Easy Cheesy Tuna Casserole 2 Ways

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Cheesy Tuna Casserole is an easy comfort food dinner you can whip up quickly using pantry staples. Learn two ways to prepare a classic tuna casserole that’s great for meal prep and freezer friendly too.  

Post includes Weight Watchers points.

 

 

a serving of cheesy tuna casserole on a white plate with a fork

Creamy cheesy tuna noodle casserole is a classic dish with a homey, nostalgic feel. Cheesy tuna casserole has been made by mothers and grandmothers for generations because it’s budget friendly, delicious, and easily feeds a crowd.

Sometimes you just need a belly full of creamy, cheesy deliciousness. Am I right?!?! And you can’t go wrong with an easy dish that combines your well-loved canned, frozen, and dried goods with aaaaaaaaall the cheese.  

Learn how to make this cheesy tuna noodle casserole in two ways. One with classic cream sauce and peas and the other with a tomato-based sauce that will light up your tastebuds.

Both cozy recipes are made with minimal ingredients, equally delicious, and simple to prepare. Just like this easy chicken broccoli casserole and crockpot spaghetti casserole!

top down view of the cheesy tuna casserole ready to be served

Because easy dinners mean we can take back time to do more of the fun stuff! #casseroleforthewin

Why Make This Recipe

  • It is made from everyday pantry staples.
  • It is budget-friendly and comes together quickly. Both recipes are super easy to whip up.
  • You can use canned or fresh tuna.
  • Both casseroles are perfect for meal prep and are freezer friendly.
the completed cheesy tuna casserole with a serving spoon inside

Ingredient Notes

For Tuna Casserole with Tomatoes

  • Pasta – use your favorite dried pasta such as ziti, elbow macaroni, or egg noodles.
  • Olive oil – select your favorite, light neutral-flavored oil.
  • Aromatics – Onion and Bell Pepper (fresh or frozen) and minced garlic add flavor to the dish.
  • Seasoning – use Greek seasoning or dried oregano
  • Tomatoes – Canned diced tomatoes are the base of the sauce. Use fireroasted tomatoes if desired.
  • Tuna – Drain canned tuna or use leftover fresh tuna if preferred.
  • Cheese – Use mozzarella or your favorite blend of cheeses.

For Cheesy Tuna Casserole with Green Peas

  • Pasta – Cook according to package directions, until al dente.
  • Aromatics – diced onion and celery add flavor to the dish.
  • Olive Oil – Or your favorite oil for sauteing
  • Tuna – Drained canned tuna. You can use oil or water packed. If using oil-packed, rinse before adding to the casserole.
  • Cheese – use shredded cheddar cheese or your favorite cheese.
  • Seasonings – Combine kosher salt, Italian Seasoning, smoked paprika, garlic powder and black pepper
  • Cream of Mushroom Soup – You can also use cream of chicken soup or cream of celery soup.
  • Green Peas – use fresh or frozen peas. Frozen peas do not need to be thawed first.
  • Breadcrumbs – Panko bread crumbs have a wonderful crunch, but you can also use regular bread crumbs or cracker crumbs.
  • Parsley – chopped fresh parsley adds brightness to the dish.
the ingredients for making this cheesy tuna casserole recipe

So, ready to learn how to make tuna casserole two ways? Gather up your ingredients and I will show you…

How To Make Cheesy Tuna Casserole With Tomatoes

Get the complete ingredients list and instructions from the recipe card below.

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F / 200 degrees C.
  2. Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions until almost done. You want the pasta al dente.
  3. Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the diced onion and pepper cook for about 6 minutes until soft.
  4. Stir in the garlic for 30 seconds until fragrant and mix in the diced tomatoes, and simmer for 20 minutes.
  5. Remove from the heat, stir in the cooked pasta and tuna, then transfer into a casserole dish.
  6. Add the cheese on top and bake for 20 minutes until the cheese is melted.image collage showing the steps for making cheesy tuna casserole

How To Make Cheesy Tuna Casserole with Green Peas

Get the complete ingredients list and instructions from the recipe card below.

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F / 180 degrees C and cook the pasta according to the package directions.
  2. Heat olive oil in a medium skillet and sauté the onion and celery for 5-6 minutes until tender. 
  3. While the onions and celery cook, combine the pasta, tuna, one cup of cheese, salt, and spices in a large bowl.  
  4. Add in the onions and celery, green peas, and mushroom soup and stir until well combined. 
  5. Transfer the tuna noodle mixture to a 9×13 baking dish and bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes. 
  6. Top the casserole with the remaining cheese and the breadcrumbs and bake for 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the casserole is bubbly. 
  7. Garnish with fresh parsley before serving.
image collage showing the steps for making cheesy tuna casserole with green peas

Expert Tips

  • Cook the pasta to al dente as it will continue to cook as the casserole bakes.
  • Drain the tuna before adding it to the casserole.
  • If using tuna packed in oil, rinse the tuna in a mesh colander before adding to the rest of the ingredients.
  • Frozen peas do not need to be thawed before adding to the casserole.
  • To prevent the casserole from drying out, cover with foil for the first half of the cooking time.
  • For a golden crust, broil the casserole for a few minutes before serving.

