This delicious Tuna Noodle Casserole is made from scratch with a delicious creamy white sauce, pasta, peas, tuna, celery, and crushed crackers on top. It’s always a hit at our dinner table!

Tuna Noodle Casserole served in a white casserole dish with a wooden spoon.

This tuna noodle casserole is leaps and bounds tastier than memories you have of old-fashioned tuna casserole.

Rather than using canned “cream of soup” it’s made with a simple white sauce from scratch using flour, butter, chicken broth and milk. Peas, celery and onion are sautéed to give a boost of flavor. I used medium shell pasta for the noodles because I like the size and how each shell can fill with creamy sauce. You could substitute egg noodles or another type of bite-size pasta.

Be sure to use high-quality tuna as it will really makes a flavor difference. Choose good quality solid white albacore tuna; it may cost a dollar more than the cheaper brands, but trust me, your tastebuds will thank you!

How to make Tuna Noodle Casserole:

  • Cook the noodles.
  • Sauté the veggies.  Sauté celery, onion, peas and garlic in melted butter.
  • Make the sauce.  Melt butter, add flour and stir.  Whisk in the chicken broth and milk.  Stir constantly until it thickens and is bubble.  Add salt, dill, lemon juice, parsley, and parmesan cheese.
Process photos for making tuna noodle casserole including a skillet with peas, onion and celery sautéing in it and another photo of a white cream sauce in the skillet with a wooden spoon.
  • Combine. Add pasta, vegetables, and tuna to the sauce and stir to combine.
Overhead photo of a skillet with cooked medium shells noodles, tuna, a creamy white sauce and peas to make tuna noodle casserole.
  • Pour the mixture into a baking dish.
  • Top with cheese and crushed crackers.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
Two overhead photos of a white casserole dish with tuna noodle casserole in it, one without the cracker topping and the other of the casserole after it's been baked.

Topping Variations:

  • Ritz crackers or your favorite butter or saltine crackers
  • Potato chips
  • Cornflakes
  • Breadcrumbs
Close up photo of a bowl of tuna casserole with shell noodles and a spoon.

Make Ahead and Freezing Instructions:

To Make Ahead: Cook the noodles, sauté the vegetables, and make the sauce. Store everything separately until ready to assemble, and bake.

To Freeze: Undercook the noodles slightly. Assemble the dish in a freezer-safe container (I like to use a disposable aluminum pan) but don’t top with crushed crackers. Allow to cool completely then cover tightly with and freezer for up to 3 months. Allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Top with crushed crackers and cheese before baking. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 25 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

Serve with:

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Recipe

Tuna noodle casserole with peas and a cracker crumb topping, served in a white bowl with a hand towel next to it.
Prep 15 mins
Cook 45 mins
Total 1 hr
Save Recipe

Ingredients
  

  • 8 ounces medium-size shell pasta*
  • 4 Tablespoons butter , divided
  • 1 rib celery , diced
  • 1/4 cup onion , diced
  • 3/4 cup frozen peas
  • 1 clove garlic , miced
  • 4 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 14.5 ounce can low-sodium chicken broth (just under 2 cups), warmed
  • 1 cup milk , warmed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried dill weed
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice , more if desired
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh chopped parsley , minced
  • 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese , divided
  • 5 ounces canned albacore white tuna, packed in water , more if desired

For the Topping:

  • 1/2 cup Ritz crackers* , crushed
  • 1 Tablespoon butter , melted

Instructions
 

  • Cook the noodles just until al dente, according to package instructions.
  • Sauté the veggies: Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet.  Add celery, onion, peas and garlic and saute for a few minutes. Remove vegetables from pan and set aside.
  • Make Sauce: Add remaining 3 tablespoons butter to the pan. Once melted and the flour and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.  Slowly whisk in the chicken broth and milk, stirring constantly until smooth.  Bring mixture to a low simmer.
  • Stir constantly until thickened and bubbly, 2-3 minutes.  Reduce heat to low and add salt, dill, lemon juice, parsley, and ½ cup Parmesan cheese.  Taste sauce and season with additional salt, pepper, or lemon juice, to taste.
  • Combine: Remove from heat and stir in the pasta, vegetables and tuna.  Pour mixture into a 9x13’’ or similar size baking dish.  Sprinkle with remaining ½ cup of parmesan cheese.
  • Add topping: Crush ritz crackers and add melted butter. Sprinkle mixture over the casserole.
  • Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Notes

Tuna: Choose good quality canned solid white albacore tuna. It's may be a little more expensive but will make all the difference in taste.
Pasta: I like the medium shell pasta because I like the size and how each shell can fill with creamy sauce. You could substitute egg noodles or another type of bite-size pasta.
Cracker Topping: you could also use crushed potato chips, breadcrumbs, cornflakes or your favorite crackers.
Make Ahead Instructions: Cook the noodles, sauté the vegetables, and make the sauce. Store everything separately until ready to assemble, and bake.
Freezing Instructions: Undercook the noodles slightly. Assemble the dish in a freezer-safe container (I like to use a disposable aluminum pan) but don't top with crushed crackers. Allow to cool completely then cover tightly with and freezer for up to 3 months. Allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Top with crushed crackers and cheese before baking. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 25 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

Serve with:

Nutrition

Calories: 424kcalCarbohydrates: 42gProtein: 21gFat: 18gSaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 53mgSodium: 616mgPotassium: 358mgFiber: 2gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 785IUVitamin C: 10.6mgCalcium: 264mgIron: 1.8mg

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Have you tried this recipe?!

