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Mediterranean Tuna-Noodle Casserole

Choose best-quality tuna that's packed in olive oil for this dish. Even after draining it, you'll get moister, richer results than if you used water-packed tuna.

  • prep: 35 mins
    total time: 55 mins
  • servings: 8
Photography: José Manuel Picayo Rivera

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup olive oil, plus more for baking dishes
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 pound wide egg noodles
  • 2 red bell peppers (ribs and seeds removed), thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 5 cups whole milk
  • 4 cans (6 ounces each) tuna in olive oil, drained
  • 1 can (14 ounces) artichoke hearts, drained and thickly sliced
  • 5 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan

Cook's Note

Prepare through step 3; cool to room temperature. Cover tightly with aluminum foil, and freeze up to three months.

To Bake from Frozen: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake, covered with foil, until center is warm, about 2 hours. Uncover, and bake until top is browned, about 20 minutes more.

To Bake from Thawed: Thaw overnight in refrigerator. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and bake, covered with foil, until center is warm, about 30 minutes. Uncover, and bake until top is browned, about 20 minutes more.

Directions

  1. Step 1

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly oil two 8-inch square (or other shallow 2-quart) baking dishes. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook noodles until 2 minutes short of al dente; drain, and return to pot.

  2. Step 2

    Meanwhile, in a 5-quart Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat oil over medium. Add bell peppers; season with salt and pepper. Cook until crisp-tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Add flour and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Gradually add milk, stirring until smooth. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture comes to a simmer.

  3. Step 3

    Remove from heat; add mixture to noodles in pot, along with tuna, artichoke hearts, and scallions. Season with salt and pepper, and toss. Divide between prepared baking dishes, and sprinkle with Parmesan. Bake until golden and bubbling, about 20 minutes.

Source
Everyday Food, October 2007

Reviews (64)

  • 21 Jan, 2014

    Delicious! I haven't made tuna casserole in over 10 years and have been looking for a good recipe. Loved the artichokes - gave it a great taste! I added a little celery while sautéing the red pepper & threw in a few frozen peas right before I put it in the oven. I cut the recipe in half for just the two of us & still have plenty leftover for lunch. My husband loved it!

  • 22 Oct, 2013

    I made this once and liked it, but when I decided to try it using Trader Joe's Lemon Pepper Pappardelle Pasta, it was absolutely outstanding!! If you are near a TJ's then get this pasta -- it makes all the difference in this dish -- the lemon flavor, combined with the tuna and artichoke, make this dish a standout. You'll see!!

  • 22 Oct, 2013

    I made this once and liked it, but when I decided to try it using Trader Joe's Lemon Pepper Pappardelle Pasta, it was absolutely outstanding!! If you are near a TJ's then get this pasta -- it make's all the difference in this dish -- the lemon flavor, combined with the tuna and artichoke, makes this dish a standout. You'll see!!

  • 4 Jan, 2012

    I loved this recipe. I've always been a fan of the idea of tuna casserole but honestly have never made one that I thought was interesting or even all that edible (including Joy of Cooking, America's Test Kitchen, etc). This is simple and delicious and definitely worth a try for anyone trying to find a good tuna casserole recipe!

  • 23 Oct, 2011

    We tried this recipe. My husband thought it was fine. All I could taste was flour, flour, flour, not the nice cream sauce for which I had hoped.

  • 27 Sep, 2011

    There's nothing Mediterranean about this recipe. It simply tastes like tuna with noodles and needs a lot of help. I added a Greek dressing, olives, and a whole lot more cheese to make it edible. I would not recommend this recipe.

  • 23 Jun, 2011

    Oh I also halved the recipe

  • 23 Jun, 2011

    This is awesome. Flavorful and light. A refreshing twist on an old standard. I modified slightly (no artichokes in the pantry): one can cannellini beans, one seeded and diced plum tomato (for acid), dash oregano, 6 small basil leaves shredded, dash garlic powder, dash seasoned salt, 1 cup lightly steamed, chopped swiss chard (cleaning the veggie drawer). topped with 1/4 c bread crumbs and parm cheese. My 4 year old even loved it.

  • 25 Apr, 2011

    This casserole was delicious! I think it could be equally good with chicken. I used the Whole Foods Market 365 Everyday 16 oz bag of wide egg noodles.

  • 11 Apr, 2011

    Made this last night. Best tuna noodle casserole I've ever had. Egg noodles seem to be sold only in 12 oz bags, not 16, so I used that. Otherwise used the exact ingredients. I made in a 9 x 13 pan and baked for 20 minutes. Delicious and not too heavy!

