Tuna Noodle Casserole

This classic Tuna Noodle Casserole has a classic mushroom soup filling, sharp cheddar cheese, egg noodles, and a buttery Ritz cracker topping! This is an easy make-ahead recipe and is a perfect freezer food!

Love Casseroles Recipes? Try my Broccoli Cheddar Chicken and Rice Casserole next!

A wooden spoon scooping out tuna noodle casserole with a ritz cracker topping from a casserole dish.

Tuna Noodle Casserole. You either love it, or hate it. (I think you know where I stand.)

I’m actually not a mayo person, so I can’t enjoy every tuna recipe on the planet. But this casserole recipe is mayo-free and the creamiest casserole you’ll ever meet. And that’s a beautiful thing.

Ingredients

See recipe card below for quantities and full written instructions

For The Casserole

  • Egg Noodles
  • Chicken Bouillon Cubes– Optional, can be added to boiling pasta water to add flavor to the egg noodles.
  • White Cheddar Cheese– Preferably shredded at home from a block. (Better taste and creamier this way.)
  • Butter
  • Celery
  • Onion
  • Garlic– Preferably minced at home from fresh cloves. (I use this garlic twister.)
  • Solid White Albacore Tuna in Water
  • Salt
  • Celery Salt
  • Pepper
  • Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup– Here is a homemade version. Cream of Celery or my Homemade Condense Cream of Chicken may also be used.
  • Evaporated Milk– This has a creamier consistency than regular milk. See below for substitution options.
  • Sour Cream
  • Frozen Peas– Frozen carrots or green beans may also be used.
  • Green Onions– To garnish

For the Topping

  • Parmesan Cheese– Preferably grated into a fine powder at home.
  • Ritz Crackers– Crushed
  • Melted Butter

Other Topping Ideas include:

  • Potato Chips– slightly crushed
  • Crispy Fried Onionslike these.
  • Cornflakes
  • Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • Italian Breadcrumbs and Melted Butter

How to Make it

Saute the celery and onions in butter. Add Garlic and cook for 1 more minute.

Add seasonings, tuna, cream of mushroom soup, evaporated milk, and sour cream. Stir until Combined.

Two skillets showing onions and celery being cooked and tuna noodle casserole filling being added.

Add shredded white cheddar until combined. Add frozen peas.

Skillets filled with tuna noodle casserole filling with cheese and peas being added.

Add cooked egg noodles and mix until combined. Transfer to a casserole dish.

Bake at 400°F for 20 minutes. Combine Ritz crackers and melted butter. Add to casserole.

Bake for 5-7 minutes. Garnish with green onions and serve.

A skillet topped with egg noodles next to a skillet with tuna noodle casserole filling.

Make-Ahead Method

  • Tuna Noodle Casserole can be made a day ahead of time and stored in the fridge until ready to bake.
  • If baking from a cold state, add 10 additional minutes of baking time. Top it with foil during this time, then remove for the remainder of baking.

Storage

  • Tuna Noodle Casserole should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • It can also be frozen for up to 6 months, (see below).

Freezing Tuna Noodle Casserole

  • Tuna Noodle Casserole makes a great freezer food, either before or after it’s been baked. Seal it well and store it for up to 6 months.
  • Let frozen casserole defrost overnight in the fridge prior to baking so that it cooks evenly.

⭐Pro Tip for freezing⭐ Line the casserole dish with lightly greased foil before you place the noodle mixture inside. Top the casserole with additional foil and freeze. Once solid, remove the foil-wrapped casserole, you have your casserole dish back!

A white casserole dish filled with tuna noodle casserole topped with golden crushed Ritz crackers.

Evaporated Milk Substitutions

Evaporated milk has about 60% of the water removed from it which creates a much creamier consistency in casseroles.

Substitutions:

  • If you only have regular milk on hand, you can simmer 24 oz. (or 3 cups) of regular milk until it reduces down to 12 oz (or 1.5 cups.)
  • You can also use a combination of milk and half and half to achieve a creamier consistency.

A spoon lifting up a big scoop of tuna noodle casserole from a casserole dish.

What to Serve with Tuna Noodle Casserole

Side Dishes

Desserts

 

A white plate with tuna noodle casserole topped with a Ritz cracker topping and green onions.

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A casserole dish filled with tuna noodle casserole with a spoon scooping it out.

Tuna Noodle Casserole

5 from 3 votes
This easy Tuna Noodle Casserole has a classic mushroom soup filling, sharp cheddar cheese, egg noodles, and a buttery Ritz cracker topping!

Ingredients

  • 3 cups dry egg noodles, (about 4 cups cooked)
  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes, optional
  • 8 oz. White Cheddar cheese, shredded (equal to 3 cups)
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 stalk Celery, diced
  • ½ white onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cans solid white albacore tuna in water, drained. (5 oz. per can)
  • ½ teaspoon Salt
  • ½ teaspoon celery salt
  • ¼ teaspoon Pepper
  • 1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup, see notes for link to homemade version
  • 12 oz. evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup sour cream, at room temp
  • 1 cup frozen peas

Casserole Topping

  • 1/3 cup Parmesan, finely grated
  • 1 cup Ritz crackers, crushed
  • 2 Tablespoons butter, melted

Garnish

  • 3 green onions, diced

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Shred the White Cheddar cheese and set aside to allow it to come to room temperature.
  • Cook the egg noodles 1 minute shy of what the package instructs. Add 2 bouillon cubes to the boiling water to enhance the flavor of the egg noodles if desired.
  • Melt the butter in a large skillet (at least 10” in sizover medium heat. Add the diced onions and celery and cook for about 5 minutes, until softened.
  • Add the minced garlic and cook for an additional minute.
  • Decrease heat to low. Add the drained tuna, salt/pepper, celery salt, cream of mushroom soup, milk, and sour cream. Stir until combined. Gradually sprinkle in the White cheddar and stir until well-combined and smooth.
  • Add the peas and egg noodles and use a silicone spatula to gently stir until combined.
  • Pour into a lightly greased 9 x 13 casserole dish.
  • Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes.
  • Combine the Ritz crackers and melted butter. Top the casserole with it along with the grated Parmesan. Bake for 5-7 additional minutes, until the top is brown and crisp.
  • Let sit for 5 minutes. Garnish with diced green onions and serve!

Notes

Diced frozen carrots as well as frozen green beans may also be used. Fresh/Diced mushrooms can also be used and sauteed with the onions and celery.

Condensed cream of celery or cream of chicken soup make good substitutes for cream of mushroom. You can also make this homemade version of condensed cream of mushroom soup, or MY homemade condensed cream of chicken soup.

2 cups of leftover chicken makes a good substitute for the Tuna in this casserole.

Make Ahead Method:
  • Tuna Noodle Casserole can be made a day ahead of time and stored in the fridge until ready to bake.
  • If baking from a cold state, add 10 additional minutes of baking time. Top it with foil during this time, then remove for the remainder of baking.
Freezing: 
  • Tuna Noodle Casserole makes a great freezer food, either before or after it's been baked. Seal it well and store it for up to 6 months.
  • Let frozen casserole defrost overnight in the fridge prior to baking so that it cooks evenly.

Nutrition

Calories: 558kcal, Carbohydrates: 32g, Protein: 32g, Fat: 34g, Saturated Fat: 19g, Cholesterol: 128mg, Sodium: 1404mg, Potassium: 491mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 10g, Vitamin A: 1204IU, Vitamin C: 13mg, Calcium: 552mg, Iron: 3mg