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Microwave Cheesy Tuna Noodle Casserole

by Stephanie

When I think about the dining hall back in college, I often remember the casseroles.  Turkey Tetrazzini and Cheesy Tuna Noodle Casserole were two of my favorites.  They were such comfort food. 

Did you know you can make an easy Cheesy Tuna Noodle Casserole right in the microwave? This recipe is creamy and cheesy and such a comfort food, and best of all, it reheats beautifully.  It’s just perfect to portion out for lunches to take to school or work as well as leftovers to reheat in the microwave for later.  

Vertical image of microwave cheesy tuna noodle casserole

My daughter is a college junior, and she loves making this recipe on cold nights in the dorm when she doesn’t want to truck it over to the dining hall. 

Where to find Orzo Pasta?

One thing I’ve found is that orzo pasta is not the same between brands.  If you’re lucky enough to live in Texas and have an HEB nearby, get their store brand orzo pasta for this recipe.  It is the best one!  My next favorite is Barilla orzo pasta, which  you can find at Walmart.  I’m not sure what the brand name is for the orzo pasta sold at Kroger, but it is my least favorite.  It’s way more expensive, and it gets very sticky.  

If you can’t find orzo pasta, just use rice.  It tastes just as good, and it’s also super easy to make in the microwave. 

Close up of the cheesy tuna noodle casserole

How do you make Cheesy Tuna Noodle Casserole in the microwave?

This tuna noodle casserole is very similar to my Microwave Chicken Casserole.  However, it requires less ingredients.  It’s creamy and cheesy, but you can skip the cream of chicken soup in this one.  Instead of cream of chicken soup, I just mix in cream or half and half along with cheddar cheese.  

How to make orzo pasta in the microwave

Make the orzo pasta in the casserole dish in the microwave first.  Once it’s cooked, it will soak up most of the water and you won’t need to drain it. 

After making the orzo, then it’s just a matter of mixing up ingredients.  I like to start with the cheese and cream, so it will melt while the orzo is still really hot. Then, add the tuna and mix it until it’s well combined.  

Add a cracker crust to the cheesy tuna noodle casserole

When it’s all mixed together, I smooth out the casserole.  Optionally, you can add a cracker crust to the top. My college kid loves the crust, but we have another kid at home who does not, so sometimes I leave it off. 

Microwave Cheesy Tuna Noodle Casserole with green beans.

More Comfort Food Recipes you’ll enjoy

Microwave Tuna Cheesy Noodle Casserole
Yield: 6 servings

Microwave Tuna Cheesy Noodle Casserole

Prep Time: 4 minutes
Cook Time: 11 minutes
Additional Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 18 minutes

Make some comfort food right in the microwave with this Cheesy Tuna Noodle Casserole. It's quick to make and perfect to warm yourself up on a cold night, and it makes great leftovers!


  • 8 oz orzo pasta
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • dash of salt
  • 2 packages of 2.6 oz tuna
  • 1/2 cup of cream, whole milk or half and half
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese
  • 4 tablespoons of butter, melted
  • 10-12 Ritz crackers, crushed


  1. In an 8 x 8 casserole combine water, orzo pasta, salt, and olive oil.
  2. Cook for 6 minutes in the microwave. Then, stir.
  3. Cook for an additional 3 minutes in the microwave.
  4. It should have soaked up most of the water. If there is any excess water, drain, but keep it a little runny.
  5. Add the cream (or milk or half and half) and the cheddar cheese and stir.
  6. Add the tuna.
  7. Mix it all up and smooth it out in the dish.
  8. Melt the butter.
  9. Add the crushed crackers to the butter and mix until they are well coated.
  10. Spread the cracker mixture over the top of the casserole.
  11. Cook for 5 minutes in the microwave uncovered.
  12. Allow to cool for 2-3 minutes and then serve.



    You can skip the cracker topping if desired. Some of my kids love it and some hate it.

    Nutrition Information:



    Serving Size:

    1/2 cup

    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 415Total Fat: 27gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 79mgSodium: 322mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 1gSugar: 4gProtein: 17g

    Any nutritional information on justmicrowaveit.com should only be used as a general guideline. This information is provided as a courtesy and there is no guarantee that the information will be completely accurate.

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