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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Making this today. Do you think I can freeze leftovers and it still taste okay when I pull out to eat?
Please disregard my question. I found my answer. Making this today. Looks yummy!
Loved this so much, reminded me of the one my dad used to make. So good!
Was so good, reminded me of the one my dad used to make. Totally loved it.
This is an easy, weeknight meal!! I always have ingredients on hand to make this. Some of my kids pick out the peas, but for the most part, the whole family enjoys it!
One of my favorite comfort food meals!! Love this recipe!
Lucia smith says
family really liked this one
Pelia Gomez says
Absolutely fantastic! This is getting added the regular rotation! Thank you!!!
Stephanie N. says
I fried an onion in a table spoon of butter, added it to the mixture. Also added onion powder, garlic powder, & a dash of seasoning salt. Used Italian panko. If I ever crave casserole again, I’ll make this. Thanks for the recipe.
Yum – reminds me of dinner growing up. Like a couple others, I added some spices, llemon pepper and tobasco in my case. I made this specifically because both my husband and I are having dental work and we needed something soft. This fit the bill all the way around. Thank you! We’ll have this again, even when our teeth are in working order 😁
Very very good and easy to make using pantry ingredients!
Love this! I added a can of drained mushrooms, a can of drained green beans since I’m not a fan of peas and parmesan cheese instead of cheddar.
I don’t usually make tuna casserole so when my boyfriend requested it this was the recipe I used. It was sooo good! We’ll definitely be making this again!
Jackie Donovan says
Would the crunchy onions replace the Panko crumbs ?
I’ve used crushed potato chips as a topping
Made this tonight for supper. I’ve never been crazy about tuna casserole, but my hubs loves it. Oh. My. Gosh! This recipe is amazing!! We both loved it. Thanks for sharing! Will def. make this again! – Btw, I used French’s onions on the top instead of the Panko because that’s what I had. Tasty!!
Growing up mom made this for us.3 changes though: 1) used Campbell’s cheddar cheese soup, 2) used mixed vegetables & 3) used crushed potato chips for the topping. 12/4/22.
andrea Hartong says
Recipe says to add soup or milk is you prefer a moister casserole. I’m going to try it today.