, sometimes sauteed mushrooms, peas and a little swiss cheese). This recipe takes it up a notch and we loved it. The depth of the flavor is interesting and I will definitely be making this dish again and again. It would also be a good dish to take to a family or share with someone living alone. It certainly makes enough to share.
So happy you loved this one, Carole! Thank you!
This was really yummy, my whole family enjoyed it! We didn’t finish it, have about half left. I saw the freezing instructions say to not bake it before freezing; but do you think it’d be ok to freeze it after having cooked it? Thanks for another great (and kid friendly) recipe.
I’m glad you loved it! And yes definitely, you can freeze the leftovers 🙂
Very good! The instructions say to add LOTS of salt and pepper, which I thought I did, but it was still a bit bland when we served it up. Once we sprinkled on some more, it was so tasty, and my picky husband had seconds. Said picky husband also hates mushrooms, or at least seeing them; he actually likes the taste if he doesn’t know he’s eating them. So I stealthily cooked them up, then blended them in my Vitamix with some of the white sauce, then combined everything in a big bowl as directed. He was none the wiser, and we have our tuna casserole recipe!
This was delicious- a pretty easy weeknight dinner! Bonus points because my toddler and my 10 month old ate it! We did substitute canned salmon for the canned tuna only because that was in the pantry
My MIL has always made my husbands favorite tuna noodle casserole but It’s sooo rich I only make it for special occasions. This is the BEST alternative! Tastes even better than my MIL (shhh) and I feel so much less guilty because of the healthy swaps. Obsessed!!!
Haha I won’t tell her!! 😛 SO glad you love this one. Thanks, Ashley!
Love this recipe and have made it exactly as written several times. If you like me are old enough to remember the canned soup version, just forget that bad memory and make this lovely casserole . I use Wild Planet tuna and do not drain it. I use any pasta I have on hand and don’t measure or weigh it just use as much or as little as you like. Always use almond milk. Use Panko bread crumbs. Kids and husbands eat it up!
Hahaha yes I much prefer the homemade version, too!! I’m so glad you loved this one 🙂
Delicious! I used oat milk, gluten free flour and pasta and it was great… Thank you for this gorgeous recipe!
Nice, glad those GF subs worked well and that you loved it!
It tastes fine, but is really kind of dull. The spices (garlic powder and thyme) don’t seem to add much punch to the flavor, leaving the dish bland. Wondering if there’s a way to liven it up more?
Sorry you didn’t find it very flavorful! I personally do so I’m wondering if maybe it needed more salt + garlic powder? A little lemon juice might help bring some bright flavor, as well 🙂
Used canned mackerel and it was delicious!
I really enjoyed this. I add some hot sauce sometimes and reheat it with some Mexican cheese til it gets crispy in a pan…YUM. I just wish I knew how big a “serving” was, for the nutritional facts posted. My husband wants to eat some but is watching his calories and the vagueness of “1 serving” isn’t something he can do. 🙁
Hi, Anne! SO glad you loved it 🙂 It’s a little hard to say exactly how big (inches-wise) a single serving is because it depends on what size pan you use, but it’s one sixth of the whole casserole. Hope that’s helpful!
I tried the Tuna noodle casserole and it was the best? I have tried many recipes as I’m all about healthy and tasty cooking and this is by far the tastiest, flavorful, and easy to prepare recipe.
Yay!! I’m so happy you tried it and that you loved it, Marlene. Thanks for the review!
I was so bored of everything I make and had virtually no leftovers and nothing defrosted till I thought of tuna Casserole! But I’ve always made it with the gloppy Campbell’s soup, which I didn’t have either. A short search for a healthy version led me to this absolute gem! I used less butter (plant based), whole wheat flour and whole wheat noodles,, skipped the mushrooms (yuck in my book)and it was DELICIOUS! I could have eaten the whole thing but I’m glad I saved some for later this week! I could say it was a tad bland so I might spice it up next time with a teensy but of mustard. But the bottom line is that there WILL be a next time! Thank you for sharing and for those wonderfully comprehensive and easy to follow directions too! Please keep those healthy dishes coming!❤️
SO happy you found this recipe, Ellie, and that you enjoyed it! I bet a little mustard would be incredible. Glad it was easy to follow, too! Thanks so much for leaving a review 🙂
Tuna casserole is one of my husbands favorite childhood recipes, this is a recipe I can get behind. Absolutely delicious and super easy for a weeknight family meal.
Loved it! Super quick & easy. All of your recipes are just incredible.
Aw thank you!! I’m SO happy you loved it ❤️
Yum, yum,yum! I substituted artichoke hearts for the peas (highly recommend) but otherwise made this as written. Chose to make with a mixture of almond and cashew milks. I will make it again…and again.
