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Classic Tuna Noodle Casserole

Do you remember your mom or grandma making a tuna casserole dish for dinner? It was usually one of their go-to recipes on busy nights.

Well, I’m here to tell you that this dish is not only a nostalgic classic American dish, but it’s also really good! And, the best part is that it’s easy to make and super budget-friendly.

You just need a few simple ingredients, and in no time, you’ll have a tasty meal on the table.

So, next time you’re stuck for dinner ideas, give tuna casserole a try! You won’t be disappointed.

The Best Comfort Food

tuna casserole in a bowl

Cheesy tuna noodle casserole is pure comfort food.

It’s such a great recipe, and it’s definitely one of our favorite recipes around here.

The recipe can be versatile, as well. You can add peas, carrots, butter beans, or your favorite veggie to the mix.

What Ingredients Are Needed For Tuna Casserole

  • Egg noodles
  • Condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • Condensed cream of cheddar cheese soup
  • Cooked peas
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Canned tuna, drained
  • Milk
  • Panko breadcrumbs
  • Melted butter
  • Salt and black pepper

Full printable recipe with measurements and instructions listed at the bottom of the post in the recipe card.

How To Make Cheesy Tuna Casserole

  1. Preheat the oven to 350-degrees. Grease a 9-inch by 13-inch baking dish.
  2. Prepare the noodles according to package directions and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, add the drained tuna, mushroom and cheese soup, cooked peas, salt, pepper, milk, and cheddar cheese and mix well.
  4. Next, add the noodles and mix well.
  5. Spread the casserole ingredients into the baking dish.
  6. Next, add the breadcrumbs to a small bowl and pour the melted butter over the top. Mix well and spread over the casserole.
  7. Bake uncovered for 30-35 minutes, or until the breadcrumbs are golden brown.
tuna casserole in a small bowl on the counter

Step-By-Step Instructions

Canned tuna in a glass bowl

Drain the liquid off of your tuna cans and add the tuna to a large mixing bowl.

You can use your favorite flaky tuna. I had 12 ounce can of chunk light tuna packed in water and a six ounce can of solid white albacore tuna.

Mushroom soup in a glass bowl

Next, add the mushroom soup.

I get a lot of readers that don’t like mushroom canned soup. You have several alternatives. You can use cheddar cheese soup, cream of chicken soup, or cream of celery soup instead of the mushroom.

mushroom and cheese soup in a glass bowl

Next, add the cream of cheddar cheese soup.

peas, soup, and tuna in a clear glass bowl

Add the peas, salt, and pepper.

I used canned peas, but you can use frozen as well.

Peas are usually the vegetable used in tuna casserole, but if you like something else, feel free to use that.

Options include broccoli, green onions, cooked carrots, butter beans, or just about anything.

shredded cheese with soup and tuna in a glass bowl

Next, add the shredded cheese to the bowl and mix well.

Pouring milk into a bowl with tuna casserole ingredients

Pour the milk into the bowl and mix.

The milk is going to help keep the casserole dish from getting too dry.

cooked egg noodles in a glass bowl

Add the cooked noodles to the bowl and mix well.

Spread the tuna mixture into the baking dish and set aside.

I’m a big believer in using things in your pantry. So, if you don’t have egg noodles, you don’t have to run out to get them. Just use elbow macaroni, penne pasta, or whatever you have on hand.

I used medium egg noodles for this recipe, but use what you’ve got.

Pouring melted butter into a bowl with breadcrumbs

In a small bowl, add the breadcrumbs. Melt the butter and pour it over the breadcrumbs.

I used Panko bread crumbs because they come out crunchier. But, you can use whatever type of breadcrumbs you like.

You can also sprinkle a little bit of grated parmesan cheese or garlic powder in there for extra flavor.

Some people like to crush up Ritz Crackers or potato chips instead of breadcrumbs. Those are both great options. The Ritz will make the dish taste more buttery, and the chips will add a saltier flavor.

Either way, it will be delicious!

Breadcrumbs on top of tuna casserole in a baking dish

Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the tuna casserole and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.

If you don’t eat all of the cheesy tuna noodle casserole recipe, it can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

baked tuna casserole in a baking dish

More Classic Recipes and Easy Dinner Ideas

tuna casserole in a bowl

Easy Tuna Noodle Casserole Recipe

I bet you thought that tuna casserole was just an American classic. Well, it’s true!

