Instant Pot Tuna Noodle Casserole is absolutely the best around. Fresh cream, mushrooms, celery add layers of flavor to bring back childhood memories.
A popular casserole dish that gained attention in the 1950’s. Tuna Noodle Casserole is one of my favorite homey and comfort food meals. It’s so ridiculously easy to make too.
Busy moms could easily throw together a “traditional” tuna noodle casserole recipe using cans of cream of soup and then bake it in the oven, heating up the kitchen. My Pressure Cooker Tuna Noodle Casserole is made with fresh ingredients and is far superior to “traditional” recipes. I believe my tuna noodle casserole recipe is the best there is and takes the taste experience to a whole other level.
Using your Instant Pot, Ninja Foodi or Pressure Cooker, you can have a HOMEMADE tuna noodle casserole on the table quickly without heating up the kitchen. I promise, this is simple and the extra few minutes it takes to create the fresh homemade cream of mushroom and cream of celery soup is worth every second!
With just one pot to dirty, working moms, dads, students and even teens can make an incredible recipe which will become your go to comfort meal for years to come. If you have family members who refuse to even try hot tuna, I’ve created this incredible Instant Pot Dijon Shrimp Linguine, which is very similar that they will enjoy.
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Ingredients for Tuna Noodle Casserole
- Wide Egg Noodles
- Tuna Fish (Albacore in water is best)
- Butter – Mushrooms – Onions – Celery – Frozen Peas
- Dry Sherry or Shaoxing Wine (both are equally delicious)
- Worcestershire Sauce
- Mayonnaise and Grey Poupon Mustard – the secret ingredient to raise flavor levels!
- Chicken Broth
- Heavy Cream
Most of that time is pretty hands off and while the shrooms, onions and celery are sweating, you can gather the rest of the ingredients. So if you look at it that way, a few minutes longer for a result that is 100 times better is totally worth it!
Homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup
- No need to use that canned, thick junk usually found in tuna noodle casserole.
- Fresh Cremini mushrooms, onions, celery, butter and cream replace the cream of mushroom and cream of celery soup.
Warning – Graphic content follows. Making homemade condensed cream of mushroom and celery soup from scratch, is not a pretty picture. It is so totally worth it though and I will let YOU be the judge…. Grab your Food Processor and let’s get started.
Preparing Veggies for Homemade Creamy Soup
- All the vegetables are nicely minced together for maximum flavor.
- Some will disintegrate while cooking under pressure, leaving tiny specks of veggies in the tuna casserole.
- The butter, cream and starch combined with the minced veggies will make a fantastic and homemade cream of mushroom and cream of celery soup.
Pro Tip: A good large food processor is perfect for mincing up the mushrooms, onions and celery in a nice and even manner. It is a super time saver.
Food processors are a must-have kitchen appliance and I recommend this Cuisinart Large Food Processor. I use them a lot in recipes like my Pressure Cooker Salisbury Steak w/Onion Mushroom Gravy, Pressure Cooker Greek Meatballs, Pressure Cooker Low Carb Hot Onion Dip, Pressure Cooker Cauliflower Soufflé and so much more.
Some people leave the mushrooms in slices and I did that too, but found I enjoyed this dish by first making a proper condensed mushroom soup, with bits of fresh mushrooms.
It is the way I’ve done it on the stove for years, but for the sake of recipe testing, I tried this recipe with sliced mushrooms. Nope, while my tuna noodle casserole was still delicious, it just wasn’t up to my standard of deliciousness. The mushrooms stood out on their own too much and it lacked a honey feeling from the good old days.
Pro Tip: Mincing up the mushrooms and celery, rather than slicing them make a huge difference in the recipe texture.
Potato Starch gives this Instant Pot Tuna Noodle Casserole recipe a lighter taste than using all purpose flour. I use it in place of flour so often.
Pro Tip: Potato Starch is lighter and works better under pressure than flour. It also works better as a coating when using an air fryer. It is what I use instead of flour in my Air Fryer recipes. It’s also super cheap and gluten free.
How to Make Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup
- Grind up mushrooms and onions.
- Sweat them down over medium heat.
- Add butter, cream and seasonings and reduce until thick.
This is one of the beauties of Homemade Condensed Cream of Anything Soup. You can make as much or as little as you like and no non-pronounceable ingredients and no half cans to get old and nasty.
How to Make Condensed Cream of Celery Soup
- Grind up celery and onions.
- Sweat them down over medium heat.
- Add butter, cream and seasonings and reduce until thick.
Way back when, people used either a can of condensed cream of mushroom soup or a can of condensed cream of celery soup. Rather than skimping on flavor, I always opt to make both at the same time; it’s just as easy.
Pro Tip: Sautéing mushrooms and onions using dry sherry or Chinese Shaoxing wine takes the flavors to soaring new flavor levels.
My Pressure Cooker Beef Stroganoff, which is another comfort, casserole type recipe has received critical acclaim and I’ve received numerous emails from readers telling me it is the best beef stroganoff they have ever had.
Mayonnaise AND the Dijon mustard add so much flavor and creaminess to tuna noodle casserole.
My gelatinous Homemade Chicken Broth, or Better than Bouillon mixed with the appropriate amount of water both work well in this recipe. Adding peas prior to cooking, saves a tad bit of time. However, while this dish was excellent, the peas cooked under pressure will lose color and the snap.