Artichokes are an EXCELLENT idea!! Thanks for sharing!
I made this for the first time and it is delicious! Given some of the comments that said it was too bland, I made sure I added LOTS of black pepper and used more salt than I normally would. It was very tasty!!
Forgot to add that I used panko breadcrumbs mixed with Parmesan cheese
Tuna and noodles was a staple in our house growing up in the ‘80’s. I’m pretty sure it was mushroom soup with tuna and egg noodles. So I was happy to find this healthier recipe. It was pretty tasty! I put in a few more mushrooms than called for because I like mushrooms! Next time I’ll make the roux a thinner and a few more peas because I like peas!
Happy you found and enjoyed this recipe, Molly!!
Do you think I could substitute canned salmon? I don’t like to eat big fish and my kids seem to really enjoy salmon. Thank you
Yes, salmon would be lovely! Enjoy!
A really incredible recipe with easy to follow instructions without a recipe list a mile long!!
Absolutely! This one’s great for using up pantry staples 🙂 Glad you enjoyed!
This is the best homemade tuna casserole recipe I’ve tried. Such great flavor and super easy. This will be a monthly staple in our household this winter. Thank you!!
So glad you loved it! One of our fav cozy meals, too 🙂
Yummy! So easy and delicious! I’m pescatarian and sometimes fish recipes are super expensive or bland, but this was the complete opposite! I froze my leftovers and they held up great!
Thanks so much for your recipe. I made a few adjustments to make it gluten-free. I thought to make it dairy free but broke down by adding my old school topping. My daughter and I could hardly stop eating it, it was so delish. Used GF rice/corn blend for noodles. I substituted Miyokos vegan butter for all the butter. I diced the mushrooms. I replaced the flour with King Arthur’s All purpose GF flour. Instead of the almond milk, I used Silk’s Half and Half Alternative (this pushed the calories way up – but was yummy). After thickening added about 3/4 to 1 c more, just stirring in. I eliminated the Parmesan and peas from inside the casserole. Used Ian’s GF Italian Style Panko Bread Crumbs. Increased Miyokos vegan butter for topping to about 4 tbl and added 1/2 c Parmesan to the topping. I then marked through “Healthy” on my printed copy of the recipe. If we only occasionally eat this, I will repeat what I did because it was soooo good. And, if I want it more often I will likely try unsweetened almond milk and adjust the topping – maybe make it dairy-free by eliminating the cheese..
Ahh this is amazing. Happy to hear it came out great 😊
This. Was. Delicious!! One of my favorite AK recipes to date. It was a little more time-intensive and a labor of love, but 100% worth the effort. My only modifications were choosing a flavored tuna packet over the canned plain tuna, and then my husband added red pepper flakes on top of his bowl. Already looking forward to making it again!
omg yum! Sounds amazing, so glad this recipe is a hit 🙂
Very good recipe. I added little bit more cheese and replaced mushrooms with the pack of spinach (as per notes suggested). My family wants me to make this casserole over and over again 😀
Perfect! So glad everyone loved it!
I’ve made this a bunch of times pretty much as written (always add an extra 1/4c of milk), and tonight due to pantry contents subbed a couple of chicken thighs for the tuna and a poultry seasoning blend for the thyme and it was also delicious. We love a simple and adaptable recipe.
Amazing! Great idea to make those simple swaps. Glad you love this one!
Made this last night! Well written, easy to follow and really good. My kids and husband really liked it too. My husband and I described this as “it just tastes very homemade” haha. Perfect family recipe!
Aw I am so glad this recipe is a hit, simply the best and coziest dinner ❤️
Soooooo good. I have been wanting to try this for awhile, but my husband hates anything tuna, so I finally decided to make it anyway and use it as lunch prep for the week for me. I’m so glad I finally made it. It is so very delicious. I really don’t like tuna either. but I was always a fan of my mom’s tuna noodle casserole growing up. This version did not disappoint….far and away so much better than the original version that I grew up on. I did top with a little cheddar to keep a little nod to the original, but otherwise followed the recipe as written. I will definitely save this recipe.
Quick and easy to make for a work night. We enjoyed it.
So good and easy to make! Very yummy comfort food!
Love this recipe! A staple for my partner and I 🙂
Is the parmesan fresh grated or like Kraft grated parmesan?
So freaking good! Definitely a tastier and healthier version of the original. I’m not a huge tuna lover, but my husband is. Perfect for lunches and maybe to get my toddler to eat some different pasta. I’m thinking about sneaking in some more veggies next time! I also just put the uncooked pasta in since I used frozen veggies. Still was chefs kiss!