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Easy Tuna Noodle Casserole

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Easy Tuna Noodle Casserole using simple ingredients you can find in your pantry. This meal mixes canned tuna, pasta, peas, cheese and a creamy sauce topped with panko breadcrumbs. Your family will love this easy and quick dinner! 

Easy Tuna Noodle Casserole on white plate

EASY TUNA NOODLE CASSEROLE

I know a lot of us have been at home more than usual lately and looking for quick and easy meals to make for our families.

A lot of stores have been out of a variety of foods and therefore a lot of us end up needing to come up with recipes using ingredients in our pantry.

Today’s Easy Tuna Noodle Casserole is the perfect easy family meal that uses ingredients you probably have on hand.

Pasta, canned tuna, peas, and cheese is mixed with a flavorful sauce and topped with crunch panko breadcrumbs.

You can also easily customize this recipe to your family and what they like. 

In my family we eat a variety of tuna recipes and my kids enjoy them too! Some that we make a lot are this Mediterranean Tuna Couscous Stuffed Peppers, Mediterranean Tuna Patties Recipe, Tropical Tuna Stuffed Avocado, Mediterranean Tuna Pasta Salad, Mediterranean Tuna Salad or this Healthy Tuna Salad Recipe.

Easy Tuna Noodle Casserole in baking dish

WHAT INGREDIENTS ARE IN THIS TUNA NOODLE CASSEROLE?

PASTA: The pasta that I use in this recipe is macaroni which is a smaller pasta. You can use whatever you have in your pantry. For a healthier option try lentil or chickpea pasta. 

CANNED TUNA: I used canned tuna for this casserole. I like to use chunk light tuna in water but you can use any variety you like. 

PEAS: I added peas to this casserole. If you aren’t a fan, as I know many people aren’t, just leave them out. I added frozen peas straight in to the casserole and then baked it. 

CHEESE: I used three cheeses in this recipe- mozzarella, cheddar and Parmesan cheese. Once again whatever you have in your fridge. 

CONDENSED SOUP: Once again you can either use a can of condensed soup {celery, chicken or mushroom works} or make your own using this recipe here

PANKO BREADCRUMBS: I like adding breadcrumbs to the top of my casseroles but you can skip them or just use regular breadcrumbs. 

Easy Tuna Noodle Casserole with serving spoon

COOKING TIPS AND MODIFICATIONS 

PROTEIN: This casserole would be great with a variety of protein options. You can use canned chicken, salmon, chopped or shredded chicken. 

VEGETABLES: I added peas to this casserole but you can use other frozen vegetables like a mixture of veggies, carrots, green beans or broccoli.

RICE: You can also sub the pasta for rice and make this a rice casserole. 

CHEESE: Spice up this casserole with a variety of cheese options like pepper jack, sharp cheddar or gouda. 

SPICES: You can use a variety of spices in this recipe like crushed red pepper, oregano, Italian seasoning, thyme or basil. 

Easy Tuna Noodle Casserole with fork

HOW TO FREEZE TUNA CASSEROLE

To freeze leftover tuna casserole freeze it in the baking dish with foil or in another sealed container.

Once the tuna casserole is frozen remove it from the container and store it in a freezer bag.

When ready to eat the forzen casserole let it defrost and then cook the thawed casserole at 350 degrees F for about 20 to 30 minutes or until cooked through.

Check the internal temperature on any tuna casserole reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit before you serve it.

Easy Tuna Noodle Casserole with white plate

WHAT TO PAIR WITH THIS TUNA CASSEROLE?

I like pairing this casserole with a variety of side dishes like this Roasted Broccoli, Honey Glazed Carrots or Roasted Cauliflower with Lemon Zest

Salads are a nice match for this casserole. I love this Lemon Arugula with Pine Nuts, Arugula Salad with Capersor this Everyday Italian Salad

Potatoes go great with so many meals and I especially like these Lemon Cilantro Potatoes, Gouda Smashed Potatoes or these Spicy Lebanese Potatoes

Easy Tuna Noodle Casserole on white plate

Easy Tuna Noodle Casserole

Yield: 6-8
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces of elbow macaroni
  • 2 - 5 ounce cans of chunk light tuna in water, drained
  • 1/2 cup of frozen peas
  • 2 celery stalks, diced 
  • 1 cup of chopped onion 
  • 1 can of condensed soup- celery, chicken or mushroom {or make your own homemade version}
  • 3/4 cup of milk
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 1/2 cups mozzarella, shredded, divided 
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded, divided  
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper {optional}
  • 1 teaspoon paprika 
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning 
  • 1/8 black pepper 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 1 cup of panko breadcrumbs 

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
  2. Cook the pasta according to the package. Drain and set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl combine the tuna, peas, celery, onion and the pasta together.
  4. In a medium mixing bowl combine the condensed soup, milk, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese and 1/2 cup of sharp cheddar cheese. Whisk well until combined. Stir in the caynenne pepper, paprika, Italian seasoning, pepper and salt.
  5. Pour the milk mixture into the bowl with the tuna and pasta and mix well.
  6. Pour the tuna mixture into a non-stick 9x13 baking dish.
  7. Top the casserole with the remaining cheese and the panko breadcrumbs.
  8. Bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling and the panko is just toasted.
  9. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve warm.

Notes

To freeze leftover tuna casserole freeze it in the baking dish with foil or in another sealed container. Once the tuna casserole is frozen remove it from the container and store it in a freezer bag.

When ready to eat the forzen casserole let it defrost and then cook the thawed casserole at 350 degrees F for about 20 to 30 minutes or until cooked through. Check the internal temperature on any tuna casserole reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit before you serve it.

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