RATE and COMMENT below! I would love to hear your experience.

Recipe adapted from Our Best Bites.

I originally shared this recipe October 2018. Updated April 2021.

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About The Author

Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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Comments

  1. Thanks Stacy. I thought so, but it doesn’t say, and when I called up the video it played the wrong recipe. I will make this for my wife tonight. Beer bread on the side. Cheers.

  2. 5 stars
    It was delicious!!😋 I made a couple of substitutions because I used what I had at home. I used Gouda cheese, crushed large Cesar croutons & Naan garlic crackers. I used 3/4 c commercial, organic chicken broth and made my own chicken broth for the remainder. I used Habanero pepper 🫑 & white pepper. I used Himalaya sea salt instead of regular salt. I did not have dill or parsley, so omitted that step. I mixed Carnation milk with whole milk. I used multi-colored penne for my pasta.

  3. Made this for dinner tonight because I didn’t have anything thawed. It was really good and the whole family loved it. Thank you for another great recipe. Look forward to the cookbook.

  4. 4 stars
    This was very good. I liked the lemon and dill especially. I used frozen mixed veggies instead of just peas, and shredded Colby jack instead of parmesan (it’s all we had), but it turned out great.

    I do think there are a few unnecessary steps in this recipe. For instance, there’s no need to remove the vegetables from the pan before making the roux. And also not necessary to warm the broth and milk beforehand. I also did this in a dutch oven so I could just put it straight from stove into oven, instead of a 9×13. Less dirty dishes.

    Altogether though, I really nice recipe. I’ll make it again. Thank you.

  5. 5 stars
    This was so yummy. Loved the dill and lemon. We just couldn’t stop eating it. I made according to directions but added a couple shots of our favorite hot sauce which I do to most our meals. We like it a little spicy. Thank you for this nice fresh update. Not your mothers tuna casserole!

  6. 5 stars
    We are a large family, so I double the recipe to accommodate a 1 lb box of shells. Was a hit with everyone and will definitely be putting it into rotation!

  7. 5 stars
    This was the best tuna noodle hot dish I’ve tried, and I have been looking the last 3 years since becoming vegetarian. I adapted with veggie broth, added a can of tuna, used half milk and ‘half and half’, and used crushed club crackers for the topping. My 6yo kept saying “wow, mommy, you made this?” And “this is so amazing”! Winner!

  8. 5 stars
    This was the best Tuna Casserole I have ever had! I’m so grateful for a recipe that has no processed ingredients, and the addition of the lemon and parmesan cheese elevates the flavor to something really special. I did add an extra can of tuna, which for us, was perfect. My family’s constant praise between bites earned this recipe a permanent spot in the dinner rotation.

  9. 5 stars
    This version of Tuna Noodle Casserole is so creamy and flavorful and easy. I think the addition of lemon juice gives it an extra burst of flavor.

  10. 5 stars
    My whole family loved it! That never happens. I used whole wheat pasta and green beans instead of peas because that’s what I had. Thank you!

  11. 5 stars
    Have made this many, many times! Always RAVE reviews. Great base bones recipe, add your own spin on it & it is FAB. Not my Mother’s Tuna Casserole, that’s for sure. High end. LOVE IT! Thank yo so much!

  12. 5 stars
    This took a lot of steps (by my standard) but was well worth it! I used sherry instead of lemon, and diced mushrooms instead of tuna- so so delicious!

  13. 5 stars
    Delicious! I forgot the lemon juice and made the topping with crumbled toast and butter because we don’t have crackers in the house. They get snacked on before I can add them to any dish!
    Next time, I’ll try adding a red bell pepper and corn instead of the celery and peas.

  14. 5 stars
    I wish I snapped a picture to share before digging into this tasty dish. It was such an easy from-scratch dish. I made a 1 1/2 portion because I didn’t want to save the extra shells and boy am I happy I did it. The flavor was spot on. I had to make a couple of adjustments due to lack of ingredients but it was still delicious. First, I didn’t have fresh lemons but I had lemon essential oil, just a touch did it. Also, I didn’t have celery but I did have celery essential oil, again, a hit! I used mixed frozen veggies which tasted just as good. Will DEFINITELY make this again!!!

  15. 5 stars
    Great recipe! I used gluten free pasta shells, cornstarch in place of the flour in the sauce, and topped with crushed potatoes chips to make it gluten free for my husband. We both loved it.

  16. 5 stars
    Delicious Recipe! Way better than adding cream of chicken soup. I added 2 cans of tuna instead of one and I subbed veggie broth for chicken. I also did not remove peas from pot when I mixed up white sauce. I did not top with crackers since I did not have any and we are watching our carbs. I used red lentil based pasta along with egg noodles so I could have enough. Topped with 5 cheeses when served. Family LOVED it, even my picky eaters.

