While we do have the luxury of time these days at home, we don’t necessarily have the ability to run out and buy special ingredients for a meal at the drop of a hat. For that reason, we decided to use what we already had in our pantry to make one of our all-time favorites, tuna casserole! And as a bonus, we found a way to achieve the same level of crunch and flavor stovetop as in the oven…and all under 28 minutes!
Use those pantry’s staples!
If there were ever a time when you needed to be creative with what you already have in the house, it’s now! Maybe your store is out of everything or maybe you don’t want to risk your health going to the store. Whatever the case may be, we want to help you with some simple recipes using pantry staples. We consider pantry staples to be, for example, canned goods, shelf stable veggies (potatoes, onion, garlic, carrots, etc.), soups and stocks, oils, spices, spreads, crackers, etc. But we know that everyone’s different and may have different essentials in the pantry.
For this meal, we used the following key pantry items: canned tuna, pasta, cream of mushroom soup, chicken broth, and Panko bread crumbs. We threw in some butter, seasoning, and frozen veggies. And voila, we had everything we needed for this delicious dish.
A Stovetop casserole, who knew?
Typically, I’ve made tuna casserole in the oven. With the oven, I’m guaranteed to have a crisp and bubbly final product. This time, however, we made our own crunchy topping for our casserole, on the stove, and achieved a pretty similar effect! Here’s how we did it:
We browned some Panko bread crumbs in butter and set them aside.
Then we brought our broth and cream of mushroom soup to a boil and cooked our noodles and veggies.
hold on to those tuna cans
We love reusing our cooking supplies for crafting! So, while making our Stovetop Tuna Casserole, we repurposed our tuna cans to make these adorable Spring Bunny Candy Dishes! If you wanna give it a try, just make sure to wash out those cans really well before crafting!
have a family cooking session
The longer we hunker down at home, the more it seems like a perfect time to invite kids to help out in the kitchen (assuming everyone is healthy and properly washing their hands!). Not only will cooking together help pass the time, but cooking with your kids has some real educational benefits. For example, cooking with kids can boost self-esteem and foster healthy eating habits.
How kids can help make this dish
This dish involves many kid-friendly tasks. Here are some ways for your lil’ sous chefs to help out:
- Open up the cans of soup and tuna and pour them into the pot! Kids will need help/supervision with this task.
- Taste test! Ask kids to taste the noodles to check and see if they are done cooking.
- Measure and mix! Measuring out the spices is great task for kids to take on. Kids may like swirling the spices together to form a design when mixing them together.
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Final Tips To ensure smooth sailing!
Mimi’s Cooking Tips:
Check out these tricks and shortcuts from our in-house expert/Mom:
🍅 Add more chicken broth if your pasta seems too dry, but remember, the pasta will soak up some of the excess liquid as it cooks.
🍅 Strapped for time? Cover your liquid with a lid to bring it to a boil faster.
OUR “kidify” Tips:
Have picky eaters? Check out these tips:
🍅Kids pick the pasta! We used whole wheat penne, but almost any pasta will work fine in this dish! Let kids choose their favorite.
🍅Kids choose the frozen veggies! Broccoli, peas, green beans…kids can choose the veggies they like best.
🍅Add a side dish! Garlic bread, a side salad or toast would be a great addition to this meal.
See how to make our stovetop tuna casserole
- 1 T butter
- 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
- 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 2 10.5 oz cans cream of mushroom soup
- 2 cups uncooked pasta we used whole wheat penne
- 1 cup frozen peas and carrots (or veggie of choice!)
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 t salt
- 1/2 t black pepper
- 1 T dried parsley
- 2 7 oz cans solid white albacore tuna in water (drained & flaked)
Melt butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add Panko bread crumbs and cook, stirring periodically, for 3 minutes or until toasted. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine cheese, salt, pepper and parsley. Stir mixture into pasta pot until evenly distributed. Stir in tuna. Cook on low-medium heat for 5 minutes or until warmed throughout. Top with toasted Panko and serve.
Serve tuna casserole on a plate or in a bowl!
We recommend all children's meals be served with milk.
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