Nothing takes me back to my childhood quite as much as a Classic Tuna Noodle Casserole. Packed with basic ingredients that are completely delicious when all are combined, it offers comfort and a hearty meal that the whole family will love!
It’s definitely my go-to recipe whenever the nostalgia kick-ins yet I’ve also adapted this classic dish as the years have gone by. For today, I’m sharing a more traditional version of this winner of a dish!
If you do feel like getting fancy with optional extras, adding sour cream to the tuna mix provides a creamier texture. I’ve also added crushed potato chips and French-fried onions as a delicious crunchy topping in the past but this recipe below just calls for a buttery bread crumb topping which is just as good!
I’m getting hungry just talking about this so let’s get straight to it, shall we?!
TIPS FOR MAKING CLASSIC TUNA NOODLE CASSEROLE
- You can easily omit the peas and carrots called for in this recipe or use frozen peas only.
- This casserole is perfect as a stand-alone meal, however, should you like to add a side dish then I recommend a light salad (either leafy greens or veggie-based) especially since the casserole is creamy and rich.
- You can use water-packed salmon instead of tuna for this recipe if you wish. Otherwise canned, shredded or cubed chicken works beautifully too!
- If you don’t have egg noodles on hand, you could definitely make use of other pasta. Tubular pasta is always great in casseroles otherwise feel free to use whatever you have on hand or whatever the family loves!
- While this recipe uses cream of celery soup, you can pretty much use any kind of condensed cream soup.
Classic Tuna Noodle Casserole
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large pot boil noodles according to package directions to al dente.
- In a large bowl mix together soup, tuna, peas and carrots, milk, mayonnaise, 1 cup cheese, and seasonings until well combined.
- Fold in cooked noodles and mix until well combined.
- Pour mixture into a 13×9 baking dish.
- In a small microwavable safe bowl melt 2 tablespoons of butter and combine with bread crumbs.
- Sprinkle 1 cup cheese on top of casserole. Sprinkle bread crumb mixture on top of casserole.
- Bake for about 40-45 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly.
CAN I FREEZE THIS TUNA NOODLE CASSEROLE?
- Yes, you can! There are 3 ways in which you can do so:
- Make up the tuna mixture without adding the noodles and freeze till you intend using. When ready to enjoy, thaw your mixture, cook your noodles and add them to the mixture. All that’s left to do at this stage is bake your casserole having added the toppings.
- Assemble your casserole with your noodles slightly undercooked and then freeze the unbaked casserole for baking at a later stage.
- Assemble and bake your tuna noodle casserole and allow to cool completely before freezing. To reheat, thaw the casserole overnight in the refrigerator and reheat in the oven till heated throughout. Freezing your recipe this way does pose the risk of ending up with a dry casserole which is why I prefer the first two options instead.
- Your tuna noodle casserole will last for up to 3 months in the freezer when stored in an airtight container or kept in the casserole dish with plastic wrap tightly covering the dish.
HOW SHOULD I STORE LEFTOVER TUNA NOODLE CASSEROLE?
- You can either freeze your baked tuna noodle casserole and reheat at a later stage or you can store your leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2 – 3 days and reheat in the oven when ready to enjoy.
Have Extra Cans of Tuna? Try These Recipes
Nothing takes me back to my childhood like Classic Tuna Noodle Casserole. It's packed with basic ingredients that turn into magic when combined.
- 12 oz bag Egg Noodles, uncooked
- 10.5 oz can cream of celery soup
- 12 oz can light tuna in water, drained
- 12 oz bag frozen peas and carrots, rinsed
- ⅓ cup milk
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese shredded, divided
- ½ cup bread crumbs
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large pot boil noodles according to package directions to al dente.
In a large bowl mix together soup, tuna, peas and carrots, milk, mayonnaise, 1 cup cheese, and seasonings until well combined.
Fold in cooked noodles and mix until well combined.
Pour mixture into a 13x9 baking dish.
In a small microwavable safe bowl melt 2 tablespoons of butter and combine with bread crumbs
Sprinkle 1 cup cheese on top of casserole. Sprinkle bread crumb mixture on top of casserole.
Bake for about 40-45 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly