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tuna casserole in a white baking dish
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4.63 from 8 votes

Tuna Noodle Casserole with Crunchy Topping

There are no mushrooms to be found in this lightened-up (but still creamy) tuna noodle casserole with crunchy cornflake topping. Sweet peas and parmesan cheese add fresh flavor to this cozy classic.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: canned tuna recipe, casserole, comfort foods, creamy casserole, easy dinner, seafood
Servings: 12
Calories: 306kcal
Author: Jess Smith via Inquiring Chef
Cost: $8.00


  • 9 x 13 Baking Dish
  • Stockpot
  • Saucepan


For the Casserole:

  • 1 lb Pasta, medium shells (sub fusilli)
  • 4 tablespoon Butter
  • 3 tablespoon All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Celery Seeds
  • 2 ½ cups Milk, any type
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 2 ½ cups Peas (use frozen and defrosted or canned, drained)
  • 2 5 oz cans Tuna in Water, drained and broken apart
  • ½ teaspoon finely grated Lemon Zest (optional)

For the Topping:

  • 2 tablespoon Butter, melted
  • 2 cups Cornflakes


  • Preheat oven to 350°F / 177°C. Spray a 9x13 baking dish (or any casserole dish of similar size) with nonstick cooking spray or brush with some oil.
  • Boil noodles according to package directions.
  • While pasta boils, heat a saucepan over medium heat. Add butter and cook until butter is melted. To melted butter, add flour and celery seeds and stir until no dry spots remain. Continue cooking until butter-flour mixture starts turns golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Slowly pour in milk while whisking. Bring the mixture to a simmer (adjust heat as needed), whisking constantly. Simmer until mixture thickens slightly, about 3 minutes more. Remove from heat and whisk in cheese.
  • Gently fold cooked pasta, peas, tuna, and lemon zest into sauce. Taste and season with some salt and black pepper (don’t skip this step - the dish will be slightly salty from the cheese, but will likely need more salt).
  • Spread mixture out in prepared baking dish.
  • Gently stir together melted butter and cornflakes. Spread cornflakes over top of the casserole.
  • Bake until the topping is golden brown and the filling is heated all the way through, 20 to 25 minutes.
  • Serve immediately.


Calories: 306kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 28mg | Sodium: 238mg | Potassium: 250mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 644IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 171mg | Iron: 3mg