  • 11 Apr, 2011

    Enter Your Review...

  • 23 Oct, 2010

    This is one of my favorites! It's sooo easy. I only use half the noodles (half a lb.) and it still fills two dishes. Otherwise the casserole is too dry. I also added some olives... And I also suggest making this a day in advance, save it in the fridge and bake it the next day... This allows the flavors to spread through the sauce.

  • 27 Jun, 2010

    I just served this to 15 people and everyone LOVED it! The only thing I changed was adding some dill. If you make it for twelve (usual number of servings indicated is 8), it was a good amount for 15 women.

  • 22 Feb, 2010

    To save on the calories I think I'll make this as a cold dish, and skip the whole milk. The ingredients look terrific, and if I toss it in a good olive oil I think it will do the trick. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • 20 Feb, 2010

    My husband and I loved this dish. (we halved the recipe and there was plenty.) Very creamy - best tuna casserole ever. Comfort food. :)

  • 18 Feb, 2010

    This turned out great! I halved the recipe and we still had leftovers, there's only three of us. May try the full recipe and freeze the rest. And don't skimp on the parmesan! Get the good stuff, it's the best part.

  • 14 Dec, 2009

    I love this recipe. Has anyone tried it with chicken instead of tuna?

  • 6 Mar, 2009

    My boyfriend and I really enjoyed this dish. I didn't make any changes to the recipe but i did cut it in half.. 8 servings is too much for just 2 ppl. It turned out great..oh and I still used a whole small can of artichoke.

  • 3 Feb, 2009

    This was good, a great way to spice up tuna casserole which i make pretty often.
    I cut the recipe in half and made a few changes.. came out great! I used what I had in the kitchen (so no artichokes or scallions) just added a few extra red and yellow peppers, chives and regular tuna in water.
    I was surprised at how much salt and pepper it took to season to taste though... i ended up adding a pinch of parsley, thyme and white pepper too.
    Will definitely make this again! YUM

  • 11 Jan, 2009

    I thought this was excellent however I did tweak it a bit - instead of all water in the sauce I used half chicken stock, doubled the artichokes, added sliced Kalamata olives and chopped Italian parsley for great colour and even more flavour. Freeze half and it reheats beautifully. Regular tuna is just fine.

  • 6 Jan, 2009

    Another variation for cooks with an open mind is to add crumbled Lays salty potato chips to the top. This is so delicious this way! It sounds odd but my Grandmother made it this way. (If you are uncertain about trying the chips then just put them in one small area and try it). They don't burn so you can cook it the same way as the basic casserole. MMMM gooood.

  • 21 Nov, 2008

    Just made this and it turned out delicious! I checked the flavor of the sauce before mixing it with the noodles, adding extra salt and pepper. I also left out the scallions since my kids suffer from onion-aversion. It is a huge recipe, but I have a lot of mouths to feed so this is a nutritious and appealing dish. I will definitely make it again.

  • 12 Nov, 2008

    This was absoutely the best tuna casserole I've ever eaten! Next time I make this dish, I will try some fresh thyme with it. It is great to know there is something else to do in order to make tuna casserole other than the old standby! Not to impune it, but it is just nice to have something different!

  • 12 Nov, 2008

    It's great with black olives too!

  • 11 Nov, 2008

    I just made this last night, and it was really good. I was worried it would be too runny as I used 1% milk, but it was perfect. I also took others advice and tested the sauce/roux before adding the other ingredients. I seasoned with black pepper, white pepper, cayenne pepper a little thyme and a good amount of kosher salt. I also halved the recipe but still used the whole can of artichokes. I will definitely make again!

  • 7 Nov, 2008

    Makes 12 huge servings, not 8!
    Used water packed tuna in vacuum sealed package and 1 percent milk--still tasted great! Froze half like it suggests. Definitely will make again with twice the articokes since we love them. It is a little bit of a gourmet tuna casserole--nice for a change of pace and great comfort food.

  • 7 Nov, 2008

    I made this with water packed tuna, and it turned out well. Check prices to see if buying 2 larger cans of tuna would be less expensive than 4 smaller. You could definitely use diced onion instead of scallions. The artichoke hearts make it special.

  • 7 Nov, 2008

    I made this delicious casserole with 2 cans cream mushroom soup and 2% milk to make the 5 cups whole milk required. I also used 4 cans of tuna in water. I cooked one casserole dish for supper last night and froze the other for another day. My family really enjoyed it. Thanks Martha.

