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Creamy Tuna Pasta Casserole is luscious, filling and made with basic ingredients you already have on hand. A cheesy homemade bechamel sauce is combined with sweet peas, corn and tuna in a flavorful and simple tuna and noodles casserole that’s easy to prepare and perfect for freezing. This cheesy tuna bake is comforting but not heavy and only takes minutes to prepare.

Easy tuna noodle casserole recipe in a baking dish.
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There is no need to head to the store. You likely have everything you need to make this easy tuna noodle casserole recipe in your pantry. Staples like pasta, canned tuna and frozen peas come together in a timeless tuna and noodles dish that’s sure to satisfy. 

If you love tuna, try my Parmesan Crusted Tuna Patties, Greek Tuna Pasta Salad Recipe or Tuna Ceviche.

Why You’ll Love This Cheesy Tuna Bake

  • It’s comforting. Sometimes comfort food is synonymous with heavy, but this pasta casserole tastes healthy and fresh. 
  • It’s simple. Prepare this recipe with just a few minutes of prep work, then relax while it bakes before you enjoy a flavorful dinner. 
  • It tastes incredible. Classic dishes become such because they are simple and delicious. This creamy tuna pasta casserole has flavor, texture and will be a favorite recipe for years to come. 

Tuna Pasta Bake Ingredients

Ingredients needed for creamy tuna pasta bake.
  • Pasta: we used rigatoni pasta, but you can select your favorite tube-shaped pasta. 
  • Bechamel Sauce: make a creamy white sauce by creating a roux of unsalted butter, all-purpose flour and minced garlic. Mix in whole milk, mustard, salt and pepper until creamy. 
  • Cheese: white cheddar cheese and parmesan cheese add creaminess and flavor. 
  • Tuna: canned albacore tuna in water that has been drained is my choice to make this recipe super easy. 
  • Peas: frozen peas are a must-have addition to any tuna and noodles recipe. 
  • Corn: frozen corn adds a crisp sweetness. 
  • Chopped parsley: to garnish.

How To Make a Tuna Pasta Bake

  • Prepare the equipment. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a rectangular baking dish and keep it aside.
Cooked noodles in a colander.
  • Cook the pasta. Cook the pasta according to the package instruction minus 1 minute and keep it aside.
How to make creamy bechamel sauce for tuna pasta bake.
  • Make the bechamel sauce. In a large dutch oven, add butter; once the butter is melted, sprinkle the flour and garlic. Cook for a minute. Slowly whisk in the milk and cook until the sauce is smooth without any lumps and starts to thicken. Season the sauce with ground mustard, salt, and pepper.
Adding cheese to make the creamy sauce for tuna pasta bake.
  • Prepare the cheese sauce. Add the cheeses; cheddar cheese (save ¼ cup for later use) and parmesan cheese and continue to cook until the cheese is melted.
How to combine ingredients for creamy tuna pasta casserole.
  • Combine the ingredients. To the creamy sauce, add the cooked pasta, canned tuna, peas, and frozen corn. Mix until the sauce is evenly coated. 
Tuna and noodles in a casserole dish ready to be baked.
  • Bake the Easy Tuna Noodle Casserole recipe. Transfer them to the prepared baking dish and top the pasta with the remaining ¼ cup of cheese. Bake them for 15-20 minutes until the cheeses are melted.
  • Garnish and serve. Once done, garnish the dish with fresh parsley. Transfer the pasta to a bowl and serve while it is still warm.
A plate piled with a serving of tuna noodle casserole and a fork.

Tips To Make Easy Tuna Casserole Recipe

  • The pasta will continue to cook as the tuna and noodle casserole bakes so cook it to al dente so it doesn’t become mushy. 
  • If you don’t want to use rigatoni, stick with sturdier pasta such as penne, fusilli or farfalle.
  • There is no need to thaw the corn or the peas ahead of time!
  • Bring your milk to room temperature before making the bechamel sauce. 
  • If your creamy white sauce is too thick, you can thin it with a bit of milk. 
  • Swap out the peas and corn for any of your favorite veggies. For larger vegetables, cut them into bite sized pieces. 
A spoon scoops a serving of cheesy tuna bake.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I use tuna in water or tuna in oil?

