This easy Classic Tuna Noodle Casserole recipe is full of creamy pasta and tuna with a crisp, buttery topping! Just like Grandma used to make and just 10 minutes of hands on time!
This classic tuna noodle casserole recipe is a kid favorite – loaded with tender egg noodles and tuna in a creamy sauce mixed with peas and topped with buttery crackers and cheese.
I love that this old fashioned tuna noodle casserole only takes about 10 minutes of hands on time and how easy it is to make substitutions in this casserole. You can really mix and match ingredients and come up with a new dinner in minutes!
And this is one of those pantry friendly meals that you can make on a night when you feel like your fridge is empty. We always have these ingredients lurking in the pantry so it ends up being our ’emergency’ dinner more times than not!
Noodles – We make our tuna casserole with egg noodles, just like Grandma made it.
Tuna – We use canned solid white albacore tuna in this recipe. It has a mild flavor and firm texture. Chunk light tuna comes from a variety of smaller tuna fish (skipjack, yellow fin, etc) and has a softer texture and stronger, fishier taste.
Soup – We’re keeping it classic and easy with canned cream of mushroom and canned cream of celery. You can swap in my substitute cream of chicken soup, if you prefer.
Veggies – Frozen peas are my go to, but feel free to mix in any other canned veggies you like.
Topping – Crushed crackers, Parmesan cheese, and melted butter make the ultimate topping.
What We Love About This Recipe
This dish is perfect for a busy weeknight, easy to customize to suit your family’s tastes, and made with pantry staples. It’s budget friendly and one of our go-to dinners when we’ve run out of fresh groceries and need something quick for dinner.
How to Make Old Fashioned Tuna Noodle Casserole:
Noodles: Boil the pasta according to the package instructions. While the pasta is boiling, get your filling whipped up.
Filling: Drain the tuna and add it to a mixing bowl along with the soup, milk, crunchy fried onions, frozen peas, and seasoning. Mix it all together and then stir in the drained egg noodles.
In the mood for something different?
You can quickly and easily switch this recipe up from a tuna noodle casserole to a chicken noodle casserole by swapping out the canned tuna for canned chunk chicken or crockpot shredded chicken!
Bake: Spread the mixture into a greased baking dish, cover the tuna noodle casserole with foil, and bake for 25 minutes.
Topping: Crush some butter crackers and mix together with melted butter and grated Parmesan cheese. This makes a flavorful and perfectly crispy, crunchy topping for the casserole.
Finish: Remove the dish and the foil and sprinkle the crunchy cracker crumb topping over the tuna pasta casserole. When you have a good even layer of crumbs return it to the oven uncovered for another 10 minutes or until the topping is golden.
Pasta – Use macaroni or small pasta shells instead of egg noodles.
Chicken – Sub the tuna for canned or cooked and chopped or shredded chicken.
Veggies – Add extra texture and flavor by swapping the frozen peas for a can of mixed vegetables.
Cheese – Stir shredded cheddar into the casserole before baking.
Topping – Swap out the cracker topping for crushed potato chips!
We prefer the taste and texture of solid white albacore tuna, but you can use the chunk light tuna if you prefer. It’s more budget friendly, but does have a stronger flavor and softer texture.
Like most casserole recipes this will keep in the refrigerator if covered well for at least 3 to 4 days! You can reheat it in the oven or microwave.
Yes, you can freeze this casserole for at least a couple of months if you wrap it well in aluminum foil and plastic wrap before freezing. We recommend freezing this casserole dish before baking for the best results.
Be sure to cover the dish when baking to seal in all of that steam and keep the dish moist. You’ll also want to use all of the soup and milk, as called for in the recipe.
MORE EASY CASSEROLE RECIPES!
- Cheesy Hashbrown Casserole
- Air Fryer Green Bean Casserole
- Philly Cheesesteak Casserole
- Amish Breakfast Casserole
- Crack Chicken Casserole
- Air Fryer Broccoli & Cheese Casserole
Classic Tuna Noodle Casserole
For the casserole:
- 8 ounces dried egg noodles
- 20 ounces canned solid white albacore tuna drained
- 10 ounces cream of mushroom soup
- 10 ounces cream of celery soup
- 2 cups frozen peas
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup French’s fried onions
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon cracked pepper
For the topping:
- ½ cup butter cracker crumbs
- ¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons butter melted
- Parsley or dill for garnish
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook noodles for one minute less than the package directions state.
- While noodles are cooking, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick spray.
- Add the tuna, cream of mushroom, cream of celery, peas, milk, fried onions, garlic powder, and pepper to a mixing bowl and stir to combine.
- When pasta is done cooking, drain, and add noodles to the tuna mixture. Stir well.
- Pour the noodles into the prepared baking dish and bake, covered with foil, for 25 minutes.
- While the casserole is baking, stir together the topping ingredients.
- Remove the foil from the casserole and sprinkle the cracker crumbs over the top. Return to the oven for 10 minutes.
- Sprinkle with fresh parsley or dill before serving.