Today’s Instant Pot tuna casserole recipe will bring a comforting and heart-warming meal to your table in 30 minutes. Thanks to the high-pressure cooking method, the pronounced flavors that we know and love can now be brought to life more quickly and easily than ever before.
What Is a Tuna Casserole?
Tuna casserole is a classic casserole that originated in the Pacific Northwest. It’s a warm and fulfilling pasta dish made of flaky tuna, creamy, melted cheese, and a savory sauce base.
Today’s Instant Pot version of this well-loved delicacy is fool-proof, effortless, and requires no preheating. Everything cooks together in one pot, making the after-meal clean-up easier and less messy.
Each serving of this Instant Pot tuna noodle casserole recipe contains 468 calories. We also managed to keep the carbohydrate, sodium, and fat contents aligned to our healthy eating guidelines.
Tuna Casserole Ingredients
Tuna: For today’s recipe, we use canned tuna in oil. Either canned or fresh tuna will work well for this recipe.
Tagliatelle pasta: Long, slim-tubed pasta that’s easily twirled on a fork.
Heavy cream, whole milk, and cheddar cheese: For creaminess. To make this dish dairy-free, you can swap these ingredients with coconut milk or cashew nut cream.
Carrots, mushroom, green peas, and onion: Tailor this a mix to your personal choice. Feel free to opt for any vegetable that suits your liking.
Olive oil and unsalted butter: To sauté the veggies and wake up their flavors.
Unsalted chicken broth and lemon juice: To enrich the pasta and lend the dish extra depth.
Garlic, salt, thyme, paprika, Dijon mustard, and ground black pepper: For diverse and captivating aromas.
Parsley: For garnishing. There are also other choices for toppings such as crunchy potato chips, bread crumbs, or any grated/crumbled cheese. Beware that extra toppings will probably add on to the total calorie count.
Best Types of Noodles for This Dish
Pasta comes in so many sizes and shapes, so we can’t possibly say which style is the best for this dish. It totally depends on your preference.
If you feel like trying egg noodles or gluten-free pasta (the type that’s made from legumes), please keep in mind that these varieties are more delicate than regular pastas. If either of them is used, you may need to reduce the pressure cooking time by a minute or two.
The leftover tuna casserole can be put into airtight containers so it’ll last for up to 3 days in the fridge.
You can also freeze the leftover portions for up to 3-4 months. Put them in freezer-safe containers or Zip-loc bags after they’ve cooled down to room temperature, then place in the freezer.
To reheat, first thaw the frozen portions in the fridge overnight so that when reheated, the casserole can cook all the way through without leaving rugged, cold spots.
On the day of serving, pop the portions in the microwave or the oven to warm them up. We suggest wrapping them in aluminum foil before popping in the oven to lock moisture inside and prevent dryness.
You can also reheat tuna casserole in the Instant Pot. Add the portions back to the pot together with a little milk or broth and cook on the “Meat/Stew” setting for a few minutes. Stir constantly until the liquid thickens and everything is well combined.
We believe tuna casserole is best enjoyed with a vegetable salad and a refreshing juice on the side. Here’s how we incorporate this dish into a full, square meal:
Beet and Feta Cheese Salad
This beet and feta cheese salad recipe can be whipped up with just a few simple ingredients. Its earthy, fresh flavors from the beetroot and creamy, tangy crumbles of feta cheese make it a perfect companion to the savory, rich tuna casserole.
Pineapple Celery Juice
Pineapple celery juice is a low-calorie beverage that’s packed with delicious summer flavors. Cucumber and lime provide extra potassium and vitamin C to lend this drink a super vibrant and pleasant taste.
Today's Instant Pot tuna casserole recipe will bring a comforting and heart-warming meal to your table in 30 minutes. Thanks to the high-pressure cooking method, the pronounced flavors that we know and love can now be brought to life more quickly and easily than ever before.
Turn on the Sauté setting on the Instant Pot. Sauté 2 oz onion, 1 tbsp garlic, and 2 oz carrots in 1 tbsp olive oil and 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter for 2 minutes. Stir occasionally until the onion starts to turn translucent.
Add 8 oz mushroom. Sauté for 3 minutes.
Add 6 oz tuna, 4 oz green peas, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp thyme, 1/2 tsp ground black pepper, 1/4 tsp paprika, 2 tsp Dijon mustard, and 1 tsp lemon juice. Stir.
Add 6 oz tagliatelle pasta, 1/4 cup whole milk, and 1 1/2 cup unsalted chicken broth. Stir.
Close the lid and set the steam release valve to the sealing position. Cook on the “Meat/Stew” setting for 10 minutes.
When the timer is up, open the lid, and turn the steam release valve to the venting position to perform a quick-release of the steam. Stir 4 tbsp heavy cream and 2 oz cheddar cheese into the Instant Pot.
Take the pot out. Divide the tuna casserole into serving portions and sprinkle 2 tbsp freshly chopped parsley on top. Serve hot with a side dish of choice.
Instant Pot Tuna Casserole
Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
Calories 468Calories from Fat 198
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 9g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 9g
Vitamin A 3220IU
Vitamin C 12mg
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tuyet Pham is an award-winning Saigonese chef who believes that joy is the secret ingredient to delicious food. At Healthy Recipes 101, Tuyet personally tests and simplifies every recipe, ensuring maximum flavor with minimal effort. With a background at prestigious French restaurants P’TI Saigon and Le Corto, Tuyet knows how to make every dish exceptional.
Luna Regina is an accomplished writer and author who dedicates her career to empowering home cooks and making cooking effortless for everyone. She is the founder of HealthyKitchen101.com and HealthyRecipes101.com, where she works with her team to develop easy, nutritious recipes and help aspiring cooks choose the right kitchen appliances.
Lizzie Streit is a Minneapolis-based dietitian and founder of It’s a Veg World After All. She completed her MS in Human Nutrition from Drexel University, and is an expert in culinary nutrition, recipe development, and nutrition communications. Lizzie’s philosophy is centered around making nutrition recommendations, and especially the advice to eat more vegetables, approachable and realistic. She is excited to be working with the team at Healthy Recipes 101 to ensure that their recipes are both nutritious and delicious.
A quick and easy dinner option that's also delicious and healthy! Perfect for busy weeknights.