The Cozy Cook

Tuna Noodle Casserole

This classic Tuna Noodle Casserole has canned tuna and egg noodles smothered in a creamy mushroom soup filling with cheese and peas. Top it off with buttery Ritz crackers, crispy fried onions, or potato chips.

BONUTS: This is an easy make-ahead meal and freezer food!

A bowl of Tuna Noodle Casserole with egg noodles in cream sauce with peas and crushed Ritz on top.

Tuna Noodle Casserole

Nothing beats a classic creamy casserole recipe, and this Tuna Noodle Casserole is right at the top of our favorites list.

This meal comes together SO quickly and can even be prepared without using the oven. (Although I love a nice crispy topping!)

Scroll down to see how easy this is to make and be sure to read through my PRO tips for helpful info with this recipe!

How to Make it

**See recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.

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

Add seasonings, tuna, cream of mushroom soup, half and half, and sour cream. Stir until combined.

A skillet with onions, celery, tuna, and cream sauce for Tuna Noodle Casserole.

Add frozen peas and shredded white cheddar until combined and heated through.

Adding peas and cheese to a skillet with cream sauce for Tuna Noodle Casserole

Add cooked egg noodles and mix until combined. Transfer to a lightly greased casserole dish if your skillet isn’t oven safe.

Mixing egg noodles into a skillet with cream sauce for Tuna Noodle Casserole.

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

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

A round casserole dish with a wooden spoon scooping up Tuna Noodle Casserole topped with Ritz crackers.

Make-Ahead Method

1-2 days ahead:

  • Tuna Noodle Casserole can be made 1-2 days ahead of time and stored in the fridge until ready to bake.
  • If baking from a cold state, add 15 additional minutes of covered baking time. 

1-3 months ahead:

  • Let it defrost in the fridge for up to 24 hours prior to baking or bake from frozen and add 1 hour to covered baking time.

Topping Options

  • Crushed Ritz Crackers, Crispy Fried Onions, Breadcrumbs, and Potato Chips all make great topping options for tuna noodle casserole.

Pro Tips

  • Half and Half is made of half milk, half cream. You can also use evaporated milk.
  • Frozen carrots, corn, and green beans may also be added.
  • Sliced mushrooms can also be used and sautéed with the onions and celery.
  • For best results, shred the cheese from a block instead of using bagged shredded cheese, which contains cellulose and doesn’t melt as well.
  • My homemade Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup or cream of chicken soup can also be used instead of a can.
  • 2 cups of leftover chicken makes a good substitute for the Tuna in this casserole.

To Prepare as a Skillet Meal (Without Baking):

  • Boil the noodles until fully cooked (vs. boiling for 1 minute less).
  • Top the casserole with Parmesan cheese. Cover and simmer over medium heat until warm and bubbling, 5-10 minutes.
  • Add a topping that doesn’t require baking to become crispy, such as crushed Ritz (without melted butter mixed in), or potato chips. 

Storage

  • Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

A wooden spoon scooping up creamy Tuna Noodle Casserole with egg noodles and peas.

Tools For This Recipe

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  • A 14-inch oven safe skillet is perfect for this recipe.
  • Box Cheese Grater– Always shred cheese from a block for creamy/melty results. Bagged shredded cheese contains cellulose and prevents it from melting as well in soups/sauces.
  • 9 x 13 baking dish The perfect size for almost any casserole recipe.

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Tuna Noodle Casserole with Creamy egg noodles and peas in a bowl with a fork.

Tuna Noodle Casserole

5 from 10 ratings
This classic Tuna Noodle Casserole has canned tuna and egg noodles smothered in a creamy mushroom soup filling with cheese and peas. Top it off with buttery Ritz crackers, crispy fried onions, or potato chips.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups dry egg noodles, about 4 cups cooked
  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes, optional
  • 8 oz. shredded White Cheddar cheese, equal to 3 cups
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 rib Celery, diced
  • ½ yellow 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 (10.5 oz.) can condensed cream of mushroom soup, or try my homemade version
  • 1.5 cups half and half, see notes
  • 1/2 cup sour cream, at room temp
  • 1 cup frozen peas

Casserole Topping

  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup Ritz crackers, crushed
  • 2 Tablespoons butter, melted

Optional Garnish

  • 3 green onions, diced

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Shred the cheese and set aside to allow it to come to room temperature.
  • Melt the butter in a large skillet over 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, half and half, and sour cream. Stir until combined. Gradually sprinkle in the White cheddar and stir until well-combined and smooth.
  • 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.
  • Add the peas and drained egg noodles to the cream sauce and use a silicone spatula to gently stir until combined.
  • If not using an oven safe skillet, transfer to a lightly greased 9 x 13 casserole dish.
  • Top with Parmesan cheese. Cover and bake for 20 minutes.
  • Combine the Ritz crackers and melted butter and sprinkle over the casserole. Bake uncovered for 5-7 minutes, until the top is brown and crisp.
  • Garnish with diced green onions and serve!

Notes

Pro Tips:
  • Half and Half is made of half milk, half cream. You can also use evaporated milk.
  • Frozen carrots, corn, and green beans may also be added.
  • Sliced mushrooms can also be used and sautéed with the onions and celery.
  • For best results, shred the cheese from a block instead of using bagged shredded cheese, which contains cellulose and doesn't melt as well.
  • My homemade Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup or cream of chicken soup can also be used instead of a can.
  • 2 cups of leftover chicken makes a good substitute for the Tuna in this casserole.

Make Ahead Method:
1-2 days ahead:
  • Tuna Noodle Casserole can be made 1-2 days ahead of time and stored in the fridge until ready to bake.
  • If baking from a cold state, add 15 additional minutes of covered baking time. 
1-3 months ahead:
  • Let it defrost in the fridge for up to 24 hours prior to baking or bake from frozen and add 1 hour to covered baking time.

To Skip Baking:
  • Boil the noodles until fully cooked (vs. boiling for 1 minute less).
  • Top the assembled casserole with Parmesan cheese. Cover and simmer over medium heat until warm and bubbling, 5-10 minutes.
  • Add a topping that doesn't require baking to become crispy, such as crushed Ritz (without melted butter mixed in), or potato chips. 

Nutrition

Calories: 589kcal, Carbohydrates: 32g, Protein: 32g, Fat: 37g, Saturated Fat: 22g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 10g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 135mg, Sodium: 1728mg, Potassium: 488mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 1308IU, Vitamin C: 13mg, Calcium: 479mg, Iron: 3mg

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26 comments on “Tuna Noodle Casserole”

  1. Let make start by saying that I am not a huge fan of tuna casserole.  At family gatherings, my brother often makes it.  He was looking forward to having tuna casserole this past Sunday, but he didn’t have time to make it and asked me if I would.  This was actually my first time cooking it, and I decided to choose a different recipe from the one he always uses.  The result…everyone loved it.  I highly recommend your recipe.

    • That’s funny Joelle because if I’m being honest I was never a big tuna casserole person either but I love this dish! I’m so happy everyone in your family loved it! Thanks so much for the great review, and great job!👏

  2. Loved it, though I made a few adjustments. I lowered the cheese to 2 cups, used a 12 oz can of albacore, mixed half 2% milk and half and half. Wonderful recipe to start.

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