Effortless Tuna Noodle Casserole
Once you find ready-made white sauce to form the base of your tuna noodle casserole, a simple and hearty weeknight dinner is just a few steps away. With the sauce and other pantry staples, the casserole comes together in minutes, and you can turn to other activities with your family while the dish bakes.
This recipe uses a jar of Alfredo sauce, but you can experiment with other white sauces on your grocery shelves which might include garlic pasta sauce, carbonara or white pizza sauce. The white beans in this recipe add extra nutrition and creaminess to the dish.
Total Time: 40 minutes | Prep Time: 10 minutes | Serves: 4
- cooking spray
- 1 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs
- 1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 3/4 cups chicken stock
- 1 15-ounce jar of Alfredo Sauce
- 1 cup milk
- 3 5-ounce cans of tuna, drained
- 1 15-ounce can navy beans
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 12-ounce package of oven ready elbow pasta
- Heat the oven to 400F and oil a 2-quart, oven-safe casserole dish.
- In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the breadcrumbs and the cheddar cheese. Add the olive oil and stir the mixture again until the oil is evenly distributed. Set the bowl aside.
- In a microwave-safe pitcher, heat the chicken stock until it is very hot, about 2 to 3 minutes.
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together the Alfredo sauce, milk, chicken stock, tuna, navy beans, lemon juice and salt until they are mixed thoroughly.
- In the oiled casserole dish, add the sauce and other ingredients with the uncooked pasta. Stir the mixture so the pasta is coated evenly with the sauce.
- Bake the casserole uncovered for 15 minutes, then remove it from the oven and stir the ingredients again to help the pasta cook evenly. Add a few tablespoons of very hot water if the mixture looks dry.
- Top the casserole with the cheddar and breadcrumb mixture, and return it to the oven to bake, uncovered for another 15 minutes, or until the topping is crisp and the sauce is bubbling.
- Remove the dish from the oven, and let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
Susan Lundman began writing about her love of cooking, ingredient choices, menu planning and healthy eating after working for 20 years on children's issues at a nonprofit organization. She has written about food online professionally for ten years on numerous websites, and has provided family and friends with homemade recipes and stories about culinary adventures. Lundman received her M.A. from Stanford University.