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A large black cast-iron skillet filled with tuna casserole with a serving missing from the pan and a wooden spoon inserted in the side of the pan.

The Best Tuna Casserole

Course: Entree
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Casserole, easy tuna casserole, tuna fish casserole recipe
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 657kcal
The Best Tuna Casserole is not hard to make, and so much better using an authentic sauce made with a nice blonde roux. The sautéed mushrooms, peas, egg noodles, cheese, and sourdough crumb topping make this dish divine. So good!
Print Recipe


  • 12" cast-iron skillet, or 9"x13" baking dish


  • 7 tbsp unsalted butter divided
  • 1 cup onion chopped
  • 8 oz mushrooms sliced
  • 1 tbsp thyme fresh, chopped
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • cups whole milk
  • cups chicken stock
  • 1 tsp lemon juice or juice of half of 1 lemon
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 12 oz. cans tuna in water, drained
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese shredded, divided
  • 8 oz peas frozen, thawed
  • 12 oz egg noodles dried
  • 2 cups bread crumbs fresh sourdough, coarsely chopped from 3 to 4 slices (a food processor works well, remove crusts first)


  • Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.
  • Increase heat to medium-high, and add mushrooms, thyme, soy sauce, and Worcestershire sauce, and ¼ teaspoon of salt. Cook until mushrooms begin to release some liquid, about 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Add the wine and bring to a boil and cook until reduced, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl. Set aside.
  • In the same skillet (or a separate saucepan), melt 3 tbsp butter over medium heat, and then whisk in flour, stirring and cooking the roux until light blonde, about 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Whisk in the milk and then the chicken broth. Stir constantly until thickened, about 4 to 5 minutes. The texture should be thicker than broth, but not as thick a cream gravy.
  • Stir in the mushroom mixture, lemon juice, 1 tsp salt, and ½ tsp of pepper. Using a fork, flake tuna into the sauce, and gently combine.
  • Meanwhile, cook the noodles in salted boiling water until al dente, about 7 - 8 minutes. Drain.
  • Stir in 1 cup of the cheese, all of the peas, and the cooked noodles. Stir gently until fully combined. If using a baking dish, transfer the mixture to the dish.
  • In a medium bowl, toss together the breadcrumbs with 2 tbsp of melted butter and a pinch of salt.
  • Add the remaining 1 cup of cheese over the top of the casserole, and then top the cheese with the bread crumbs.
  • Bake until topping is crisp and sauce is bubbly, about 40 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.



We use good ole white button mushrooms, but you can use whatever your favorite 'shroom is, or a combination of them.
You can make this a one-pot dish, as we do, if using a large (12-inch) oven-safe dish, such as cast iron, or Dutch oven.  You'll need to transfer the sautéd mushrooms from the pan, and then make the sauce.  Then mix all the components together before baking.  OR...you can 1 or 2 skillets to make the sauce and then mix everything together in a large bowl, and then transfer to a 9"x13" dish. 
When making the sauce, the consistency should be not too thin, but not a thick a cream-style gravy.  The noodles will absorb some of the sauce as the casserole bakes.
Leftovers can be kept in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.  If can be frozen, but the noodles will breakdown somewhat and the texture won't be as desirable.
The casserole can be prepared all the way up to topping with bread crumbs and baking up to 12 hours in advance.   Once ready to bake, add the bread crumbs and then bake. 


Calories: 657kcal | Carbohydrates: 86g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 130mg | Sodium: 761mg | Potassium: 671mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 1264IU | Vitamin C: 20mg | Calcium: 454mg | Iron: 5mg