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closeup of a plate of tuna noodle casserole

Tuna Noodle Casserole

This from scratch Tuna Noodle Casserole is exponentially better than the canned soup version. It uses real mushrooms in a creamy bechamel to yield a sophisticated take on an American classic.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Total Time 1 hr 10 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4 to 6 servings
Calories 814 kcal


  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter plus extra for buttering the pan
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1 cup thinly sliced mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 ounce dry porcini mushrooms broken into small pieces
  • 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth homemade or canned
  • 2 cups hot but not boiling, milk (low-fat is fine)
  • A grating of fresh nutmeg
  • Salt and freshly ground black, white, or cayenne pepper to taste
  • 12 ounces wide noodles such as egg noodles
  • 6 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese shredded
  • 1 (5-ounce) cans good-quality tuna packed in oil or water, drained
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup fresh peas blanched, or frozen peas, defrosted
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons dry breadcrumbs


  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  • In a large, heavy saucepan, melt 4 tablespoons of the butter over medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook until it softens; add the mushrooms and raise the heat slightly to cook them through. Sprinkle the onion and mushrooms with flour, stir for a few minutes to cook out the flavor of the flour, add the dried porcini to the pot, and remove from the heat. Stir in the broth with a wooden spoon and keep stirring to break up any floury lumps and make a smoothish sauce. Stir in the milk and return to the stove.
  • Cook the sauce over medium-high heat, stirring, for about 7 to 10 minutes, or until it thickens. If there are any floury lumps, whisk the sauce briefly with a wire whisk. Remove from the heat and season with the nutmeg and salt and pepper. Set the sauce aside.
  • Cook the pasta in a large pot of rapidly boiling salted water until it is just not quite al dente, as it will cook further in the oven, and drain.
  • In a buttered large shallow pan or baking dish, in layers add a quarter of the sauce, a quarter of the cheese, and a third of the tuna, peas, and noodles. Repeat layers two more times, and then end with a layer of sauce and a layer of cheese. Sprinkle with the parsley and crumbs, then dot with the remaining tablespoon of butter.
  • Bake until bubbly, lightly browned, and crisped in spots, about 30 minutes. Serve immediately.

Notes & Nutrition

Adapted fromĀ Macaroni & Cheese
Servings 4.0 * calories 814 * Total Fat 34 g * Saturated Fat 20 g * Monounsaturated Fat 4 g * Polyunsaturated Fat 1 g * Trans Fat 0 g * Cholesterol 212 mg * Sodium 1117 mg * Potassium 642 mg * Total Carbohydrate 81 g * Dietary Fiber 7 g * Sugars 13 g * Protein 40 g
*All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more.*