Cheesy Tuna Casserole – A Tuna Casserole Without Canned Soup

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Cheesy Tuna Casserole is the perfect combination of elbow macaroni, mixed vegetables and Velveeta cheese.  The only thing missing is cream soup.  This version is a tuna casserole without canned soup, made from scratch.

Check out the cheesy goodness of this tuna casserole.  Tuna Casserole with Velveeta results in a ooey gooey casserole that’s a hit with kids.

I love how this is a tuna casserole with elbow macaroni which is also big with kids, well with my kids anyways.

Cheesy Tuna Casserole

Making a tuna casserole from scratch means no canned soup or no cream of mushroom soup. This comes in handy when you are searching the back of the cabinet to grab the canned soup, but lo and behold, there’s none.

What do you do now when you were planning on making tuna casserole for dinner?  You make this homemade tuna casserole instead, and it’s just as easy.

Tuna Casserole with Velveeta

Now, I’ve been making our Mom’s Tuna Casserole for ever and ever. And it’s amazing. Mom’s version uses cream soup and then it’s topped with potato chips.  It’s a cult classic.

But I also can appreciate this Tuna Casserole with Velveeta recipe that I found in my Amish Cooking Cook Book. My kids love anything topped with Velveeta even if it has vegetables and tuna.

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Cheesy Tuna Casserole Ingredients

Elbow Macaroni

Frozen Mixed Vegetables (carrots, peas or a blend)

Butter

Onions

Flour

Dry Mustard

Salt

Black Pepper

Milk

Canned tuna, drained

Velveeta (Cheese Melt)

How to Make Tuna Casserole from Scratch without Canned Soup

For the full ingredient amounts and steps for homemade tuna casserole, scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

  1. Cook elbow macaroni and frozen mixed vegetables for approximately 7 minutes or until partially cooked; drain well.
  2. In a large skillet, melt butter and sauté onions until softened.
  3. Add flour, dry mustard, salt and pepper and stir until combined.
  4. Slowly add milk to the flour mixture, bringing to a gentle simmer. Let cook until thickened.
  5. Stir in drained tuna and cooked pasta and vegetables.
  6. Pour into a greased baking dish.
  7. Top with slices of Velveeta cheese.
  8. Bake in preheated 350 degree F oven for 20 minutes; smearing the Velveeta to cover the entire dish after about 12 minutes.

Why is my tuna casserole dry?

If you are suffering from dry tuna casserole, here are a couple helpful hints for a tastier, more moist casserole.

First off, do not drain all the liquid off the tuna. Leaving a little of the tuna juices helps add more flavor and moisture.  Secondly, you may be adding too much pasta or noodles and not enough liquids. Be sure to use a liquid measuring cup for measuring liquids and a solid measuring cup for non-liquid ingredients.

Notes About Tuna Casserole without Canned Soup:

  • Do not drain all the liquid from the tuna; be sure to leave a little of the juices with the tuna to help keep a moist and flavorful cheesy tuna casserole.
  • Measure the 1 cup elbow macaroni while it’s uncooked.
  • There’s no need to thaw the frozen vegetables.
  • Use peas, carrots or your favorite mixed vegetable blend. I often use a peas, carrots, green beans and corn blend.
  • I cook the elbow macaroni and the frozen veggies in the same boiling water.  Cook them partially, approximately 7 minutes. This allows it to finish cooking in the oven.
  • Don’t worry if your thin slices of Velveeta look a little sloppy when you put it in the oven. Once the Velveeta starts to melt, you can spread it out evenly and return it to the oven.
  • Check out our Amazon Store for some of our favorite pantry items and other kitchen goodies.

Tuna Dinner Ideas

Macaroni and Cheese with Tuna

Tuna Macaroni and Cheese is a quick, stove top dinner that can be made from pantry staples.  The extra cheesy tuna mac goodness will satisfy everyone in your house.

Tuna Pasta Salad

Tuna Pasta Salad is an Old Fashioned Macaroni Salad with Tuna that has frozen peas, albacore tuna and cheddar cheese cubes. It's simplicity can be deceiving since it packs a punch of flavor that is perfect for your summer dinner table. 

Open Faced Tuna Melts

Open Faced Tuna Melts are a classic tuna melt recipe that's quick to make and extremely easy on the wallet. And, kids and adults love them!

