Chef John’s Tuna Noodle Casserole

  • Recipe By
  • Published May 15th
  • Ready In1h 20m
  • Servings8
  • Calories511
I consider this the king of comfort food casseroles. What I love about this recipe, other than that it is simple and easy, is that it doesn't require the traditional can of cream of mushroom soup--but it still has the same amount of creamy, decadent goodness that every casserole should. Serve this with a green salad on the side.

Chef John’s Tuna Noodle Casserole Ingredients

The following are the ingredients needed to make delicious Chef John’s Tuna Noodle Casserole for 8 servings:

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup finely diced yellow onion
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups cold milk
  • 1 cup shredded white Cheddar cheese
  • 1 (12 ounce) package dry egg noodles
  • 2 (5.5 ounce) cans tuna packed in olive oil, drained and crumbled, or to taste
  • 3/4 cup frozen peas, thawed and drained
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Chef John’s Tuna Noodle Casserole Cooking Instructions

  • Prep15m
  • Cook55m
  • Ready In1h 20m

To cook Chef John’s Tuna Noodle Casserole, you need about 15 minutes of preparation time. The time needed to cook this Chef John’s Tuna Noodle Casserole is about 55 minutes , and you can serve your Chef John’s Tuna Noodle Casserole within 1 hour 20 minutes . The following are the steps to cook Chef John’s Tuna Noodle Casserole easily:

  1. 1 Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly butter a 9x13-inch casserole dish.
  2. 2 Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Saute onion with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt until it starts to soften up and turn translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the flour, and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes, reducing heat if needed.
  3. 3 Pour in cold milk and whisk for 1 minute. Raise heat to medium-high and cook, stirring often, until the sauce thickens and comes to a simmer. Remove from heat, whisk in Cheddar cheese, and reserve until needed.
  4. 4 Fill a large pot with water and remaining salt and bring to a rapid boil. Cook egg noodles for 5 minutes. Drain well and add to a large mixing bowl. Stir in the reserved sauce, followed by tuna, peas, cayenne, black pepper, and Worcestershire sauce. Mix with a spatula until evenly combined.
  5. 5 Pour the mixture into the prepared dish. Mix bread crumbs, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, and olive oil together in a small bowl until combined and resembling wet sand. Sprinkle evenly over the casserole.
  6. 6 Bake in the center of the preheated oven until browned and bubbly, about 30 minutes. Let sit for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.


  • Chef's Notes:
  • You can use melted butter instead of olive oil for the topping.
  • Cook egg noodles for 1 minute less than their individual package instructions call for.
  • If you have them around, crushed up potato chips might be the best topping for this instead of bread crumbs.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving: 511 calories; 22.8 grams of fat; 46.2 grams of carbohydrates; 29.7 grams of protein; 86 milligrams of cholesterol; 809 milligrams of sodium.

  1. May 28th 2020

    I'm making this tomorrow. My honey thinks tuna casserole is food for the devil but I disagree. I'm gonna sneak this one in on him...hell least I will enjoy it!

  2. May 25th 2020

    This recipe came out perfect for me, and all members of my family of 4 loved it! Even my husband who usually doesn't like tuna.

  3. May 23rd 2020

    I added a bit of garlic to the onions and spread some green olives on top of the casserole before adding crumbled potato chips (because that’s the way I like it). I omitted the salt since ...

  4. May 22nd 2020

    Had no peas, regular bread crumbs, Worcestershire, but had Asian fish sauce and panko bread crumbs. Had only a 10x14 glass dish. Added mushrooms and a diced celery rib to the saute. Used mix ...

  5. May 20th 2020

    We did not care for this recipe. Should have used potato chips as toping.

  6. May 19th 2020

    I used italian bread crumbs and doubled the peas. My kids scarfed this.

  7. May 17th 2020

    Delicious! Takes awhile to make, but it’s easy. This one’s a keeper.

  8. May 16th 2020

    Don't be afraid to really go sharp on the cheddar!

  9. May 16th 2020

    I didn't have tuna so I subbed salmon. It was excellent.