Easy Tuna Casserole Recipe


5 from 292 votes
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This easy tuna casserole recipe is the ultimate dump-and-bake dinner. Made with only a few simple ingredients, you get a perfectly cheesy tuna bake in just 20 minutes.

tuna casserole.

I love cooking with canned tuna. It’s affordable, always available, and let’s be real- everyone has a can or ten of it in the pantry at any one time.

On regular rotation in our household are tuna patties and tuna croquettes but when the family is craving something baked and hearty, nothing beats a cheesy tuna casserole. 

Table of Contents
  1. Why this recipe works
  2. Ingredients needed
  3. How to make tuna casserole
  4. Recipe tips and variations
  5. Storage instructions
  6. More casserole recipes you’ll enjoy
  7. Frequently asked questions 
  8. Easy Tuna Casserole Recipe (Recipe Card)

Why this recipe works

  • It takes canned tuna to the next level. It’s not always easy to make canned tuna taste like something truly delicious (I mean, hello tuna tartare, tuna carpaccio, and seared ahi tuna). However, when combined with cheese and mayonnaise and baked with more cheese, it’s pretty much perfection. 
  • Easy and quick. As everything is baked in one dish, it takes only a few minutes to prep it and around 15 minutes to bake. I sometimes even prep it IN the dish so I only have one thing to clean up at the end. 
  • Perfect texture and flavor. The texture is thick and creamy and morsels of melty cheese throughout. If you are worried about the potential fishy taste, don’t be- the cheese and mayo do a fabulous job of covering it up.

What I love about this recipe is that it has NO noodles and NO cream of mushroom soup. These are two typical ingredients in most tuna noodle casserole recipes but not this one. Don’t fret though- it’s every bit as hearty and creamy as you’d expect.

Ingredients needed

This easy tuna casserole recipe really lives up to its name and besides the tuna, cheese, and seasonings, there isn’t much else that is needed to make. Here. is what you’ll need:

  • Tuna. Use solid white albacore tuna in water for a light and flaky texture. Avoid tuna that is flavored or packed in oil, as it will make the casserole greasy. 
  • Mayonnaise and sour cream. These two condiments taste so much better when mixed together. Use both to provide extra creaminess for this casserole. Don’t use one or the other or else you’ll be left with a super-rich casserole (all mayo) or super stodgy one (all sour cream). 
  • Cauliflower. Adds some bulk and nutrients to the dish. This is completely optional, and you can omit it if you like. If using cauliflower, please cook it beforehand (steaming, air frying, or roasting works). 
  • Onion. Use finely chopped green onions for a refreshing and mild onion flavor.
  • Mustard. Go with Dijon mustard for a tangy and slightly spicy flavor. It balances out the creaminess of the mayo and sour cream. 
  • Cheese. I use mozzarella cheese in the tuna mixture and use gruyere to top off the casserole. You can use any cheese that melts well, including cheddar cheese or parmesan cheese. 
  • Spices. Pepper and smoked paprika used in the right amounts don’t overshadow the mild flavor of canned tuna. I sometimes add some garlic powder too.

How to make tuna casserole

As mentioned earlier, this casserole is so easy and needs little prep time, thanks to the oven working its magic! Ready to whip one up? 

Step 1- Prepare the tuna mixture: Flake the tuna and add it to a mixing bowl, along with the cooked cauliflower. Next, add the mayonnaise, sour cream, chopped green onion, and Dijon mustard and stir well. Add pepper, smoked paprika, and salt to taste. Mix until fully combined. When all ingredients are mixed, fold in the shredded mozzarella cheese.

tuna, cheese, and cauliflower.

Step 2- assemble: Transfer the tuna mixture into the baking or casserole dish and top with sliced or shredded gruyere cheese.

tuna casserole with cheese.

Step 3- Bake: Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese is melted and golden brown. Remove from the oven and serve warm. 

cheesy tuna casserole.

Recipe tips and variations

Do not over-bake. The creamy and rich texture is imperative to this dish, so do not overbake. Once the cheese has nicely melted, it’s fine to be removed from the oven.

Flake the tuna into larger chunks. If you flake it into very small pieces, the tuna mixture will turn into mush when you mix the canned fish with the rest of the ingredients.

Grate the cheese by hand. For the best melt and flavor, always shred the cheese using a grater. The extra effort is worth it.

Add a crumb topping. Sprinkle the casserole with a breadcrumb and melted butter mixture for a golden and crispy crust that will contrast beautifully with the creamy tuna mixture. Other delicious options include crushed potato chips, ritz crackers, or panko bread crumbs. 

