Tuna Noodle Casserole With Homemade Sauce

Tuna Noodle Casserole with Homemade Sauce

The Spruce

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 35 mins
Total: 45 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
551 Calories
31g Fat
44g Carbs
25g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 551
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 31g 39%
Saturated Fat 11g 56%
Cholesterol 78mg 26%
Sodium 683mg 30%
Total Carbohydrate 44g 16%
Dietary Fiber 5g 16%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 25g
Vitamin C 11mg 56%
Calcium 158mg 12%
Iron 4mg 23%
Potassium 502mg 11%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Tuna noodle casserole is a classic one-dish meal that offers comfort and convenience. But most recipes include canned cream soup, which not everyone has in their pantry or prefers to use. This easy tuna noodle casserole is made from scratch without canned soup and instead features a flavorful homemade sauce of butter, flour, milk, and mayonnaise.

If you aren't a fan of mushrooms, you can leave them out or sauté some onions or celery to replace them. Feel free to use lightly cooked frozen mixed vegetables or a blend of peas and carrots in place of the frozen peas in this dish.


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  • 8 ounces broad egg noodles

  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter

  • 8 ounces sliced mushrooms

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1 1/2 cups milk

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise

  • 1 1/2 cups frozen peas, thawed

  • 2 (5- to 6-ounce) cans tuna, drained and flaked

  • 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped pimiento, drained


Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Classic tuna casserole ingredients

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  2. Preheat the oven to 350 F/180 C. Lightly butter a 2-quart baking dish or spray with cooking spray.

    Lightly butter baking dish
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  3. Cook the noodles in boiling salted water following package directions until al dente.

    Cook noodles in salted boiling water
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  4. Drain in a colander and rinse under hot water.

    Drain cooked noodles
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  5. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.

    Melt butter in saucepan
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  6. Add the sliced mushrooms and sauté until golden brown and tender.

    Cook mushrooms until golden brown
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  7. Add the flour. Cook, stirring, for 1 to 2 minutes.

    Stir in flour to mushrooms in saucepan
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  8. Gradually add the milk and continue to cook, stirring, until thickened.

    Add milk to flour and mushrooms
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  9. Stir in the mayonnaise, frozen peas, tuna, and drained pimiento. Bring to a simmer and continue cooking, stirring, for 1 minute longer.

    Stir in the mayonnaise, frozen peas, tuna, and pimiento
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  10. Combine the sauce mixture with the noodles and stir to blend ingredients thoroughly.

    Combine sauce with noodles
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  11. Turn the mixture into the prepared baking dish.

    Add pasta and sauce to baking dish
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  12. In a small bowl, make the topping by combining the breadcrumbs with the melted butter.

    Add butter and breadcrumbs in bowl
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  13. Sprinkle the buttered breadcrumbs over the casserole.

    Cover tuna casserole with breadcrumbs
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  14. Bake for 25 minutes or until the casserole is bubbly and the topping is browned.

  15. Serve and enjoy.

How to Store

  • Leftovers should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days. Reheat tuna noodle casserole in the microwave or in a 350 F oven until hot.
  • Tuna noodle casserole can be frozen, too. Cook the pasta and sauce and assemble except for the breadcrumbs. Cool, wrap tightly, and freeze for up to three months. Cook directly from frozen, doubling the cooking time and checking to make sure it's hot in the middle.


  • If you have a loaf of bread that has become stale, make homemade breadcrumbs. Tear it into pieces and process in a food processor until finely ground. Freeze the crumbs in a food storage bag and use as needed for casseroles or other dishes calling for breadcrumbs, like meatloaf.
  • For toasted breadcrumbs, spread the crumbs out on a rimmed baking sheet and bake in a preheated 325 F/165 C oven for 12 to 14 minutes, until browned and crunchy.

Recipe Variations

  • Substitute French fried onion rings or potato chips for the buttered breadcrumb topping.
  • Instead of mushrooms, sauté 1/2 cup of thinly sliced celery or a combination of celery with 1/4 cup of chopped onion.
  • Add 1 cup of shredded cheese to the thickened sauce before you add the mayonnaise.
  • Salt and pepper can add additional flavor to this dish. If you use canned breadcrumbs or potato chips as a topping, go lighter on the salt as these ingredients will already include salt.
  • For a spicier take, add a pinch of red pepper flakes to the breadcrumb mixture.