Tuna Helper Recipe

Wednesday, January 29, 2020
Easy to make Homemade Cheesy Tuna Helper Recipe with a gluten free option is a family favorite. This is truly as simple as Tuna Helper with only one pot needed and a little chopping plus a few pantry staples like pasta, chicken broth, milk, cheese and of coarse tuna. No canned soup needed or cooking the noodles separately. 

If you love this Homemade Tuna Helper recipe as much as we do I think you'll also love these other easy dinner favorites like Cheeseburger Helper, One Pot Chili Mac and Cheese, and Hamburger Beef Stroganoff Helper.

Homemade Cheese Tuna Helper Recipe with a gluten free option is easy to make.

I love how easy Tuna Noodle Helper is with a Gluten Free Option. It is another one of my favorite easy skillet dinners, and almost as easy as Tuna Helper.

We almost always have the ingredients for this skillet in the cupboard saving a trip to the grocery store and it's a super affordable dinner when your on a budget.

This works great with gluten free brown rice noodles or regular pasta like rotini.  I've made it both ways. 

Tunas so inexpensive and we like to do anything we can to slash our grocery budget is a good thing. I know so many of you are in the same boat.

Even though this is a budget friendly dinner it's full of flavor, and something I would make regardless of if we were on a budget or not because it's just that good.

Here's how to make Cheesy Tuna Helper with or without the gluten free option:

Melted butter and diced onion in a large sauté pan.

In a large skillet with a lid melt 1 tablespoon butter and add 1/2 an onion diced. Sauté until onion starts to turn brown and caramelize.

This incorporates a lot of flavor into the pasta.

Garlic, Carrots, Celery, Garlic Powder, Tuna in a pan.

Add to pan:
  • 1 clove Minced Garlic
  • 4 Diced Carrots
  • 3 Diced Stalks Celery
  • 1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 7 ounces Canned Tuna in water drained.

Mix until well combined.

  • 16 ounce of your favorite Pasta like Rotini or Macaroni for Gluten Free use Brown Rice Macaroni Noodles 
  • 4 cups good quality Chicken Broth
  • 1 cup Milk or Half and Half

Mix until well combined. Bring to a simmer and cover.  Cook for about 12 minutes or until pasta is almost tender.

Peas added to tuna pasta mixture in pan.

Add 2 cups Fresh or Frozen Peas and stir until peas are warm.

Cheese added to Homemade Tuna Helper Pasta.

Add 3 cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese and stir until the cheese is melted.

Have a taste and add salt and pepper as needed.

Homemade Tuna Helper Recipe in a cheesy sauce with a gluten free option made with pantry staples in one pot for a delicious dinner on a budget from Serena Bakes Simply From Scratch.

Make sure to check out the other favorite budget friendly Easy One Skillet Dinners:

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Yield: 7
Author: Serena Bakes Simply From Scratch
Tuna Helper Recipe

Tuna Helper Recipe

Easy to make Homemade Tuna Helper Recipe with a Gluten Free Option made with pantry staples from Serena Bakes Simply From Scratch.
Prep time: 10 MinCook time: 14 MinTotal time: 24 Min


  • 1 tablespoon Butter
  • 1/2 whole Onion, Diced
  • 1 clove Garlic, Minced
  • 4 whole Carrots, Diced
  • 3 ribs Celery, Diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Granulated Garlic
  • 7 ounces Canned Tuna In Water
  • 16 ounces Pasta or Gluten Free Brown Rice Macaroni Noodles
  • 4 cups Chicken Stock (Gluten Free)
  • 1 cup Milk or Half and Half
  • 2 cups Frozen Or Fresh Peas
  • 3 cups Cheddar Cheese, Shredded
  • Salt and Pepper To Taste


  1. In a large deep skillet heat butter until melted over medium-high heat. Add onion, and cook until starting to caramelize.
  2. Add garlic, carrots, celery, granulated garlic, and tuna. Mix until well combined, and break tuna into chunks.
  3. Add pasta, chicken stock, and milk.
  4. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook for 12 minutes or until pasta is almost tender.
  5. Stir in peas and stir until peas are warm, and pasta is tender.
  6. Taste pasta. Add cheese and stir until melted. Add salt, and pepper to taste.
  7. If runny remove lid, and cook, until thickened.

Nutrition Facts





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The nutritional information and metric conversions are calculated automatically. I cannot guarantee the accuracy of this data. If this important to you, please verify with your favourite nutrition calculator and/or metric conversion tool.

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A favorite budget dinner recipe is Homemade Tuna Helper Recipe from scratch with a gluten free option. A favorite one pan dinner recipe from Serena Bakes Simply From Scratch.

Easy to make Homemade Cheesy Tuna Helper Recipe with a gluten free option from Serena Bakes Simply From Scratch is a family favorite budget dinner.


  1. I just made this with gluten free homemade egg noodles but had to increase the cooking time by 5 minutes.

  2. In the printable instructions it doesn't mention when you add the cheese

  3. This recipe calls for 3 ribs of celery. Did you mean stalks? 3 ribs is an awful lot. Also, this recipe won't print.

    1. Hi! A rib of Celery is single pieces/ribs/sticks. A stalk of celery is the whole bunch, or multiple ribs.. I hope that helps! Thanks for letting me know it won't print! I will take a look at it and fix it!https://uwyoextension.org/uwnutrition/newsletters/celery-stalk-or-rib/ Thanks, Serena

  4. Is cheese optional or mandatory for this recipe? I don't like melted cheese, could I substitute with another ingredient?

    1. Sorry I just saw this! It went to the spam folder for some reason. You could leave out the cheese. You could also add a splash of heavy cream if you would like it creamier or a little butter. Again I'm so sorry I missed this. Thank you, Serena

  5. This came out great! I used a frozen vegetable medley instead and thought I needed more tuna than the recipe requires but came out perfect.


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