Tuna Casserole Recipe

What's the better kind of homemade meal: one that's quick and easy, or one that's delicious and visually pleasing and guaranteed to be eaten even by picky eaters? Okay, you saw the trick question setup, right? Because of course, the best meal you can make is one that's quick and easy but also a guaranteed hit. A truly great recipe seems like it took a lot more time and effort than it actually did, though, naturally, you don't need to let everyone know that. This tuna casserole checks all those boxes.

"This is a great meal to bring to a potluck, as it is a crowd-pleaser," says chef, food writer, and registered dietician Kristen Carli of Camelback Nutrition & Wellness. "It is also a great solution for a quick weeknight dinner."

This casserole may seem like a complicated dish to those enjoying it, given the visual presentation and nuanced flavor it boasts. But no one has to know that it's really such an easy dish that Carli says: "There really are no common mistakes with this recipe." Also, no one has to know it required about 10 minutes of hands-on work. And as it is made almost entirely with shelf- or freezer-stable ingredients along and with a few things you surely have on hand already, tuna casserole can be on the menu any time.

Gather your ingredients for tuna casserole

As noted, with the exception of the parsley, butter, and mozzarella cheese, you can keep all of the ingredients needed for this casserole in the freezer or pantry for months on end. And you likely have said herbs, butter, and cheese in the fridge already. This meal really can become a household staple that's perfect for a slightly harried weeknight after a busy day.

All in all, you'll need 6 ounces of uncooked egg noodles, 1 cup of frozen peas, 1 10.5-ounce can of cream of mushroom soup, 4 2.6-ounce pouches of tuna (or about 10.5 total ounces of tuna, as it's fine to use canned tuna or another source, of course), 1 1/2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese, divided, 2 tablespoons off chopped parsley, a 1/2 teaspoon of pepper, 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter, and a 1/2 cup of panko bread crumbs.

Cook the tuna casserole noodles

Heat a large pot of water and, once it's at a rolling boil, add the egg noodles and cook them according to package directions. Once they're ready, drain the noodles and set them aside.

While said noodles are cooking, go ahead and pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Next, prepare an 8-inch by 11-inch baking dish by coating its interior with a nonstick cooking spray. That way, the delicious casserole will exit the pan cleanly and without any mess. Consider using a glass or Pyrex dish, though take a few extra minutes to let it warm up to room temperature if it's cold before it goes into the oven. 

And if you have not chopped the parsley, now is a good time to do that, too, so it's ready when you are.

Combine tuna casserole ingredients

In a large bowl, mix the cooked noodles, all of the tuna, the peas, the can of cream of mushroom soup, and 1 1/4 cups of the shredded mozzarella cheese. Now that this won't be quite all of the cheese, as you will use some later to top the casserole. Stir everything well to completely combine the ingredients, and then pour this mixture into the prepared pan. 

Now put the pan into the preheated oven and bake the dish on a center rack for 20 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Pause for a quick 5 or 10-minute rest before moving on to the next step, because time will soon be a slight a slight factor given that you'll be working with melted butter as you make the topping for your casserole.

Prep toppings for the tuna casserole

In a small saucepan, add the butter and the panko bread crumbs together. Then, put the pan on the stove and warm it all over medium heat, stirring a few times and cooking the mixture until the bread crumbs are coated with the butter and become golden and toasted.

Once 20 minutes have passed, remove the casserole from the oven. Top filling with the remaining 1/4 cup of mozzarella cheese and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper, as well as the butter and bread crumb mixture that you just made on the stovetop.

Serve your tuna casserole

Return the casserole dish to the same rack in that hot oven and bake it for another 10 minutes. Now pull out the dish. Take a moment or two in order to admire the melted cheesy, bready top and the little dots of green thanks to peas aplenty.

You can serve it right away to your waiting diners or wait. It's pretty easy to plan to re-heat and serve this casserole later. "This stores in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days," says Carli. And if you're looking for serving suggestions, she says: "I love to pair this with a wedge salad or roasted broccoli." Whatever you decide to serve as a side here, this tuna casserole is sure to please everyone at the dinner table.

Tuna Casserole Recipe
5 from 65 ratings
This tuna casserole is warm, comforting, and sure to please even picky eaters. It's also quick and easy, making it a favorite for busy weeknight dinners.
Prep Time
10
minutes
Cook Time
30
minutes
Servings
6
servings
tuna casserole
Total time: 40 minutes
Ingredients
  • 6 oz egg noodles
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 10.5 oz can of cream of mushroom soup
  • 4 2.6 oz pouches of tuna
  • 1 ½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 2 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ cup panko bread crumbs
Directions
  1. Boil a large pot of water. Add egg noodles and cook according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and prepare an 8" x 11" baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. In a large bowl, mix the cooked noodles, tuna, peas, soup, and 1 ¼ cups shredded mozzarella cheese.
  4. Pour the filling mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 20 minutes.
  5. In a small saucepan, add butter and panko bread crumbs together. Heat this mixture over medium heat until the bread crumbs are coated with butter and become golden and toasted.
  6. Remove the pan from the oven. Top with ¼ cup remaining cheese, bread crumbs, and pepper.
  7. Return to the oven and bake for another 10 minutes.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 478
Total Fat 24.2 g
Saturated Fat 13.5 g
Trans Fat 0.2 g
Cholesterol 111.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 32.0 g
Dietary Fiber 2.6 g
Total Sugars 2.7 g
Sodium 864.7 mg
Protein 32.5 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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