Pro Tip: Adding the peas after pressure cooker, keeps the peas bright green and preserves the snap.
Since egg noodles cook so fast, they go in last.
Can Macaroni or Pasta be Used?
- To make tuna noodle casserole a heartier dish, pasta noodles and macaroni products like shells or elbows can be used in place of egg noodles.
- The cooking time will need to be adjusted, so please refer to the notes section below where I have notated in detail how to use various types of pasta to ensure perfectly cooked pasta noodles and macaroni.
As you can see, I added more peas after the fact, as I like the snap of the peas. It only takes a few seconds for them to defrost and warm. There you have it. Probably more than you ever wanted to know about this darn recipe. Tuna Noodle Casserole is not pretty, no matter how it is served, so I used lots of floral stuff to try to make the food pretty. Hehehe.
More Instant Pot Casserole Recipes to Make
- Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Japanese Chicken Curry
- Instant Pot Baked Ziti (Pressure Cooker)
- Pressure Cooker Cuban Black Bean Quinoa Bowls
- Pressure Cooker Chicken Taco Burrito Bowls
So, back in the 50’s and 60’s when casseroles were very popular as they were basically throw in a bunch of ingredients and pop it in the oven, they were not generally served at dinner parties. I’m wondering if it had to do with canned soup too.
My Pressure Cooker Tuna Noodle Casserole doesn’t use canned soups, so, invite some friends over and serve it at your next dinner party. Come on, try it….well, at least invite the neighborhood kids over and enjoy a nice family dinner with their friends.
Kitchen Equipment and Essentials
- Instant Pot, Ninja Foodi or Pressure Cooker
- J.A. Henckels Classic 8 inch Chef’s Knife
- Amco Advanced Performance 18/10 Stainless Steel Measuring Spoons
- Simply Gourmet (Dry) Stainless Steel Measuring Cups
- Anchor Hocking Glass (Liquid) Measuring Cups
- Rösle Stainless Steel Flat Whisk– a MUST have, probably my most used utensil
- di Oro Living Silicone Spatulas Set
- Alton Brown Salt Box
- Gravity Electric Salt and Pepper Grinder
- My FANTASTIC Teak Cutting & Charcuterie Board & Compartments
- Cuisinart Large Food Processor
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Here is your handy printable recipe:
Pressure Cooker Tuna Noodle CasserolePrint Pin SaveSaved! Rate
- 2 Tablespoons Butter
- 1/2 cup Yellow/Brown Onion
- 1/2 cup Fresh Celery
- 4 ounces Cremini Mushrooms
- 1.5 teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 1/2 teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- 1 Tablespoon Potato Starch
- 2 Tablespoons Shaoxing Wine Dry Sherry or Chicken Broth
- 1 cup Heavy Cream
- 1/3 cup Mayonnaise
- 1.5 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard
- 2 cups Chicken Stock/Broth (or 2 cups water + 2 teaspoons Better than Bouillon Chicken Base)
- 1 can Albacore Tuna Fish drained (5-6 oz)
- 8 ounces Wide Egg Noodles (package should not be less than 10-12 minute cook time)
- 1 cup Green Peas Frozen is best
- 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 cup Ritz Crackers or potato chips
- 1/2 cup Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese
- Select Sauté/Browning on your Pressure Cooker cooking pot and allow to fully heat
- Add celery, onions and mushrooms to food processor and process until small pieces (like minced).
- Add butter, the minced celery, onions and mushrooms to cooking pot and let sweat/sauté for 5 minutes.
- Add potato starch, salt and pepper and mix through veggies for about 30 seconds, or until starch is fully incorporated. Add sherry and deglaze pot.
- Pour in cream and simmer about 5 minutes, or until thick.
- Whisk in mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce and chicken broth. Taste and adjust salt and pepper, if needed. It should be a bit slightly over seasoned.
- Mix in tuna and dump in noodles.
- Lock on lid and close pressure valve. Cook at high pressure for 1 minute. When beep sounds, wait 2 minutes, then carefully release the rest of the pressure.
- Remove lid and mix in frozen peas.
- Turn off pressure cooker. Sprinkle the cheese and crushed crackers over the top of the casserole.
- Place the Crisping Lid on top of the pressure cooker and set the temperature to 400° F. Cook for about 4 minutes, or until the topping begins to brown.
- Look at package of pasta and find the variable cook time. Choose the lesser time given and then subtract 2 minutes. For example, if your package of pasta says "cook for 8 - 11 minutes," take that 8 minute number and cut it in half, which is 4. Then subtract 2 minutes from the 4 minutes and you will end up with the proper cook time. In this example the cook time will be 2 minutes.
- After the 2 minute pressure cook time is up, wait 5 minutes and then release the rest of the pressure.
- If the variable cook time on your package of pasta is 11 - 16 minutes, err on the lesser side. In this instance, the cook time would be 3 minutes. It is better to end up with overly firm pasta rather than mushy because you can continue to cook the pasta, but if it is mushy, there is nothing you can do to correct.
- If the pasta is too firm or al dente for your taste, simply put the lid back on the pot and let the pasta sit in the hot pot. The residual heat will continue to cook the pasta. Check after a few minutes to see if the pasta has reached the perfect firmness for your liking. If not give it a stir and let sit some more.