Classic Tuna Noodle Casserole

Tuna Noodle Casserole
Classic Tuna Noodle Casserole. Photo: Diana Rattray
    45 mins
Ratings

This classic tuna casserole is a classic mixture of tuna, noodles, and a flavorful homemade sauce. I used frozen thawed peas in this dish, but feel free to use lightly cooked frozen mixed vegetables or a peas and carrots blend.

Serve this inviting tuna noodle casserole with a tossed salad or fresh sliced tomatoes and cucumbers.

If you aren't a fan of mushrooms, leave them out, or saute some onions or celery to replace them.

What You'll Need

  • 8 ounces broad egg noodles
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 8 ounces sliced mushrooms
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen peas, thawed
  • 2 cans (5 to 6 ounces each) tuna, drained and flaked
  • Topping
  • 1 1/2 cups soft fresh bread crumbs *
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted

How to Make It

  1. Heat the oven to 350 F (180 C/Gas 4). Lightly butter a 2-quart baking dish or spray with
  2. Cook the noodles in boiling salted water following package directions. Drain in a colander and rinse under hot water.
  3. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt 4 tablespoons of butter. Cook the sliced mushrooms until golden brown and tender, then stir in the flour. Cook, stirring, for about 1 to 2 minutes. Gradually add the milk and continue cooking, stirring, until thickened. Stir in the mayonnaise, frozen peas, tuna, and drained pimiento. Bring to a simmer and continue cooking, stirring, for 1 minute longer.
  1. Combine the sauce mixture with the noodles and mix to blend ingredients thoroughly. Turn into the prepared baking dish.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs with melted butter. Sprinkle over the casserole.
  3. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the casserole is bubbly and topping is browned.

*Expert Tips

As loaf bread becomes a bit stale, tear it into pieces and process in a food processor until finely ground. Freeze in a food storage bag and use as needed for casseroles or other dishes calling for bread crumbs.

For toasted bread crumbs, spread the crumbs out on a rimmed baking sheet and bake in a preheated 325° F (165° C/Gas 3) oven for about 12 to 14 minutes, until browned and crunchy.  See How to Make Easy Toasted Bread Crumbs for flavor ideas.

Variations

  • Substitute French fried onion rings or potato chips for the buttered bread crumb topping.
  • Instead of mushrooms, saute  1/2 cup of thinly sliced celery or a combination of the celery with 1/4 cup of chopped onion.
  • Add 1 cup of shredded cheese to the thickened sauce before you add the mayonnaise.

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