The kind of canned tuna you use is really a personal preference. Tuna in oil is flavorful and has a lovely texture, while tuna in water has a milder flavor and is lower in calories and fat. 

Why is my tuna and noodle casserole so dry?

Pasta absorbs moisture, so a lack of moisture can cause a dry casserole. To prevent this, add a bit of milk if your bechamel sauce is thick. You can also cover the casserole for the first 20 minutes of cooking.

Do I need to precook pasta for casseroles?

Yes. The pasta should be precooked and drained before mixing with the other ingredients. We recommend that you cook the pasta to al dente as it will continue cooking while the casserole bakes. 

How do I store and reheat cheesy tuna bake?

Store your leftovers in an airtight container and eat them within 3 days. Reheat in the microwave for single portions or pop the casserole in the oven for about 20 minutes or until heated through.

Can I freeze easy tuna noodle casserole recipe?

Yes! This casserole freezes beautifully. Tightly wrap the whole unbaked casserole and pop it in the freezer for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge and bake as directed. 

What to serve with creamy tuna pasta casserole?

Serve this tasty casserole with Mozzarella Caprese Salad Recipe, Brussels Sprouts Salad, Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Homemade Roasted Garlic Bread or Cheesy Cauliflower Bread Sticks.

A spoon serves up a helping of tuna and noodles.

More Casserole Recipes

I hope you enjoy all the recipes I share with you, including this delicious Creamy Tuna Pasta Casserole recipe. I hope you try it, enjoy it, rate it, and share it with your friends and family!

If you try this recipe and liked it, please leave a star rating and comment below. Use my hashtag to share it with me on Instagram so I can see your delicious recreations! Also, follow me at Cookin’ With Mima on FACEBOOK |INSTAGRAM |PINTEREST for all of my latest social posts and recipes.

5 from 5 votes

Creamy Tuna Pasta Bake

Creamy Tuna Pasta Casserole is luscious, filling and made with basic ingredients you already have on hand. A cheesy homemade bechamel sauce is combined with sweet peas, corn and tuna in a flavorful and simple tuna and noodles casserole that’s easy to prepare and perfect for freezing. This cheesy tuna bake is comforting but not heavy and only takes minutes to prepare.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients 

  • 8 oz rigatoni pasta
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper
  • ¾ cup grated white cheddar cheese, divided
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese grated
  • 10 oz canned albacore tuna, drained
  • ½ cup frozen peas
  • ½ cup frozen corn
  • Chopped parsley, to garnish

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a rectangular baking dish and keep it aside.
  • Cook the pasta according to the package instruction minus 1 minute and keep it aside.
  • In a large dutch oven, add butter; once the butter is melted, sprinkle the flour and garlic. Cook for a minute.
  • Slowly whisk in the milk and cook until the sauce is smooth without any lumps and starts to thicken.
  • Season the sauce with ground mustard, salt, and pepper.
  • Add the cheeses; cheddar cheese (save ¼ cup for later use) and parmesan cheese and continue to cook until the cheese is melted.
  • To the creamy sauce, add the cooked pasta, canned tuna, peas, and frozen corn. Mix until the sauce is evenly coated.
  • Transfer them to the prepared baking dish and top the pasta with the remaining ¼ cup of cheese.
  • Bake them for 15-20 minutes until the cheeses are melted.
  • Once done, garnish the dish with fresh parsley.
  • Transfer the pasta to a bowl and serve while it is still warm.

Notes

  • The pasta will continue to cook as the tuna and noodle casserole bakes so cook it to al dente so it doesn’t become mushy. 
  • If you don’t want to use rigatoni, stick with sturdier pasta such as penne, fusilli or farfalle.
  • There is no need to thaw the corn or the peas ahead of time!
  • Bring your milk to room temperature before making the bechamel sauce. 
  • If your creamy white sauce is too thick, you can thin it with a bit of milk. 
  • Swap out the peas and corn for any of your favorite veggies. For larger vegetables, cut them into bite sized pieces.

Nutrition

Calories: 648kcal | Carbohydrates: 62g | Protein: 39g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 99mg | Sodium: 1259mg | Potassium: 640mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 936IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 445mg | Iron: 2mg
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