The College Housewife » Recipes » Tuna Noodle Casserole From Scratch

Tuna Noodle Casserole From Scratch

Say hello to a comfort food classic: tuna noodle casserole from scratch. I grew up on creamy, casserole type recipes like this and every time I eat them I feel like I’m at home. This easy casserole recipe is filled with pantry staples like pasta noodles, lots of vegetables, a creamy savory sauce, and Bumble Bee® Solid White Albacore Tuna.

A huge thank you to Bumble Bee® Tuna for sponsoring this post and keeping The College Housewife afloat!

A casserole dish filled with tuna noodle casserole from scratch that has been baked.

In need of an easy recipe for the weekend?!

Seeing as we are definitely staying home for the next 30 days, I’m whipping out some of my favorite comfort food classics. My easy green chicken enchiladas will be sure to make an appearance.

Truth is, I’ve been making recipes like today’s tuna noodle casserole from scratch for the last few months on rotation. My mom’s been doing chemotherapy for her lung cancer and after each treatment, she is always wanting easy food like casseroles.

I love this casserole because it’s packed with healthy veggies and hearty with pasta noodles and tuna. Bumble Bee® Tuna is also one of the most affordable, high-quality proteins to have on hand in the pantry. 

I highly recommend picking a nostalgic movie, whipping up this casserole and pouring yourself a tall glass of wine over the weekend. 

Ingredients for tuna noodle casserole from scratch in small bowls ready to be prepared.Onions, celery, and carrots being sautéed for tuna noodle casserole recipe.

What ingredients are in tuna noodle casserole from scratch?

  • Macaroni or cavatappi noodles
  • Olive oil
  • Celery stalks
  • Yellow onion
  • Carrots
  • Unsalted butter
  • All-purpose flour 
  • Chicken broth
  • Milk
  • Garlic powder
  • Spinach leaves
  • Frozen peas
  • Bumble Bee® Solid White Albacore Tuna
  • Crackers
  • Salt & pepper
  • Shredded cheese, like cheddar or Havarti

A savory cream sauce in a medium sauté pan. Ingredients for tuna noodle casserole in a skillet ready to be transferred to a casserole dish.

How to make tuna noodle casserole from scratch 

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 F and grease a 2-quart casserole dish
  2. In a large skillet cook up your celery, onion, and carrots until tender. 
  3. In the same skillet make the savory, creamy sauce. Whisk together the butter and flour. Then add in the chicken broth and milk. Season the sauce with garlic powder, salt, and pepper and set aside. 
  4. In a large bowl toss together cooked noodles, carrot-celery-onion mixture, sauce, spinach leaves, frozen peas and drained can of Bumble Bee® tuna. I love using Bumble Bee® Albacore tuna because ounce for ounce tuna is lower in calories, fat, sat fat, and cholesterol than even the leanest cuts of beef and chicken. I don’t know about you but I need all the extra healthy points after spending so much time at home these days!
  5. Transfer to the prepared casserole dish.
  6. Mix up the buttery cracker topping and top evenly onto the casserole with shredded cheese.
  7. Bake the casserole for 20-25 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the cheese is bubbly!

A bowl of crushed cracker topping for the casserole.

Can I use different vegetables in the recipe?

Yes! You can use lots of different vegetables in tuna noodle casserole. I love a classic mirepoix (celery, onions, and garlic) but times are tough these days and you can swap in or omit a veggie if you don’t have it on hand.

If you’ve got kale instead of spinach, use it! If you’ve got a frozen pea vegetable medley, try that in. The ingredients are very forgivable in the casserole, just don’t skimp on the sauce. 

Can I make this tuna noodle casserole with canned soup?

I love making tuna noodle casserole from scratch with a homemade savory, gravy type sauce but if all you’ve got is cream of mushroom or chicken soup you can use it. The sauce is made with just butter, flour, chicken stock, and milk but I know flour is hard to come by at the store these days (or at least it is here!) Just mix up two regular cans with a bit of milk to thin it out. 

Tuna noodle casserole from scratch topped with cracker topping and cheese ready to go into the oven.A close up look of tuna noodle casserole.

Can you freeze tuna noodle casserole?

Yes, you can freeze tuna noodle casserole. Make it up to the part where you mix all the ingredients together and then transfer to a freezer safe dish (add the topping right before you bake it).

Thaw out the casserole the night before you make it or 4-6 hours before baking. Top with cracker/cheese mixture and bake accordingly. 

Other great casserole recipes to try!

For more tuna recipes and product information head over to www.BumbleBee.com!

Tuna noodle casserole being served into tan bowls with a can of tuna.Tuna noodle casserole served into tan bowls with black forks.

Print

Tuna Noodle Casserole From Scratch

  • Author: Elizabeth Van Lierde
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes

Description

This easy casserole recipe is filled with pantry staples like pasta noodles, lots of vegetables, a creamy savory sauce and Bumble Bee® Solid White Albacore Tuna


Scale

Ingredients

for casserole:

1 lb dried macaroni or cavatappi pasta noodles

3 tbs olive oil

2 celery stalks, diced

½ yellow onion, diced

2 carrots, peeled and diced

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

2 cups chicken broth

2 cups whole milk

2 1/2 tsp garlic powder

1 1/2 cups spinach leaves

1 cup frozen peas

1 (5 oz) can of Bumble Bee White® Solid Albacore Tuna, drained


for topping:

1 sleeve of crackers, such as Ritz, crushed (about 3/4 cup)

4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

1 tsp garlic powder

salt & cracked black pepper to season

1 cup shredded cheese like cheddar or havarti


Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F and grease a 2 quart casserole dish with butter or non stick spray. 
  2. Bring a large stock pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Add pasta and cook for 8-10 minutes or until al dente according to package directions.
  3. In a large skillet heat olive oil on medium heat. Add in celery, yellow onion and carrots and sprinkle with salt and cracked black pepper. Cook for 5-6 minutes or until onions are translucent. Remove celery, yellow onion and carrots from skillet and into a bowl, set aside.
  4. In the same skillet heat butter on medium heat until melted. Whisk in flour and cook for 1-2 minutes.
  5. Slowly whisk in chicken broth and whole milk. Cook for 3-4 minutes, whisking constantly until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Season sauce with garlic powder and a sprinkle of salt and cracked black pepper. 
  6. In a large bowl toss together cooked noodles, carrot-celery-onion mixture, sauce, spinach leaves, frozen peas and drained can of Bumble Bee® tuna. Transfer to prepared casserole dish.
  7. In a medium bowl crush the crackers. Stir crackers with melted butter, garlic powder and season with salt and cracked black pepper. Top the casserole evenly with cracker mixture and shredded cheese.
  8. Bake the casserole for 15-20 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the cheese is bubbly.

 

SAVE THIS PIN FOR YOUR NEXT WEEKNIGHT DINNER!

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