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Tuna noodle casserole with a wooden spoon in a baking dish.

Easy Tuna Noodle Casserole

  • Author: Sara Nelson
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American


This Easy Tuna Noodle Casserole is a perfect weeknight family meal that takes less than 1 hour to make. It’s straightforward to prepare and reheats well, so any leftovers will make for a convenient meal tomorrow.


Tuna Casserole:


  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup (28 grams) panko bread crumbs
  • 2 Tablespoons butter


  1. Cook Noodles: Cook egg noodles following package instructions until al dente, then drain and set aside.
  2. Preheat Oven: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Coat a 9×13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray, then set aside.
  3. Make Sauce: In a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat, melt butter (see note below). Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute. Gradually add 2 cups of whole milk, stirring constantly. Cook until thickened into a sauce, which may take upwards of 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Combine Casserole Ingredients: In a large bowl, mix cooked noodles, drained tuna, prepared sauce, remaining 1 cup of whole milk, frozen peas, and shredded cheddar.
  5. Transfer Casserole Mixture To Baking Dish: Spread noodle mixture in prepared baking dish.
  6. Prepare Topping: Sprinkle shredded cheddar atop casserole. Then, in a small bowl, microwave butter until melted, then stir in bread crumbs. Spoon that atop the cheese on the casserole.
  7. Bake: Bake casserole until the top is golden brown, about 15-20 minutes.
  8. Serve: Allow casserole to cool slightly before spooning out servings.

Recipe Notes:

Tip for Making Sauce: You can cook the sauce simultaneously while the noodles cook, or cook them separately based on your preferences. Make sure not to use too small of a saucepan when making the sauce. A medium-sized pan will ensure that the sauce cooks evenly and thickens properly. I’ve made this sauce in a small saucepan before, and it takes a lot longer for it to thicken compared to when cooking it in a larger pan.

Refrigerator Storage: Allow the casserole to cool then transfer it to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3-4 days.

Freezer Storage: Transfer the casserole to an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating. Note that the texture of the pasta and sauce may change slightly after freezing.

Reheating Instructions: Reheat in the microwave, covered, stirring every 30-45 seconds until warmed throughout, or in the oven at 350 degrees F for 15-20 minutes, or until heated through. Add a splash of milk if the casserole seems dry.

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