  • 5 Nov, 2008

    I prepared this meal last night but instead of canned tuna I used canned salmon..It came out very good!!...My husband enjoyed it so much that he couldn't stop eating =)
    Very good and easy recipe.

  • 5 Nov, 2008

    I am thinking of making this with canned chicken instead of tuna - has anyone tried it this way? Does it come out ok?

  • 5 Nov, 2008

    I love this dish. I have made it many times and just freeze the leftovers in individual portions to reheat for myself. I have tried it a couple different ways. I've used 2% milk and the sauce comes out just as thick and creamy as with whole. I've subbed Asiago for the Parm and I think it is much better that way. I also double the artichokes since I love them. I'd made it with LOTS of added vegetables -broccoli, peas, probably some other stuff.

  • 5 Nov, 2008

    I don't like bell peppers (especially cooked) so I did this with sun dried tomatoes. I also found the sauce to be very bland-- It took a LOT of salt, pepper and oregano to taste okay. No egg noodles for this expat in Holland, either, so I used egg pasta birds nests. It's a nice recipe!

  • 3 Nov, 2008

    Just made this tonight for dinner. (I halved it since there's just 2 of us) I used the tuna in oil and it was not overwhelming; just a touch of tuna in every bite. I also used marinated artichoke hearts like one user suggested - it was good. I did taste the sauce before adding to the noodles and it was very bland; so I added a lot of seasoned salt. Do make sure to taste it and add appropriate seasoning! Overall a nice creamy dinner; not amazing but good. We gave it a B!

  • 3 Nov, 2008

    The only issue I have with this recipe is using canned tuna in oil instead of water packed albacore - I seriously doubt I would even attempt this using oil packed tuna as it just sounds too fishy tasting. I like the idea of using artichoke hearts- would give a nice Mediterranean flavor. I'm going to try this recipe.

  • 3 Nov, 2008

    Has anyone made tuna casserole with fresh tuna? Canned fish/meats just don't agree with me.

  • 3 Nov, 2008

    Andrea - you can substitute frozen broccoli for the artichokes. Peas will work as well.

    And I still really like sauteed cherry tomatoes with black olives and garlic as a side dish to this. It provide a lot of color and flavor on the plate.

  • 3 Nov, 2008

    This is a good recipe but I take a short cut and used jarred Red Peppers, why do all the work when the jarred are inexpensive and the work is done. Also I like to add a can of green chilis and I also like the marinated artichokes vs. canned. Chopped celery and/or sliced water chesnuts add great crunch. My husband likes to top with this green tabasco sauce.

  • 3 Nov, 2008

    This is a good recipe but I take a short cut and used jarred Red Peppers, why do all the work when the jarred are inexpensive and the work is done. Also I like to add a can of green chilis and I also like the marinated artichokes vs. canned. Chopped celery and/or sliced water chesnuts add great crunch. My husband likes to top with this green tabasco sauce.

  • 3 Nov, 2008

    This sounds yucky. I add broccoli florets, chopped spinach, mushrooms, peas, cheddar and use condensed light cream of mushroom soup.

  • 3 Nov, 2008

    any suggestions for substituting or omitting the artichokes? TIA

  • 3 Nov, 2008

    This is pretty bland, but you will have plenty for leftovers. Any suggestions on how to give it some pep? Olives or red pepper?

  • 30 Oct, 2008

    My family is lactose intolerant - could i substitute the milk for soy milk or almond milk and is the parmesan necessary?
    I am going to make this non dairy, subbing plain soy milk. I think it should work.

  • 28 Oct, 2008

    My family is lactose intolerant - could i substitute the milk for soy milk or almond milk and is the parmesan necessary?

  • 23 Oct, 2008

    Very tasty. My husband is not a fan of tuna, but when he came home he said "mmm...something smells good!" He then joked that my "chicken casserole" looked a lot like tuna, but he gave it a try and really liked it! The artichokes are an especially nice touch. I used plain ol' chunk lite tuna in water, and halved the recipe to make just one dish (which is still 6 servings for us).

  • 22 Oct, 2008

    Great Recipe! I make this a lot and freeze it in baking dishes. I live in Spain so can sizes are different. I buy a very large can of tuna here and end up adding it all (more than the recipe calls for) and it is fine (a matter of personl preference I think). I often use 2% milk and it also works out fine and tend to puree the artichokes (to hide them from the kids!).

  • 22 Oct, 2008

    Four cans of tuna? Did anyone find it to be too much?

