Tuna Noodle Casserole is a delicious retro casserole recipe. Wide egg noodles are cooked with a creamy, cheesy sauce with tuna fish in it. There is a reason this budget friendly tuna casserole recipe has stood the test of time!
Tuna Noodle Casserole
Today’s recipe is one of the very first casserole recipes I learned how to make. Way back in the day! The iconic Tuna Casserole!
We always had cans of tuna fish in the house, and because tuna casserole is so economical and delicious, we ate it often.
This casserole recipe is a favorite of kids and grown-ups alike! You can adjust the ingredients easily for your picky eaters.
Which Tuna Fish is Best for Tuna Casserole?
I prefer the standard (and cheap) chunk light tuna packed in water. I buy it in bulk at my big box store.
Use your favorite, but I think using a more expensive tuna fish for a casserole is kind of a waste as it won’t be showcased the same way as say, a tuna fish sandwich.
There are a lot of ingredients, but this recipe comes together easily. Here are the steps to make it:
After mixing the noodles and the sauce ingredients together, transfer to a 9″x13″ baking dish, cover with foil, and bake for about 35 minutes. Then uncover, add bread crumbs, and bake another 15 minutes.
Why are My Tuna Casseroles are Always Dry?
There are a few reasons why your tuna casserole comes out too dry:
- There is not enough liquid in the mix and the noodles suck it all up.
- You might be using a baking dish that is too large for the amount of casserole you have.
- You didn’t cover the baking dish with foil for the first 35-45 minutes of baking.
- Cooked too long.
- The recipe you are using might be a bad one.
A Few Substitutions for Ingredients in This Casserole
- Swap out the canned tuna for canned salmon or chicken.
- Instead of just peas, use peas and carrots.
- Add some canned sliced mushrooms.
- Add extra dill weed for even more flavor.
- Use crushed potato chips in place of the panko bread crumbs (try the onion flavor, or use plain).
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If you make this comforting, tasty tuna casserole recipe, please leave a comment with a star rating below. I’d like to know how you liked it!
Tuna Noodle Casserole
- 12 oz Wide Egg Noodles
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 4 Tbsp Butter
- 1 sm Sweet Onion finely diced
- 1 rib Celery finely diced
- 1 sm clove Garlic finely minced
- 1 1/2 tsp Dill Weed dried
- 1 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1/2 tsp Onion Powder
- 3/4 tsp Kosher Salt
- 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
- 2 10.5 oz cans Cream of Mushroom Soup
- 2 6 oz cans Tuna, chunk light packed in water, mostly drained
- 2 cups Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
- 1/4 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
- 2 cups Frozen Peas
- 1/4 cup Fresh Parsley chopped
- 2 cups Whole Milk
- 2 Tbsp Butter melted
- 3/4 cup Panko Bread Crumbs
- Start a pot of water boiling and add the egg noodles when it comes to a boil. Then reduce heat to med-high, or a temperature that will keep the noodles simmering. Stir occasionally.
- While noodles are cooking, heat a skillet to med-high heat. When hot, add the olive oil and butter. Then add the onion and celery. Cook until vegetables are soft and translucent.
- Turn heat to low and add the garlic, dill, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Stir well and cook 20 seconds. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
- While vegetables are cooking, check on the noodles so they don’t overcook. When they are just a little softer than al dente, take off heat, drain, and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
- To a large mixing bowl add the mushroom soup, tuna, cheddar cheese, parmesan, frozen peas, and parsley. Stir to combine.
- Stir in the onion mixture.
- Stir in the milk.
- Add the cooked, cooled noodles to the mixing bowl and stir gently to thoroughly combine.
- Transfer mixture to a 13 x 9 inch casserole baking dish and cover with a piece of sprayed foil. Cook at 375° F for 35-45 minutes.
- While the casserole is baking, add 2 Tbsp of butter to a skillet and melt it over med heat. Add the Panko bread crumbs and stir well. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Remove foil from the casserole and sprinkle on the bread crumbs and continue baking another 10-15 minutes, or until the bread crumbs are browned and the casserole is hot and bubbling.
- Remove casserole from oven and let stand 10 minutes before serving.
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There wasn’t leftovers for sure
Wonderful recipe. The kids actually ate their helpings, which was shocking, lol!
Great recipe! Recipe was adjusted slightly as I made this with French’s fried onion as the topping. Delicious!!
I don’t buy canned soup (or canned products minus tuna) so what can I use to substitute the cream of mushroom?
Use full-fat sour cream as low and fat-free versions tend to be more watery. Add more garlic powder and some minced mushrooms. Maybe a little salt to make up for the sodium, or just add it to your serving at the dinner table.
Is there a way to scale this out to a sheet pan size? I want to make it for the local soup kitchen but I’m not sure how much of each ingredient to use.
It depends on the size of your sheet pan. I think tripling it would fill the pan, but again, not knowing the size… This recipe is made for a 9″x13″, so that is your starting point.
The BEST tuna casserole I’ve ever had! Creamy and not dry like my mom’s was!