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Instant Pot Tuna Casserole

A Creamy and Delicious Tuna Noodle Casserole That’s Ready in No Time

This super easy Instant Pot Tuna Casserole is creamy and so incredibly tasty! Egg noodles, tuna, and peas covered in a deliciously creamy homemade sauce with just the right seasonings will make this recipe for tuna noodle casserole a family favorite. The crunchy potato chip topping is the perfect finishing touch to this easy and delicious family meal.

instant pot tuna casserole bowl
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I’m excited to share this Instant Pot Tuna Casserole recipe with you. Tuna noodle casserole is one of those things most people grew up on! I wasn’t lucky enough to grow up on it but I’ve loved it since I tried it in my 20s! I tried to keep this recipe as homey and comforting as possible. It’s super easy to make and you won’t believe how delicious it is!

Making Pasta in the Instant Pot

If you haven’t tried making pasta recipes in the Instant Pot, you are missing out! It is incredibly easy and the cleanup is a breeze. See, there’s no need to drain the pasta so when you’re done, you only have one pot to clean up. With a family of 7, easy cleanup is key in my book.

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Save this Instant Pot recipe for later.

instant pot tuna casserole with no soup
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If you’re scared of a starchy mess when you release the pressure, I have a trick for mess-free pasta in the Instant Pot. This is for when you’re making plain pasta for things like mac and cheese. So, after making this Instant Pot Tuna Casserole, try one of my other Easy Instant Pot Pasta Recipes and fall in love with making pasta in your pressure cooker!

Using the CrispLid or Oven to Finish it Off

My recipe for Instant Pot Tuna Noodle Casserole has a crispy potato chip topping. It’s the perfect finishing touch! You can, of course, transfer the tuna casserole to a baking dish and crisp the potato chips in the oven. The second way to crisp the topping is to use the Mealthy CrispLid.

tuna casserole with crispy potato chip topping
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If you don’t already know what it is or what it can do, you can see my review on the CrispLid. If you don’t have one, you can purchase it on the Mealthy website and use my code ONEHAPPYHOUSEWIFE to get $10 off!

The CrispLid turns your pressure cooker into an air fryer and broiler. It makes it easy to make the tuna casserole in the Instant Pot and then simply unplug your pot, and use your CrispLid to crisp the potato chip topping to your liking. Works great to brown cheese on pasta as well.

Kitchen Prep Tools, Utensils & Appliances

Here is a list of the kitchen prep tools, utensils, and appliances I used to make this recipe.

Appliances & Cookware

I used my 8-quart Instant Pot for this casserole but it’s also perfect for a 6-quart Pressure Cooker. For the crispy topping, I used the Mealthy CrispLid.

Prep Tools & Utensils

When you’re ready to make this delicious comfort dish, these are the items you’ll need:

Electric Pressure Cooker Accessories

Make sure to check out my post on Must-Have Electric Pressure Cooker Accessories. You’ll find a complete list of all the top accessories that can be used with your electric pressure cooker.

How to Make Tuna Noodle Casserole in the Instant Pot

Let’s get started making this easy and delicious Instant Pot Tuna Casserole recipe. Start by setting out your frozen peas. If you put them in water they’ll thaw faster.

Prepare the Cream Sauce

Next, you’ll prepare the cream sauce. First, add the flour into the heavy cream and whisk until smooth. Then add the Better than Bouillon to the cream and mix it well. Lastly, add the evaporated milk slowly mixing as you go until you have a smooth sauce. Set the cream sauce aside for now.

tuna casserole in the instant pot
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Sauté the Onion and Celery

Push the Sauté button on your Instant Pot and adjust the heat level to Normal. When the digital display reads Hot, add a tablespoon of butter to the pot and allow it to melt. Then add the onions and celery to the pot and toss them in the butter. Sauté them for a few minutes until the onion is soft.

Add the Stock, Salt, and Pepper

Once the onion is soft, cancel out of the Sauté function. Add the chicken stock, salt, and pepper to the pot and deglaze the bottom of the liner by scraping the bottom with a wooden spoon or spatula.

a white bowl of instant pot tuna casserole with an instant pot in the background
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Add the Noodles and Tuna

Now add the egg noodles to the pot and push them down as much as possible. They won’t all be submerged in the broth, but that’s ok. They’ll all be fully cooked by the time the casserole is ready to serve. Now, dump the cans of tuna, with their juices, on top of the noodles without mixing.

Cook the Casserole

Close your pot and set the knob to Sealing. Cook on high pressure “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” for 2 minutes. After the cooking time is finished, allow for a 1-minute Natural Pressure Release. Once that has passed, leave the pot on Keep Warm and release the rest of the pressure. When the pin drops you can open your pot.

a view from above of an instant pot some bread and a creamy bowl of instant pot tuna casserole
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When opening the pot, some of the noodles on top may look a little undercooked. That’s ok. They will finish cooking through the next steps.

Add the Remaining Ingredients

Gently mix in the remaining butter, peas, cream sauce, and one cup of shredded sharp cheddar. Let the casserole sit on Keep Warm, occasionally giving everything a stir, until the peas warm through and the cheese has melted. This will take about five minutes.

Add the Crunchy Potato Chip Topping

If using your CrispLid, add the potato chip topping and the rest of the cheese and follow the timing instructions on the recipe card below. If using the oven to crisp the topping, transfer the pasta to a baking dish and then add the topping. Bake it according to the instructions below. Once the crispy topping is golden, remove the CrispLid from the Instant Pot or remove the baking dish from the oven and serve and enjoy!

close up of instant pot tuna casserole with a crispy potato chip topping
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I know you and your family will love my easy Instant Pot Tuna Casserole! Let me know in the comments when you make it and don’t forget to give it a star rating!

