Best Recipes in the United States




Without canned soups or mayonnaise, this recipe for tuna casserole is the BEST ever! Just tuna and vibrant peas covered in the richest, creamiest cheese sauce imaginable, with golden crispy panko on top. This tuna noodle casserole may be easily modified by substituting the noodles, vegetables, cheese, and other components with whatever you have on hand because it is made using pantry-friendly goods. You can prepare this tuna casserole totally in advance and bake it till warm and bubbly at dinnertime. It’s also quick and simple to make.

As a kid, did you consume tuna casserole? Tuna casserole was one of my go-to lunches while I was a college student since it was so quick, easy, economical, pantry-friendly, reheated nicely, and most importantly, it was a creamy, cheesy, cosy, carbohydrate hug..

Updated comforting classic. Because it is so fulfilling, so cosy, and incredibly delicious, Tuna Noodle Casserole has been a favourite for more than 70 years. The tuna casserole you remember from college that I made with canned soup is a thousand times worse than the “grown up” updated version I’m giving you today that I made from scratch. I ate it whenever I had the chance since it is so wonderful, and I was disappointed when there were no more leftovers.

No canned soups! Instead than relying on an unidentified canned “cream of soup,” this recipe for tuna casserole makes a simple, creamy white sauce from scratch with flour, butter, chicken broth, milk, and cornstarch. This sauce is cosy perfection—new and improved, made entirely from scratch, hearty, alluringly creamy, and cheesy.

Flavor! It’s reasonable that a tuna noodle casserole may quickly become tasteless and unsatisfying, but not with this recipe! This tuna noodle casserole is not your grandmother’s tuna casserole since it is expertly seasoned with hints of Dijon and Worcestershire sauce, salty chicken bouillon, onion powder, garlic powder, parsley, and both sharp cheddar and Gruyere.

Texture! This tuna casserole also hits all the right notes to create a symphony of calming sensations. Al dente noodles, juicy tuna, and bright, tiny peas are all smothered in a decadently creamy sauce before being topped with buttery, crunchy panko.

Pantry friendly. The best part is that tuna casserole is one of the pantry-friendly foods accessible; even the protein is non-perishable and can be kept for extended periods of time (milk can even be substituted for evaporated milk). This enables you to make the dish ahead of time or whenever the impulse strikes, which it will do often. Additionally, it enables you to stockpile the materials.


Before we get started on the tuna casserole dish, I wanted to briefly explain my sources of inspiration. Tuna noodle casserole gained enormous popularity in America in the 1950s. It was a time when “cream of soups” and casseroles were popular.

The first tuna noodle casseroles had egg noodles, drained canned tuna, condensed cream of mushroom or cream of celery soup, frozen peas, cheddar cheese, and sliced mushrooms. The top was then covered with crushed potato chips. The ingredients were all cheap, easy to locate, and non-perishable, so there was no need to make a trip to the grocery store.

Today, there are many different varieties of tuna casserole. A Mornay Sauce, a cheesy, creamy bechamel sauce, is used in more modern, homemade variations, which includes the recipe I’m sharing with you today. Many recipes still call for condensed soup. This sauce is lusciously creamy and produced entirely from scratch without the use of any unfamiliar ingredients.

Peas, corn, and mushrooms are additional items that can be included in tuna casserole, but peas will always be my favourite. The crushed potato chip topping has finally been replaced by buttery bread crumbs, cornflakes, Ritz crackers, and even fried onions that are crisp.

The BEST recipe for tuna casserole is what I’m bringing you today—the best of the old and the best of the new!


Tuna:  Use only the best solid white albacore tuna. It offers better texture, flavour, and a less fishy taste than skipjack/light tuna, all of which translate to superior Tuna Noodle Casserole! Additionally, three times as many omega-3 fatty acids are present in solid white albacore.