  17. Love this recipe and so does my husband! I was wondering how you think it would work with shredded chicken breast instead of the tuna for a change?

  18. I added fresh mushrooms and skipped the dill (not a fan of dill). We follow a low sodium diet and found it missing something – so added some Old Bay seasoning and a little more cheese – Also large can of tuna – I will try again.

  19. 4 stars
    In an attempt to get in some veggies, I diced and sauteed a green pepper and small zucchini with the onions. Also, I substituted the crackers with 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs mixed with 1/4 cup parmesan cheese. Made once with tuna, once with canned salmon. Both were pretty good. And kids ate it!

  20. 5 stars
    I made this last night and it was so good! I used 8oz of wide egg noodles and substituted crushed corn flakes for the topping. One technical change I made was to add the peas at the end. So when the remaining butter and flour went in, no need to remove veggies from pan first. I will definitely keep this in my comfort food rotation.

  21. 5 stars
    This is DEVINE! We have this at least once a month. Comfort food at its best Thank you so much for sharing.

  22. 5 stars
    Enjoyed. Notes to future self – used two cans tuna. Wish I had sautéed onions longer. More peas would be good too. Added about a cup of pasta water at end. Used fresh dill instead of dill weed. Loved the dill and lemon. Will make again and hopefully double batch with one for freezer.

  23. 5 stars
    My husband was impatient to get the food on the table so it barely got the crackers on top and never made it to the oven BUT, it was delicious! It was still delicious as leftovers for 2 more meals. We’re thrilled with this recipe. I had to use broken up spaghetti and it worked fine. I look forward to making it again and sharing it with friends and family once we can get together again. I think it would make a great “pot luck” dish!

  24. 5 stars
    I can’t wait to eat this again. It is outrageously good! I didn’t mess with the recipe at all except to substitute panko bread crumbs instead of Ritz that I didn’t have.

  25. 5 stars
    I’m back to make your tuna noodle again. Tastes like the comfort food my family loves, but with out the cans. Thank you!

  26. This was excellent; I used 2 cans of tuna, one yellow and one wild tuns. I did not make the sauce, used canned mushroom soup thinned with chicken stock. I topped the cassarole with thin slices of tomatoes, sprinkled a blend
    of 3 cheeses (mexican) and lightly topped all with panic flackes..

  27. Oh, so good! I’ve messed up so many times trying to figure out how to make this from scratch! Eureka. You did it! Thank you.

  28. 5 stars
    I’ve made this several times now and it is winner! I add about 1 tbs of Worcestershire and 1 tsp sirachi for a little tang and zing, and paprika for color on the topping. A knockout recipe.

    1. This is a wonderful recipe but your suggestion to add Worcestershire and Sriracha intrigued me so I gave it a try. WOW! Spot on.

    2. 5 stars
      Worcestershire and sriracha are amazing additions to this dish! It was so savory and beyond the normal flavors of the tuna noodle casserole that I grew up with! 5 stars!!

  29. 5 stars
    Holy moly this was amazing! The perfect dish after a long day on the lake. It was more time and work that I have ever put into a tuna-noodle-anything before but totally worth. Only variation was adding a chopped jalapeño without the membrane and seeds for a slight kick. Thank you for sharing!

  30. 5 stars
    Outstanding! Used soda crackers instead of Ritz and spinach instead.of.oeas other than that this recipe is absolutely amazing! Thank you! It’s a definite keeper!

  31. 5 stars
    This was fantastic! Quick and easy. Didn’t have crackers, so crushed Ruffles potato chips on top and was super yummy! My husband even asked if we could have leftovers for breakfast !

  32. 5 stars
    OMG! This is so good! I am gluten free and dairy free, so I made adjustments for that and this was beyond fabulous! My entire family loves it! I have made it again and again. Here are my adjustments if you need to make it gluten free and/or dairy free. I substituted olive oil for butter, used Banza chickpea pasta, subbed chickpea flour for all-purpose; used Oatly oat milk in place of regular milk; used gf lance cracker for the ritz and omitted the Parmesan cheese.

  33. 5 stars
    I love the fact that this recipe did not use sodium-laden canned soup. This by far is the best recipe that I have found for this dish. My husband wants it every week now!! I look forward to trying other recipes from Lauren.

  34. 5 stars
    It is an inexpensive, but filling option and easy
    -to-find ingredients. I love being able to make the sauce instead of using some sort of processed soup. Thanks for the recipe!

  35. 5 stars
    This.Was.Outstanding!!! I’ve never made tuna noodle casserole before but my husband has been asking for it so I searched for something that would be as far from the one my mom used to make, haha! I’m so glad I found this – my picky teenager and even pickier ten year old loved it! My husband asked me not to ever lose the recipe and I had seconds!!! The best part? I didn’t have lemon juice so I had to sub vinegar and I accidentally put waaaay too much in and had to fix it with a pinch of baking soda. Even with that it was awesome. I can’t wait to try this without any mistakes!!!

  36. 5 stars
    Absolutely delicious .. everyone was extremely happy at dinner!!! Thank You. Making Lemon Zucchini bread tomorrow morning .. so excited.

