a wooden spoon scooping out a serving of tuna noodle casserole
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Tuna Noodle Casserole from Scratch

How to make the best Tuna Noodle Casserole from scratch! This homemade, classic recipe is cheesy with a crunchy potato chip topping, contains no condensed soup, and is easily adaptable to make gluten free.
Course Dinner, Gluten Free dinner, gluten free main dish, Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 8
Calories 500kcal
Author Melissa Erdelac

Ingredients

  • 12 oz. box gluten free penne OR 12 ounce egg noodles*

Homemade Sauce

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 8 ounce fresh mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 1/3 cups milk (I used 2% for richer flavor), divided
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 4 tablespoons cornstarch

Casserole

  • (2) 5 oz. cans white Albacore tuna in water, drained
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise, light or regular
  • 1/3 cup sour cream, light or regular
  • 2 hardboiled eggs, chopped
  • 1 cup crushed potato chips

lemon wedges, for serving

    Instructions

    • Preheat oven to 350. Spray 9X13 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
    • If using gluten free penne, cook in boiling water for half the amount of time called for al dente. Drain and briefly rinse noodles under cold water to stop cooking. Set aside. (See recipe notes if using regular egg noodles.)

    Homemade Sauce

    • Melt butter over medium heat in a medium saucepan. Add onions and mushrooms to butter and sauté 5-6 minutes until vegetables are soft. 
    • Add 2 cups milk, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and Worcestershire. Stir and bring to boil over medium heat. Meanwhile, combine chicken broth with cornstarch in a small bowl. When milk starts to boil, add cornstarch / broth mixture and whisk to combine. Cook and stir for 1-2 minutes, or until thick. Remove from heat and set aside. 

    Casserole

    • In a large bowl combine cooked pasta, 1/3 cup additional milk, drained tuna, peas, cheese, mayo, sour cream, chopped eggs, and mushroom sauce. Fold gently to combine. 
    • Pour into prepared baking dish and top with crushed potato chips. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until heated through. 

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      Notes

      Tips for Making Tuna Noodle Casserole From Scratch
      • Be careful to not overcook the pasta! Anytime you bake a dish with gluten free pasta, do not boil the noodles long. Boiling for half the time called for al dente ensures the pasta doesn’t become mushy during baking.
      • Rinsing the gluten free noodles in cold water after boiling helps to stop the cooking. Otherwise they will steam and cook more while waiting to be mixed with other ingredients.
      • Don’t forget to cook hard boiled eggs ahead of time. The easiest and foolproof way to boil eggs is with an egg cooker. If you aren’t a hardboiled egg fan, you can leave them out. 
      • If you aren’t gluten free, this recipe will work with regular egg noodles too. Use a 12 ounce package and boil them to almost cooked through before mixing with the sauce and other casserole ingredients.
       
      How to freeze UNBAKED tuna noodle casserole: 
      1. Assemble casserole, cover tightly, and freeze for up to 3 months.
      2. When ready to serve, thaw completely in the refrigerator overnight.
      3. Bake according to directions, adding 10-15 minutes to heat thoroughly.
      How to freeze BAKED tuna noodle casserole:
      1. Portion baked casserole into serving sizes and freeze up to 3 months. (Reheating an entire baked tuna casserole will make it dry out.)
      2. Thaw serving in the refrigerator.
      3. Microwave at 50% power until almost heated through, stirring occasionally. Finish heating at full power to warm completely.
      4. To make topping crispy again, place serving in an oven-proof container, sprinkle cheese on top, and broil for 1-2 minutes. 

      Nutrition

      Calories: 500kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 92mg | Sodium: 797mg | Potassium: 648mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 930IU | Vitamin C: 6.7mg | Calcium: 230mg | Iron: 2mg