Do you need a new menu for dinner that isn't super difficult but the whole family will love? I make tuna casserole for my daycare kids and they love it!

Easy Tuna Casserole Recipe

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This easy tuna casserole made from scratch is buttery, comforting, and really delicious! My daycare kids love it and your family will too. And anything I can make with canned tuna saves me time and money!

easy tuna casserole in pioneer woman casserole dish

Don’t you just love comfort food? Warm, creamy dishes that stick to your ribs are so satisfying. Something about it just makes you feel so nourished. This casserole is a great one.

I hear lots of providers and parents say, my kids aren’t big fans of tuna, but this is one of my most popular dishes. I recommend it hands down! If you are skeptical, give it a try. I love watching my kids laugh and talk to each other as they happily munch along on a delicious pasta dish. 

tuna casserole and cucumbers on a plate for lunch

Tuna casserole from scratch

I love making homemade meals from scratch for my kids. Knowing what goes into their food. I love being able to choose healthy ingredients for them to eat is important to me. Many casseroles and other meals call for “cream of” soups, but those are full of chemicals that aren’t good for our bodies.

Tuna casserole with sour cream

This dish has that creamy texture with whole food ingredients so you know what your kids (and you) are eating. Check out my ultimate guide to making your own “hamburger helper” type meals. There are tons of easy dishes in there.

In this casserole, you can taste the buttery, crispy crackers. They flavor the whole dish. That extra crunch gives it something special that pleases everyone. Like I said before, it’s one of the dishes the kids eat best.

I like to do all the cooking in one pot. For this dish, you can cook your pasta, dump it into the colander to drain, and use the same pot to make the sauce. Then you don’t have to wash two pots. While the casserole is baking, you can wash out the colander and the cooking pot and have fewer dishes to wash after the meal. How’s that for an easy dinner idea?

tuna casserole ingredients on a cutting board, sour cream, chopped onions, grated parmesan, dried dill, and frozen peas
tuna casserole ingredients ina pan ready to mix

Pioneer Woman Casserole Dish

I love watching the Pioneer Woman on Food Network and a few months ago I got to go see her for my birthday. She has her new Mercantile open in Pawhuska, Oklahoma. It’s only a few hours away from where I live. It was super fun to meet her. I met Ladd and Paige too. Click here for more on our trip. 

My friend Cindy gave me the Pioneer Woman casserole dish and carrier for my birthday so I took it up there and had her sign it. Now we are best friends. Pretty soon I’ll probably be on her show. Especially after she sees my tuna casserole recipe. Tee hee. (Ree is always asking for my recipes, wink wink)

Anyway, I used my new Pioneer Woman casserole dish for my buttery tuna casserole. She’ll probably ask me to co-author the Pioneer Woman tuna casserole because of all my brilliance. 

Pioneer Woman casserole dish and carrier

There are a million variations you could make from this meal, so tweak it to what you like. If you don’t like tuna, used canned chicken, or roast up a whole chicken and use a couple of cups of meat from that.

If you want to use whole wheat noodles to add more nutrition, go right ahead. Or, if you want to add more veggies, or something different, that’s fine too. Be creative and make it work for you! Here are a ton more pasta dish variations.

Tuna casserole baked and ready to eat in Pioneer Woman casserole dish

Buttery, Comforting Tuna Casserole from scratch

Buttery, Comforting Tuna Casserole Made with Real Food
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Easy Tuna Casserole from Scratch

Buttery, Comforting Tuna Casserole Made with Real Food
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time35 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: pioneer woman casserole dish, tuna casserole
Servings: 8
Author: Christina


  • 2 T. Butter
  • 1 Onion Diced
  • 2 T. Flour
  • 1/2 C. Sour Cream
  • 3/4 C. Milk
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1/2 tsp. Pepper
  • 2 tsp. Dill
  • 1/4 C. Shredded Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 bag Frozen Peas
  • 1 pound Pasta Any shape you like, for daycare, I prefer smaller noodles to longer ones
  • 1 Lg. Can Tuna Drained
  • 8-10 Buttery Crackers Crushed


  • Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and set aside. 
  • Use same pan. Put in butter and onion and cook until tender.
  • Add flour and stir until flour is slightly browned. 
  • Add sour cream, milk, salt, pepper and dill.
  • Cook and stir until thick and bubbly. You can add pasta water or more milk if it’s too thick.
  • Add frozen peas, Parmesan cheese (any other cheese you may want to add) and tuna.
  • Stir ingredients together and dump into a casserole dish. 
  • Top with crushed crackers and bake at 350 until crackers are crunchy. (10-15 minutes)

For more daycare lunch ideas that meet food program requirements, check this out. 

And if you’re just looking for a quick dinner idea for kids, check this out.

Easy Tuna Casserole Recipe

For more tuna ideas, check this out:

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  1. My family does not like tuna casserole so I substituted chicken in place of the tuna. I also sprinkled panko bread crumbs on top and baked at 350 for about 30 mins. It was delicious. I may even try it someday using tuna who knows it may be the first tuna casserole my family will eat.