  37. 5 stars
    I also made this under the pandemic situation, and let me tell you – for anyone looking for comfort food right now, well, look no further. So delicious, perfect, yummmmmmmmmmy. I didn’t change one. single. thing. Thank you so much Lauren for sharing your recipe!

    I have never commented on a recipe before and I’m an avid cook / online recipe hunter…. this is that good!

  38. 5 stars
    Delicious!! We’re in the midst of this pandemic so I used ingredients I already had on hand. It turned out excellent! I made it hoping to last for lunch for a few days, but it might not make it that long. Here are the changes I made since I didn’t have the called out ingredients: egg noodles, 2 chicken bouillon cubes, kraft grated parmesan, omitted the celery, and used club crackers + italian bread crumbs instead of ritz. Even with these changes it is still delicious and I’ll be saving this recipe to make again in the future, and maybe I can make it with the actual specified ingredients. 🙂

  39. 5 stars
    I live far outside the US but I was yearning for comfort food. I can’t get canned soup here and was thrilled to find this recipe. It’s delicious! I made it as written for 2 of us and I’ve got my fingers crossed for leftovers.
    Thanks!

  40. 5 stars
    Yum! prepared as described. Very good. Will try with an ounce or two less pasta and some broccoli too next time, for a bit more veg…, probably steaming it lightly before stirring into the celery onion mix. Thank you for this recipe without the usual canned soup.

  41. 5 stars
    Made it twice. Very good. Added more tuna and some moz cheese second time around. Recipe is a keeper.

  42. 5 stars
    I made this splendid recipe and tweaked it with a few of my own ideas, some out of necessity.
    Because we like dishes that have more vegetables in general, I added about a quarter more of each of the veggies in the initial sauté
    I used a good commercial cream of mushroom soup as the base sauce, sautéed in butter, then added less chicken stock & milk, and no flour.

    The twists I added: a good helping of worcestershire sauce (1 + tbsp) and a tbsp of Sriracha for a double flavorful boost. I added both until I liked the balance of the flavors without being overt. You don’t notice the new ingredients in the final product in an overt way, but the subtly of the additions are super.

    Lemon juice brightens the flavor of the casserole in ways I didn’t expect. An absolutely inspired ingredient, it really makes the dish. I used fresh lemons, definitely the way to go.

    My former professional chef hubby was very impressed. Could not recommend this recipe more.
    Thanks Lauren!!

  43. 5 stars
    I’m not a huge fan of tuna helper so I was wary of making this. But honestly it was a 10/10 recipe. I didn’t have Ritz so I used ripple plain chips crushed and I used whole wheat penne noodles instead aswell. Very very tasty and the chips had a real nice crunch in every bite

  44. 5 stars
    Wonderful! Not your normal tuna noodle casserole! However, a true lent recipe cannot contain CHICKEN broth, so I used vegetable broth!

  45. 5 stars
    Awesome! GF noodles and bread (blended and toasted) for the top. Did a mix of cheddar and Parmesan. Used broccoli and corn bc those were the frozen veggies I had. Half and half instead of milk. Thickened with corn starch and Gf flour and forgot the dill and lemon – definitely doing that next time! I did add some spices to the bread topping. Loved it and all 3 kids ate it up! I sort of doubled it so I have enough to make an 8×8 tomorrow night! I never do a recipe exactly and just flex with what I have on hand but this was awesome – no canned anything and no egg noodles! Thank you!

  46. It’s probably one of the BEST Tuna Noodle recipes.
    My husband requested this during the 2020 Quarantine. I had everthing except the Chicken Broth. I subbed Chicken Noodle soup. He loved it!!! Thank you!!!

  47. Absolutely excellent. That little lemon juice in there gives it such a great flavor. This is my new tuna casserole and nose soup with lots of salt

  48. 5 stars
    This was truly excellent. I grew up in Europe and never heard of this American staple. My husband told me about this and made it several times with cream of celery and mushroom Campbell’s soups, which was surprisingly not terrible. I was asked by the kids to make this for Friday during lent and have found this recipe to see if I can make it a bit healthier. It is a really fantastic tasting dish and very complex flavors notwithstanding the simple ingredients. Thank, it is now being requested once a week.!!!!

  49. 5 stars
    I was looking for a tuna noodle recipe that did not use canned soup and this one is perfect. I used gluten free noodles because that’s what I had and it was still perfect. My husband said this is the best tuna noodle casserole he’s ever tased!

  50. 5 stars
    I used gluten free noodles and non dairy cheese..my husband loved it..now I dint have to make two different meals because of gluten and dairy intolerance…thank you..

  51. 5 stars
    Delicious! I used elbow macaroni because I had them. And everything else I needed in my pantry for a nice Friday Lenten supper. I thought the parmesan might be overwhelming buy it hit just the right note. No more gloppy, salty ‘cream of soup’ for me! Why would you?

  52. Excellent recipe. I added fresh mushrooms and fresh thyme, some Worcestershire to the sauce, doubled the Ritz crackers. Also used two cans of tuna and an Italian cheese blend. Needed far more seasoning, i.e., salt and pepper than called for. This was comfort in a bowl, and exactly what’s needed during this unsettling time!

