Classic tuna noodle casserole is like serving up a dish of comfort food. It is perfect for Lent, of course, but it is also great any time of year.
This easy tuna noodle casserole is a tasty meal that is full of nostalgia. It tastes just like what your mom or grandma used to make.
There is just something about a casserole with cream of mushroom soup that screams cozy to me. I think it is because you know it is going to be creamy and delicious.
I can’t think of one that I don’t like. That is really saying something because I had to have had dozens over the years.
We definitely grew up on these kinds of meals, which I think is why I like them so much. They are steeped in memories.
Table of Contents
A Midwestern Classic
In our neck of the woods, tuna is a staple during Lent. My mom usually made her tuna casserole without noodles and served it over rice.
But a couple of coworkers pointed out that there isn’t a tuna noodle recipe in my collection. So I figured I had better remedy that situation quickly.
The creamy sauce with cheese, peas, and tuna is a great start to any recipe. I like using Colby Jack because it is mild, but cheddar is also classic.
We love mushrooms, so we add extra. You can leave them out if you would like.
The most time-consuming part of prep is boiling the noodles. You can have everything else ready to go in less time than it takes to bring the water to a boil.
Egg noodles are our favorite, but you could also use elbow macaroni if you prefer. Or use pasta shells for another fun twist.
Dump everything in a prepared casserole dish. Make sure you scrape all of that yummy sauce out of the mixing bowl and into the pan. That’s the good stuff!
Topping Your Casserole
There are so many wonderful ways to top a casserole. So feel free to use your favorite.
I went with a mix of buttered bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese this time. There is something classic about that.
If you don’t have bread crumbs, you could crush some croutons. They add great crunch.
Crushed crackers also make a great casserole topping. Ritz, saltines, or even Cheez-its or Goldfish make great toppers.
Using crushed potato chips adds texture and nice saltiness as well. Or you could even use french fried onions.
If I am missing your favorite casserole topping, please let me know. I am always open to new ideas!
Frequently Asked Questions?
Can I make this casserole ahead of time?
Yes, you can make this casserole in advance. Just do everything but add the topping.
Cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. Remove the casserole from the fridge when you preheat the oven to start taking the chill off.
Add the topping and then bake, adding 5-10 minutes to the bake time. It will come out perfect and save you time at dinner time.
You can also prep the casserole and freeze it for later. Just defrost it in the fridge for 24 hours before baking.
Can I make this without the tuna?
Yes. This casserole is also great with chopped chicken instead of tuna.
You could also make a vegetarian version. I would add more veggies to the mix to bulk it up a bit.
How do I store leftovers?
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
Check out my collection of casseroles for more cozy inspiration.
Tuna Noodle Casserole
- 12 ounces wide egg noodles
- 10 ounces tuna 2 cans
- 7 ounces canned sliced mushrooms optional
- 21 ounces cream of mushroom soup 2 cans
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 8 ounces Colby Jack cheese shredded
- 1½ cups milk
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¾ cup bread crumbs
- 2 Tablespoons Parmesan cheese shredded
- 1 Tablespoon butter melted
- Preheat oven to 350℉ and grease a 9×13-inch pan or 3 quart casserole dish.
- Boil egg noodles to al dente in salted water. Use the low end of the cooking time called for on the package.12 ounces wide egg noodles
- Drain the cans of tuna and mushroom.10 ounces tuna, 7 ounces canned sliced mushrooms
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together cream of mushroom soup, milk, Colby jack, peas, tuna, salt, pepper, and mushrooms.21 ounces cream of mushroom soup, 1 cup frozen peas, 8 ounces Colby Jack cheese, 1½ cups milk, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Add the hot egg noodles and stir to coat. Transfer to the prepared baking dish.
- In a small bowl, stir together the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, and melted butter. Sprinkle over casserole.¾ cup bread crumbs, 2 Tablespoons Parmesan cheese, 1 Tablespoon butter
- Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for about 10 more minutes, or until the breadcrumbs are crisped up and golden.
- Serve hot. Refrigerate leftovers.