Instant Pot Tuna Casserole

Egg Noodles, Tuna, and Peas in a Creamy Homemade Sauce and Covered With a Crunchy Potato Chip Topping

Rating
5 from 3 votes
Servings
8
DifficultyNot Too Tricky
Cooking Method(s)
  • Instant Pot
IP Pressure LevelHigh
IP ProgramManual / Pressure Cook
Prep Time
10 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Pressure Release
1 minute NPR
Total Time
21 minutes
Recipe by: Valerie Cooper
So fast and easy to make in the pressure cooker, this comfort food classic is made from scratch using simple ingredients. No canned soups in this recipe. This creamy and delicious tuna casserole is sure to become a family favorite!
Cuisine: American
Course: Main Course
Category: Casseroles

Ingredients

for the Creamy Sauce

  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon Better than Bouillon roasted chicken flavor
  • 1 can evaporated milk 12 fluid ounces

for the Tuna and Noodles

  • ¼ cup unsalted butter ½ stick, divided
  • 2 ribs celery about a ½ cup, diced small
  • ½ medium sweet onion about 1 cup, diced small
  • 3 cups unsalted chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper or to taste
  • 1 package extra wide egg noodles 12-ounce bag, uncooked
  • 2 cans Chunk Light Tuna, in water 6 ounces each, with juices

to add After Cooking

  • 2 cups frozen peas thawed
  • 1 cup extra-sharp cheddar freshly grated

optional Crunchy Topping

  • ½ cup extra-sharp cheddar
  • 1 cup potato chips crumbled

Directions

  • Measure and set out the peas to thaw. Letting them soak in water will allow them to thaw faster.
  • Prepare Creamy Base: Whisk the flour into the heavy cream until fully dissolved. Add the Better than Bouillon to the cream and mix in. Gradually pour the evaporated milk into the cream sauce and gently whisk until the sauce is smooth. Set aside.

prepare the Vegetables, Tuna, and Pasta

  • Sauté Vegetables: Select the 'Sauté' button on your pressure cooker and adjust the heat level to 'Normal'. Allow the pot to heat up until the display reads 'Hot'. Add a tablespoon of the butter to the pot and allow it to melt. Add the chopped celery and onions and toss until thoroughly coated in the butter. Sauté, tossing occasionally, until the onions become soft and translucent. About 3 to 4 minutes. Turn off 'Sauté'.
  • Add Stock and Spices: Add the chicken stock, salt, and pepper to the pot, stir and deglaze any onion or celery that may have gotten stuck to the bottom of the liner.
  • Add Egg Noodles and Tuna: Add the egg noodles to the pot and gently push them down into the chicken stock so that they are submerged as much as possible. Dump the two cans of tuna on top of the pasta without mixing them in.

set the Cook Time

  • 2-Minute Cook Time: Close the Instant Pot, set the pressure release valve to 'Sealing' and cook on 'Manual' or 'Pressure Cook', 'High Pressure' for 2 minutes.
  • 1-Minute NPR: Once the cooking time has finished, allow for a 1 minute NPR (natural pressure release) and then release any remaining pressure. After the pressure has been released and the pin has dropped, open the pot. Leave on 'Keep Warm'.

add the Remaining Ingredients

  • Gently mix in the remaining butter, creamy sauce, peas, and one cup of shredded cheddar cheese. Occasionally stir while allowing to sit on 'Keep Warm' for 5 minutes or until the cheese has fully melted and the peas have warmed through.

for the Crunchy Topping

  • CrispLid Method: To make the crunchy topping, first turn off and unplug your pressure cooker. Next, spread the ½ cup of cheese evenly over the top of the casserole and then sprinkle the potato chips over the top of the cheese. Place the CrispLid on top of the pressure cooker, set it to 450° F, and cook until bubbling and golden, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Baking Dish Method: Transfer the casserole to a baking dish. Spread the ½ cup of cheese evenly over the top of the casserole and then sprinkle the potato chips over the top of the cheese. Set on the middle rack of an oven under 'Lo Broil' and cook until bubbling and golden, about 2 minutes.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Nutrition Facts

While every effort is made to correctly calculate these nutritional facts, they should be used as general guidance as they may not be 100% accurate.

Calories: 567kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 122mg | Sodium: 686mg | Potassium: 735mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 1087IU | Vitamin C: 19mg | Calcium: 325mg | Iron: 3mg
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  • Joan says:

    This turned out great but I have so much. Will it freeze ok without the noodles becoming mushy? Thank you!

    • Hi Joan! I’m glad you enjoyed it! I have never tried freezing it so I can’t guarantee it’ll be fine. I had one reader on FB say she had frozen it and it was fine when reheated. Let me know if you try! Thanks for stopping by!

  • Shelley says:

    Hi Darlene, what size can do you use for the evaporated milk? Small or large?

  • Amanda says:

    Sorry this may be common sense, but I’ve never made tuna casserole before. Do you dump the water from the tuna in as well?

  • Darlene says:

    I have to use gluten-free pasta. The last dish I made said to use one less minute than the recipe said to. It was perfect. Should I do the same here?

    • Hi Darlene! I don’t use gluten free noodles at all so I’m not well versed in their cook time. If that worked for you in the last recipe I say definitely try it. I hope it works for you! Let me know.

    • Tanya Allen says:

      Hi Darlene, I to have to use Gluten-free noodles. Did you make this, if so please share how…Ty Tanya

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