Casserole on white background.
Dinner,  Recipes

Tuna Casserole

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Did you grow up on casseroles? As a child of the ’80s, I definitely did. Tuna casserole was always a favorite. Since moving away from home, I think I’ve only had a casserole a handful of times.

My husband is the main cook in our house (I’m the baker) and he usually makes meat with a side of some kind. He doesn’t follow recipes if he can help it. I decided that I was going to make dinner instead of baking this weekend and I have to follow a recipe in order to cook, haha.

I went through my grandma’s cookbook as well as my grandpa’s. This recipe stood out to me because it was a casserole without “cream soup.” It called for fresh vegetables and it seemed easy enough to follow.

It was the perfect size for our family, but if you have older kids or more than 4 people to feed, you may want to double it. To save time, cut up the vegetables ahead of time. This recipe would also be good with fresh or canned chicken.

Tuna Casserole in Skillet

Ingredients You Will Need

  • Macaroni
  • Butter
  • Onion
  • Celery
  • Red or Green Pepper
  • Flour
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Milk
  • Tuna
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Potato Chips

Equipment You May Need

  • Measuring Cups and Spoons
  • 8″x8″ Baking Dish
  • Saucepan
  • Chef’s Knife
  • Cutting Board
  • Skillet
  • Wooden Spoon

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I prevent my casserole from becoming too dry? Ensure you don’t overbake it, and if it starts to look dry while baking, cover it with foil to retain moisture.

Can I make this casserole ahead of time? Yes, you can assemble it in advance and refrigerate it. Just bake it when you’re ready to enjoy. If you do this, you may need to extend the baking time slightly.

Can I freeze leftovers? Yes, you can freeze any leftover casserole in an airtight container for up to 2-3 months. Just make sure it’s properly cooled before freezing.

How do I reheat a frozen casserole? Thaw it in the refrigerator overnight, then reheat it in the oven at 350°F (175°C) until heated through, usually about 30-40 minutes.

What side dishes go well with tuna noodle casserole? Popular side dishes include a simple green salad, steamed vegetables, or garlic bread. You can also serve it with a cup of soup or a fresh fruit salad for a well-rounded meal.

One serving of tuna casserole on red plate.
One Serving of Casserole

Substitutions and Variations


  • Use a different type of pasta like penne, egg noodles, or whole wheat noodles.
  • Try gluten-free pasta if you have dietary restrictions.


  • Substitute canned tuna with canned salmon, cooked chicken, or even canned chickpeas for a vegetarian version.


  • Add extra vegetables like peas, carrots, broccoli, or spinach for added nutrition and flavor.
  • Experiment with roasted red peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, or artichoke hearts for a unique twist.


  • Customize the seasonings by adding herbs and spices like dill, thyme, paprika, or garlic powder to enhance the taste.


  • Mix in Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, or a dash of soy sauce for added depth of flavor.

Other Recipes You May Enjoy

Homemade Cornbread Stuffing and Homemade Pizza Rolls are also delicious. A couple of other yummy recipes that use fish are Avocado Tuna Salad and Air Fryer Cod. For another casserole idea, try this Doritos Casserole.

Casserole on white background.

Tuna Casserole

Heidi Bruaw
Tuna casserole is a classic comfort food and this version doesn't call for cream soup, which makes it healthier and more delicious.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4


  • 1 Cup Macaroni uncooked
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • ½ Cup Onion chopped
  • ½ Cup Celery thinly sliced
  • ½ Cup Red or Green Pepper chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • teaspoon Pepper
  • Cups Milk
  • 1 Can Tuna Packed in Water drained
  • ½ Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese divided
  • Potato Chips crushed, optional


  • Preheat oven to 375℉.
  • Grease an 8'x8" baking dish and set aside.
  • Cook macaroni according to package directions.
  • Drain macaroni and set aside.
  • Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat.
  • Add the chopped onions and cook and stir for 3 minutes.
  • Add the celery and the red or green peppers and cook and stir for another 3 minutes.
  • Sprinkle the flour, salt, and pepper over the vegetables and cook and stir for 1 minute.
  • Stir in the milk; cook and stir until thickened.
  • Remove from the heat.
  • Add the macaroni, tuna, and ¼ cup of the Parmesan cheese. Stir until the macaroni is well coated.
  • Pour the tuna mixture into the prepared baking dish and sprinkle with the remaining ¼ cup of Parmesan cheese.
  • Bake uncovered for 20-25 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
  • If desired, sprinkle crushed potato chips on top.
Keyword Tuna Casserole
Pinterest pin for tuna casserole.
Tuna Casserole – Pin it to

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