Not My Mama’s Tuna Noodle Casserole

I have told you before just how ingenious my mother was when figuring out how to feed us. She worked full time (plus some) and had to deal with me on her own, so it’s no wonder we ate quick and easy meals most of the time.

My mama’s tuna noodle casserole consisted of egg noodles, cream of chicken soup, a couple of slices of american cheese, a can of peas, and a can of tuna. That was that.

I loved my mama’s tuna noodle casserole, and I won’t pretend like I have never made it that way myself, but if you’re looking for a delicious stove top version of this classic meal and don’t want to use canned soups definitely give this recipe a try!

Don’t worry about the dijon mustard, it adds a nice little sumtin’ sumtin’ to this dish!

Stovetop Tuna Noodle Casserole

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 pound (16 ounce) pasta
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cups frozen peas and carrots
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 (12 ounce) cans evaporated milk
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 2 cups shredded monterey jack cheese
  • 2 (5 ounce) cans tuna packed in water, drained

Directions: In a large skillet melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and saute it until translucent. Add the peas and carrots along with a generous amount of salt and pepper, saute 2-3 minutes or until thawed. Add both cans of evaporated milk and dijon mustard, stir to combine. Allow the mixture to simmer until slightly thickened and warmed through, 5-10 minutes. Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package directions with 1 tablespoon of kosher salt until almost al dente. The pasta will finish cooking in the sauce. Once the pasta is almost the point of al dente, drain it and return it to the pot. Pour the sauce mixture over the pasta and stir to combine. Stir in the shredded cheese and drained tuna. Allow everything to continue cooking over medium heat until the cheese has melted, the sauce has thickened, and everything is nice and hot. Taste and adjust the seasonings.

Step-by-Step Photos


A delightful cast of characters- pasta, veggies, cheesy goodness, evaporated milk (a trusty pantry staple), and tuna!

Pick the prettiest pasta you have hiding in your pantry, or simple elbow mac will do nicely!


Saute the onion in butter, yum!


Once the onion is translucent add those peas and carrots and a heck of a lot of salt and pepper.


Saute the peas and carrots for a few minutes. They will finish cooking in the sauce.


Pour in both cans of evaporated milk. I used to underestimate the power of evaporated milk, but I have learned to embrace this little guy.


Add a good squirt of dijon mustard. I love the subtle flavor this adds to the overall dish.

It’s very very nice *wink*


Stir it all together and simmer until your pasta is ready.


Once the pasta is almost done drain it and return it to the pot. Pour in your sauce mixture and set it back over medium heat.


Stir, stir, stir it up!


Add all of that luscious cheese to the mix.

Yes please!


Stir it in and don’t worry, the sauce will thicken as it cooks a little longer.


Don’t forget the tuna! Throw that in as well.

My hubby would prefer I leave out the tuna… and probably the peas and carrots… and probably just skip the pasta all together and have bacon and waffles for supper instead.

But we can’t have waffles for every meal so sometimes he has to deal with the tuna.


Cook everything over medium heat until the pasta is tender, the sauce has thickened and everything is seriously gooey and delightful!

Sooooo yummy!


Find me the biggest bowl and fill it to the brim, this one will do just fine.


Delightful! It’s creamy with just enough, but not too much cheese.

Even my picky toddler ate a heaping bowlful! I should have taken a photo for evidence.

Enjoy my friends!



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