Tuna Casserole is a classic dish that is made with peas, carrots, onions, garlic, tuna, egg noodles, bread crumbs, and cheddar cheese. This old-fashioned casserole has been given new life with fresh ingredients and bechamel sauce. While you may remember this dish from your childhood, you won’t recognize this leveled-up version.
What is Tuna Casserole?
This tuna fish casserole recipe is made from scratch without soup. It’s made with jarred or homemade bechamel sauce that is tastier than using a can of soup. It’s easy to make this dish ahead of time and refrigerate until you’re ready to cook it the next day. Just pop it in the oven when you’re ready to eat and you’ll be enjoying dinner 30 minutes later.
- 1 1⁄2 cups bechamel sauce: You can buy jarred bechamel sauce in the grocery store next to the pesto and alfredo sauce.
- 2⁄3 cup frozen peas, thawed: Any brand of frozen peas will work.
- 1⁄2 cup carrots, diced: This is about one carrot.
- 1⁄2 cup onion, diced: About ½ of a medium-sized onion.
- 2 garlic cloves, minced: About one tablespoon.
- 1 can of tuna: Buy the best brand of tuna since this is the star of the dish.
- 2 cups eggs noodles, cooked: You can substitute other small noodles if you’d like.
- 1⁄4 cup panko bread crumbs: Bread crumbs give this dish a crunchy texture.
- 1⁄4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded: Sprinkle a little cheese on top before baking.
How to make tuna casserole:
Here’s a brief overview of how to make this dish. See the recipe card below for the specific recipe instructions.
1. Preheat the oven.
2. In a large pan saute onions and carrots with olive oil for 3-4 minutes.
3. Add peas, garlic.
4. Add bechamel sauce.
5. Season to taste, then add in the tuna.
6. Mix sauce with cooked noodles and transfer them into a baking dish.
7. Top casserole with a mixture of breadcrumbs and olive oil.
8. Bake at 200C/400F for 20 minutes.
Tips for success:
Here are a few tips for success and variations you can try to make this the best tuna casserole you've ever had.
- If you can’t find jarred bechamel sauce, you can use Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup.
- Instead of using breadcrumbs, crush some potato chips and sprinkle them on top.
- To cut down on chopping, you can use a bag of frozen peas and carrots.
Is tuna casserole healthy?
Are you looking for a healthy casserole? Well, you’ve found it! This classic comfort food also happens to be healthy for you. It can be even healthier if you make a white sauce with flour, butter, and milk instead of using the jar of bechamel sauce. All the other ingredients are fresh, healthy, and delicious.
How can I make this dish in the instant pot?
You can use the pressure cooker to make tuna casserole. Just follow the steps through number four in the directions and then pour the mixture into the instant pot. Seal the lid on, set the time to 10 minutes, use the quick release feature when it’s done, and carefully remove the lid.
You may want to toast the breadcrumbs in a pan and then sprinkle them on top after you remove the lid from the instant pot. If you put them in before you cook the casserole, they won’t get crispy.
What other kinds of cheese can I use?
This recipe calls for cheddar cheese, but you can use a different kind if you’d like to mix it up. Try mozzarella, parmesan, provolone, Gruyere, or Havarti to make this casserole even cheesier.
You can even remove the cheese if you’d like a dairy-free casserole. It will still taste great with no cheese added.
How to store:
Store any leftover casserole in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days. Reheat it in the microwave with 30-second increments until it’s hot all the way through.
To freeze the entire casserole, wrap it in aluminum foil and then plastic wrap. Label it with what it is, how to cook, and the date. This will help you remember later. Remember that if you cook it from frozen, without thawing first, it will take longer to cook in the oven. Keep the foil on until the last 30 minutes of cooking so the top can brown.
What other meat can I use besides tuna fish?
If you’d like to try something other than tuna, a great alternative is canned chicken.
How can I make this casserole spicy?
Feeling spicy?? Add some diced jalapenos, hot sauce, or red chili flakes to your casserole to punch up the flavor.
Are there any shortcuts I can take to make tuna casserole?
To cut down on time, you can use frozen peas and carrots instead of cutting them up. You can also use a box of macaroni and cheese for the pasta and cheesy sauce.
- 1 1⁄2 cups bechamel sauce
- 2⁄3 cup frozen peas, thawed
- 1⁄2 cup carrots, diced
- 1⁄2 cup onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 can of tuna
- 2 cups eggs noodles, cooked
- 1⁄4 cup panko bread crumbs
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1⁄4 cup cheddar, shredded
- Preheat the oven to 400F.
- In a large pan saute onions and carrots with olive oil for 3-4 minutes.
- Add peas, garlic, and bechamel sauce. Season to taste, then combine everything withTuna.
- Mix tuna sauce with cooked noodles and transfer them into a baking dish.
- Top casserole with a mixture of breadcrumbs and olive oil.
- Bake for 20 minutes.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 568Total Fat: 33gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 505mgSodium: 556mgCarbohydrates: 32gFiber: 3gSugar: 8gProtein: 35g