Egg noodles: They are crucial to the recipe for Tuna Noodle Casserole! Egg noodles are made with a higher egg to flour ratio than regular pasta. Noodles that are nearly buttery, fluffier, lighter, and softer as a result. They have a wavy shape that is perfect for cradling the creamy sauce and a somewhat chewy texture. Egg noodles always cook through perfectly and keep their shape and texture after baking.

Homemade Cream of Chicken Soup:  For this tuna casserole, I used my homemade cream of chicken soup recipe from my Chicken Divan recipe because it is so good. To create a beautiful, rich sauce, start with a roux and then whisk in milk, chicken stock, and cornstarch. You want the sauce to appear a touch on the thick side since it will thin out a little in the oven. To this rich sauce, we add chicken bouillon, Dijon, Worcestershire sauce, onion powder, garlic powder, dried parsley, and pepper. It is a smooth, flavorful treat.

Peas:  Use just frozen, thawed tiny peas, please! Popping peas are meant to add texture, however because canned peas are mushy, the objective is defeated.

Cheese: I use Gruyere because it is salty, nutty, and melts so wonderfully, and freshly grated cheddar because it is rich and sharp. You can locate Gruyere among the specialty cheeses at your local grocer (often by the deli). Use only freshly grated cheese; pre-shredded varieties are coated with anti-clumping chemicals, which also prevent them from melting.

Sour Cream:  Sour cream, in my opinion, is essential for the casserole’s typical, slightly acidic flavour. Even more than the half cup that I use is permitted. You can still use nonfat sour cream in this circumstance even though it melts more easily than full fat. To be absolutely honest, I haven’t tried the Greek yoghurt-topped tuna casserole.

Panko:  Don’t skip the panko crunch—one it’s of my favourite dishes! Panko, a type of Japanese bread crumb, is fluffier and bakes more crisply than conventional bread crumbs. It is close to the other breadcrumbs at the grocery store. Instead of the Italian-style panko I used, which is seasoned with Italian spice, you can use plain panko. In the event that you don’t have any panko or don’t want to use it, see my section on substitute toppings.


Gruyere, which is the ideal melting cheese and the star of French Onion Soup, is one of my favourite cheeses to use in casseroles, such as Au Gratin Potatoes, Scalloped Sweet Potatoes, and Frittata dishes, to mention a few. The excellent gruyere cheese improves this tuna noodle casserole recipe. It tastes creamy, nutty, sweet, and a little salty. It melts readily for more lavish creaminess and has enough flavour to counteract the sauce’s heaviness. However, as most of us don’t keep Gruyere on hand, you can use 12 cup of freshly grated, finely minced Parmesan in its place.


Please don’t forget the bouillon! It is the secret component that enhances flavour. Dehydrated vegetables, meat stock, a small amount of fat, salt, and seasonings make up the majority of the dish. In other words, it is salt that has flavour! Use equal parts of better than bouillon, chicken bouillon, or bouillon powder. Bouillon cubes should not be dissolved in water before being added to the sauce; instead, they should be lightly mashed before doing so.


Making tuna casserole is simple and requires no cutting! Here’s how, with illustrations and pictures that show each step:

Step 1 – Cook Noodles:  In salted water, egg noodles should be cooked for about 2 minutes less than the packaging suggests, just until they are al dente. Once the pasta has been drained, rinsed, and set aside, save 1 cup of the cooking liquid.

Step 2 – Make Sauce:  In a large Dutch oven or skillet, melt the butter and olive oil over medium heat (something that can fit all ingredients). Whisk in the flour, then cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Turn the heat down to low and whisk in the milk and 1 1/2 cups of chicken broth slowly. The remaining chicken stock, Dijon, Worcestershire sauce, chicken bouillon, and all other ingredients should be added to the skillet along with the cornstarch mixture.

The sauce should be regularly stirred while being brought to a boil, and then simmered until thickened.

1 cup of cheddar cheese is added and whisked until melted, then Gruyere cheese is added and whisked until melted. Get rid of the heat. Add the sour cream and mix thoroughly.

