11 Recipes that Aren’t Your Grandma’s Traditional Tuna Casserole

Tuna casserole gets an unfairly bad rap, and we’re here to change that. Starting with the basic formula of fish and noodles, these recipes show us just how fantastic a tuna casserole can really be. We spot a trend here…

1. Classic Tuna Noodle Casserole

Casseroles are deeply comforting, and tuna noodle is one of the best versions. As the weather turns cooler, this creamy dish of pasta, oil-packed tuna, and vegetables is one of the best dinner ideas. Using high-quality ingredients like aged cheddar elevates the flavor, and adding Dijon mustard, Old Bay seasoning, and jalapeño takes this classic recipe up a notch. Get our Tuna Noodle Casserole recipe.

2. No-Noodle Tuna Noodle Casserole

The Gracious Pantry

Trust us here: This tuna noodle casserole without noodles will actually surprise you. To replace the noodles, you’ll throw in lots of extra vegetables like bell peppers, celery, and green beans. A generous helping of cheddar cheese and almond meal makes the dish feel comforting and rich, even without the pasta. Give it a try, especially if you’re cooking for someone who is gluten-free! Get the recipe here.

3. Tuna Pasta Bake

Homemade By You

Trust the Brits for knowing their way around comfort food. This tomato-based twist on tuna noodle casserole uses jarred tomato sauce as a nice weeknight dinner shortcut. Adding in corn and parsley gives the dish an unusual twist that takes it to new territory from the cream-based casseroles we’re used to. Get the recipe here.

4. Tuna Mushroom Casserole

This simple recipe is perfect for weeknight dinners. It relies on canned cream of mushroom soup to add volume and flavor to the casserole. More mushrooms are added separately to beef up the dish. A tasty combination of bread crumbs, butter, and thyme tops it off. Get the recipe here.

5. Broccoli Tuna Noodles Casserole

This version of tuna noodle casserole feels retro and nostalgic in all the best ways. Broccoli, chicken broth, and basil create a robust and aromatic flavor that pairs well with the creamy, cheesy tuna filling. In a nod to the classic recipe, buttery breadcrumbs finish off the top layer. Get the recipe here.

6. Lighter Tuna Casserole

Gimme Some Oven

Love tuna casserole but find it a little rich? Here’s the version you’ve been searching for. This lightened up recipe swaps the cream for almond milk and goes heavy on the vegetables. It’s even more flavorful than the classic dish, and we love how it tastes like a cross between a bowl of pasta and a casserole. Get the recipe here.

7. Tuna Casserole with Ricotta

Reluctant Entertainer

The best part of a casserole is the cheese, right? If you agree, here’s your new favorite recipe. This tuna noodle casserole uses savory Parmesan cheese and ricotta cheese to create a creamier, cheesier twist on the traditional dish. It’s light but also indulgent: a perfect combination. Get the recipe here.

8. Spinach Tuna Noodle Casserole

Garlic and Salt

Traditional tuna noodle casserole recipes use peas for the green vegetable. Here, spinach stands in, making this dish hearty and healthy. It’s got the same creaminess and crunch that we love about classic tuna noodle casserole. Feel free to substitute Swiss chard or kale for the spinach. Get the recipe here.

9. Grown-Up Tuna Noodle Casserole

The Kitchn

Don’t be intimidated by the long list of ingredients in this recipe. Each one adds a key depth of flavor, from the sour cream to the white wine to the minced shallots. This dish has all the elements of tuna noodle casserole that you know and love but in a more sophisticated, modern form. Get the recipe here.

10. Tuna with Cheese Biscuits


We won’t say no to anything topped with cheese biscuits. This recipe is a clever twist on a tuna casserole using biscuits in place of noodles. A savory blend of flaked tuna, cream of mushroom soup, and vegetables makes up the filling. Cheesy, garlic-laced biscuits top it all off. Get the recipe here.

11. New Tuna Noodle Casserole

My Recipes

This recipe keeps all the best parts of tuna casserole and updates the rest. It’s still creamy, crunchy, and cheesy but adds in extra vegetables and herbs like green beans, leeks, mushrooms, chives, and tarragon. Crushed potato chips and panko give the top of the casserole that satisfying crunch we love. Get the recipe here.

Header image: KitchMe

Posie Harwood is a New York City-based writer and photographer. She grew up on a farm and likes raw milk, warm bread with butter, and plenty of fresh air. Follow her on Instagram, and her blog 600 Acres.

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