Skillet Tuna Noodle Casserole is a 30-minute one-pot tuna casserole in a light cream sauce with crispy Panko topping. Everyday veggies are simmered with tuna, pasta noodles, broth, and milk, making a creamy "real" mushroom sauce that uses no canned soup!
Skillet Tuna Noodle Casserole
Just like my Instant Pot Tuna Casserole, this tuna pasta been a go-to dinner in our house for many years. It’s quick, easy, and is a lighter version of a tuna casserole, made with a healthy dose of vegetables and a small amount of dairy. Once you make it a time or two, you’ll probably feel the same way. It’s so easy, but it tastes like something you worked hard for!
Skillet tuna casserole ingredients
- olive oil
- green onions
- canned tuna
- spaghetti noodles
- salt and pepper
- Panko bread crumbs
Grab my Instant Pot Tuna Casserole
Tuna noodle recipe ingredients
I like to load up vegetables, when possible. For this recipe, I love the flavors and textures of carrots, green onions, button mushrooms, and sweet peas.
I prefer to use a classic spaghetti noodle for this recipe. You can use whole wheat pasta because it has added fiber and nutrients. If you use whole wheat pasta, initially hold back 1 cup of the liquid (broth or water) to avoid potential 'soupy' results (b/c there is less gluten to thicken the sauce). You can always add liquid back in small amounts if you feel the dish needs more liquid during the cook cycle.
We're keeping it light with this sauce by using a 1% milk and chicken broth as opposed to the classic canned cream of mushroom soup sauce. Also, this one-pot method causes the noodles to add starch to the sauce as they cook, creating a natural thickener for the cream sauce.
Then, of course, there's the tuna, which I like to use a water-packed tuna instead of oil-packed. However, either will work great for this recipe.
How to make tuna casserole on the stove
* see full recipe below
- Sauté the mushrooms, carrots, and green onions in olive oil in a large skillet.
- Add pasta, peas, tuna, milk, chicken broth, salt, and pepper.
- Simmer everything until pasta is cooked through.
- Top the tuna casserole with Panko breadcrumbs and broil until golden brown.
Grab my Instant Pot version of Tuna Casserole!
- chef’s knife
- cutting board
- silicone tongs or spatula (to stir things up)
- large skillet
- air-tight storage containers (for leftovers)
More 30-minute dinner recipes
- Instant Pot Tuna Casserole
- Instant Pot Chicken Alfredo
- Lasagna Soup for Instant Pot or Stove
- Chicken Penne Alla Vodka [One Pot Pasta]
Skillet Tuna Casserole
- 2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 cup Mushrooms, sliced
- 1 cup Carrots, shredded
- 2 Green Onions, sliced (stalk and tops separated)
- 8 oz Uncooked Spaghetti Noodles
- 1 7 oz can Tuna, drained
- 1 cup Peas, thawed
- 2 cups Chicken Broth
- 2 cups 1% Milk, or any milk
- 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
- 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
- 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese
- 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
- 2 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Sauté veggies: Heat OLIVE OIL in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add MUSHROOMS, CARROTS, and GREEN ONION (white part); sauté until tender, stirring as needed (about 4 min).
- Add other ingredients: Add NOODLES, PEAS, TUNA, CHICKEN BROTH, MILK, SALT, and PEPPER. Push ingredients down to make sure pasta noodles are submerged. *see recipe footnote about adding liquid
- Simmer to cook the noodles: Adjust heat to HIGH and bring everything just to a boil. Then, cover and adjust heat to MED-LOW and simmer until pasta is cooked through, stirring as needed.Then, fold in PARMESAN CHEESE to the cooked casserole to thicken and flavor the cream sauce.
- (optional) Crispy panko topping: Turn on oven broiler and adjust the top oven rack. Toss PANKO BREAD CRUMBS in OLIVE OIL and sprinkle over the cooked casserole surface along with GREEN ONION (tops). Place casserole under broiler flame until the Panko is a light golden brown and crispy (oven time may vary).
- To serve: Allow tuna casserole to rest a few minutes. Serve warm.To store: Allowed to cool completely and refrigerate in airtight containers up to 5 days.
Nutrition data provided as courtesy estimates using unbranded ingredients from a nutrition database. Please consult preferred resource for precise data.