Tuna casserole is what comfort food eats when it’s sad. Creamy pasta with flaky tuna and bright peas is the perfect pick-me-up dish!
Our tuna noodle casserole recipe is so simple to make but wraps you up like a hug when you eat it. Make sure to enjoy a classic chocolate chip cookie (or two) for the ultimate comfort combo!
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Tuna Noodle Casserole Ingredients
- Egg noodles – Wide.
- Peas – We use frozen, but canned works too.
- Tuna – Canned/drained.
- Condensed soup – We like cream of mushroom.
- Milk – Preferably whole milk, but low fat or fat free will also work.
- Cheddar cheese – Shredded. Mexican or fiesta blend is good too.
- Bread crumbs – Panko. Traditional or Italian seasoned are also yummy.
- Butter – Salted/melted.
- Salt & pepper – To taste.
How do you make tuna casserole with noodles? (Step-by-step)
⭐ First, combine prepared noodles, peas, tuna, soup, milk, and shredded cheddar in a large pot or bowl. Stir well.
⭐ Next, press noodle mixture into a buttered casserole dish.
⭐ Then, mix together the panko crumbs and melted butter and sprinkle over top of the casserole.
⭐ Finally, bake until bubbly and breadcrumbs are browned on top.
Can you make tuna casserole ahead of time?
Yes! I love to prep this a day or two in advance and then pop it in the oven when we’re ready to eat it. This is a perfect meal planning dish.
Do I have to cook the noodles before baking?
In this recipe the noodles should be boiled first. You can do them al dente (slightly firm) because they will continue to cook in the casserole, but you do not want to add them dry.
What kind of condensed soup for tuna casserole recipe?
We typically use cream of mushroom, but any of the “cream of” soups will work.
Growing up we often used cream of celery, and my kids like it when I use cream of bacon. You could even add a little extra protein to the dish by using cream of chicken soup.
Leftovers and storage
How long does tuna casserole with noodles last?
Leftovers will keep in the refrigerator for 3 – 4 days or in the freezer for several weeks.
Can you freeze tuna noodle casserole?
Yes, you can freeze it before or after baking. When freezing before baking it’s best to use a disposable pan (so your baking dish isn’t stuck in the freezer for months!).
Cover tightly with at least two layers of foil. If freezing for an especially long time it helps to also wrap the entire dish in saran wrap. Freeze for up to 6 months.
If freezing leftovers, make sure they cool first, then store them in an air tight/freezer safe container for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator.
Can you cook tuna casserole from frozen?
Yes, to cook the casserole from frozen add 45 – 60 minutes to the baked time. Bake covered for the extra initial cook time, uncover during the last 20 minutes.
Tips tricks & variations
🧅 Try topping the casserole with crunchy onions like we do in our green bean casserole recipe.
🔥 Add some heat by stirring in a tablespoon or two of sriracha or Frank’s Red Hot sauce.
🥶 Make your future self happy by whipping up a double batch and freezing one pan for later.
🥕 Try it with mixed vegetables instead of peas, or canned chicken instead of tuna!
What to eat with tuna noodle casserole (serving suggestions)
I love to make a big salad whenever we serve hearty casseroles. They just balance each other out so well! This salad with apple and walnuts is a personal favorite, or this salad with figs and blue cheese is also delish!
More casserole recipes to enjoy
- Baked spaghetti casserole
- Frito pie recipe
- Chicken and rice casserole
- Tater tot hot dish
- See all our easy casserole recipes
Other seafood recipes you’ll love
- Tuna pasta salad recipe
- Tuna stuffed tomatoes recipe
- Easy shrimp scampi
- Quick red curry soup
- See all our recipes with seafood
Tools we love
- Glass casserole dish with lid – I love this dish, it can go from freezer to oven!
- Metal spatula – We like a metal spatula for getting heavy piles of noodles out easily.
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How to Make Tuna Casserole
- 16 ounces wide egg noodles
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 10 ounces canned tuna drained (2 small cans)
- 2 cans condensed cream of mushroom soup* 10.5 ounces, each
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- ½ cup panko bread crumbs
- 1 tablespoon butter melted
- salt and pepper to taste
- Boil egg noodles according to package directions, drain and return to pot.
- To the noodles, add the peas, tuna, soup, milk, and shredded cheddar. Stir to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Press noodles into a 9x13 inch buttered casserole dish.
- Mix together the panko crumbs and melted butter and sprinkle over the noodle mixture.
- Bake at 375F for 15 to 20 minutes, until bubbling and browned on top.
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I used Stephanie’s suggestion above of sautéing some onion with garlic. Since I was using cream of mushroom soup, I added some sliced mushrooms I had in the refrigerator. Turned out very nicely. I cut the recipe in half for my first attempt. That worked well too.
Pam Phillips says
Pam Phillips , Madison
I used crackers crumbs did not have bread crumbs on hand worked nicely 😊👍
Excellent recipe, easy to read/follow, and simple to do. I had to substitute chicken soup for the mushroom and Ritz crackers for the bread, but otherwise it was to the recipe. It was enjoyed by all and there were no leftovers! Thank you!
Robin T says
Just fixed for dinner using one can of cream of mushroom and one can of cream of chicken soup. I also added the panko bread crumbs along with the Frenches fried onions on top. So easy to fix and really delicious.
Nancy Tingley says
Made tonight for dinner. Was delicious!! I used plain bread crumbs mixed with the butter, when I was growing up my mom always used crushed potato chips.
Terri Zielke says
My mom used potato chips too! It was the perfect lenten meal. Great memories.
Have you or any commenters who read this ever tried gluten-free noodles? This recipe looks good and it’s mainly the noodles I need to sub and the cream soup. I’m asking about gluten-free egg noodles or regular gluten free rotini or similar
April Woods says
I haven’t tested it with gluten free pasta, sorry!
Tammy Lynn Wimp says
I have tried it with gluten free pasta of penne, noodles & also spaghetti noodles. Turned out just fine. I do always undercook my noodles just a tad if baking them.
A very good recipe! Easy to prepare and we enjoyed it very much.