  53. 5 stars
    I had to make some minor substitutions (dried parsley vs fresh, fettuccine vs seashells and breadcrumbs vs ritz crackers) and it was still wonderful! It’s the best tuna noodle casserole I’ve ever had. Prep time did take longer than stated but until you’ve made a recipe a couple of times it always does. I will definitely be making this again. Thank you for the recipe.

  54. This was really yummy, but really hard to make. I cook almost every night and I wanted to try a staple I haven’t made before. The prep and clean up was extensive. I also didnt have every ingredient on hand, I substituted grated cheddar and mozzarella for parmesan, dried spices for fresh, and I used non dairy milk. My substitutes were fine and the dish turned out great! I will make it again, hopefully the prep time will be better next time since it won’t be my first.

  55. 5 stars
    This was fantastic. Although I did add an extra can of tuna fish because I wanted more protein.
    I will definitely make this again!!!!!

  56. 5 stars
    My husband and I love this easy, tasty dish! The shells are a great change of pace from other recipes. Reheats great too, with a little milk added.

  57. 4 stars
    This was a great dish! Our children and my husband (who does not care for tuna noodle casserole 🙂 ) enjoyed it! Thanks for sharing.

  58. Loved this casserole! Easy to make, I did put the dill weed 1/8 tsp, parsley (dried) 2 Tb, lemon juice 2 tsp, salt & pepper 1/4 tsp each all together for at least 15 minutes prior to adding to sauce mixture. When I blended the flour with chicken broth and milk it did take longer than a couple of minutes to thicken. I cooked it stirring for 5 minutes then added the 1/2 c Parmesan cheese which helped to thicken the sauce. Added the veggies, drained tuna fish (1 can) and pasta. It taste perfect no additional salt necessary. I did however sauté the veggies 5 minutes. If you like crisp veggies cook less than the 5 minutes. I will make this again!

  59. 1 star
    Prep time is underestimated as it took me about 50 min. I followed the recipe but substituted saltines for Ritz crackers.
    Family thought it was pretty bland despite the large number of ingredients. The dish did not have a strong tuna taste despite adding two cans of tuna. Won’t make this again.

  60. 5 stars
    Got good feedback when I served this. Just for fun, I think I’ll try it with canned chicken since I’m not a tuna fan

  61. This looks easy and great, I’m going to make it tonight!
    I was thinking earlier on my way to work that I would
    make a tuna casserole this eve. I realized I didn’t have any cream soups and
    so, I came up with an alternative, make a roux! That’s
    just what I’ll do! Thanks for the great recipe!

  62. 5 stars
    Made it with fresh dill, as well at butternut squash noodles; left off the crackers, layered in the parm and cooked a bit longer than specified; added some celery salt to the veggies. Yum!!!!

  63. I have always been under the impression that freezing food with milk and flour in it will end up with a completely different texture. If freezing this, does the texture turn out as creamy and smooth as it is when it is first made?

  64. Have not tried your recipe yet, but am sure that I will not be using Ritz crackers, but regular saltines instead. Ritz have sugar and taste sweet, which I feel has no place in this recipe, just as I would not use Ritz with a nice pate. Thanks for the recipe.

  65. Delicious! I used 100% whole wheat egg noodles as that is what I had on hand and 100% whole wheat bread crumbs on top since I didn’t have any crackers. I did put extra tuna in because I had a large can. Served this with stewed tomatoes. My whole family liked this! Putting this recipe in our rotation of meals.

  66. Thanks for a great recipe. I followed as closely as I could with what I had on hand. I live in rural area so I can’t run to the store. I used 1 can albacore and 1 can light tuna, diced zucchini, peas, onions and chicken broth. The addition of dill and lemon was nice touch. Also I used pablo to top. It was really delicious. I refuse to use canned soup in anything. I really appreciate recipes that start from scratch. They take so little time and are superior.

  67. 1 star
    If I wanted a parmeson cheese casserole recipe and wanted to spend at least an hour using all my kitchen equipment and making an unneccessary lot of work to make a casserole, maybe it would be good. Never tasted the tuna and I only used half the parmesan cheese called for. I’ll go back to my mom’s basic noodles, cream of mushroom soup and tuna recipe. Much easier and tastier.

  68. 5 stars
    Hi. Like other commenters I find this recipe to be excellent and it will be my go to from now on. I did make a couple of changes–not out of any desire to improve the recipe, just a couple of things I’ve discovered/learned over a life time of cooking. (I’m a former professional chef, now retired). 1. I’ve never been a huge fan of canned tuna. Years ago I discovered canned “red salmon” (not to be mistaken for “pink salmon” with all the bones and cartilage). Red salmon is essentially Sockeye salmon from Alaska, one of the healthiest and tastiest aquatic species. It does have skin and some cartilage which are texturally insignificant when used in a casserole. It comes in 14.75 oz. tall cans slightly larger at the top than the bottom. Brand names available in SE Wisconsin include Pillar Rock and Rubensteins. But I digress. Drain as you would tuna and proceed as directed in Lauren’s recipe. 2. Not having any chicken broth on hand, I saved the drained liquid from the salmon, added some lobster base and water to reduce salinity and bring it up to the specified volume and eliminated the Kosher salt. 3. I added chopped fresh mushrooms (about a cup?) And subbed ground white pepper for the black. 4. I switched sharp white cheddar for the Parm (cause I didn’t have enough Parm on hand). Finally, the topping. 5. Not having any Ritz crackers, I sauteed Panko crumbs in butter ’til lightly browned, removed from heat, added about 1/2 c. freshly minced curly parsley and about 1/4 c. freshly grated Romano and mixed well. Removed casserole from oven, spread Panko mixture over top, covered and let sit for 5 min before serving. That’s it!

