Comforting Tuna Noodle Casserole

March  1, 2012
4 Ratings
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

I was introduced to this delicious food in college, and I couldn't believe I'd never liked it before-- after all, I'm not one to turn down pasta in any form. My mom used to make it occasionally, and I really don't remember liking it. But, dressed up with mushrooms and Marsala it becomes divine. I usually have all the ingredients in my pantry and I can whip it up on a day I don't want to venture outside. One of my favorite comfort foods, it's a dressed up mac and cheese! —Meatballs&Milkshakes

Test Kitchen Notes

This is a clever take on mac n cheese. I loved the earthiness of the crimini mushrooms paired with the rosemary and tuna. The casserole is truly a sum of its ingredients; I could pleasantly taste all the components. It was creamy without being soupy. The recipe is spot on; all ingredients well balanced. The final mix fit nicely into an 8” by 8” gratin dish. It emerged bubbly, browned with the pasta cooked perfectly after 25 minutes. I used coarse homemade breadcrumbs which gave the topping a nice crunch. Panko would work too. I wouldn’t change a thing and will most certainly add this to my baked pasta repertoire. —Gmarkb

What You'll Need
  • 1/2 box small pasta such as egg noodles, mini shells, mini penne (8 oz.)
  • 2 cups sliced crimini mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon chopped rosemary
  • 1/4 cup Marsala wine (can sub white wine, but not as good)
  • 1 can good Italian tuna packed in oil, drained
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup grated cheddar
  • 1 cup grated parmesan
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • truffle butter (optional)
  1. Cook the pasta in salted boiling water according to box instructions but stop about 5 minutes early and drain.
  2. Meanwhile, saute the mushrooms in a little olive oil until they have softened. Add the rosemary and toss through. Add the wine and continue to cook for 2 minutes.
  3. Combine the flour and butter in a separate pan and cook until the paste starts to brown. Add the milk and whisk so that there are no lumps. Add the chicken stock and whisk again. Add the mushroom mixture, the tuna, nutmeg, and about 3/4 of the cheeses. Reserve the rest of the cheese and combine with the breadcrumbs in another bowl.
  4. Add the cooked pasta to the sauce and stir through. Pour into a baking dish and top with the breadcrumbs mixture. If you have some truffle butter, you can dot the top with little bits of it. You may want to reserve it and add before serving as well. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes, until it starts to get bubbly and browned on top.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Gina Ursino
    Gina Ursino
  • Helana Brigman
    Helana Brigman
  • Kacia
  • Jarri
  • Meatballs&Milkshakes
I'm an ex-finance, nonprofit fundraiser by day and a (mostly) Italian cook and blogger by night. I love having friends over for dinner and my favorite evenings are when we spend them at home together cooking dinner and chatting. I'm an avid cooking show fan, and my favorite eating cities are New York, San Francisco, Paris, and Rome.

14 Reviews

Gina U. May 31, 2020
I have been making this for years and it is incredible. The only thing I do differently is I double the tuna and I put the whole amount of cheeses in the sauce and then grate extra for the top. My family insists on this during football season on Monday nights. Enjoy!!!
Helana B. March 15, 2013
This looks delicious. I'm always looking for new tasty Tuna recipes. I love a good casserole and this Tuna Noodle Casserole sounds awesome. I can't wait to try it out.
Meatballs&Milkshakes March 15, 2013
Hope you like it!
Kacia February 2, 2013
I just made this tonight and, though the thought of canned tuna in a casserole like this made me nervous, it was far and beyond my expectations! I did add frozen peas because the one-color thing wasn't working for me, but it would have been delicious with out!
Meatballs&Milkshakes February 2, 2013
Good Italian tuna in olive oil makes all the difference in the world. It's even a different color if you put it next to Chicken of the Sea or any other standard supermarket brand. If you can find it, definitely try it. Some brands- Ortiz, Callipo, Ventresca, or Flott.
Kacia February 2, 2013
Next time I make this, I am definitely going to make the extra effort to use that. Maybe that will be the meal that forever converts me to oil-tuna!
Meatballs&Milkshakes February 2, 2013
You'll never go back!!
Gina U. May 31, 2020
It is so much better the oil gives1 it the flavor.
Jarri March 11, 2012
Made this tonight and my family loved it. Thank you for the recipe!
Meatballs&Milkshakes March 11, 2012
Glad you liked it!!
berryandcake March 6, 2012
This looks amazing! That crusty topping is making me drool.
Meatballs&Milkshakes March 11, 2012
Thanks! It's definitely the best part!
thanks! it's wet and cold out here and I'm thinking of making it again tonight!
Bevi March 1, 2012
There are few things more comforting....I love all the additions you made to a classic recipe.