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A classic Tuna Noodle Casserole recipe is an old-fashioned, easy dinner that has been loved for generations! Best of all, the family-friendly dish comes together in about 20 minutes. You can’t beat the cheesy combination of tender noodles, canned tuna fish, and sweet peas tossed in a creamy sauce with crushed potato chips on top. Serve it with a side salad or green beans, biscuits, cornbread, or fluffy dinner rolls.

Overhead image of tuna noodle casserole with potato chips on a white surface

How to Make Tuna Noodle Casserole | 1-Minute Video

An Easy Tuna Noodle Casserole Recipe that Your Family will Love

This is the old-fashioned Tuna Noodle Casserole recipe that I grew up on! My mom tweaked the original Campbells Tuna Noodle Casserole with cream of mushroom soup to suit her taste preferences, resulting in a creamy filling of egg noodles, tuna fish, and peas topped with grated cheddar cheese and crushed potato chips. There’s no need to make a roux with melted butter, all purpose flour, cream, or chicken broth from scratch. Instead, this inexpensive, classic comfort food dinner is perfect for busy weeknights!

The convenient tuna fish casserole recipe comes together with some basic kitchen staples, so it’s one of those easy options that you can turn to when there’s nothing else on the menu. Feel free to use a different flavor of canned soup, a different variety of cheese, omit the peas or add other veggies instead, or mix up the topping with Ritz crackers or buttered breadcrumbs instead of potato chips. The options are endless…and it’s all good!

What kind of noodles for a tuna casserole?

This simple tuna noodle casserole calls for egg noodles — a traditional ingredient in the classic dish. I like the fairly thin “medium” egg noodles, but you can also use “wide” or “extra broad” egg noodles. Feel free to get creative and take advantage of just about any pasta that you have in your pantry. Try elbow macaroni, penne pasta, spaghetti, or rotini, too!

Overhead shot of tuna noodle casserole on a plate

Which tuna is best for tuna casserole with egg noodles?

I recommend solid white albacore tuna in water for this recipe. Either StarKist or Bumble Bee brands are my preference. The albacore tuna has a mild (less “fishy”) taste than chunk light tuna, and a more firm, solid texture that holds up better when mixed into the dish. Make sure that you drain the tuna really well before combining it with the other ingredients. You don’t want a watery casserole filling!

Two cans of solid white albacore tuna

Classic Tuna Noodle Casserole Ingredients

This is just a quick overview of the ingredients that you’ll need for a tuna noodle casserole. As always, specific measurements and complete cooking instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.

  • Egg noodles: I like the fairly thin “medium” egg noodles, but you can use the “wide” or “extra broad” size instead. You can also substitute with different shapes of pasta, such as elbows, penne, spaghetti, and rotini.
  • Condensed cream of mushroom soup: the creamy base of the casserole. Substitute with different flavors of condensed soup if you prefer, such as cream of chicken soup or cream of celery soup.
  • Milk: to thin the sauce.
  • Canned tuna: I like the firmer, less “fishy” tasting solid white albacore tuna in water, but any variety is fine.
  • Cheddar cheese: or substitute with any other type of cheese that will melt smoothly. For instance, mozzarella, Pepper Jack, Colby, Swiss, Colby Jack, Gouda, or Gruyere will all work. A sprinkling of Parmesan cheese adds great flavor, too.
  • Potato chips: for a crunchy, salty, flavorful casserole topping. You can use buttered bread crumbs, cracker crumbs, or French’s fried onion instead, if you prefer.
  • Frozen peas (optional): little bright pockets of sweet green goodness! You can omit the peas if you don’t like them, or substitute with a different vegetable.
Pot of cooked egg noodles

How to Make Tuna Noodle Casserole

This cheesy tuna noodle casserole comes together in 3 simple steps! Boil the noodles, stir together the filling, and bake it in the oven!

  1. Boil the Noodles. Cook the noodles in a large pot of salted boiling water according to the package instructions, just until al dente. For wide egg noodles, this should only take about 5 minutes. Drain.
  2. Stir Together Soup and Milk. In a large bowl, whisk together condensed cream of mushroom soup and milk until completely combined.
  3. Add Remaining Ingredients. Stir in the cooked noodles, tuna fish, and peas. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  4. Add Topping. Transfer the noodle mixture to a 1 ½-quart baking dish. Add grated cheese and sprinkle crushed potato chips on top.
  5. Bake. Bake the casserole uncovered in a 350°F oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the topping is golden brown and the inside is hot and bubbly.
Campbells cream of mushroom soup in a bowl with milk and a whisk
Stirring together filling for campbells tuna noodle casserole
Prep shot of assembling classic tuna noodle casserole with potato chips on top
Overhead image of a casserole dish full of the best tuna noodle casserole recipe

What to Serve with Old-Fashioned Tuna Noodle Casserole

Pair the tuna noodle casserole with any of these easy sides:

Front shot of a plate full of easy tuna noodle casserole

Make Ahead Recipe for Tuna Noodle Casserole

This is the ultimate prep-ahead meal to get dinner on the table quickly and easily — even on busy nights. Assemble the casserole, wrap tightly, and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days before baking. When ready to bake, allow the dish to sit on the counter and come to room temperature for at least 30 minutes before putting it in the oven.

Storage

The leftover baked casserole will last in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Reheat the leftovers in a 350°F oven, covered, just until warmed through (about 20-30 minutes). You can also reheat individual portions in the microwave for about 1 minute.