  69. Yes, so delicious, I believe the dill and lemon juice make this, we haven’t had tuna noodle casserole since our girls left and my husband loved it

  70. 5 stars
    This recipe is excellent! The only things I did differently from the recipe were use regular canned tuna (what I had on hand) and I actually used a can of beef broth instead because somehow I was out of chicken broth 🤦🏻‍♀️. The beef broth made it a slightly darker color sauce, but it was still delish! I will make sure I have chicken stock for next time. I also substituted the peas for broccoli since it’s my son’s favorite veggie. I just toss a bag of frozen broccoli in the pasta water when the pasta is 1/2 way done. Thank you for this recipe, it was a hit with the family!

  71. This is the BEST tuna noodle casserole ever! I didn’t have dill so used fresh rosemary, thyme and herbs de Provence. I happened to have some leftover garlic butter so used it to saute the vegetables, and took another cooks advice and added apple cider vinegar. Plus, I only had whole wheat saltines and some potato chip crumbs for the topping! My husband and I couldn’t stop eating it – so it only served two!

  72. 5 stars
    This was our toddler’s first time to ever try tuna and she loved this dish! All of us loved it and it was really easy to make. We will be keeping this in our recipe vault of family favorites! Next time I will also try the frozen peas & carrots like one reviewer mentioned. More veggies are always welcome in our house!

  73. 5 stars
    My husband said this was the “best tuna casserole” he had ever had! I used egg noodles, frozen peas & carrots, apple cider vinegar instead of lemon juice & tarragon instead of dill because that is what I had on had. And because our foreign exchange son does not like the crunchy toppings of casserole I used provolone cheese slices to cover it. Score! Thank you for sharing.

  74. 5 stars
    Not bad! I followed the recipe pretty close. I cooked bit more shell pasta and boosted the other ingredients to match. I did use the expensive good quality canned tuna. Chopped up fresh dill and parsley. I graded a block of Parmesan Reggiano cheese, and not the graded stuff in the green can. Had organic lemon to squeeze. I have a deep dish casserole pot I use and covered it with the glass lid so the casserole would not dry out in the oven. Used Ritz crackers and butter for the topping. Came out great! Not much trouble, even making it for the first time. I am sure I will make it again.

  75. It’s one of the best recipes I’ve used. I added a bit more lemon, dill and salt, and I used lime beans. Outstandong recipe, simply outstanding.

  76. 5 stars
    It’s one of the best recipes I’ve used. I added a bit more lemon, dill and salt. Outstandong recipe, simply outstanding.

  77. This is now my go-to Tuna Noodle Casserole recipe. I did add some “Better than Bullion” to the base as I thought it needed a little more Umph! Also added mushrooms…just wouldn’t be the same without mushrooms. Thanks!

  78. 5 stars
    I made this with gluten free pasta, gluten free flour and gluten free panko bread crumbs for the topping. It was absolutely delicious and so much healthier than the kind you just dump cans of soup into. Loved it! I will absolutely make this again for the family.

  79. 5 stars
    This was so delicious! I loved the pop of lemon and dill flavors and the parmesan as opposed to cheddar makes it super savory and nutty. I substituted the milk for unsweetened plain cashew milk and added fresh mushrooms to the veggie saute. Definitely a recipe for the roledex 😉👍🏻😍 Thank you!

  80. It was perfect. Substituted all wheat pasta, while wheat flour for the roux, and whole wheat breadcrumbs. Thank you for the recipe. It’s perfect.

  81. I can’t eat parmesan cheese (burns my mouth). What is cheese would be a good substituted?

    Thank you!

    1. If you can’t have cheese at all, you can substitute “nutritional yeast,” to taste, instead. Nutritional yeast can be found in health food stores like Whole Foods. I would start with 1/4 of the amount of nutritional yeast as Parmesan and then add more to taste, if necessary. For other dairy substitutions, use cashew milk in place of milk, Earth Balance spread in place of butter.

  82. 5 stars
    Great recipe. This grandma loved that it didn’t use soup as a base. The few extra steps was worth it. My husband loves tuna casserole – the one his grandma made, and he loved this one.

    1. 5 stars
      I agree totally. My husband went for seconds, having grown up on the traditional recipe. (I did add 4oz mushrooms to get a closer match to the canned recipe)

  83. 5 stars
    Great Recipe!

