This Homemade Tuna Noodle Casserole is an update on an old classic. It's made using a flavorful homemade sauce that elevates it taking this potluck star to another level.
Homemade Tuna Noodle Casserole
Tuna Noodle Casserole isn't a new dish, it's a beloved vintage casserole we've eaten for generations. The most common version utilizes canned soups for the sauce making it a super easy dish to prepare. While I use canned soups from time to time in casserole recipes such as crockpot chicken and dressing and au gratin ranch potatoes, this tuna casserole is made with a homemade sauce to kick it up a few notches.
Tips for Making Homemade Tuna Noodle Casserole
- I use wide, not extra wide noodles, in this dish.
- You can use white cheddar, regular cheddar, Gruyere or Swiss cheese in this dish. In a pinch, monterey jack makes a delicious mild cheese sauce. Adapt the cheese using your preference or, what you have on hand.
- I recommend topping this with crushed french fried onions however, you can also use buttered bread crumbs or even crushed potato chips.
- Depending on your family's taste one cup of peas may be ample. If they love peas, you may use up to two cups.
- Adding seafood seasoning gives this dish a little something extra in flavor. I use Old Bay and Seafood Magic but, there are a plethora of seafood seasoning combinations available.
Dishes to Serve with Tuna Casserole
This casserole can stand alone, if you're in a hurry. That being said, a wedge salad and some warm garlic bread goes a long way alongside this filling pasta dish. You may also enjoy this tuna salad recipe from Spend with Pennies.
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Helpful Kitchen Items:
Homemade Tuna Noodle Casserole
- 12 oz wide egg noodles cooked al dente
- 6 Tbsp salted or unsalted butter
- 1 small onion diced
- 1 rib celery diced
- ⅓ cup all purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp lemon pepper or black pepper
- 1 tsp seafood seasoning i.e. Old Bay or your favorite
- 1 tsp granulated garlic or garlic powder
- ½ tsp onion powder
- 4 cups whole milk or half and half
- 3 cups shredded sharp white or regular cheddar cheese, Swiss or Gruyere divided
- 3 6 oz cans tuna drained
- 1-2 cups frozen petite peas adjust amount to your taste
- 1 cup french fried onions crushed
- fresh chopped chives or parsley for garnishing `optional
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 13 x 9 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
- Cook noodles per the package in salted water until al dente. Drain well.
- Meanwhile in a deep large saucepan, cook together butter, celery and onion for 2 minutes over medium until softened. Add flour, stirring until absorbed to make a roux. Simmer 1 minute.
- To the roux add salt, lemon pepper, seafood seasoning, garlic and onion powders. Mix well.
- Increase heat to medium-high and gradually mix in milk. Stir until fully combined, bring to a boil. Immediately lower heat and allow to gently bubble for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, mix in 2 cups cheese until melted.
- To the pot add noodles, tuna and peas. Mix well, and pour into baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup cheese and fried onions.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden and bubbly. Serve immediately garnished with fresh chives or parsley, if desired.
- 2-3 cloves of minced fresh garlic may be simmered with the onion and celery in place of granulated garlic, if desired.
- If you don't have lemon pepper, you may use the same amount of black pepper and add a splash of fresh lemon juice.