Step 3 – Combine: The tuna and peas are added, then combined. Add the noodles and combine well.

Step 4 – Add Topping:  Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of cheddar cheese and panko over the prepared baking dish after placing it in.

Step 5 – Bake:  After baking at 350 degrees with the foil covering for 30 minutes, serve right away. Then, remove the cover and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until bubbling and hot. Add freshly cracked salt and pepper to taste.


It is acceptable to add the panko to your tuna casserole without first browning it, bake it as directed, and then broil it, but the end result will never satisfy your craving for crispier panko.

I use the same technique I do for my Million Dollar Macaroni and Cheese because it is the ULTIMATE buttery, crispy panko coating.

First, melt the butter and olive oil together in a skillet over medium heat. To coat, stir in panko. The crumbs should continue to cook until they are golden brown. The panko will become the most incredible crunchy you’ve ever tasted after the tuna noodle casserole is cooked on top of this.


There is really no right or wrong way to top a tuna noodle casserole, as long as it is buttery and crunchy. Here are a few more preferred topping choices:

Ritz crackers:  Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a small pot. After adding them, stir in 1/2 cup of Ritz cookies. Mixture over the casserole, followed by the recommended baking time.

Potato chips:  Sprinkle the necessary amount of crumbled potato chips over the casserole before baking, particularly ones that have flavours like salt-and-vinegar, onion, or jalapeno.

Cornflakes:  Stir together 1-2 cups of crushed cornflakes and 1-2 teaspoons of melted butter before adding the topping to the casserole.

Fried onions:  Sprinkle 1 13 cups of canned Crispy Fried Onions over the casserole during the final five minutes of baking, or make your own like I do in my Green Bean Casserole.


  • Don’t overcook pasta!   Since egg noodles are thinner than other types of noodles and will continue to cook in the oven, it is imperative to prevent overcooking. Pasta should be al dente, which implies that the centre should still be somewhat hard and have some “bite” to it. I suggest tasting your pasta around 2 or 3 minutes earlier than the directions on the package.
  • Stop pasta from cooking.  To stop your pasta from continuing to cook, strain it and rinse it with cold water.
  • Prevent pasta from clumping.  Toss some olive oil with the cooked pasta if you’re not going to use it right now. It won’t stick together because of this.
  • Flake the tuna into large chunks.  Before combining the tuna with the pasta and sauce, don’t mash it up too much. As you toss the tuna to combine it with the pasta and sauce, it will continue to separate
  • Cook flour for two minutes.  Don’t rush it, even though two minutes might seem like a long time since you want to make sure the taste of the raw wheat is cooked out.
  • Simmer sauce until thick.  The sauce should seem a little on the thick side because it will thin out when heated with the tuna and peas. 
  • Thin sauce if needed.  The sauce may become excessively thick if it is cooked at a high temperature or for a long time. But don’t worry—SO it’s easy to repair! Simply mix in a little milk or chicken broth to achieve the desired consistency.
  • More cheese. Since the sauce in the tuna casserole recipe is more cream-based than cheesy, feel free to add more cheese for a cheesier dish.


You can make any changes you like to this tuna noodle dish! You may play about with the ingredients and even swap out the tuna with a different protein to make an entirely new casserole. Here are a few ideas:

Veggies: The peas can be replaced with corn or other vegetables like broccoli, asparagus, zucchini, bell peppers, carrots, and celery. Before including the vegetables with the spaghetti, they should be steamed, roasted, or boiled. A quick solution is to toss them in with the boiling pasta in the last few minutes of cooking, much like I do with the asparagus in my BLT Pasta Salad.

Cheeses: You can mix the cheeses with any other favourite melting cheeses, such as mozzarella, Asiago, Gouda, smoked cheddar, Monterrey, Pepper Jack, Havarti, and Colby, to create a new flavour profile. Or just throw more cheese on top — fantastic!