  • 12 Oct, 2008

    Great dish, and easy to prepare, and I have a couple of additional tips: First, you can extend the amount some with extra noodles as long as you don't mind it being less saucey. Second, I thought it needed more crunch and so I added two cans of sliced water chestnuts. Last, taste the sauce BEFORE you mix it with the noodles, and add your salt at that time. I heated up one half the night I prepared it, and the other half is in the freezer for later. (I can come home at lunch and put it in the oven on timed bake, and just broil off the top before putting on the table.)

  • 30 Sep, 2008

    This was my favorite comfort food last winter! ATwo suggestions for a side dish:
    sauteed cherry tomatoes with garlic, parsley and chopped olives
    sauteed broccoli with almonds and black olives

    Yummers!

  • 23 Jul, 2008

    What a nice tuna noodle casserole from scratch - much better than the usual can of cream of mushroom soup. I halved the recipe for my family. Loved the addition of the red pepper and artichokes. Definitely will make again.

  • 25 May, 2008

    This was an absolute hit!! I thought with the artichoke hearts it might alter the taste, but it didn't. It was delicious! Have made several times for my family....

  • 30 Apr, 2008

    I give this one at least 4 stars! Doubled the recipe as recommended, and have one in the freezer for a busy day's end meal. I liked it as was, but might try adding some peas and/or black olives the next time. I also like knowing how long to reheat it when frozen, or when having it in the refrigerator overnight. I hate having to guess at the time! And by the way, esagman, I did not have a thick paste when adding the milk. The texture of the sauce was great!

  • 25 Apr, 2008

    2 STARS This recipe took me an hour to prepare instead of the stated 35 mins. I absolutely love tuna casserole and I hoped this would be a great dish. I was very disappointed with the boring, lack of flavor. The artichokes get lost. Wish I had put more red pepper to bring out some flavor and I would have added frozen peas too. It was a real headache when adding the milk to the red pepper/flour/oil mixture. The mixture was like thick paste. Would not use the recipe again.

  • 18 Apr, 2008

    We loved this. I added some black olives and next time I may add some peas. My husband kept telling me all through the meal how much he liked it. I agree - it is a large recipe and I'm glad I halfed it.

  • 11 Apr, 2008

    So glad everyone seemed to enjoy it. Clairelovie, when it says through step 3 it means to the end of step 3; hope that helps!
    Best,
    Sandy

  • 27 Mar, 2008

    Delicious and easy to make. Beats the ol' recipe of using a can of mushroom soup, that's for sure! This made-from-scratch take with its Mediterranean twist is fresh and quite pleasing. My guests asked for the recipe. I cut the recipe in half and still had enough to feed five. Very enjoyable!

  • 7 Mar, 2008

    This was excellent! Easily made enough to serve two dinners. The frozen one was delicious, even better than the first one.

  • 12 Feb, 2008

    By the way, the dish was really good and since it's just my husband I, we had quite a bit of leftovers too!

  • 12 Feb, 2008

    It looks as though it means if you intend on freezing it right away, prepare entire dish, place it in the oven for 20 min. and then wait for it to cool down to room temperature. After it cools, go to the instructions for freezing the dish.

  • 11 Feb, 2008

    Hi, this recipe sounds and looks delicious, but can anyone help me with the terminology. I am from the UK. When the instructions say to 'Prepare through step 3; cool to room temperature.' does this mean to complete all of step 3 or just prepare up to step 3? thanks in advance for any help

  • 11 Feb, 2008

    Hi, this recipe sounds and looks delicious, but can anyone help me with the terminology. I am from the UK. When the instructions say to 'Prepare through step 3; cool to room temperature.' does this mean to complete all of step 3 or just prepare up to step 3? thanks in advance for any help

  • 16 Jan, 2008

    My family really enjoyed this. it was moist and simply DELICIOUS without leaving you with a heavy feeling. i added a bit of garlic to my ish and it just ADDED more flavour.

  • 27 Nov, 2007

    Really enjoyed this. Loved the flavour of the bell pepper and artichoke hearts combined. I didn't have wide egg noodles so I used rotini instead, cooked al dente. I also used 1% instead of whole milk and it still had a rich taste, most likely because of using the tuna in oil. This is a great dish if you want
    leftovers to freeze or pack for lunch. I can see making this dish for company as well.

  • 15 Nov, 2007

    I don't really like the classic tuna casserole, but was drawn to this in Everyday Food because of the picture and because of the artichokes. This is now part of my repertoire.

  • 10 Nov, 2007

    GREAT RECIPE! So much better than those using canned cream soup. I didn't have any peppers, so I used brown onion instead.
    Thank you!