Tuna Salad Coneys

These Tuna Salad Coneys take a classic we all know and turn it into a hot, cheesy sandwich that is full of flavor.

Tuna Melt Turnovers

Tuna Melt Turnovers are a new spin on the classic tuna melt. Canned biscuit dough is filled with a mixture of tuna, mayonnaise, celery and cheese--all the ingredients of that tried and true tuna melt recipe. The result is an easy, portable meal on the go.

BBQ Tuna

 

Cheesy Tuna Casserole - A Tuna Casserole Without Canned Soup

Cheesy Tuna Casserole is the perfect combination of elbow macaroni, mixed vegetables and Velveeta cheese.  The only thing missing is cream soup.  This version is a tuna casserole without canned soup, made from scratch.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Casserole, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cheesy tuna casserole, homemade tuna casserole, tuna casserole, tuna casserole without canned soup
Servings: 8 people
Author: Barbara

Ingredients

  • 1 cup uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 12 ounces frozen mixed vegetables (small diced)
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 2 1/2 Tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 10 ounces canned tuna, partially drained
  • 2 cups milk
  • 6-8 slices Velveeta, sliced thin

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray an 8 x 8 inch or 2 1/2 quart baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Cook macaroni and frozen vegetables in boiling water until partially cooked, approximately 7 minutes. Drain well.
    Cheesy Tuna Casserole is the perfect combination of elbow macaroni, mixed vegetables and Velveeta cheese.  The only thing missing is cream soup.  This version is a tuna casserole without canned soup, made from scratch.
  • In a large skillet, brown onions in butter until softened.
    Cheesy Tuna Casserole is the perfect combination of elbow macaroni, mixed vegetables and Velveeta cheese.  The only thing missing is cream soup.  This version is a tuna casserole without canned soup, made from scratch.
  • Whisk in flour, dry mustard, salt and pepper.
    Cheesy Tuna Casserole is the perfect combination of elbow macaroni, mixed vegetables and Velveeta cheese.  The only thing missing is cream soup.  This version is a tuna casserole without canned soup, made from scratch.
  • Slowly add in milk, bringing it to a slow simmer until thickened.
    Cheesy Tuna Casserole is the perfect combination of elbow macaroni, mixed vegetables and Velveeta cheese.  The only thing missing is cream soup.  This version is a tuna casserole without canned soup, made from scratch.
  • Stir in tuna and cooked macaroni and vegetables.
    Cheesy Tuna Casserole is the perfect combination of elbow macaroni, mixed vegetables and Velveeta cheese.  The only thing missing is cream soup.  This version is a tuna casserole without canned soup, made from scratch.
  • Pour into prepared dish.
    Cheesy Tuna Casserole is the perfect combination of elbow macaroni, mixed vegetables and Velveeta cheese.  The only thing missing is cream soup.  This version is a tuna casserole without canned soup, made from scratch.
  • Top with thin slices of Velveeta or cheese melt.
    Cheesy Tuna Casserole is the perfect combination of elbow macaroni, mixed vegetables and Velveeta cheese.  The only thing missing is cream soup.  This version is a tuna casserole without canned soup, made from scratch.
  • Cook for approximately 20 minutes or until hot and bubbly. The Velveeta can be smeared across the entire casserole once it starts melting, approximately 12 minutes into the baking time.
    Cheesy Tuna Casserole is the perfect combination of elbow macaroni, mixed vegetables and Velveeta cheese.  The only thing missing is cream soup.  This version is a tuna casserole without canned soup, made from scratch.

Notes

  • Do not drain all the liquid from the tuna; be sure to leave a little of the juices with the tuna to help keep a moist and flavorful cheesy tuna casserole.
  • Measure the 1 cup elbow macaroni while it's uncooked.
  • There's no need to thaw the frozen vegetables.
  • Use peas, carrots or your favorite mixed vegetable blend. I often use a peas, carrots, green beans and corn blend. 
  • I cook the elbow macaroni and the frozen veggies in the same boiling water.  Cook them partially, approximately 7 minutes. This allows it to finish cooking in the oven.
  • Don't worry if your thin slices of Velveeta look a little sloppy when you put it in the oven. Once the Velveeta starts to melt, you can spread it out evenly and return it to the oven. 
  • If you're looking for an old school tuna casserole recipe topped with potato chips, try Mom's Tuna Casserole

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