This instant pot tuna casserole is the perfect quick weeknight meal to make when you’re short on time. The whole cooking process is almost hands-off and takes under 30 minutes. To make this delicious comfort food casserole, you’ll need minimum ingredients, most of which come from the pantry.Jump to Recipe
Canned tuna. I like to get canned tuna in bulk from Costco; it’s wild albacore tuna packed in water by Wild Planet company, and it’s delicious.
Pasta. Choose your favorite kind; I used gluten-free elbow macaroni pasta made with brown rice for this recipe.
Peas. I used frozen peas left at room temperature for about 15 minutes, but fresh peas would also work.
Shredded Cheese. If possible, grate your cheese; it’s always tastier this way. I like to grate a large block of cheddar cheese from Costco.
Broth. Make sure you use a flavorful broth since it’s a key to having a delicious meal at the end. Chicken broth, beef broth, or vegetable broth would work the best for the flavor.
Mayo. When making tuna casserole with mayo, I like to get mayo made with avocado oil; it gives a creamy texture and adds a hint of zing.
Step 1. Gather the ingredients. Open canned tuna, drain and mince with the fork while still in the can. In the instant pot, add chicken broth, add dry uncooked pasta, add drained tuna mixture on top. Don’t stir.
Step 2. Place a lid on the instant pot, seal it and turn on high-pressure cook time for 4 minutes. Once time is up, and you hear the beeping sound, following the instant pot instructions do a manual quick release by turning the knob and safely releasing the air.
Step 3. Once the pressure is released, open, add mayo, spread cheese, and stir to combine.
Step 4. Add peas and gently stir one more time without crushing them. Garnish with dill, and add some crunchy toppings if desired before serving.
Avoid the burn. When making tuna casserole in an instant pot, add the chicken stock to the pot first before adding the rest of the ingredients. Don’t stir the mixture.
Keep it creamy. Don’t forget to use quality mayo and plenty of shredded cheese.
Flavor. The mayo adds enough salt to this easy tuna casserole; you might want to add more salt when tasting it at the end. If serving to adults, I like to add a tablespoon of Dijon mustard for an extra flavor kick.
More protein. If you would like to have more protein, add three cans of tuna instead.
Avoid too liquidy mixture. Ensure that pasta, broth, and protein rations are correct when making this recipe.
Storing. Store leftovers in the air-tight glass container in the fridge, reheat before serving.
There are many variations of the recipe for Instant Pot Tuna Casserole. You can add different ingredients to make it your own.
Some people like to add different spices and seasonings. You can also use different types of tuna, such as chunk light tuna, albacore tuna, or even canned salmon or canned chicken.
There are many possibilities, so feel free to experiment and see what you like best.
Give one or more of these additions a try the next time you make tuna casserole! Whatever additions you choose, they’re sure to take your tuna casserole to the next level:
To make it more nutritious, use pasta made from chickpeas, it’s widely available now, and you can even get it at Costco. You can also use Gluten-free pasta or gluten-free noodles. Or, if you want to make the instant pot tuna noodle casserole recipe, use wide egg noodles.
Some good side dishes to serve with tuna casserole include boiled or mashed potatoes, steamed vegetables, or a simple green salad.
You could also serve some bread, like dinner rolls or biscuits.
If you’re looking for something a little more indulgent, try serving garlic bread or cheesy garlic toast alongside your casserole.
This casserole is best enjoyed fresh, but you can store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge. The casserole will last in the fridge for up to three days.
The best way to reheat tuna casserole in the instant pot is by using the sauté function. Add a tablespoon of olive oil to the inner pot and set it to medium heat.
Once the oil is hot, add the casserole and cook it for 3-5 minutes; use a wooden spoon to stir occasionally. If the casserole is too thick, you can add some water or broth to thin it out. Serve hot!
Many herbs can be used in tuna noodle casserole, but some are the best options. Fresh parsley, thyme, and rosemary work well with the creamy sauce and tuna.
If you want to add extra flavor to the dish, consider using red pepper flakes, basil, dill, or even tarragon. These herbs will elevate the taste of your tuna noodle casserole and make it absolutely delicious.
Yes, you can freeze tuna casserole. Just make sure it is fully cooked before freezing and stored in an airtight container or freezer bag. It will keep in the freezer for up to 2 months.
To reheat, thaw the casserole in the refrigerator overnight and then reheat the following day.
One possible reason why tuna casserole is dry is that there are not enough liquids for the pasta to soak up, which will lead to a dry dish. To avoid this, make sure to use enough broth to cover the pasta.
I used a large 10-quart-sized Instant Pot. It’s the perfect family-friendly size.
Did you try this recipe? I love hearing from you! Don’t forget to rate and leave a comment below.
What a lovely surprize!! This is a keeper!!! And I dont say that often about internet recipes. I used Barilla Plus (high protein) penne pasta… and 4 cans of tuna because our cans were only 4.4 oz vs the old 5 oz size. and we like alot of tuna in ours. My broth was Sams Choice organic chicken broth and I used frozen mixed veggies – again – because thats what I had. This is absolutely delicious! Flavorful from the get go.. did I mention it was FAST?!?!?! This is going to be an oft used recipe from here on out — THANK YOU!!!!
I am so glad you liked it! Thank you for your kind words! This is my go-to recipe when life gets busy.
You stir in 2 cups of frozen peas right before serving the casserole? Surely that’s an error and you cooked them on the stove or something? Salt and pepper before cooking or after?
I add peas right after the casserole finishes cooking while the casserole is still hot. The peas are defrosted by that time and they add a fresh flavor to the casserole. I add salt and pepper after cooking, tasting it first since canned tuna, broth and mayo might have added enough salt already. Thank you for your questions! I hope you like it!
Do you have recommendations for using brown rice instead of noodles? Or do you think it wouldn’t work with that?
I needed something simple and fast, and this was perfect. I added a lot of onion powder, celery salt, garlic, and a garlic blend. We all loved it! I also added French fried onions on the top. I am going to try mushrooms next time too.