Weeknight bliss... one pot, stovetop tuna noodle casserole recipe that is ready in 30 minutes. This recipe is naturally dairy-free and you can use regular or gluten-free noodles!
This post may include affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
📖Why This Recipe Works
You are going to love this quick tuna noodle recipe, it has so many wonderful things going for it!
Budget-Friendly- This recipe uses simple ingredients and pantry staples. No cream of mushroom soup, instead just a scoop of mayo.
Real Veggies- By chopping up your own veggies you add nutrition and save money.
Quick- Ready in under 30 minutes making it an easy weeknight recipe using just one pot and made on the stovetop. No need to heat up the oven.
Pasta- This recipe is specifically for gluten-free pasta. If you are not eating gluten-free regular wheat flour pasta will work. For a one-pot pasta recipe, you need dried pasta.
Regardless of what type of pasta you choose the pasta needs to be either small shapes like elbow or penne or long thin shapes like spaghetti. The cooking time on the package should be no more than 10 minutes.
You can use egg noodles in this easy tuna casserole as long as they don't take more than 10 minutes to cook.
Legume and plant-based veggie kinds of pasta are great, but they don't work in this recipe. These pasta alternatives generate too much foam and give the sauce an unpleasant texture.
Canned Tuna- Any tuna canned in water is fine. Just be aware if salt has already been added. You can also substitute with skinless boneless sardines, just like in our lemon & artichoke zoodle recipe, these two fishes are easily interchangeable.
Mayonnaise- In lieu of canned cream of mushroom soup you are sauteing our own fresh veggies and stirring in mayonnaise at the end.
If you are not avoiding dairy, Greek yogurt makes a lovely substitute.
Dijon Mustard- I went light on the dijon, just a little background flavor. If you don't have Dijon mustard a brown or grainy mustard works.
You can also substitute 1 teaspoon of dry mustard plus 1 teaspoon of cider vinegar.
Fresh Veggies- I use fresh onions (white or yellow), celery, and mushrooms in this recipe. I typically use a brown, or chestnut, mushroom in this recipe. Any button, cremini, or baby Bella works the same.
You can even get fancy and do a wild mushroom blend for an adult version of this comfort food classic.
Frozen Peas- I used frozen peas in this recipe because fresh peas are hard to find year-round. You can substitute fresh for frozen using the same instructions. No need to precook.
You could also use frozen French green beans as a substitute.
Herbs & Spices- This recipe calls for a small bit of dried thyme, a lot of dried dill, and fresh parsley to add some brightness at the end. The use of dried versus fresh is really about availability.
Gluten-Free Bread Crumbs- GF bread crumbs are one of those things I always have on hand.
You can use one of our substitutes for gluten-free bread crumbs or try a cheesy topping,
⏲️How to Make Stovetop Tuna Casserole
Toast your bread crumbs with the seasoning if using. Set aside.
Saute your aromatics in olive oil until they begin to soften.
Add your chopped mushrooms, and saute until they release their water and it evaporates.
Deglaze the pan and add the seasoning.
Heat your water in the microwave. Add the pasta and the HOT water.
Once the pasta is al dente and there is just a bit o water left stir in the mayo (or yogurt).
Top your tune noodle "casserole" with chopped parsley and the breadcrumbs. You can even add green onions or a squeeze of fresh lemon. Or add your cheesy topping!
Adding a Cheesy Topping (optional)
If you want to add a cheesy topping (dairy-free or regular) to your tuna noodle casserole you have two options.
Stovetop Option - Add the cheese once the mayo is stirred in. Sprinkle the cheese on, let it melt, then scoop into bowls and top with the breadcrumbs and parsley.
Mixing the breadcrumbs with the cheese resulted in them losing their crunch- too much steam.
Broiler Option - Mix the shredded cheese and the breadcrumbs and pop under the broiler until the cheese has melted and the breadcrumbs have crisped up, about 3 to 4 minutes.
How Much Water do I need for Stovetop Tuna Noodle?
Start with 4 cups of water, add more as needed. Pasta that has a quick cook time, under 6 minutes will require closer to 4 cups while pasta at the top of the 10-minute range will take closer to 5.
If you put in too much just boil it down.
If it is getting dry add more hot water.
🥗What to Serve with Tuna Noodle Casserole
👩🏻🍳 Expert Tip
Feel free to substitute with fresh thyme and dill. I suggest the leaves from one sprig of thyme and 3 tablespoons of chopped fresh dill.
More 30-Minute Dinner Recipes
Stovetop tuna noodle leftovers can be stored, covered in an airtight container, in the fridge for 3-4 days. Reheat on the stove with a ¼ cup of water.
💭 Frequently Asked Questions
Use 2 large cans of cannellini beans, be sure to drain first.
Did You Enjoy Making This Recipe? Please rate this recipe with ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ or leave a comment. It helps other wonderful people connect with our food.
Stovetop Tuna Casserole
One-Pot Tuna Noodle
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium white onion, diced
- 1 stalk celery, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 8 oz mushrooms, diced
- ¼ cup white wine or sub chicken stock
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon dried dill
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
- 1½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 8 ounces macaroni pasta* gluten free or regular
- 4-5 cups hot water
- ½ lemon, juiced
- 2 4.5oz cans of tuna in water, drained
- 1 cup frozen peas
- ⅓ cup mayonnaise
- fresh parsley, finely chopped for garnish
- In a wide pan over medium heat add breadcrumbs, olive oil, garlic powder, and salt. Toast 3 to 5 minutes until golden brown. Transfer breadcrumbs to a plate and wipe out pan.½ cup gluten-free bread crumbs, 1 teaspoon olive oil, ¼ teaspoon garlic powder, ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- Return the pan to the heat, add olive oil, celery, and onion. Saute for 5 minutes, until the onion begins to soften. Add garlic, saute for an additional 30 seconds. Add mushrooms, saute until they begin to release their water, about 5 minutes.2 tablespoon olive oil, 1 medium white onion, diced, 1 stalk celery, diced, 2 cloves garlic, minced, 8 oz mushrooms, diced
- Deglaze the pan with the white wine. Add the dijon, salt, pepper, dried dill, and dried thyme.¼ cup white wine, 1 teaspoon dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon dried dill, ¼ teaspoon dried thyme, 1½ teaspoon kosher salt, ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Once the wine has evaporated, stir in the dried penne pasta and add 5 cups HOT water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer uncovered until water has evaporated and penne is done**.8 ounces macaroni pasta*, 4-5 cups hot water
- Stir in lemon juice, tuna, peas, and mayo. Simmer on low until heated through.½ lemon, juiced, 2 4.5oz cans of tuna in water, drained, 1 cup frozen peas, ⅓ cup mayonnaise
- To serve, scoop into bowls and sprinkle on breadcrumb topping. Garnish with fresh parsley.fresh parsley, finely chopped