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.
Is This Instant Pot Tuna Casserole Healthy?
Yes, it is.
Tuna is naturally rich in omega-3 fats and B vitamins. Together with mushrooms and green peas, it adds lean protein and fat to the casserole.
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.
For more casserole recipe ideas, have a look at our healthy and delicious casserole roundup. If you’re a big fan of Instant Pot, this Instant Pot breakfast roundup might be of help.
How to Make Tuna Casserole in the Instant Pot
This tuna casserole is ready to serve hot within just 30 minutes of pressure cooking. Follow these 7 simple steps:
Sauté onion, garlic, and carrots in heated olive oil and butter.
Add green peas and tuna along with the spices.
Add pasta, whole milk, and chicken broth.
Cook on the “Meat/Stew” setting.
Perform a quick-release of the steam. Add heavy cream and cheddar cheese.
Divide the tuna casserole into serving portions. Sprinkle parsley on top and serve hot.
How to Store and Reheat Leftover Tuna Casserole
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.
If you want more tuna dishes, feel free to try our traditional classic tuna noodle casserole recipe versions.
What to Serve With Instant Pot Tuna Casserole
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.
If this dish is of interest to you, you may also find this Ground beef casserole recipe helpful. Or, simply have a look at our best instant pot dinner roundup for more instant pot ideas.
Instant Pot Tuna Casserole Recipe
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.
- cook TIME 25 mins
- prep TIME 5 mins
- total TIME 30 mins
- COURSE Main Course
- CUISINE American
- SERVINGS servings
- CALORIES 468 kcal
- 6 ozlow sodium canned light tuna (drained)
- 2 ozyellow onion (diced)
- 1 tbspgarlic (minced)
- 2 ozcarrots (diced)
- 1 tbspolive oil
- 0.5 tbspunsalted butter
- 8 ozmushroom (sliced)
- 4 ozgreen peas
- 0.5 tspsalt
- 0.5 tspthyme (chopped)
- 0.5 tspground black pepper
- 0.3 tsppaprika
- 2 tsptraditional Dijon mustard
- 1 tsplemon juice
- 6 oztagliatelle pasta (dry)
- 0.3 cupwhole milk
- 1.5 cupunsalted chicken broth
- 4 tbspsheavy cream
- 2 ozgrated cheddar cheese
- 2 tbspparsley (chopped)
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 1.5 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 tbsps 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.