Easy Tuna Noodle Casserole Recipe

Caitlin Bensel

Do you ever get an undeniable craving for the exact dish you ate as a kid? This classic, comforting tuna noodle casserole is just that, right down to the cream of mushroom soup in the mix and the crushed potato chips on top. And just like back then, it’s a super budget-friendly casserole for an easy dinner.

What ingredients are in tuna noodle casserole?

Tuna and egg noodles are the stars of the show but there are lots of supporting players, too. A creamy sauce usually includes cream of mushroom soup, sour cream, and heavy cream. Frozen green peas are classic (bell pepper and celery are not, but they add color and crunch). Another must is shredded Cheddar—yes, this is a case where fish and cheese belong together! Don’t forget the chips on top, another must-have.

Do you cook egg noodles before adding to a tuna noodle casserole?

Unlike no-boil noodles sometimes used in lasagna, the egg noodles in a tuna noodle casserole do need to be boiled first. There’s not quite enough moisture in the casserole to soften the noodles during baking without also taking away some of the creaminess from the sauce. Cook the noodles for 2 minutes less than the package directs. The noodles will continue to cook while the casserole bakes, yielding the perfect bite.

Can tuna noodle casserole be frozen?

Tuna noodle casserole is a great meal to stash in your freezer. Freeze before adding the cheese and potato chip topper. Before baking, thaw the casserole completely. You may need to add a few minutes to the bake time to make sure the casserole is heated through.

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6 – 8


Prep Time:





Total Time:






12 oz. can solid white tuna in water, drained


10.5-oz. can cream of mushroom soup


small red bell pepper, chopped

1/2 c.

finely chopped onion

2 c.

shredded cheddar cheese, divided

2 tbsp.

chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnish

2 c.

crushed potato chips

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  1. Preheat the oven to 375º. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add noodles and cook 2 minutes less than the package directions. Drain and rinse under cool water. Set aside.
  2. Stir together the tuna, cream of mushroom soup, sour cream, heavy cream, peas, bell pepper, celery, onion, 1 cup of the cheese, 2 tablespoons of parsley, and salt and pepper to taste in a large bowl until combined. Stir in the cooked noodles and spoon the mixture into a lightly greased 13-by-9-inch baking dish.
  3. Top the casserole with the remaining 1 cup of cheese, then the potato chips.
  4. Bake the casserole 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly around the edges. Sprinkle with additional parsley before serving.

Casserole can be made through step 2 up to a day ahead, covered and refrigerated. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes, top as directed in Step 3, and bake.

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