How to Freeze

Freeze the tuna casserole before baking. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap, cover with foil, and freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to enjoy, thaw in the refrigerator overnight, allow the dish to come to room temperature on the counter for at least 30 minutes, and then bake according to recipe instructions.

Front shot of cheesy tuna noodle casserole in a baking dish with a silver serving spoon

Recipe Variations

  • Use other flavors of canned soup. Cream of chicken soup or cream of celery soup would both work well as substitutes for the cream of mushroom soup.
  • Use chicken. Yep, you can even make this tuna casserole without tuna! Try an equal amount of canned chicken, use store-bought rotisserie chicken, leftovers from another meal, or boil your own chicken at home.
  • Pick your favorite cheese. I use sharp cheddar, but any other good melting cheese is fine. Try Pepper Jack, Monterey Jack, Colby, Swiss, or American cheeses.
  • For an extra-cheesy casserole, stir an additional 1 cup of grated cheese right into the filling.
  • Add herbs to the sauce for more flavor. Try parsley, thyme, basil, or chives.
  • Top the casserole with crushed Ritz crackers, buttered breadcrumbs, crushed French-fried onions, or crushed Corn Flakes cereal in lieu of the potato chips.
  • Omit the peas, or substitute with a different vegetable of choice. Try crisp-tender broccoli florets, steamed or canned green beans, or frozen (thawed) mixed vegetables. Canned mushrooms or sautéed fresh mushrooms would also be a nice addition.
  • Double all of the ingredients and bake the casserole in a deep 9 x 13-inch dish to serve a larger family.

Tips for the Best Tuna Noodle Casserole Recipe

  • Cook the pasta just until al dente (tender, but with a firm bite). The noodles will continue cooking in the oven, so you don’t want them to be mushy or overdone.
  • Use solid white albacore tuna in water (not chunk light or other varieties).
  • Drain the tuna fish really well before adding it to the casserole.
  • There’s no need to thaw the peas before adding them to the dish. Just stir them in while they’re still frozen — this will help them stay nice and green in the casserole (rather than turning brown and mushy).
  • Taste the filling before baking, and season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, if necessary.
  • A splash of sherry in the filling adds another layer of delicious flavor!
Overhead image of a serving of classic tuna noodle casserole on a white table

More Easy Casserole Recipes to Try

Square image of tuna noodle casserole

Classic Tuna Noodle Casserole

4.90 from 19 votes
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
0 minutes
Total: 45 minutes
Servings 2 – 4 people
Calories 402 kcal
This old-fashioned Tuna Noodle Casserole is an easy, comfort food classic that's ready for the oven in just 20 minutes!

Ingredients
  

  • 4 ounces wide egg noodles (slightly more than 2 cups)
  • 1 (10.5 oz) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 cans (5 ounces each) tuna in water, drained
  • ½ cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup potato chips, coarsely crushed
  • Optional: ½ cup frozen peas
  • Optional garnish: chopped fresh parsley

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 1 ½ quart casserole dish; set aside.
  • Cook the noodles in a large pot of salted boiling water according to package directions, just until al dente (about 5-6 minutes). Drain.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together condensed soup and milk. Gently stir in the cooked noodles, tuna and peas (if using). Taste and season with salt and pepper, if necessary. Transfer mixture to prepared dish.
  • Sprinkle cheese on top, then crushed potato chips.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until top is golden brown and inside is hot and bubbly.

Video

Notes

Make Ahead: Assemble the casserole, wrap tightly, and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days before baking. When ready to bake, allow the dish to sit on the counter and come to room temperature for at least 30 minutes before putting it in the oven.
Freeze the tuna casserole before baking. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap, cover with foil, and freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to enjoy, thaw in the refrigerator overnight, allow the dish to come to room temperature on the counter for at least 30 minutes, and then bake according to recipe instructions.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/4 of the casseroleCalories: 402kcalCarbohydrates: 36gProtein: 27gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 70mgSodium: 912mgPotassium: 694mgFiber: 2gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 230IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 167mgIron: 3mg
Keyword: classic tuna noodle casserole, easy tuna noodle casserole, Tuna Noodle Casserole
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Author: Blair Lonergan
blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

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Comments

    1. My mom used to make this all the time but she used 2 cans of cream of celery soup, all white albacore tuna (this matters), 1/2 cup of mayo, 3/4 cup of milk, salt, pepper and half the cheese.. stir until all melted in pot then add egg noodles and she always put celery and bell peppers in it then rest of block of cheese on top.. best recipe and it’s not so dry

  1. Fantastic recipe. I added a 1/4 cup of sour cream into the soup mixture along with cayenne pepper, garlic powder, old bay, dill weed and a pinch of nutmeg
    It was delicious

  2. This seems like a small dish. What size casserole dish are you using? I think it would be better to double it. Tasty though!

    1. Hi! Yes, that’s a 1 1/2-quart dish. I mention in the recipe variations section that you can double all of the ingredients and bake the casserole in a 9 x 13 dish if you prefer a larger portion. Hope you get to try it soon! 🙂

  3. No, no, no potato chips! They’re just wrong! Cracker crumbs, or bread crumbs… not chips! Also, try adding sour cream to the recipe, it takes it up and really adds to the texture and flavor!

  4. 5 stars
    This is the same as I remember it from years back just like my Mom made it.
    It’s great as is or throw in what you like (more peas please)
    As always serve with a dry piece of white toast.

  5. 5 stars
    I don’t eat tuna, but I made this for my husband who does. He ate almost the entire dish by himself in one sitting.