Cheesy Tuna Noodle Casserole is a nostalgic dish made with tuna, egg noodles, and a creamy, homemade sauce. This filling and comforting casserole feeds up to eight and is ready in less than an 45 minutes.
This classic American casserole is a quick and easy homemade meal the entire family will love. Cheesy tuna noodle casserole is made with egg noodles, canned tuna, peas, and a creamy, made-from-scratch sauce.
I like to top my casserole with cheddar cheese and a panko breadcrumb crust for maximum flavor. If you don’t have panko breadcrumbs on hand, feel free to use classic breadcrumbs or crushed crackers instead.
What Type of Canned Tuna Should I Use?
For this recipe, I used solid white albacore tuna in water. I like to use this type of tuna for casseroles because the meat has a mild flavor and a texture similar to chicken.
Albacore tuna is light in color and breaks apart into large chunks, so it doesn’t get lost in the casserole.
The downside of using albacore tuna is that it contains higher mercury levels. Because of this, it’s suggested to only consume one serving of albacore tuna per week.
Canned light tuna is another great option, as it is widely available and generally less expensive than albacore tuna. It also contains lower levels of mercury.
Light tuna is pink in color, and shreds apart into smaller pieces. It may also have a more distinct ‘fishy’ flavor.
At the end of the day, any canned tuna you choose will work just fine in your cheesy tuna noodle casserole.
What can I use instead of tuna?
Don’t like tuna? Feel free to substitute with canned salmon or chicken. Or, shred a rotisserie chicken instead. You can also omit the meat completely to make this dish vegetarian.
Cheesy Tuna Noodle Casserole
- 12 ounces egg noodles, uncooked
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 medium onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 2 cups frozen peas
- 12 ounce can of tuna, drained
- 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, separated
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Cook egg noodles according to package directions. Drain, pour noodles into 9x13 pan, and set aside.
- In a skillet over medium heat, add butter. Once hot and melted, add diced onions. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until onions begin to brown and turn translucent. Add garlic and flour, then cook for 1 additional minute.
- Add chicken broth and milk, stirring until combined. Bring to a simmer and cook until sauce has thickened slightly, about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Remove from heat and add salt, pepper, paprika, peas, tuna, and half of cheese, stirring to combine. Pour mixture over noodles and stir to combine.
- Sprinkle remaining half of cheese on top of casserole.
- In a separate bowl, combine bread crumbs and melted butter. Sprinkle evenly over casserole.
- Bake uncovered for 15-18 minutes, or until casserole is heated through. Optionally, broil for 2 minutes to brown crust on top.