Do you ever get nostalgic for food? Something that was a mainstay favorite as a kid but but as an adult, doesn’t even register as a dining option? I’ve been dabbling with childhood favorites recently — and — don’t laugh… but I had a hankering for Cheesy Homestyle Tuna Noodle Casserole. Not the blue box of macaroni and cheese with a can of tuna kind of casserole, but the real deal.
One like my Mom used to make — with real vegetables minus the can of condensed soup that Campbell’s made so popular back in the day. One with a soft, melty interior and a crusty top. With two (or even three) kinds of cheese.
Since the weather is getting cooler (we had a cold snap yesterday), I felt justified in making this casserole, kind of a bulking up before hibernation instinct.
This casserole takes about 20 minutes to assemble and only another 20-25 minutes of baking, so in under an hour you can be tucking into this bit of homestyle goodness.
This casserole isn’t a big one. It’s just my husband and myself in the house, after all. We had enough for dinner with a salad and he took the remainder for lunch the next day. If you’ve got a bigger group, the recipe can be doubled or even tripled accordingly.
More homestyle casserole’s you’ll love:
- Kale Barley & Mushroom Gratin
- Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes and Ham
- Southwest Cowboy Casserole
- Savory Sweet Potato Casserole
- Southwest Leftover Turkey Casserole
- Braised Pork Penne Casserole
- Southwest Style Leftover Ham Casserole
- Cheesy Lobster Shells and Cheese
Cheesy Homestyle Tuna Noodle Casserole
- 2 cups dry shell pasta or elbow macaroni
- 1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt divided
- 1 medium onion diced
- 2 stalks celery diced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 ½ tablespoons butter
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 ½ tablespoons all purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon dry mustard
- ¼ teaspoon oregano
- 1 ½ cups milk
- ½ cup mozzarella cheese shredded
- ½ cup provolone or smoked gouda shredded
- 1 7 ounce can tuna fish chunk white (preferably Kirkland brand)
- 1 cup frozen peas
- ⅓ cup fresh breadcrumbs
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Spray a small casserole dish (I used a 5×8″ dish with 2″ sides) with vegetable spray and set aside.
- Bring a pot of water to a boil, add 1 teaspoon of salt to the water and pour in the pasta. Cook until al dente according to package directions. Rinse with cool water. Drain and set aside.
- In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil and butter over medium high heat. Add the onions and celery and saute until tender crisp and slightly translucent. Add garlic and cook until fragrant.
- Sprinkle the flour, remaining 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, mustard and oregano over the vegetables and stir constantly for one minute. Gradually add the milk, stirring constantly and bring to a boil. Cook for one minute. Remove the pan from the heat and add the cheese and tuna fish, stirring until the cheese is melted. Stir in the pasta and peas, mixing until evenly distributed with the sauce and tuna.
- Spread the tuna in the prepared casserole dish and sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until bubbly and lightly browned.
A Lee says
Insanely dry. Double the milk. Used elbow macaroni and did NOT fit in pan. Maybe half the noodles. Else good.
Sorry it didn’t come out for you. Contact me and I’d be happy to help you troubleshoot the recipe.
I am assuming you melt the butter with the vegs then add the flour?
The butter and oil go into the pan together.
Wendy Ostrofsky says
Blast from the past… hope you are well! Just wondering how much Frozen Peas to add. Casserole looks so good!
Hi Wendy! Thanks for pointing out my omission. It’s one cup of frozen peas! I fixed it in the recipe.
Monica | Nourish & Fete says
I love that this is comfort food that doesn’t necessarily feed an army! Recipes like this are so cozy and nostalgic, but I don’t always want to eat the same thing for days and days at a time. Really well done, as always! 🙂
Thank you, Monica — I think it’s a good thing to have “just enough” comfort so we can get back on the bandwagon with the kale salads – LOL!
Cheapskate Cook says
Dang it, now I want my mom’s tuna noodle casserole (of course with the canned soup, hahaha). This looks on point. She never added vegetables, but I love how you did!
Makes it just slightly healthier with veg!
I used to love Tuna casserole! Your right, my Mom always made it with Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom soup! 🙂 This cheesy version looks amazing! My husband will love this!
Yummy, I love to have tuna in my pasta dishes. I will have to make this soon.
Wow this is such a great recipe! I am so curious to try it, it looks delicious.Thanks for sharing.