Tuna Casserole With Crunchy Cheese Cracker Topping

Tuna and shells with cheese cracker topping
Diana Rattray
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 40 mins
Total: 55 mins
Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
807 Calories
41g Fat
69g Carbs
41g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 807
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 41g 52%
Saturated Fat 23g 113%
Cholesterol 128mg 43%
Sodium 1221mg 53%
Total Carbohydrate 69g 25%
Dietary Fiber 5g 18%
Protein 41g
Calcium 660mg 51%
*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.)

The cheese cracker topping sets this tuna casserole apart from all the rest. The pasta shells and a rich cheese sauce make it a satisfying one-pot meal.

Onion and celery are the vegetables called for in the recipe, but feel free to change them up to suit your taste. Green onions, diced frozen carrots (cooked), mushrooms, and bell pepper are just a few of the possibilities.


  • 1 pound medium shells (or similar pasta, such as medium conchiglie)
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 cups diced celery
  • 1 1/2 cups diced onion
  • 2 cloves garlic (finely minced)
  • 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon Creole seasoning (or seasoned salt blend)
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons dry sherry, optional
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk (or half-and-half)
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese (divided)
  • 2 (6 oz) cans tuna (drained)
  • 1 cup frozen green peas (cooked)
  • 1 cup cheese crackers (such as Cheez-It)

Steps to Make It

  1. Grease a 3-quart baking dish. Heat oven to 350 F.

  2. Cook pasta in boiling salted water following package directions; drain, rinse, and set aside.

  3. In a large skillet or sauté pan over medium-low heat, melt butter. Add celery and onion; cook, stirring frequently until vegetables are tender. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute longer.

  4. Stir the flour into the sauteed vegetable mixture along with the Creole seasoning and pepper. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Gradually stir in the chicken broth and sherry. Bring to a simmer and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes. Stir in milk and about 1 1/2 cups of the cheese. Continue cooking until the mixture begins to simmer again and cheese has melted.

  5. Break tuna up and stir into the sauce along with the peas.

  6. Combine the sauce mixture with the drained pasta. Spoon into the prepared baking dish.

  7. Crush the crackers and combine with the remaining 1/2 cup of shredded cheese. Sprinkle over the casserole.

  8. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until bubbly and lightly browned.

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