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You only need 10 minutes of prep for this Tuna Noodle Casserole. An easy dinner, made with simple ingredients that’s so good it’s truly unforgettable!

A tuna noodle casserole in a white dish

I’ve spent the past week or so sifting through old recipe files from my grandmother and her best friend, Aunt Bee. To say that it has been a step back in time would be a huge understatement.

My grandmother passed away when I was just 13, so Aunt Bee has stepped in as a surrogate grandmother — especially in recent years. In sorting through the old files, I have uncovered personal notes that the young women exchanged, dinner party menus from the 1960’s, recipe cards that are dated back to 1959, and other personal mementos that were stashed in the folders along the way.

My grandmother met Aunt Bee when their husbands served together in the army. It was a friendship that stood the test of time — after children were born and grown, after multiple military transfers, after their husbands passed away, and right up until my grandmother’s death. Aunt Bee can share stories with me that nobody else knows, and can give me a glimpse at their lives as young mothers and wives.

A close up of a tuna noodle casserole in a white dish with a spoon

In a recent letter, Aunt Bee mailed me her yellowed, stained recipe card for Tuna Noodle Casserole, along with a quick story about the dish. This Tuna Noodle Casserole made her quite famous among the other military wives! It’s the dish that Aunt Bee gave to other army families when (in her words), “there had been a mishap.” It’s the way that Aunt Bee showed love and support, and it’s the meal that she made to comfort her friends and family.

In recent years, Aunt Bee’s daughter-in-law, Joan, ran into someone who had received one of Aunt Bee’s Tuna Noodle Casseroles after one of those tragic mishaps many, many years ago. That person told Joan that she had NEVER FORGOTTEN about Bee’s kindness and the dinner that nourished her during a very difficult time.

This Tuna Noodle Casserole brings tears to my eyes because I think of my grandmother, of her incredible friendship with Aunt Bee, and of the life that they shared together long before I was born. When I prepare the simple dinner for my own family now, I feel overwhelmingly blessed for the ability to taste, touch, and enjoy the same comforting meal that my grandmother and her best friend shared so many years ago. I am grateful for this tie to the past, which is so much more than just food.

Tuna noodle casserole in a white dish topped with cheese

Ingredients For Making A Tuna Noodle Casserole

  • Good Quality Canned Tuna
  • Egg Noodles
  • Peas
  • Condensed Cream Of Mushroom Soup
  • Cream
  • Curry Powder

Cook’s Tips

  • Always use high quality canned tuna for best results and flavor
  • Go with short egg noodles
  • Don’t have cream? Use whole milk instead
  • Use condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted!
  • Top with grated cheddar for an extra comforting treat. If you don’t have cheddar any good melting cheese will do
  • You can also add in other veggies such as corn or spinach

An overhead shot of a tuna noodle casserole with cheese

And all of the history aside, this Tuna Noodle Casserole is so darn good that it just might make you cry, too!

More Delicious Tuna Recipes To Try;

Aunt Bee's Famous Tuna Noodle Casserole

4 from 3 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 40 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 438 kcal
A delicious, hearty and warming tuna noodle casserole made with simple ingredients and only 5 minutes of prep.

Ingredients
  

  • 1 12 ounce can “good” tuna (I used albacore)
  • 2 cups cooked egg noodles
  • 1 8.5 ounce small can Le Seur peas, drained
  • 1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup NOT diluted
  • 1 cup cream or whole milk
  • ½ teaspoon curry
  • Optional topping: ¾ cup grated Cheddar cheese

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350F (180C).
  • Spray a 1 ½-quart casserole dish with cooking spray and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, stir together all of the ingredients. Transfer to prepared dish.
  • Bake casserole, uncovered, for approximately 30 minutes (or until heated through).
  • If you want to add some cheese, just sprinkle the grated Cheddar over the top of the casserole during the final 5 minutes of baking. Return to oven until cheese melts and casserole is hot and bubbly.

Notes

Nutrition information was calculated using Campbell’s Healthy Request Cream of Mushroom Soup and whole milk. The optional cheese is not included in the calculation.

Nutrition

Calories: 438kcalCarbohydrates: 30gProtein: 24gFat: 24gSaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 135mgSodium: 241mgPotassium: 374mgFiber: 4gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 1500IUVitamin C: 24.4mgCalcium: 78mgIron: 2.8mg
Keyword: Tuna Casserole, Tuna Noodle Casserole, Tuna Pasta Bake
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Author: The Seasoned Mom

 

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. Your Aunt Bee makes the best comfort food! I love when you share her recipes. And whenever I see the name, I always think of The Andy Griffith Show! 🙂 Tuna casseroles hold a special place in my heart. It reminds me of my childhood, though I didn’t have it too much because my mom didn’t like tuna. This looks SO good, Blair! I’ve got to try this out!

    1. Hey, Suzie! This recipe calls for 2 cups of cooked noodles, so you’ll want to measure the 2 cups of pasta after it has already been cooked. Hope that helps! 🙂

  2. This is a beautiful post. I love how recipes can stand the test of time. I’m making my Nana’s potato kugel tomorrow for dinner. Even though she’s gone, it makes me feel so close to her.

    I also want to tell you how much I adore your blog. A friend introduced me a few months ago, and I’ve since made a bunch of your dump and bake recipes. Perfect for moms!

    I also recently joined Young Living, and when I received my Essential Oils mag, there you were!!

    Thanks for a wonderful blog!! Can’t wait to try more of your delicious creations!

    1. Meredith! Thank you so much for your kind note! I’m really glad that you enjoy the blog, and I appreciate your kind words. I agree — dump-and-bake dinners are the way to go for busy moms! Thanks so much for reading along!

  3. The next time I make homemade cream of mushroom soup I’ll have to try this as I loveeee tuna noodle casserole!

    What a sweet memory behind the recipe too! <3

  4. Wow, what an awesome post, Blair. That must be so fun to go through their old recipes and to see the letters they wrote. What a beautiful friendship they shared, and it’s so sweet that you have Aunt Bee as a surrogate Gma, but that she also can still share stories and tell you about your own Gma. Amazing what food can do for people – that years later someone still remembers her casserole, and the comfort it provided in a dark time. I always love casseroles and comfort food – this will be a lovely recipe to have on hand. 🙂

    1. Hi, Tamara! You could use just about any vegetable that you prefer. If you’re using canned vegetables, something like green beans would work well. If you prefer fresh or frozen veggies, I would cook them slightly first so that they’re not still crunchy when your casserole is done. You could use asparagus, broccoli, diced carrots, corn, just about anything! 🙂

  5. Hi Blair… just started following your blog recently and have already cooked a few recipes. My husband is not a mushroom fan, is there a substitute for the cream of mushroom soup? Cream of celery, cream of onion?

    thank you…

    1. Hi, Jill! Yes, you can definitely use something other than the mushroom soup. Either the cream of celery, cream of onion, or cream of chicken would all work well! Thanks so much for reading the blog. 🙂

  6. 2 stars
    I loved the story! But we did not care for the dish. I really wanted to after such a lovely story! But all we could taste was curry. I will look on for the perfect tuna casserole.

  7. The Tuna noodle casserole sounds like a real winner, and easy. I’m going to make it on Friday. It seems that when growing up. As a child, it was always, meatless Friday’s. So, still today whenever I prepare a fish meal of any kind , I always seem to make it a ” meatless Friday”. . Your recipe is a real winner. And easy. I also have all those ingredients on hand all the time. Now I can’t wait for Friday. Ana