Add ins:  Sun-dried tomatoes, artichokes, green chiles, pimientos, pickled jalapenos, roasted bell peppers, etc. add a fun variety.

  • Seasonings: You can swap some of the seasonings out for Cajun spices to mix things up.
  • Skip the protein.  You can instantly turn this Tuna Casserole into an easy pasta casserole side by omitting the protein.
  • Swap protein:  You may use the tuna casserole as a base for various casseroles by swapping out the tuna with other components like ground beef, Italian sausage, or turkey, shredded chicken, ham, or bacon.
  • Make it gluten-free.  Use your preferred gluten-free pasta and gluten-free flour to make this tuna noodle casserole.


Absolutely! To prevent them from absorbing too much sauce, make sure the noodles are cooked al dente. The best casserole to put together ahead of time is tuna noodle casserole. You can also make the pasta and/or the sauce ahead of time. The options are as follows:


  • Take care that your noodles are cooked al dente and are rinsed in cold water so they don’t keep cooking.
  • Take care the sauce isn’t too thick as it will thicken more sitting in the refrigerator.
  • Assemble the casserole according to recipe instructions up to the point of baking. Cover casserole with foil and refrigerate.
  • When ready to bake, let Tuna Casserole sit on the counter for 30 minutes before baking. 
  • Bake at 350 degrees F for 40 minutes, uncover and bake an addition 10-15 minutes or until hot and bubbly and cheese is melted.


  • You can make the Mornay sauce up to 3 days in advance.
  • Refrigerate sauce in an airtight container.
  • Gently heat in a large skillet before using, adding additional milk as needed to thin to desired consistency.


  • You can cook the pasta al dente up to 5 days ahead of time.
  • Rinse noodles with cool water.
  • Toss with a drizzle of oil to prevent them from sticking together. 
  • Transfer to an airtight container or freezer bag and squeeze out excess air.
  • Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.


To reheat tuna casserole in the oven, cover the dish with foil and bake it for 45 minutes at 350 degrees, or until it is hot and bubbling.

When prepared in the microwave, the Tuna Noodle Casserole reheats well in individual servings. I periodically add a splash of milk before warming the dish and then whisk it in to make the casserole just as creamy as the first day.


  • It’s quite convenient to make two servings of this tuna noodle casserole so you can serve one for supper and freeze the other. It is better to freeze it before baking.
  • Comply with the instructions for preparation and assembly until baking. If you want the casserole completely built, you can add the panko; if you prefer crispier panko, toast it first and add it just before baking.
  • Let Tuna Casserole cool completely (not from baking but from the warm sauce).
  • Wrap casserole securely with plastic wrap, then with aluminum foil.
  • Label and freeze for up to 3 months.
  • When ready to eat, defrost casserole in the refrigerator for 24-48 hours until completely thawed.
  • Let casserole stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before baking.
  • Bake at 350 degrees F for 40 minutes, uncover, and bake an addition 10-15 minutes or until hot and bubbly and cheese is melted.


This tuna casserole is one of our favourites to serve with a hearty salad, Soft & Fluffy Dinner Rolls, or Garlic Parmesan Butter Breadsticks. Any of the following sides also go nicely with it:

Wedge Salad with Blue Cheese Ranch

Cucumber Tomato Salad

Strawberry Avocado Broccoli Salad

Roasted Parmesan Broccoli

Roasted Parmesan Asparagus

Sautéed Brussels Sprouts with Garlic, Lemon, Butter

Strawberry Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

Fruit Salad with Honey Lime Vinaigrette Winter Fruit Salad with Honey Lime Poppy Seed Vinaigrette


Rectangular Baking Dish:   I adore my Le Creuset Stoneware, which is comprised of a unique clay mixture that, when burned, creates an incredibly dense substance that is subsequently impermeable and resistant to odours, chipping, cracking, and stains. Additionally, it keeps temperatures consistent and avoids burning. Please be aware that the version in my photographs is more recent. Despite being less expensive, this Modern Classics 913 is of fairly great quality.