    Thanks so much for posting this. It reminded me of what my mom use to make when I was a kid. By partner loved it as well and keep dipping her fork into the casserole dish.

    I didn’t have dill, so used some dried thyme from my garden. I also increased the onion to 3/4 cup and measured the celery at 1/2 cup. I might even try minced carrot the next time I make it, as well as diced mushrooms.

  84. 5 stars
    I made this recipe tonight and it was a hit. I didn’t have lemon juice but it was still good! I am mom of three and was able to whip this is up, in the oven, and served before baseball practice.

  85. Lauren, thanks for the great recipe! I modified it a little . Instead of packaged chicken stock, I used home made turkey stock made front simmering turkey legs, clergy and onion and then strained. I freeze this broth in small containers until needed. To the sautéed vegetables I added sliced mushrooms and one cup of diced poblano peppers for a little kick. In the sauce, I used a n Italian four cheese blend instead of only Parmesan. On top, I used crushed ridge type potato chips. I am only cooking for adults these days. My mother in law, who is a grandmother, likes this dish.

  86. Oh please, get over yourself. For a “grandmother” you sound like a teenager…

    For the record, I’m a grandfather. One who doesn’t look for reasons to be offended. Professional victims…

  87. It’s sadly appaling that people are now offended by the use of the term “Grandma”! I greatly agree with the comment that it conveys wonderful memories complimented with wonderful food! I too am a “Grandma” & find no offense to the reference. Becoming/being a Grandma is an absolute blessing! It’s so unfortunate that there are some that need to find the negativity in everything! I truly hope your grandchildren aren’t exposed to it! And, btw, can’t wait to make this for dinner. Sounds yummy!

  88. 5 stars
    I am a grandma who is always looking to improve recipes I grew up on. Try to eliminate canned soup whenever I can, so was game to try this tuna noodle casserole recipe. Tried it out on Ash Wednesday for husband and me, and kept back half for my daughter and family to finish in the oven next night. My daughter is editor of two food trade magazines, eats out a lot, and knows a lot of chefs nationally. She could not stop raving about this simple dish! Kudos to you!

  89. I had been planning on serving this dish for friends and family later this week. However, now that I see your comment that it isn’t “grandma’s style” tuna casserole I’m having doubts. You see, as a grandmother, and more importantly, as someone who has no patience with ageism, I feel that this is not a recipe for me. Please remove this offensive statement.

    1. My! My! My! Are we sensitive today–Can’t believe how sensitive we (the collective WE) have become to simple phrases and words that have been used for centuries. “Grandma’s ” anything is a generic phrase that has been used to represent good memories,, etc. Just saying that something is different than “Grandma’s” does not imply in any way that the new item is far superior than “Grandma’s”. ‘Tis only a recipe. Your choice to use it or not!!

    2. I am a Gramma. I love the reference and I love being a Gramma. I think of Gramma style as comforting and homey. Using this statement gives an instant picture and feeling.

  90. Can I make this recipe a few hours ahead of time and keep it in the fridge until closer to dinner time?

    1. Yes! I would prepare everything but don’t add the ritz cracker topping until you are ready to bake it. Store it in the refrigerator and bake when ready.

  91. 5 stars
    Yesterday (Sunday) was a very cold, windy snowy day. Trying to use up items on hand. I was looking for a tuna casserole recipe that does not use soup. That’s what I grew up on, but my 3 grown boys don’t like very much. Came across this recipe…..It was absolutely perfect! Not something I would prepare during a weeknight as it took much longer than stated. I did use 3 cups broth and 1.5 cups milk, mild cheddar cheese and a large can of tuna. It was creamy, filling and the boys tore it up! No more soup for me! Served with brussel sprouts and garlic bread. I think this sauce could easily be adapted for many casserole recipes. Thank you for sharing!

  92. 5 stars
    I made this with a few substitutions: vegetarian chicken-flavored broth, 2 cans of tuna, leftover caramelized onions, and broccoli instead of peas in half the casserole for my picky 5 year old. It was a big hit with the whole family. The creamy sauce was so delicious, and surprisingly a tad sweet. Perfect comfort food for a chilly Saturday, and definitely something we’ll include in our regular rotation.

  93. 5 stars
    Oh-em-gee!! The best homemade tuna casserole ever!! This trumps all soup based recipes by far….take the time to make this one, you will not be disappointed! To make it creamier, I did add 3 Cups Chicken Broth and 1 1/2 Cups of milk because the noodles will absorb some of the liquid and I was afraid it would be dry. (It was perfect). I added about 7 fresh sliced mushrooms to the onion, celery cooking process and 3 cloves of garlic instead of one. I also used 3 cans of tuna (5 oz). Mixed panko breadcrumbs with butter and baked! A few, little tweaks….but the base of this recipe is EXCELLENT!!! My family loved it….it’s a keeper in my recipe file for sure!!

  94. 5 stars
    I made this tonight, and everyone agreed it was absolutely delicious! I will never make it with canned soup ever again! Thank you for this recipe!!

