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No-Bake Tuna Noodle Casserole

No-Bake Tuna Noodle Casserole

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Jane Bruce

Tuna Casserole

It may be a bit of a stretch to call this dish a casserole — it's not baked and it's not made in a traditional casserole dish — but that's what I grew up calling it. This no-bake tuna casserole was a staple in my house growing up (and it's still a favorite to this day), and it's the epitome of comfort food. Noodles, cheese, green peas, and tuna — doesn't get much easier (or delicious!) than that. I've made this version a tiny bit healthier by subbing in whole-grain penne and nonfat milk, but feel free to go for full-on comfort food if you want!

Click here to see Casserole Recipe Redux


  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 Pound whole-grain penne
  • 1 Cup frozen green peas, or more to taste
  • 3/4 Cups nonfat milk
  • Two 5-ounce cans tuna, packed in water
  • 8 Ounces sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded

Easy no bake tuna noodle casserole

Easy no bake tuna noodle casserole is the best recipe for foodies. It will take approx 15 minutes to cook. If it is the favorite recipe of your favorite restaurants then you can also make easy no bake tuna noodle casserole at your home.

The ingredients or substance mixture for easy no bake tuna noodle casserole recipe that are useful to cook such type of recipes are:

  • Light Chunk Tuna In Water
  • Penne Pasta
  • Cream Of Mushroom Soup
  • Frozen Peas

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  • 15 Minutes Or Less
  • Time To Make
  • Course
  • Main Ingredient
  • Cuisine
  • Preparation
  • North American
  • Healthy
  • 5 Ingredients Or Less
  • Casseroles
  • Main Dish
  • Side Dishes
  • Seafood
  • American
  • Oven
  • Easy
  • Low Fat
  • Fish
  • Dietary
  • Low Cholesterol
  • Low Saturated Fat
  • Inexpensive
  • Tuna
  • Healthy 2
  • Low In Something
  • Pasta Rice And Grains
  • Saltwater Fish
  • Equipment

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No-Bake Tuna Casserole

In a large saucepan of boiling salted water, cook the pasta until al dente. Drain, reserving 3/4 cup pasta cooking water.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the bread crumbs and toast, stirring, for 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl season with salt and pepper.

In the same skillet, add the garlic and the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil and cook over medium heat until golden, about 2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and cook until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the reserved pasta water and bring to a simmer. Stir in the green beans and cannellini beans and cook until tender.

Add the pasta, tuna and lemon peel to the skillet and toss. Season with salt and pepper and top with the toasted crumbs. Serve with the lemon wedges.

Casserole - but uncooked noodles? Recipe?

I have a bachelor friend (about 50 y-o) who does not like to cook, but realizes he has to have some sustenance other than McDonalds or Long John Silvers. He is very picky, near as I can tell. Like, not many veggies other than maybe a tossed salad or corn. Now, he emailed me the other day and said he remembered his mom making tuna casserole, and did I know what canned soup she might have used in it.

I told him my preference for tuna noodle casserole was cream of mushroom, but second choice would be c-o-celery.

Then he emails me back and says, Well. All the recipes I am finding tell you to cook the noodles first, then stir into the rest. "And that's too much trouble for me."

So, CHs. Can you make tuna noodle casserole, in the "three or four cans and dump it all in and throw in oven" method, WITHOUT boiling the noodles first? I know there are methods for lasagna with uncooked noodles going right in with the sauce .. but I've never worked with uncooked pasta that way.

Understand, this is a guy who hates to cook, doesn't understand anything foodie (AT ALL!) and just wants to have a supper that might recreate what his late mother might have made him years ago. .. tia!

Tuna Noodle Casserole With Veggies

This Tuna Noodle Casserole with Veggies recipe is a healthier twist on an old favorite.

Servings 6 servings, approx. 1 cup each


  • 4 oz. dry small whole-wheat pasta shells
  • 3 tsp. olive oil, divided use
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped kale
  • 8 oz. sliced mushrooms
  • 2 Tbsp. whole-wheat flour
  • 1 cup reduced-fat (2%) milk
  • 1 cup low-sodium organic vegetable broth
  • ½ tsp. sea salt (or Himalayan salt), divided use
  • ½ tsp. ground black pepper, divided use
  • 1½ cups frozen green peas
  • 2 cans (6-oz. each) chunk light tuna, packed in water, drained
  • ½ cup whole-grain panko bread crumbs


Recipe Notes

The Nutrition Facts box below provides estimated nutritional information for this recipe.

If you have questions about the portions, please click here to post a nutrition question in our forums so our experts can help. Please include a link to the recipe.

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You can use different noodles, but I highly recommend using egg noodles as listed. When cooked al dente, their thick and chewy texture holds up really well to the creamy sauce!

If you don’t have egg noodles on hand, feel free to play around with another hearty noodle like medium pasta shells (*not tested). I don’t recommend a thin noodle like spaghetti, because I don’t think it will hold up well.

