No canned soup in this old-fashioned tuna casserole for one is straight from my vintage recipe box! A classic tuna noodle casserole made with a rich creamy sauce and a small can of tuna. It's such a delicious recipe; who knew tuna casserole could be so elegant?
Why This Recipe Works
No waste in this easy recipe. The sauce is made from scratch, and best of all, there is no leftover canned soup! A small can or pouch of tuna is the perfect amount for the tuna casserole for one person. This delicious casserole comes together quickly in just one dish, making it a great recipe for an easy single-serving weeknight dinner.
Table of Contents
- Egg Noodles: I use wide egg noodles, however, you can substitute a no yolk noodle or elbow macaroni.
- Butter: Salted butter for a rich base for the bechamel sauce.
- Flour: The flour is used to thicken the sauce
- Seasonings: Salt, black pepper, and garlic powder. You can add more herbs for a more complex flavor, Thyme goes very well in the sauce and sometimes I sprinkle in a little onion powder.
- Milk and heavy cream: The combination works best for the sauce and provides a rich sauce.
- Cheese: Don't use already shredded bagged cheese, these cheese normally have an anti-caking ingredient that affects how well the cheese melts. A quarter cup of freshly shredded cheddar cheese or parmesan cheese is also a very good substitute for Gruyere.
- Tuna: I buy the small cans of tuna in water, the size is perfect for one serving. Also, solid white albacore tuna works well.
- Frozen Peas: The peas are a classic ingredient however you can omit them or substitute frozen corn or green beans.
See the recipe card for ingredient quantities.
Step by Step Recipe Directions
(Note: please see the recipe card at the bottom of the post for the complete written instructions.)
Cook the egg noodles per package directions. I suggest cooking the noodles al dente. Drain and set aside. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
In a small saucepan over medium heat melt the butter. Whisk in the flour, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
Whisk in the whole milk and cream and bring to a simmer, Let simmer stirring frequently until the sauce begins to thicken, about 4-5 minutes. Remove the sauce from the heat and stir in the cheese.
In a small baking dish, add the cooked noodles, cheese sauce, tuna, and peas, and stir the tuna mixture. Add some red pepper flakes for a little extra spice.
If you like crunch, then you can top it with crushed potato chips, corn flakes, or bread crumbs.
Loosely cover with aluminum foil and bake for 25 minutes, until the casserole is bubbly.
Serve with a simple salad.
- The casserole is also great when made with chicken.
- Don't use evaporated canned milk.
- If you don't have cream, use all milk in the sauce.
- If you want to skip making the homemade sauce you can use canned soups. Cream of mushroom or cream of celery soup. works well.
How to Store Leftover Tuna Casserole
Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. To reheat sprinkle with a little water and microwave until warm.
Here are a few ways to use leftover canned tuna
If you have leftover canned tuna store it in a covered container in the refrigerator for 1-2 days.
- My favorite way to use leftover canned tuna is to mix the tuna with diced avocado, and diced tomato, sprinkle with ground pepper, and serve on a sliced baguette or mini bagel.
- Use it as a topping for a salad or a baked sweet potato.
- Mix it with some eggs and milk to make a savory breakfast quiche or frittata.
- Use it as a filling for a sandwich or wrap.
- Mix it with some breadcrumbs and cheese to make a tuna topping for crostini or crackers.
- Use it to make a tuna melt sandwich.
- Mix it with some more ingredients like potatoes, onions, and hard-boiled eggs. to make a tuna salad.
TUNA CASSEROLE: Frequently Asked Questions
The casserole can be made a day ahead and stored covered in the refrigerator for 1-2 days.
Yes, store the unbaked casserole in an airtight container and freeze it for up to 1 month. If baking from frozen, you will need to cook for about 45 minutes.
Favorite Single-Serving Dinners
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- 1 cup dried egg noodles
- 1 tablespoon butter salted
- 1 tablespoon flour
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- ¼ cup milk
- ⅓ cup Gruyere cheese shredded
- 3 ounces canned tuna
- ¼ cup frozen peas
- Cook the egg noodles per package instructions. Drain and set aside. Preheat the oven to 350° F.1 cup dried egg noodles
- In a small saucepan over medium heat melt the butter. Whisk in the flour, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.1 tablespoon butter, 1 tablespoon flour, ⅛ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper, ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
- Whisk in the milk and cream and bring to a simmer, Let simmer stirring frequently until the sauce begins to thicken, about 4-5 minutes. Remove the sauce from the heat and stir in the cheese.¼ cup heavy cream, ¼ cup milk
- In a small baking dish, add the cooked noodles, cheese sauce, tuna, and peas. Stir well.⅓ cup Gruyere cheese, 3 ounces canned tuna, ¼ cup frozen peas
- Loosely cover with aluminum foil and bake for 25 minutes, until casserole is bubbly.
Thanks for coming! Let me know what you think or share a tip.