Deep Saucepan:  This Le Creuset braiser is one of my favourites! Due of its depth and width, you may combine all the components in one pan. This deep stainless steel saucepan performs admirably for this purpose as well.

Pasta Pot and Strainer:  Every time I prepare pasta, I use this pasta pot with a removable strainer because I adore it! With the help of the set, you can quickly remove the strainer once the pasta is cooked. Stainless steel is also unaffected by tarnishing, food reactions, or flavour changes.

Cheese grater:  Since utilising freshly grated cheese rather than pre-shredded cheese in bags is always the best choice, I frequently utilise this kitchen appliance. Cheese that has just been grated melts better, tastes better, and is more affordable.


Without canned soups or mayonnaise, this recipe for tuna casserole is the BEST ever! Just tuna and vibrant peas covered in the richest, creamiest cheese sauce imaginable, with golden crispy panko on top. This tuna noodle casserole may be easily modified by substituting the noodles, vegetables, cheese, and other components with whatever you have on hand because it is made using pantry-friendly goods. You can prepare this tuna casserole totally in advance and bake it till warm and bubbly at dinnertime. It’s also quick and simple to make.



16 oz. wide egg noodles


3 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

3 cups milk

2 cups low sodium chicken broth

1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

2 teaspoons chicken bouillon

1 1/4 teaspoon salt

1 tsp EACH onion powder, garlic powder, dried parsley

1/4 teaspoon pepper

2 cups freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese divided (or more to taste)

3 oz. freshly grated Gruyere cheese (1 packed cup)

1/2 cup sour cream

2 cans (7 oz. each) solid white albacore tuna drained

2 cups frozen petite peas thawed


3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs

1 tablespoon melted butter

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil


NOODLES: Cook the egg noodles in salted water until barely al dente, about 2 minutes less than packaging instructions. Reserve 1 cup pasta water, drain, rinse until cold and set aside.

PANKO: Meanwhile, melt 1 tablespoon butter in 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat in a nonstick skillet. Add panko and stir to coat. Continue cooking until crumbs become golden brown. Transfer to a plate; set aside.

CASSEROLE: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray a 9×13 pan with nonstick cooking spray.

SAUCE: Melt butter with olive oil in a very large skillet or Dutch over medium heat (something that can fit all ingredients). Whisk in flour then cook, while stirring for 2 minutes. Turn heat to low then gradually whisk in milk and 1 ½ cups chicken broth. Whisk cornstarch with remaining chicken broth and add to skillet followed by Dijon, Worcestershire sauce, chicken bouillon and all spices/seasonings.

Bring sauce to a boil, whisking constantly then reduce heat to a simmer, whisking often until thickened. Remove from heat and whisk in 1 cup cheddar until melted followed by Gruyere cheese until melted. Whisk in sour cream until blended.

COMBINE: Add the tuna and peas and stir to combine. Stir in the noodles until evenly combined. Stir in some of the reserved pasta water IF the sauce has become too thick. Transfer to prepared baking dish and top with remaining 1 cup cheddar cheese followed by panko.

BAKE: Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, uncover and bake an addition 10-15 minutes or until hot and bubbly and cheese is melted; serve piping hot. Season with freshly cracked salt and pepper to taste (I like more salt).


  • Saucy pasta.  If you want an even saucier casserole, you can reduce the egg noodles to 12 oz.
  • Gruyere substitute.  Gruyere is the consummate melting cheese and is sweet, slightly salty, creamy, nutty – in short, it is AMAZING and elevates this Tuna Noodle Casserole recipe. If you need to substitute it, replace the 1 cup Gruyere with ½ cup finely, freshly grated Parmesan (like powder) instead. 
  • Don’t 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 you’re 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 don’t 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 don’t 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 don’t worry, it’s 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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