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Tuna Noodle Casserole For One

This wonderful tuna noodle casserole is made with a rich and creamy homemade sauce, noodles, and just 1 can of tuna. It's the ultimate single serving comfort food!

Tuna casserole in a small bowl on 
a wooden table with two cans of tuna and a vase of flowers in the background

When I was growing up, tuna casserole was a meal my mom made often. It was simple, inexpensive, and it was a meal my mom could make quickly.

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Why I Love This Recipe

My mother's version of tuna casserole was made with canned tuna, canned cream of mushroom soup and noodles.

My version of tuna casserole is just as easy but I don't use canned soup. Instead I make a creamy sauce which is a buttery blend of onions, cream, milk, nutmeg, garlic powder and thyme.

The sauce takes just minutes to make and tastes incredible. So worth the extra few minutes of stirring on the stove. It's creamy, savory, and cheesy.

This mini tuna casserole has all the flavors I've always loved in a tuna casserole, including a crisp buttery topping.

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An overhead view of a small bowl of tuna noodle casserole

Ingredient Notes

See recipe box below for ingredient amounts and full recipe instructions.

  • Pasta: I use 1/2 cup of dried elbow macaroni in this tuna casserole recipe. When cooked, this amount yields 1 cup of cooked pasta.
  • Butter: Salted butter is used to cook the onions in and to help to make the roux for the sauce. You will also use a little melted butter for the tuna casserole topping.
  • Onions: Use 1/4 cup of chopped onions.
  • Flour: Use all-purpose flour to thicken the sauce.
  • Seasonings: Dried thyme, garlic powder, nutmeg, salt and black pepper.
  • Milk: Use any percentage of cow's milk.
  • Heavy cream: This ingredient helps to thicken the sauce and makes it extra rich.
  • Lemon juice: You can use either freshly squeezed or bottled lemon juice.
  • Cheese: For best results, use freshly shredded cheddar cheese and freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
  • Canned tuna: Be sure to drain the water or oil from the can of tuna.
  • Breadcrumbs: Use store-bought or homemade breadcrumbs for the topping.

See ways to use leftover ingredients below.

How To Make This Recipe

  1. Make the sauce.
  2. Pour the sauce into a large bowl and stir in a can of drained tuna and 1 cup of cooked noodles.
  3. Spoon the tuna and noodle mixture into a small baking dish such as a ramekin, top it with bread crumbs and melted butter, then bake it for 20 minutes.
A closeup of a spoonful of tuna casserole in a small bowl

Expert Tips

  • Feel free to use a different type of pasta with this tuna casserole recipe. I recommend using small shaped pasta. Use regular, whole wheat, or gluten free pasta.
  • You might like to add in 1/2 cup of frozen peas to your tuna casserole. Add them when the sauce is simmering.
  • I love using sharp cheddar cheese but you might like to consider using smoked Gruyere, fontina, or even sharp white cheddar for a different flavor.

Serving Suggestions

You might like to enjoy your tuna noodle casserole with any of these single serving side dishes:

Frequently Asked Questions

Can This Tuna Noodle Casserole Be Doubled?

Yes, you can double the ingredients in this recipe to make two casseroles. Divide it between two ramekins or bake in a small baking dish.

What Size Dish Do You Use For A Tuna Noodle Casserole For One?

I use a 2-cup ramekin or a 5-inch oven safe baking dish for this tuna casserole recipe. For best results, use a baking dish of a similar size.
For more information on the cooking and baking dishes I use in our “recipes for one”, please visit our FAQ page.
Examples of the dishes I use at One Dish Kitchen can be found on our Store page.

Ways To Use Leftover Ingredients

If you have any ingredients left over from this tuna noodle casserole recipe, you might like to consider using them in any of these single serving and small batch recipes:

RELATED:  15 Easy Single Serving Dessert Recipes

If you’ve tried this tuna noodle casserole recipe or any recipe on One Dish Kitchen please let me know how you liked it by rating the recipe and telling me about it in the comment section below.

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Tuna Noodle Casserole

Tuna Noodle Casserole For One

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Main Dish
Keywords: casserole, tuna casserole, tuna noodle casserole
Servings: 1 serving
Calories: 911kcal
Author: Joanie Zisk

Ingredients

  • ½ cup uncooked elbow macaroni (1 cup cooked)
  • 1 tablespoon salted butter
  • ¼ cup chopped onions
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  • teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ cup milk
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 5 ounce can tuna , drained
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon salted butter , melted

Instructions

  • Heat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C).
  • Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  • Spray the inside of an oven safe ramekin or small baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
  • Melt the butter in a small saucepan set to medium heat. Add the onions and stir until softened, about 4 minutes.
  • Stir in the flour, salt, pepper, nutmeg, thyme, and garlic powder to the pot and cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute.
  • Whisk in the milk, cream, and lemon juice and simmer sauce, whisking occasionally, until thickened, about 5 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and stir in cheeses.
  • Put the tuna in a large bowl, stir in the sauce and the cooked pasta. Mix well.
  • Pour into the prepared ramekin.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the bread crumbs and the melted butter. Sprinkle over top of tuna casserole.
  • Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until topping is golden.

Notes

Expert Tips
  • Feel free to use a different type of pasta with this tuna casserole recipe. I recommend using small shaped pasta. Use regular, whole wheat, or gluten free pasta.
  • You might like to add in 1/2 cup of frozen peas to your tuna casserole. Add them when the sauce is simmering.
  • I love using sharp cheddar cheese but you might like to consider using smoked Gruyere, fontina, or even sharp white cheddar for a different flavor.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 911kcal | Carbohydrates: 63g | Protein: 68g | Fat: 62g | Saturated Fat: 37g | Cholesterol: 241mg | Sodium: 1554mg | Potassium: 759mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 2315IU | Vitamin C: 4.9mg | Calcium: 958mg | Iron: 5.2mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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