Delicious Variations

  • Change The Vegetables – adding/substituting peas, mushrooms, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, etc., can change the flavor of the dish.
  • Swap The Topping – Top the tuna fish casserole with panko, breadcrumbs, crushed chips, or crushed crackers to add more crunch.
  • Swap The Noodles – Ziti and egg noodles are great, but any type of pasta can work in a pinch. Use what you have in your pantry.
  • Replace The Tuna – Feel free to use canned salmon instead. You can also make this recipe with canned chicken.
  • Use Different Soup – Cream of mushroom soup can be replaced with cream of chicken or cream of celery soup.
the finished cheesy tuna casserole with one serving removed

Prep and Storage

  • Prep Ahead – Precook the noodles according to package instructions, then store in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to assemble the casserole.
  • Store – Leftover casserole can be refrigerated for up to 3 days when stored in an airtight container.
  • Freeze – Follow the handy tips below on how to freeze this.
    • Let it cool completely before covering with foil and then freezing. 
    • Alternatively, freeze before baking. Be sure to thaw it fully before baking, so it cooks evenly.
    • Store in the freezer for 3 months.
  • Thaw and Reheat – Thaw the cooked frozen tuna casserole in the fridge overnight. Bake it at 400 degrees F / 200 degrees C until it has been heated through.
top down view of the completed tuna casserole with one serving removed

FAQs

Can Cheesy Tuna Casserole Be Frozen?

This casserole is perfect for freezing. For smaller families, divide the casserole in half, baking half now and freezing the rest for later. Freeze before or after baking, thaw overnight inside the fridge, then cook and serve.

Why Is My Tuna Casserole Dry?

There are several things that can cause a dry casserole. To solve this problem, follow the recipe carefully, so there is enough moisture in the casserole. Secondly, cover the casserole with foil during the first half of the baking time. Finally, make sure you aren’t using a casserole dish that is too large.

Which Type Of Tuna Should I Use?

Canned tuna makes this recipe affordable and easy. With so many varieties of tuna like solid white albacore tuna, light tuna, packed in water and packed in oil, you may not know which to use. The type of tuna you select is really a personal preference. Be sure to drain the tuna before adding to the recipe. If using tuna packed in oil, rinse the tuna in a strainer before using.

Serving Suggestions

More Recipes You May Like 

Weight Watchers Points

There are 6 Blue Plan SmartPoints in one serving of this.

Tuna Pasta Bake-29 | Recipes From A Pantry

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cheesy tuna casserole served in a bowl with a silver spoon
Print Recipe
5 from 8 votes

Cheesy Tuna Casserole

This tuna pasta melt can be made in two ways and is sure to be a family favorite.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Total Time55 minutes
Course: Main
Cuisine: American, Mediterranean
Servings: 6
Calories: 403kcal
Author: Bintu Hardy

Ingredients

Tuna Casserole With Tomatoes

  • 10 ½ ounces (300g) pasta
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup frozen diced onion or 1 onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup frozen diced bell pepper or 1 fresh one, deseeded and diced
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Greek seasoning or dried oregano
  • 28 ounces (800g) diced tomatoes
  • 17 ounces (240g) tuna drained
  • 6 ounces (170g) mozzarella cheese shredded

Cheesy Tuna Casseole with Egg Noodles

  • 1 pound (453g) dry egg noodles
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 celery stalk diced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 10 ounces (284g) tuna two 5-ounce cans, drained
  • 1 ⅓ cups (110g) cheddar cheese grated
  • ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • teaspoon salt
  • teaspoon smoked paprika
  • teaspoon garlic powder
  • teaspoon black pepper
  • 10 ½ ounces (298g) cream of mushroom soup 1 can
  • ½ cup (72g) green peas frozen
  • ½ cup (60g) panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley optional for garnish

Instructions

Tuna Casserole with Tomatoes

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F / 200 degrees C.
  • Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions until al dente.
  • Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the onion and pepper cook for about 5 minutes, until soft.
  • Stir in the garlic for 30 seconds until fragrant and mix in the diced tomatoes and simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat, stir in the cooked pasta and tuna and transfer into a casserole dish.
  • Add the cheese on top and bake for 20 minutes until the cheese is melted.

Cheesy Tuna Casserole with Green Peas

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F / 180 degrees C and cook the pasta according to the package directions.
  • Heat olive oil in a medium skillet and sauté the onion and celery for 5-6 minutes, until tender.
  • While the onions and celery cook, combine the pasta, tuna, 1 cup of cheese, salt and spices in a large bowl.
  • Add in the onions and celery, green peas and mushroom soup and stir until well combined.
  • Transfer the mixture to a 9×13 baking dish and bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes.
  • Then top the casserole with the remaining cheese and breadcrumbs and bake for 10 minutes, or until the cheese in melted and the casserole is bubbly.
  • If desired, garnish with fresh chopped parsley before serving.
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Notes

    • Cook the pasta to al dente as it will continue to cook as the casserole bakes.
    • Drain the tuna before adding it to the casserole.
    • If using tuna packed in oil, rinse the tuna in a mesh colander before adding to the rest of the ingredients.
    • Frozen peas do not need to be thawed before adding to the casserole.
    • To prevent the casserole from drying out, cover with foil for the first half of the cooking time.
    • For a golden crust, broil the casserole for a few minutes before serving.
    • Storage – keep leftovers in an airtight container inside the fridge for up to 3 days.
    • There are 6 Blue Plan SmartPoints in a serving of this.
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Nutrition

Calories: 403kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.002g | Cholesterol: 51mg | Sodium: 548mg | Potassium: 620mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 1176IU | Vitamin C: 46mg | Calcium: 223mg | Iron: 4mg

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