This classic tuna casserole uses a scratch made sauce (no canned soup mixes here), fresh mushrooms and plenty of cheese. Topped with panko bread crumbs and plenty of melty cheese, it’s an old-fashioned comfort food dinner you’re sure to love!
Today I’m sharing an easy canned fish recipe. It’s classic tuna casserole!
This recipe is scratch made, meaning no canned soup mixes here.
It’s seriously easy to prepare and uses a bunch of pantry staples (or commonly found fridge items).
Whether you’re enjoying as a weeknight dinner or Sunday supper, this old-fashioned tuna casserole is sure to disappear fast!
How to Make Tuna Casserole
Full details are in the recipe card below, but here are the basics:
- In a pan, cook some finely minced onion and celery in a little olive oil until softened.
- Add sliced mushrooms and give those a little cook. Season with some salt and pepper and add butter.
- Once butter is melted, sprinkle over flour.
- Stir in to form a paste (this will help thicken things for your sauce mixture).
- For the sauce component: Pour in veggie broth and your mixture will instantly become thick. Then, add milk (a little at a time) and cook until thickened. Add more milk (until it’s gone) and as each batch thickens.
- Once it’s done it will be thick and coat the back of a spoon. You can turn off the heat now on your stovetop.
- Mix in cooked egg noodles, drained tuna and frozen peas (no need to thaw). Tip: If you want things saucier, feel free to add a little extra splash of milk here.
- Top everything with some panko bread crumbs and cheese.
- Bake until warm and cheese has melted. You can garnish with parsley if you like.
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What Can I Use Instead of Peas?
Don’t have peas on hand or prefer not to use? No worries!
Peas add a veggie component (plus a lovely pop of colour). However, instead of peas, you can add some steamed broccoli, cauliflower, corn or even edamame.
More Tips & Variations
Use canned tuna ‘in water’. If you don’t have ‘tuna packed in water’ and only ‘tuna packed in oil,’ no worries! Simply rinse and drain the excess oil from the tuna.
Don’t have fresh mushrooms on hand? Try drained canned mushrooms instead.
Dill or thyme would be a lovely addition to this casserole.
For the milk component of this casserole, I’ve made with dairy and even non dairy (almond milk). Use what you enjoy best or have on hand. Keep in mind, that the more milk fat your dairy has, the richer the sauce will be.
Use a good melting cheese, like a young or medium cheddar, pizza mozzarella, fontina, Gruyere, fontina or provolone (or a combination of your favourites). A little Parmesan is nice, too, for an extra punch of flavour.
Hope you love this scratch made tuna casserole recipe as much as we do!
If you make this old-fashioned tuna casserole, be sure to leave a comment below. Love to know how you enjoyed!
Classic Tuna Casserole (made from scratch!)
- 6 ounces egg noodles (about 170 grams (or half a bag or 3.5 cups before cooking)).
- 1.5 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 yellow onion , peeled and finely minced
- 1 stalk celery , finely minced
- 5 ounces baby bella mushrooms or button mushrooms , sliced (about ⅓ pound or 150 grams)
- ¼ cup butter (or tablespoons)
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour (or 4 tablespoons)
- 1 cup low sodium vegetable broth (or low sodium chicken broth)
- 2 cups milk
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper powder
- 12 ounces canned tuna in water , drained well (two (170 gram) cans before draining)
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 2 tablespoons unseasoned panko bread crumbs
- 4 ounces shredded cheddar cheese (about 1 cup)
- Chopped parsley (garnish, optional)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit for use later.
- Cook egg noodles per package instructions (just a minute or so shy of full cook time). Drain.
- Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large, oven-safe sauté pan (I like to use a 12-inch enameled cast-iron pan, about 2.5 to 3 inches deep) over medium heat on the stovetop.
- Add onion and celery and cook, stirring often, until the veggies have softened, about 5 minutes or so.
- Add sliced mushrooms, stirring occasionally, and cook 3 minutes. Season with a pinch each of salt and pepper.
- Add butter and melt.
- Once butter has melted, sprinkle over flour and stir in. Cook 2 to 3 minutes to form a paste.
- Add broth, stirring in.
- Slowly add milk, about ½ cup at a time. Allow to thicken slightly before adding more. Cook, stirring often, until mixture has thickened slightly and coats the back of a spoon when you draw your finger through it. This may take 8 to 10 minutes in total.
- Season with salt, pepper and cayenne pepper powder.
- Turn off heat and add cooked egg noodles and drained tuna. Stir in.Note: If you want, you can grease a new baking dish. But, for ease of cleanup, I simply prepare and bake in the one dish.
- Stir in frozen peas.Note: If you want a saucier consistency, stir in a little more milk.
- Top with panko bread crumbs and shredded cheese.
- Bake, uncovered, for 15 to 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and everything is bubbly. Garnish with fresh parsley (if desired). Serve and enjoy! Serves 4 large servings or 6 servings with a side.
- Use canned tuna ‘in water’. If you don’t have ‘tuna packed in water’ and only ‘tuna packed in oil,’ no worries! Simply rinse and drain the excess oil from the tuna.
- Nutrition information (estimate only) is based on yielding 6 servings.
Nutrition (ESTIMATE ONLY)
Nutrition estimate (if provided) is based on 1 Serving.
Nutrition information (if provided) is provided as a courtesy and should be considered an estimate only. Ingredients can vary and Girl Heart Food makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
A note on times provided: appliances vary, any prep and/or cook times provided are guidelines only.