This mac and cheese tuna casserole is a simple one pot meal that the whole family (and your budget) will enjoy. With frugal and tasty coming together for this cheesy and easy tuna noodle recipe.
Tuna macaroni casserole
This tuna noodle mixture is often referred to as “poor man’s tuna noodle casserole” because it’s a cheaper way of getting similar results to the real deal cheesy tuna noodle casseroles you’d expect. I mean, boxed macaroni is cheap and I think this entire pot costs me less than $5 to make, so I can see how the name might stick.
If you’re looking for a simple one pot meal, this macaroni and cheese with tuna and peas recipe really hits the spot. With cheesy goodness in every bite, bursting fresh peas, and bits of tuna in every bite, this dish is tasty and very easy to prepare too!
We’ve tried this dish with different brands and types of macaroni and cheese including Kraft, store brands, “creamy” versions, and shells or shapes. Depending on the different macaroni you use, the flavor and textures change slightly. That said, you really can’t go wrong if you use your favorites!
Mac N Cheese Tuna Casserole Ingredients
- Boxed Macaroni and Cheese
- Frozen Peas
- Canned Tuna
- Cream of Mushroom Soup *optional
What you’ll need to make this recipe
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Tips for making mac and cheese with tuna
I’ve made this recipe a few times and something we cannot decide upon is whether or not we enjoy it more with or without the canned mushroom soup. Honestly, it tastes great either way but trying it for yourself is the only way to decide which is better.
If you think you would prefer to use canned peas instead of frozen, then simple drain and rinse the peas before use. Add them in at the end, just before serving.
We also really enjoy our tuna noodles to have a crushed Ritz cracker crumb topping, so if you’re looking for a great way to serve yours up, give it a try and see how you like it! 🙂
FAQ’s about stovetop tuna casserole
traditionally, tuna noodle is a dish with noodles, cheese, cream of soups, tuna, and a veggie (usually peas) the toppings (if any) can vary from crushed potato chips to breadcrumbs. This dish is very simple with boxed macaroni and cheese, tuna, peas, and onion.
I usually serve the dish alone as-is but sometimes I enjoy serving it up with more veggies like a simple green garden salad or steamed broccoli. Sticking with this that tastes great with cheddar cheese is a pretty safe bet for getting a good tasting meal on your plate.
To heat this dish you can simply place a serving on a plate in the microwave for 1-2 minutes or you can reheat it on the stovetop. To avoid it drying out consider adding a tablespoon of butter or a dash of milk to keep the mix hydrated.
How to Make Mac and Cheese Tuna Casserole
Cook your macaroni noodles according to package directions until al dente.
Just before draining the water, stir in the frozen peas. Then dump the contents into a colander and return the empty pot to the stove over medium heat.
Add butter and onions to the pot.
Cook the butter until melted and onions are soft.
Add in the tuna and stir to break up the chunks.
Mix in the milk and cheese packet until well mixed. If using canned cream of mushroom soup, add it in at this point.
Stir the noodles and peas.
Cook for 1 minute longer until the dish feels warmed throughout.
Serve. If desired, sprinkle some ritz cracker crumbs over the top before serving.
More great recipes to try
- Fluffy White Sandwich Bread
- Rustic Strawberry Galette
- Strawberry Cream Cheese Turnovers
- Pizza Dough in a Bag
- Cookies and Cream Pizookie
- Cake Mix Blueberry Muffins
Mac and Cheese Tuna Casserole
- 1 small onion finely diced
- 2 boxes of macaroni like Kraft
- 2 5 ounce cans of tuna drained
- 1 1/2 cups frozen peas
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 10 ounce can cream of mushroom soup *optional
- In a large box cook noodles as directed on package in water until al dente.
- Stir in the frozen peas just before draining the noodles into a colander.
- Return pot to stove over medium heat and cook butter and onions until butter is melted and onions are soft.
- Add in the tuna and break up the chunks.
- Whisk in milk and cheese packet until well mixed. If using the cream of mushroom, stir that in as well.
- Stir the noodles and peas back into the dish.
- Cook for 1 minute or so until the mix is nice and warmed through.
- Serve with a sprinkling of crushed Ritz crackers on top if desired.