Use different vegetables. We prefer cauliflower for its mild flavor but definitely amp up the casserole with other vegetables. Peas and corn always work well, as do some finely diced celery and carrots.

Make it healthier. For a healthy tuna casserole, swap out the sour cream for Greek yogurt and use low-fat mayonnaise.

Storage instructions

To store. Place leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator and it will be good for up to 4 days. 

To freeze. Once the casserole has cooled, place portions of it in a shallow container and store it in the freezer for up to 6 months.

To reheat. The best way to reheat any casserole is in the oven, covered with tinfoil. You can also microwave small servings of it.

tuna casserole no noodles.

More casserole recipes you’ll enjoy

Frequently asked questions 

Why is my tuna casserole dry?

The main reason why tuna casseroles turn out dry is that you have left them in the oven for too long. The tuna used for the casserole is already cooked, so once the cheese has melted, it’s ready to be enjoyed.

Can you add noodles?

Yes, you can add noodles to this recipe. In fact, egg noodles are one of the main ingredients of the traditional version of this popular American casserole. Cook the noodles al dente before you add them to the rest of the ingredients. I actually prefer rotini pasta or elbow macaroni because they are smaller and hold the cheese and tuna mixture very well.

Is this recipe gluten-free?

Yes! There are no ingredients that contain wheat or gluten.

What to serve with this dish?

Because this casserole is hearty and full of rich flavors, it’s best to keep the sides simple. I fine a fresh green salad or some steamed vegetables to tick the boxes.

tuna casserole recipe.

Easy Tuna Casserole Recipe

5 from 292 votes
This easy tuna casserole recipe combines canned tuna, cheese, and a creamy sauce to create a healthy and filling weeknight dinner.
Servings: 8 servings
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 20 minutes



  • 20 ounces canned tuna in springwater
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup green onions chopped
  • 2 cups cauliflower cooked and chopped
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup gruyere cheese


  • Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Grease a large baking dish.
  • In a mixing bowl, add the drained tuna and flake it with a fork. Add the mayonnaise, sour cream, salt, pepper, smoked paprika, green onions, and Dijon mustard. Mix until smooth. Add the cauliflower then fold through the mozzarella cheese.
  • Transfer the mixture into the greased baking dish and top with gruyere cheese.
  • Bake the tuna casserole for 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese is golden brown.


TO STORE. Place leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge and it will be good for up to 4 days. 
TO FREEZE. The fact that this tuna casserole doesn’t contain noodles makes it even better for freezing. Transfer the leftover tuna bake into a freezer-safe airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. 
TO REHEAT. The best way to reheat tuna casserole is in the oven, covered with tinfoil. Small servings of tuna casserole can be reheated in the microwave. 


Serving: 1servingCalories: 379kcalCarbohydrates: 4gProtein: 22gFat: 22gSodium: 708mgPotassium: 324mgFiber: 1gVitamin A: 286IUVitamin C: 18mgCalcium: 50mgIron: 2mgNET CARBS: 3g
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Author: Arman Liew
Tried this recipe?Give us a shout at @thebigmansworld or tag #thebigmansworld!

Arman Liew

I’m a two time cookbook author, photographer, and writer, and passionate about creating easy and healthier recipes. I believe you don’t need to be experienced in the kitchen to make good food using simple ingredients that most importantly, taste delicious.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Absolutely delicious! I followed recipe exactly as written and wouldn’t change a thing. My oldest who doesn’t like tuna went back for seconds. This will become a staple in the recipe box.

  2. 5 stars
    Awesome recipe!! So easy to make and customize, if needed. Great flavor and very hearty and filling! I can’t wait to make this again!!

  3. 5 stars
    This is absolutely delicious & completely Keto instead of cracker crumbs on top I used crushed pork rinds. Keto friendly 👍

  4. 5 stars
    Omg! This is SO delicious! I used light Mayo & light sour cream to make a little bit healthier! So easy to make too!

  5. 5 stars
    Grandson who dislikes casseroles came to me and said” I’m not going to lie I took some of the cauliflower and it was delicious “. He then said “I don’t like casseroles but this is delish. Can I have more?”

  6. 5 stars
    Thank You for this amazing recipe. I used to make one like this 50 years ago but had forgotten how delicious tuna is in a casserole.
    I felt like just eating the whole casserole myself but……………………I did use selfcontrol.

  7. I can’t wait to try this tonight for an impromptu family BBQ. We have a wide range of tastes. The most finicky being my 89 year old mother. I think everyone will love it.