Tuna Noodle Casserole should always be an amazing dish. A simple white sauce, flavorful veggies, and good quality tuna make this classic a go to dinner again. No cans of soup needed – just basic groceries and about 30 minutes of cooking. When it comes to creamy and comforting casseroles, this one is a home run! If you have had a bad experience with tuna noodle this is the one to change your mind!
Growing up, my mom had a microwave cookbook that had a really good tuna noodle casserole recipe in it. The ingredients were simple and the process was easy. It was a dinner I always looked forward to. These days it seems if I mention tuna noodle casserole to people I get a real range of reactions but many are negative.
Let’s clear some things up:
- If you have been eating tuna noodle made with cans of soup the flavor is cans of soup. The idea is fine but it leaves a lot to be desired for a good tuna noodle casserole.
- If you have been eating basic cheep tuna it probably tastes really fishy! This is a bad flavor for casserole. You need a good quality Albacore stat!
- The crumb topping / cheese business is a personal taste issue. I’m a texture girl so I’m not as big of a fan. My husband loves crumb toppings so he thinks it is imperative. Figure out your style and make it the way you like it!
If you solve these three problems tuna noodle casserole is likely to find a place in your heart and a frequent spot on your table. At about 30 minutes of cooking work, this is a meal you don’t want to miss out on! I also love it as a way to get some good Omega 3 into our diet more often.
I would love to hear your tuna noodle casserole stories! Drop me a note in the comments 🙂
Have a great week. Thanks for stopping by to cook with me!
Tools In This Post: We eat a LOT of mushrooms at our house! Having a mushroom slicer saves us lots of time and this thing is tough! It is the bomb-diggity of mushroom slicers! If you cook with mushrooms several times a month consider investing in one of these. We use ours several times a week. (Also great for strawberries, kiwi, and eggs of course.)
If casserole is your thing, check out this wonderful Creamy Chicken and Rice Casserole!
Uncommonly Amazing Tuna Noodle Casserole
- 8 oz pasta I use spirals
- 4 Tbsp. butter
- ½ sweet onion diced
- 4 stalks celery diced
- 6 oz Cremini mushrooms sliced
- ¾ tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. black pepper coarsely g round
- 4 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 2 cups milk whole preferred
- 5 oz Albacore tuna or use 10oz if you want extra tuna!
- ½ cup Panko bread crumbs optional see note
- ½ cup parmesan cheese optional see note
Cook noodles according to package directions. Add salt to the cooking water if not directed by package.
Meanwhile add butter, onion, celery, mushrooms, salt and pepper to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring often, for about 10 minutes or until the veggies are soft and have taken on a golden color.
Add the flour and cook another minute – the pan will be dry. Slowly stir in milk until the mixture thickens to the texture of thin gravy.
If your tuna is canned in water or oil drain the can. Gently stir in tuna trying to leave some nice chunks. Use 1 or 2 cans depending on your preference. Stir the noodles in and taste for salt and pepper. If your tuna is not overly salty you may need another ¼ tsp. of salt.
Pour the mixture into a 2 ½ quart casserole dish. Top with bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese. Broil for 1-3 minutes until the top is nicely browned.
Serve hot. If you choose to microwave leftovers consider adding a spoon of milk to each portion you are reheating.
Cheese and Breadcrumbs: Some people like a crunchy top to their tuna casserole and some don’t. I like mine just right out of the pan – no cheese or breadcrumbs. Also if you are going to broil the top use an oven proof skillet if you have one. Then you can just add the topping to your skillet and broil – no need for that extra dish!
Choosing Good Tuna: Tuna should not taste “fishy”. If it does you have got a bad brand of tuna! I never buy Bumblebee or Chicken of the Sea. My favorite brand is Wild Planet. Look for tuna where the ingredients are only tuna and salt. Generally I buy Albacore. If you are using the Wild Planet Albacore don’t drain it! Add all the good juice.
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