Looking for a simple and delicious meal? Behold our classic tuna noodle casserole recipe! This casserole bakes tuna, egg noodles, frozen peas, and cheddar cheese in a delicious creamy mushroom sauce.
Cheesy Tuna Noodle Casserole
Creamy casseroles are one of our FAVORITE dishes here at The Cheese Knees. They’re a classic comfort food that immediately just hits the spot, and this creamy tuna noodle casserole is no different!
Tender noodles, savory tuna, and rich cheddar cheese mingle and bake into absolute magic. The best part? This recipe uses French’s crispy fried onions as a crunchy topping, making it utterly irresistible.
Whether you’re serving this delicious, cheesy spectacle for your family at home or blessing the dinner table with it at a potluck, this casserole was made to impress. It’s an effortless, 30-minute meal that we bet nobody will forget!
why you’ll love it!
- It’s a simple recipe that requires minimal prep and effort.
- Tastes just like a yummy tuna melt!
- Perfect side dish or main meal.
- Is even more delicious the next day!
- Egg noodles: we used egg noodles in this recipe, but any chunky noodle can be used.
- Olive oil: used to sauté the mushrooms and onions for a flavorful base.
- White mushrooms: the taste and texture of mushrooms pair super well with tuna, but red peppers would taste great as well!
- Yellow onion: sautéd onion acts as a flavorful base for the roux to make this casserole rich and delicious.
- Butter + flour: you can’t have a roux without butter and flour! This will ensure your casserole sauce thickens to perfection.
- Salt + pepper: salt and pepper this tuna noodle casserole to taste.
- Garlic powder: garlic is great for elevating any dish — especially cheesy casseroles!
- Paprika: the spice that brings just enough kick to enhance all the other flavors.
- Milk: milk is used to make a roux and is what gives casseroles that creamy taste.
- Canned albacore tuna: we used canned albacore, but feel free to use your favorite can of tuna.
- Frozen peas: the frozen peas add some veggies to this dish, so everything is wonderfully balanced. You can also use mixed frozen veggies as well for some variety. Just remember: add the frozen veggies at the end!
- Shredded cheddar cheese: cheddar cheese tastes excellent with tuna! You also have the option to use 8 oz. Velveeta cheese chopped into cubes if you desire a thicker, meltier cheese.
- French’s crispy fried onions: these crispy fried onions bring a flavorful and satisfying crunch to each and every bite!
How to Make Tuna Noodle Casserole
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook your pasta according to the instructions on the package (about 10 minutes). Drain and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350℉ and spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Once fragrant, add the mushrooms and onions. Cook for 5 minutes or until the mushrooms shrink and the onions are soft and translucent.
Next, add the butter and flour to the pan to create a roux. Stir and cook for 1 minute. The roux should have a paste-like consistency that covers the onions and mushrooms.
Then whisk the milk into the pan, scraping the sides and bottom to get all of the roux mixed in. Once thoroughly mixed, stir in the tuna and peas and fold in the noodles.
ASSEMBLE + BAKE
Transfer your casserole to the baking dish, top it with cheddar cheese, and then the fried onions. Bake for 20 minutes uncovered.
Violà! The ultimate tuna noodle casserole. Serve and enjoy!
What are the components of a casserole?
The components of a casserole include protein, grain, veggies, and sauce.
What causes a tuna casserole to become dry?
Tuna casseroles can become dry for a few reasons. For one, there might not be enough liquid in the recipe for the noodles to absorb. Second, the casserole dish could be too large for how much casserole there is. And lastly, the casserole dish didn’t get covered with foil.
Can tuna casserole be reheated?
Yes! Cover your leftover casserole with foil and bake it in the oven at 350°F until hot and bubbly. For quicker results, you can also reheat individual servings of tuna noodle casserole in the microwave.
What is the key to making a good casserole?
The key to a good casserole is ensuring that your grain is fully cooked and that your sauce has a delicious flavor. We recommend always adding cheese on top of your casserole for extra flavor!
Got leftover tuna casserole? Allow it to cool completely before transferring it into an airtight container. This casserole will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3-5 days.
Can you freeze tuna noodle casserole?
Oh, the burning question of: can you freeze this casserole? Most of the time, we’d say HECK YES! However, we don’t ever suggest freezing a recipe that involves noodles.
Unfortunately, they don’t hold up too well when thawing and reheating.
Tuna Noodle Casserole
- 12 oz. egg noodles
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 8 oz. sliced white mushrooms
- ½ large yellow onion diced
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 2.5 cups 2% milk
- 12 oz. canned albacore tuna
- 10 oz. frozen peas
- 1.5 cups shredded cheddar cheese*
- 1 cups French’s crispy fried onions ~ 3 oz.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta according to package instructions. About 10 minutes. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 350℉ and spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
- Heat a large pan over medium/high heat. Add the olive oil. When it becomes fragrant, add the mushrooms and onions. Cook until the mushrooms shrink and the onions are soft and translucent. About 5 minutes.
- Next, add the butter and flour. The roux will create a paste that will cover the onions and mushrooms. Stir and cook for 1 minute. Whisk the milk into the pan and scrape the sides and the bottom to get all of the roux mixed in. Stir in the tuna and peas. Then fold in the noodles.
- Transfer to the baking dish, top with the cheddar cheese, and then the fried onions. Bake for 20 minutes uncovered.
- Serve immediately.
Tips & Notes
- Option to use 8 oz. Velveeta cheese chopped into cubes here.*
- We used egg noodles in this recipe, but any chunky noodle can be used.