No-Bake Tuna Noodle Casserole - Recipes

If casserole means a whole bunch of foods thrown together, and then baked in the oven, we rarely had casseroles growing up. Not tuna casserole, not green bean casserole, nada.
But we did have lots of "fake casseroles"- with all the same ingredients that would go in a casserole, only cooked on the stovetop, and not baked.
This tuna noodle "casserole" is a reincarnation of the tuna noodle "casserole" my sister and I used to make growing up. When we'd want to fix up a quick meal, Violet and I would take some cooked pasta, make some chicken soup from consomme, add a can of tuna and some meunster cheese and green beans or corn, and heat it up in the microwave until the cheese was melted. It was really yummy and we felt awesome that we knew how to cook something "professional" like that.
As I learned more about healthy eating, and moved to this country where meunster cheese isn't as readily available (and cheese in general is super expensive), I started making my tuna casserole by mixing tuna fish with sour cream, salt, garlic powder, and corn, and adding cooked pasta to it. And it was always a hit.
But since going gluten free and dairy free, I sadly have not been able to enjoy this favorite dish of mine.

The other day, Violet mentioned tuna casserole in conversation, and my mouth started watering! It had been so long since I had any, and I was overcome by a sudden urge to make it ASAP. No matter that I can't eat dairy or gluten, and I wouldn't be using any of the processed foods I used to put in mine. I'd figure out a solution so I could have my tuna casserole!

This recipe was a conglomeration of about a million dairy free tuna casseroles I found on the net, plus some ideas of my own. and as we always made it growing up, this tuna "casserole" isn't really a casserole because it isn't baked. But it certainly hits the spot, and was better than the tuna casserole we used to make growing up.
If you're not dairy free, feel free to use regular milk in place of the coconut milk in this recipe, and of course, use regular pasta instead of gluten free pasta if you have no need for that.

Gluten Free, Dairy Free, No Bake Tuna Noodle Casserole Recipe

1 package cooked gluten free or regular pasta
2 1/2 cups coconut milk (I use homemade coconut milk) or regular milk
2 cans of tuna in water, including the liquids (1/2 cup liquids total)
2-3 teaspoons salt
1 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 cup onion flakes or half an onion
2 cups frozen or fresh green beans cut into one inch pieces.
1 can mushrooms, strained, or equivalent amount of mushrooms fresh
1/2 teaspoon black pepper (optional)
1/3 cup potato starch, corn starch, or tapioca starch

1. If using fresh onions and/or mushrooms, chop small and saute until golden. If using dry, skip this step.

2. Mix the coconut milk, tuna liquids, salt, garlic powder, onion flakes, green beans, and black pepper together, reserving 1/2 cup of coconut milk. Cook until the onion flakes are reconstituted.

3. Mix the potato starch with the reserved coconut milk, and add them to the pan. Mix well, and cook until thickened.

4. Add the mushrooms and tuna. Mix well.

5. Add the noodles and mix well.

6. Add more salt if needed.

Are you a fan of tuna casserole? What do you put in your tuna casserole? Does this look like a recipe you'd try?
Are there any recipes you made from when you were little, and then went through many reincarnations until you ended up with your current version?

Cheesy Tuna Noodle Casserole Recipe

My whole life growing up I absolutely HATED tuna. The way it looked, smelled, and the texture in your mouth just grossed me out. I got married and one time my husband stocked up on tuna for “prepping” and we had over 25 cans. I figured we needed to use them for something and that’s how my famous cheesy tuna noodle casserole dish came to be about! We call it a tuna noodle hotdish in Minnesota too. It’s so rich and creamy you’ll never know theres tuna in it!

If you have picky kids you can just pick out the peas or whatever part they don’t like.

It’s my favorite comfort food meal now surprisingly. It’s not the lowest in calories but the flavors are spot on!

The little crunch of breadcrumbs pare very well with the soft noodles. You can also sprinkle with crushed up potato chips and bake for a few minutes. Just note that leftovers will be a bit soggy (we never have those anyway!)

Things to add to tuna casserole

Think of this recipe as a base. You do not have to add stuff to it for it to taste amazing but if you want to, here are some things that work REALLY well with it!

  • Steamed broccoli &ndash you want the broccoli cooked
  • Shaved carrots &ndash cook them down with the mushrooms
  • Sauteed peppers
  • Jumbo Lump crab
  • Crispy Bacon
  • Green Onions as a garnish

Tuna Noodle Casserole

Preheat your oven to 350. Spray a 9x13 inch casserole dish with non-stick spray. Set aside.

Spray a medium skillet with the non-stick spray, and add the onion. Cook over medium-high heat until the onions soften and begin to brown. Add the peas and continue to cook until the peas are no longer frozen.

In a large bowl, combine the pea-and-onion mixture, the cooked rotini, the condensed soup, the tuna, half of the Mrs. Dash, the Worcestershire sauce, and the milk. If the mixture is too dry, adjust by adding more milk. Stir in 1 cup of the mexican cheese and adjust the seasoning of the mixture with salt and pepper to taste.

Spread the mixture evenly into the prepared pan. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Then remove the pan from the oven, sprinkle the crushed corn flakes on top of the casserole. Then sprinkle the remaining cup of cheese and the remaining half of the Mrs. Dash on top. Return to the oven for another 15 minutes. Cut into 10 pieces and serve.


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