  95. 5 stars
    I was craving tuna noodle casserole, for some weird reason…hadn’t had any in many, many years. Just made this recipe tonight. I left out the peas (yick), and I doubled the tuna and added a little more pasta (I used mini bow-tie pasta). I used Panko on top, instead of Ritz crackers, and I had to substitute celery seed for celery. It was AMAZING!!! I’ll have lots of leftovers, but it’ll be just as good for lunches over the next few days. Thank you for the great recipe! It definitely satisfied my craving.

  96. I haven’t made tuna casserole in years. I came across your updated recipe last week while searching for something else. It sounded so much better than the canned soup one I was taught so I had to try it.First off I doubled the recipe because both my husband and Son-in-Law have hollow legs and I wanted leftovers for lunch the next day. LOL!!!! There was very little left and now they asked when I was making it again? Needless to say it is delicious and I will be making it often.

  97. Best Tuna Noodle Casserole I have ever had. Easy to make. None of that canned soup taste. My family loved it. Followed the recipe as posted. Wouldn’t change a thing. This recipe is a keeper!

  98. 5 stars
    Your recipe is ah-mazing.. it is -r degrees here today and perfect for a nice, cozy meal by candlelight and a fire. I followed your directions. They were very easy. Thank you so much for posting this.

  99. 5 stars
    I made this one night last week when it was very cold outside. My husband raved about it and had a big second helping. Leftovers the next day were just as delicious! Thank you.

  100. 5 stars
    Made this in preparation for a snow storm thinking I’d eat it all myself because my toddler is super picky and my husband hates tuna noodle. They both loved it and there are barely any leftovers. I made this exactly as written only increasing the lemon juice a bit. Fantastic!

  101. I just made this for the first time. It is really good! Not being a fan of peas, I used diced carrots instead. And adjusted/varied the seasonings as suggested. A word of warning though, if looking for a quick weeknight meal. This took a LOT longer than 15 minutes to prep. Knowing this, I will definitely make it again allowing more time, and for sure will make it for the next group potluck at work. It is a great versatile recipe that can be tweaked to suit anyone’s taste!

    1. Thanks Heidi! I haven’t experimented with freezing this one, but I’m pretty confidant it would work great. Be sure to undercook the noodles.

    2. A stormy day and looking for some thing for lunch .Had tuna fish but didn’t want a sandwich. Building on the tuna fish .went looking for somthing different and came across tuna noodle casserole . Took longer then time posted but was worth it and like that it was made from scratch. Can’t wait to serve to my card group . Excellent.

  102. 5 stars
    A few tips – when I’m making the roux, I let the butter/flour cook for a few minutes, almost like I’m toasting it. I also add ground thyme, a pinch of cayenne, a hint of cumin (believe me, it works), and onion and/or garlic powder at that point. After I whisk in the milk, I add a little mustard (Dijon is great, honey mustard fine, not yellow or brown) for depth, and a little light Hellman’s for sweetness. After the sauce is off-heat, I add the splash of lemon juice and dill. Then I toss in the peas, mushrooms, and tuna.

    For those who are dairy free, this is a great recipe with plain (not vanilla) soy or nut milk – but not coconut milk (too thin). I prefer to put the parm in the topping, then spray it with I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter spray or butter-flavored Pam rather than mix more melted butter. I’m able to trim the whole thing down to 1 t olive oil, Pam, and 3T butter.

    1. Your review should be about THIS recipe – not your own. How can you give THIS recipe 5 stars when you totally changed the entire recipe. ?

  103. 5 stars
    Thank you so much for this delish recipe! I am probably a lot older than your typical commenter as I grew up on the Campbells Soup recipe in the 1960’s. It’s holiday time and I was feeling kind of low, missing my mom who passed away a few years ago, and when I feel like that I usually try to find some of her comfort food recipes. But I really wanted to make something fresher than the soup recipe. This was fantastic! I especially loved the addition of the dill and lemon. So comforting! Thanks again.

  104. 5 stars
    Yuuuuum!! Excellent recipe. I increased dill, lemon and salt and topped with French fried onions instead of butter and crackers. Going in my recipe book!

  105. 5 stars
    I made this last night and we loved it. The only change I’d make when I make it again is I’ll bump the chicken stock up to 3 cups and the milk (I used heavy cream) up to 1 1/2 cups. I like it just a little creamier than it was. The flavor was so good, I can’t wait for lunch to eat left overs. I added a couple of chopped mushrooms. Thank you!

  106. 5 stars
    Tried this tonight. My wife made it while I washed her car. I got the good end of the deal as this is no doubt the best I have tasted, and I have tasted multiple variations of this type of casserole.

    What a great twist on a traditional comfort meal. Bravo!!!!!

    Thanks for sharing,

    Steve & Lori

    1. I’m so pleased to hear that and thrilled you enjoyed it! Thanks for commenting–I hope you get to try more recipes here soon!

  107. I can’t wait to try this. I think my kids will love it!

    I have a question though. I’ve been saving recipes to the meal plan, but when I try to open it, it says I haven’t added any recipes yet. There is a #4 on the tab though.

    1. Hi Loretta, I’m so sorry, this issue should be fixed! Also, be sure to clear the cache and cookies on your computer if you’re still having a problem. 🙂 Thanks for following!