But there are some other reasons why this dish should be on your dinner table more often.

It’s easy to make and has a lot of different variations for how you can change the flavor profile by adding in spices or even switching up what kind of canned tuna is used (white albacore vs. light).

And don’t forget about all those yummy veggies like broccoli, carrots, peas–they’re great additions too.

It is also very inexpensive to make.

So next time you find yourself looking at the same old recipes, again and again, take my advice and give this classic dish a try for dinner tonight. You won’t regret it.

tuna casserole in a bowl on the counter

Sides To Serve With The Simple Tuna Casserole

Variations for Tuna Noodle Casserole

  • To add a twist to the classic tuna noodle casserole, consider integrating a creamy sauce made with a base of chicken broth and whole milk. This sauce, thickened with all-purpose flour, ensures a creamy consistency that pairs well with al dente rotini pasta or tender egg noodles. Sautéing a finely chopped yellow onion in olive oil over medium heat can add a lot of flavor. Adding sour cream gives an extra layer of creaminess, while a dash of lemon zest can enhance the overall zestiness of the dish.
  • If you’re working on busy weeknights and are looking for easy recipes, this tuna casserole is the perfect meal. Prepare it in a Dutch oven or a prepared casserole dish, then cover with aluminum foil as the casserole bakes to perfection. For an even more indulgent touch, consider adding French fried onions which add a delightful crunch.


Homemade tuna noodle casserole, made from cans of tuna and a few main ingredients, is a classic comfort food that brings warmth to any table.

Whether you’re following the best tuna noodle casserole recipe or seeking a healthy variation, remember to store any leftovers in the refrigerator, ensuring a delightful meal for the next day.

tuna casserole in a small bowl on the counter

Classic Tuna Noodle Casserole Recipe

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

There’s something about a classic tuna noodle casserole that just makes everyone happy. Warm, comforting, and satisfying, this dish is always a hit. Plus, it’s incredibly easy to make--perfect for a busy night!

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces egg noodles, cooked
  • 10.5 ounce can cream of mushroom soup
  • 10.5 ounce can cream of cheddar cheese soup
  • 1.5 cups canned or frozen peas
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 18 ounces canned tuna fish, drained
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 4 Tablespoons melted butter
  • Pinch of salt and black pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350-degrees and grease a 9-inch by 13-inch baking dish.
  2. Cook noodles according to the directions, drain and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, add the drained tuna fish, cream of mushroom soup, cream of cheese soup, peas, cheddar cheese, salt, pepper, and milk, and mix well.
  4. Add the noodles and mix well.
  5. Next, spread the mixture into the greased baking dish.
  6. In a small bowl, melt butter and pour it over the Panko breadcrumbs, and mix.
  7. Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture over the tuna casserole and bake for 30-35 minutes or until the breadcrumbs are golden brown.

Notes

You can use crushed potato chips or crushed Ritz Crackers as an alternative to breadcrumbs.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 615Total Fat: 37gSaturated Fat: 21gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 135mgSodium: 912mgCarbohydrates: 34gFiber: 3gSugar: 6gProtein: 37g

Nutrition is approximate.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

Melody

Wednesday 29th of November 2023

I remember making tuna casserole in home economics during the 70s. Our teacher had us add cashews to the recipe but I've never been able to find a recipe like that since. If I tried that with this recipe, how much of the nuts would you recommend, or should I just play it by ear?

Melody

Friday 1st of December 2023

@Julie Pollitt,

Ok thank you. I will let you know.

Julie Pollitt

Wednesday 29th of November 2023

Oh how fun! My sister taught home ec for a long time. I would play it by ear. Maybe try 1/2 cup of chopped cashews first. Let me know how it goes!

Pauline - Beautiful Voyager

Friday 25th of February 2022

Great recipe you shared! A very pretty and yummy plate!

Julie Pollitt

Friday 25th of February 2022

Thanks so much, Pauline!

Cathy riley

Friday 18th of February 2022

Great recipe! I use evaporated milk instead of regular milk . I find it comes out creamier.

Julie Pollitt

Sunday 20th of February 2022

Yum, I will try that. Thanks for sharing!

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