Tuna Casserole

Tuna Noodle Casserole without Canned Soup at The Happy Housewife

Tuna casserole is a staple in our house. Everyone loves it and I can usually get most of the ingredients on sale which makes it a cheap meal too.

When I posted my last tuna noodle casserole recipe, a few of you asked for a version that didn’t require a cream based soup. While using the cream based soup makes this meal super easy, I do understand wanting a healthier version, plus the price of cream soups is going up!

This tuna noodle casserole doesn't contain any canned soup and is delicious!

This cream soup free tuna casserole was a big hit with my family, and it is definitely going to replace my old recipe!

Tuna Casserole



Yield 6


  • 6 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 bunch green onion, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 cup mushrooms (optional)
  • 1 cup frozen peas (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • 2 cans tuna, drained
  • 1 bag egg noodles
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
  • Salt, pepper, red pepper flakes,to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease a 9 x 13 inch baking dish.
  2. Boil egg noodles according to directions.
  3. While the noodles are cooking, melt 2 Tablespoons butter in a pan. Over medium heat, cook onions, celery, mushrooms, and garlic for about 3 minutes.
  4. Add 4 Tablespoons of butter to the pan. When the butter is melted, add the flour. Turn the heat to low and stir quickly with a whisk.
  5. While whisking, pour in the milk. Whisk the mixture until it thickens and starts to boil. (You can turn up the heat, but don't let the milk burn). If the mixture is not thickening,you might need to add a little more flour, but don't add too much.
  6. Once the mixture has thickened, combine with the drained noodles. (I usually combine them right in the stock pot).
  7. Mix in tuna, 1 cup cheese, peas, and spices.
  8. Pour into the prepared baking dish. Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees.
  9. Remove foil, top with the remaining cheese and cook an additional 5 minutes.

Courses Main Dish



  1. Ashley Johnstone says:

    I didn’t see the first recipe. My mom gave me a recipe of the same dish a few years ago, and it’s a favorite. However, it does use a cream soup.

    Tuna Noodle Casserole
    can of tuna, drained
    box of macaroni and cheese, prepared as directed
    cream of mushroom soup

    Preheat oven to 350. Once macaroni and cheese is prepared, mix with tuna and cream of mushroom soup. Spoon into 9 x13 casserole dish. Bake at 30 minutes.

  2. Yay for a casserole w/o those cream of soups!! I am going to try this! I grew up on tuna noodle casserole and love that it’s a pretty cheap meal.

  3. This recipe may not call for a can of cream soup, but you’re basically making cream soup with butter/flour/celery mixture which could be substituted in the appropriate quantity for any recipe that calls for a canned cream soup.

    I haven’t done the calorie math, but I’m not totally convinced that substituting the canned cream soup with 6 tablespoons of butter really results in a healthier recipe if you are basing health on calories. It could be preferred for being more natural if you actually use real butter.

    • TheHappyHousewife says:

      This recipe is not a lower fat version of tuna casserole, it was created because there are many people who can’t or do not want to eat the cream soups. The “cream of” soups are not gluten free, and they also contain MSG which many people want to avoid. Also, unless you purchase the low sodium versions of these soups they are also extremely high in sodium with almost 1500 mg per can.

      Hope that helps explain the recipe variation.

  4. Somebody's Mimi says:

    Your recipe with out the “cream of” soup is the one my Mamu used when I was a kid… a long, long time ago. Glad you have brought it back! Yummylicious!

  5. Mom24jewels says:

    I just made tuna noodle casserole on Monday using a reciepe from http://amysfinerthings.com/homemade-cream-of-mushroom-soup for making homemade cream of soup, very similar to yours above. It was a great hit with the family. Turned one of hubbies fav dishes into a more healthy option…got to love that 😉 I just love getting healthier. love reading your posts…thank you for sharing.

  6. Rebekah Shaver says:

    I am glad to have found a Tuna Casserole recipe without the creamed soup, because we are Gluten-Free (all creamed soups have Gluten). I can substitute my Gluten-Free flour blend for all purpose flour. 🙂 Thanks!!

  7. I made this for dinner tonight with all of The options and the hubby and I loved it. This will be replacing my current tuna casserole recipes. I love that it is all from scratch on not cream of soup. Thank you.

  8. I made this tonight for dinner. Very tasty and was a hit!!!!!!!

  9. What size bag of egg noodles. I cut the recipe in half and used half a bag (16 oz) noodles and it seemed like way too much noodle. I ended up adding some more milk/flour to make it a bit creamier.

  10. Amy Dawn says:

    Thanks for this! It was easy to convert to a dairy/egg-free meal for my family!! (my son has food allergies) It was very tasty!! Hope you have a great week!

  11. Very good. I replaced a few of the ingredients. Instead i used soy milk ,Daiya vegan cheddar cheese ,wheat egg noodles , only 4 tablepoons of unsalted butter and wheat flour. Turned out amazing

  12. Great recipe! Thanks for sharing. I like to make things from scratch, and this turned out great. I made it a bit cheesier by adding more cheese to the noodle mix. Delicious, easy, and hoping that even the kids will eat it tonight.

  13. Thank you so much for this awesome recipe! My 2 and 5 year old girls are on their 3rd plate right now! And I always get told it’s the best meal ever.

  14. Thank you so much!

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