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This cheesy Tuna Casserole has a made-from-scratch sauce and a crunchy parmesan topping that puts this classic recipe over the top. Your family will love this version!

Tuna Casserole in a rectangular cooking dish with a wooden spoon in it.

Tuna Noodle Casserole is a classic American dish. Egg noodles are combined with canned tuna in a creamy sauce and then baked. Peas are a classic addition and sometimes you see corn mixed in as well. Cheddar cheese has become a popular addition to this classic dish to add more flavor.

Tuna Casserole dates back to the 1950s when casseroles were a popular dinner item. Originally, this casserole dish was made with non-perishable pantry ingredients as a cheap, wholesome dinner that doesn’t require a trip to the store. These original versions often used some sort of “cream of” soup as well as canned peas. In this updated version, we use fresh ingredients and make our own easy cream sauce for a more modern take on this 1950s favorite.

Tuna Casserole served up on a white plate.

What is tuna casserole topped with?

Tuna casserole is generally topped with a crispy topping. Popular toppings include a bread crumb mixture, cornflakes, crushed potato chips, or canned fried onions.

What kind of tuna is best?

There are generally two kinds of tuna that you can purchase in the canned goods section at your supermarket: Solid white albacore and skipjack/light tuna. Solid white albacore is more expensive and has a much less “fishy” taste. It has three times the amount of omega-3 fatty acids. Unfortunately, it also has three times the amount of mercury, so consumption should be limited to once per week.

Tuna Casserole served up on a white plate with parsley and a handtowel in the background.

Do you bake tuna noodle casserole covered or uncovered?

Tuna casserole is usually topped with a crunchy topping like bread crumbs or even crushed chips. The casserole should be baked uncovered so that this topping can crisp up during the baking process.

If you like this recipe, you may be interested in these other classic American dinner recipes:

Watch the video below where Rachel will walk you through every step of this recipe. Sometimes it helps to have a visual, and we’ve always got you covered with our cooking show. You can find the complete collection of recipes on YouTube, Facebook Watch, or our Facebook Page, or right here on our website with their corresponding recipes.

Tuna Casserole in a rectangular cooking dish with a wooden spoon in it.
This cheesy Tuna Casserole has a made-from-scratch sauce and a crunchy parmesan topping that puts this classic recipe over the top. Your family will love this version!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
  • 12 ounces egg noodles
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 white onion diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups frozen peas
  • 2 6 ounce cans solid white albacore tuna
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2-3 teaspoons olive oil
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees and lightly grease a 9x13 pan. Cook the egg noodles according to the package directions. Drain and add pasta to prepared pan.
  • Meanwhile, melt butter in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat. Add in onion and saute 5 to 7 minutes, until softened. Stir in garlic and flour and cook 1 minute. Slowly pour in chicken broth and milk and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly.
  • Once mixture has thickened, stir in peas, and tuna. Pour over pasta in the 9x13 pan. Add in cheddar cheese and toss to coat.
  • In a small bowl, use a fork to mix together bread crumbs, parmesan, and olive oil. Sprinkle over the pasta.
  • Bake in the preheated oven, uncovered, for 15 to 20 minutes, until bread crumbs are lightly browned. Serve hot.


Calories: 721kcal | Carbohydrates: 75g | Protein: 41g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 149mg | Sodium: 957mg | Potassium: 628mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 1080IU | Vitamin C: 26mg | Calcium: 440mg | Iron: 3.8mg
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April 11, 2020 11:40 am

5 stars
Made this last evening as our CV19 Lockdown Good Friday meatless entree. Very good, thanks! We are more dependent on long-term pantry stores at this time rather than fresh or frozen, so we resorted to items such as canned peas and – gasp – powdered milk. As Good Friday, I avoided chicken stock, resorting to some clam juice I had on hand, which gave the sauce a distinctly chowdery vibe. It all came together very well, and is a meal I haven’t had in probably 30 yrs or so. I’m browsing your recipes now to see what else is good.

September 26, 2020 8:04 pm
Reply to  Mike

Me too 🙂

May 23, 2020 4:33 pm

This was as yummy as my mom’s tuna casserole. I am so thankful you posted it. His blessings, Linda

April 30, 2020 9:50 pm

I just made this, and yes, it’s terrific. Really good. Nice work on this recipe. I did change something though, and not because I wanted to. When I reached for the frozen peas it turned out I only had about 3/4 cup. So I mixed everything together as per your directions, then added fresh organic broccoli to half of the dish. By only doing half, I had a chance to give it a side by side taste test. The pea side is really perfect, although it needs more peas, just as I though it would. The pea and broccoli side… Read more »

January 20, 2020 6:26 pm

5 stars
I made this with frozen peas and carrots. It tasted so good. I will definitely keep this recipe for the future.

November 5, 2020 5:44 pm

5 stars
Love this chef: fabulous personality and fun to work with.

October 31, 2020 4:04 pm

Made this today and we thought it was really good. I like recipes where you don’t have to use cream soups & this hit the spot.

July 15, 2020 10:48 am

5 stars
I was a “Latch Key Kid” of the 1950’s and had to either start dinner of if easy make it..This was one of my favorites..Instead of broth it was all milk 3 cups..Remembering my grandmother’s quote, “A hot roux and cold milk all at once no lumps”. I still laugh about it..Thanks Much…

Deborah Hutchinson
April 10, 2020 6:37 pm

This Tuna Casserole is the best ever!! I enjoyed preparing it, too! A great supper for tonight…Good Friday. My family enjoyed it so much!!

March 28, 2020 5:57 pm

5 stars
My husband just ate 2 helpings, delicious!

Nancy Leask
March 24, 2020 4:19 pm

4 stars
I have terrible nightmares from University days of tuna added to Kraft Dinner casserole’s in my dorm, however…. this was absolutely fantastic. I will no longer make fun of tuna casserole and proudly add this to my go-to easy family dinner menu! Thanks

March 23, 2020 4:56 pm

5 stars
My family when I told them things casserole tonight, turned up their noses… THEY LOVED IT!!

March 19, 2020 2:59 pm

Your recipes are so easy to follow. I’ve made something similar for years, using mushroom soup instead of chicken broth, but the topping on your dish gives it just the right flavor. Wonderful and delicious.

March 3, 2020 10:20 am

4 stars
I had not made tuna casserole in probably 20 years but decided to give this a try . It was well received by my family, even by those who aren’t tuna fans . I really liked the Panko parmesan topping . Not sure why anyone would have trouble with the peas. Mine thawed as soon as they went into the sauce and were fully cooked in the oven.

Mrs. Tené
July 17, 2019 11:10 am

5 stars
Loved it! I added a couple more ingredients like diced peppers and mushrooms. The crunchy breadcrumbs made a huge difference. And the homemade sauce was waaaaay better than anything from a can. Thanks for sharing!!!

June 11, 2019 8:53 am

Delicious! I sautéed celery with the onion and thickened the sauce a bit more. The topping makes it extra good! I’ll definitely make it again. Thank you!

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