Tuna Noodle Casserole Cheesy
5/5 - (1 vote)

The finest Tuna Noodle Casserole ever… It’s my grandmother’s and mother’s recipes!

Egg noodles are coated in a creamy, cheesy sauce, sprinkled with green peas and flaked tuna, and topped with melty cheesy and buttery breadcrumbs.

This classic dish is rich and creamy, and it’s cooked from scratch but comes together quickly. There are no canned soups allowed! A true budget supper that is also delectable.

Why Will You Enjoy This Recipe?

Tuna Noodle Casserole
Food: Tuna Noodle Casserole (Source: 40 Aprons)
  • The tuna noodle casserole recipe was a staple in our house growing up, and it’s still one of my favorites. Mom has been cooking it for more than 40 years, and her mother made it for her as a child. They had it every Friday as Catholics (it was either that or fish sticks, ha!).
  • This one comes to mind whenever I need a quick and affordable comfort food meal from the cupboard or freezer. It’s not exactly the dish I remember from my youth. I made it even creamier and saucier by adding some vegetables.
  • Unlike most tuna noodle casserole recipes, this one does not use canned soups. There’s no cream of mushroom here; just roux, milk, and cheese.

Important Ingredients

Tuna – You can cook tuna in either water or oil, depending on your preference. When it comes to calories and fat, water-packed tuna will be a little lighter. You may certainly increase the amount of tuna in this recipe by doubling it.

Noodles — When it comes to tuna noodle casserole, egg noodles are the traditional choice, but you can use any sort of noodle you choose.

If you want something without the noodles, try our Whole30 Tuna Zoodle Casserole (Paleo, Dairy-Free) recipe!

Chef’s Advice

  • To make a gluten-free version, replace the egg noodles with gluten-free noodles of equal weight. Use the same amount of gluten-free flour as regular flour.
  • If you can get gluten-free breadcrumbs, that’s great, but if not, gluten-free breadcrumbs are simple to create. Alternatively, simply leave them out! They’re entirely up to you.
  • You can omit the peas if you don’t have any or don’t care for them. You can substitute almost any other vegetable in their stead. Broccoli, chopped? Asparagus? Spinach? Corn? All are excellent choices.
  • Since the noodles get cooked twice (once on the stove, again in the oven) you want to make sure they’re just barely cooked when you take them off the stovetop. This will prevent the oven from overcooking them.

Tuna Noodle Casserole

15-minute prep time
30 minutes to cook
45 minutes total

With no canned soup, just a creamy sauce, egg noodles, green peas, and flake tuna, all topped with melty cheese and buttery breadcrumbs, this tuna noodle casserole is the best.


  • 1 5-ounce can chunk light tuna drained and flaked
  • 8 ounces egg noodles see Notes for gluten-free
  • 6 tablespoons butter divided
  • 5 tablespoons flour See Notes for gluten-free
  • 2 ½ cups whole milk
  • ½ teaspoon salt plus extra to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley optional
  • 1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese divided
  • ¾ cup frozen peas
  • 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs see Notes for gluten-free
  • fresh parsley chopped, for garnish, optional


  • 2.5-quart Baking Dish
  • medium saucepan

Instructions For Tuna Noodle Casserole

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Cook the noodles in severely salted water according to package guidelines, for the shortest time possible.
  3. Drain well and place in a baking dish. Place aside.

To Make the Sauce

Tuna Noodle Casserole Delicious
Food: Tuna Noodle Casserole (Source: 40 Aprons)
  1. In a heavy medium saucepan, melt 5 tablespoons of butter over low heat. Flour the pan. Stir until completely smooth.
  2. Cook, stirring frequently for 1 minute, or until mixture bubbles and turns golden. Add the milk slowly, whisking constantly. Cook, whisking frequently, over medium heat until thickened and frothy.
  3. Add salt, pepper, garlic powder, and dried parsley and mix well. Turn off the heat. Stir in 1 cup shredded cheese until it melts.

For Casserole 

  1. In a baking dish, pour the sauce over the drained noodles. Stir in the tuna and green peas to mix. 15 minutes in the oven
  2. Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter in a small bowl while the casserole is baking. Breadcrumbs and a hefty pinch of salt are added.
  3. Sprinkle the remaining 12 cups of shredded cheese on top after the casserole has baked for 15 minutes, then top with buttered breadcrumbs.
  4. Bake for another 5 minutes, or until bubbling. If desired, garnish with chopped parsley.


  • Gluten-Free Option: Replace egg noodles with gluten-free noodles of equivalent weight. Instead of ordinary flour, use equal portions gluten-free flour. Use gluten-free bread crumbs, bake some from gluten-free bread, or leave it out altogether.

This recipe serves roughly 8 people. The nutritional values displayed are for one serving. The macros may differ somewhat depending on the brand and type of components used.

Prepare the recipe as directed, then weigh the completed product to calculate the size of one serving. Divide the total weight (excluding the weight of the food sauce container) by eight. The weight of one serving will be the result.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1serving, Calories: 532kcal, Carbohydrates: 29g, Protein: 25g, Fat: 35g, Saturated Fat: 21g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 120mg, Sodium: 404mg, Potassium: 181mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 607IU, Vitamin C: 5mg, Calcium: 514mg, Iron: 2mg, Net Carbs: 27g