Tuna Noodle Casserole Recipe (2024)

By Stacy Williams

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Ready for an amazing casserole recipe that’s perfect for busy weeknights? Make this grown up tuna noodle casserole recipe for a classic comfort food filled with sautéed mushrooms, Colby jack or cheddar cheese, crispy fried onions and more! You’ll never turn your nose up at a bowl of tuna noodle casserole again!


Does anyone else remember the days of tuna noodle casserole being served for dinner? It was that famous blue box, a can of peas and a can of tuna. I loved my Mom but bless her heart, she could not cook. As a result, we ate a lot of blue box and tuna for dinner.

I can’t even eat the blue box by itself these days for this reason.

Part of the reason why I can’t stand it is that these days, mytastes are a bit more complicated.I love food and when I eat, I want plenty of flavor; especially when I make a tuna noodle casserole recipe.

What Are The Ingredients in a Tuna Casserole?

That’s why this particular recipe uses what I would say are grown up ingredients. Egg noodles, olive oil, mushrooms, cream of mushroom soup and so on all come together to make a creamy sauce that may just make you want to lick the casserole dish!

I kid. Maybe.

Just be sure to let the skillet cool before you lick it.

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Tuna Noodle Casserole Recipe (2)

Can I Make This Tuna Noodle Casserole with Chicken or Turkey?

If you don’t like the taste of tuna, you can easily swap it out and make this with chicken or turkey. The flavor stays the same no matter which one you use.

Tuna does tend to be a little cheaper though so if you’re looking to stretch your food budget, I would opt to keep tuna as the protein. However, if you do have a picky eater, there’s no worry about changing things up.

What Can I Top Tuna Noodle Casserole With?

The recipe itself calls for your casserole to be topped with fried onions. However, not everyone likes them or keeps them in their pantry. Luckily, you can top yours with things such as crushed potato chips, Italian seasoned bread crumbs or crushed Ritz crackers without changing the flavor too much.

Keep in mind that the onions do add some flavor to the final dish. If you change the topping, you will change the flavor somewhat. It just shouldn’t be enough to really matter much.

Tuna Noodle Casserole Recipe (3)

How Long Can Tuna Noodle Casserole Sit Out?

Like any dish that includes seafood, you will want to store any leftover tuna noodle casserole in the refrigerator in an airtight container as quickly as possible once dinner is done. At the absolute max, it can sit out around an hour and half to two hours.

After that, you run the risk of it making your family sick from bacteria that can settle in the tuna.

Can I Make Tuna Noodle Casserole Ahead of Time?

Somewhat. There are things you can do ahead of time to make the prep work easier, but unless you are planning on freezer cooking, I suggest you make it fresh for the most part for the best flavor.

Prepwork such as dicing the onion and sauteeing the mushrooms can be done ahead. However, I would cook noodles and make the sauce only when you’re ready to put the casserole itself together.

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Can you freeze tuna noodle casserole?

Yes! This casserole recipe is freezer friendly too! If you’re planning on freezing it, use a 8 x 8foil baking pan with lidlike THESE. Make the tuna noodle casserole recipe as written but stop before adding the french fried onions and freeze instead.

It’s super simple!

How to Reheat Tuna Noodle Casserole?

To cook your frozen tuna noodle casserole, thaw completely before you bake it. Add the french fried onions after it’s thawed and bake as directed. Whether you freeze it or not, this tuna casserole recipe really does come together for a cheap family meal very quickly!

Tuna Noodle Casserole Recipe (4)

Tuna Noodle Casserole Recipe (5)


4.91 from 10 votes

Grown Up Tuna Noodle Casserole Recipe

Ready for an amazing casserole recipe that's perfect for busy weeknights? Make this grown up tuna noodle casserole recipe for a classic comfort food filled with sautéed mushrooms, Colby jack or cheddar cheese, crispy fried onions and more! You'll never turn your nose up at a bowl of tuna noodle casserole again!

Course Dinner

Cuisine American

Keyword Casserole, Colby Cheese, Dinner, Mushrooms, Tuna

Prep Time 30 minutes minutes

Cook Time 10 minutes minutes

Total Time 40 minutes minutes

Servings 4 people

Calories 686kcal

Author Stacy Williams

Cost 10.00



  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees then slice the mushrooms and dice the onions. Lightly grease your baking dish with cooking spray. Start water for pasta. While the water is heating, heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Once the oil is heated, add the onions and mushrooms and saute until the onions are translucent. After the onions are done, cook pasta until al dente (7 minutes or so).

    3 tbsp. Olive oil, 1/2 lg. White onion, 3-4 med. Bella mushrooms, 8 oz Egg Noodles

    Tuna Noodle Casserole Recipe (6)

  • Add mushroom soup, cream cheese, sour cream, milk and garlic powder to the frying pan and heat until it’s hot. Season with salt and pepper to your tastes once its hot.

    4 oz Cream cheese, 1/2 c. Sour cream, 1 10.5 oz can Cream of mushroom soup, 3/4 c Milk, 1 tsp. Garlic powder, Salt, Pepper

    Tuna Noodle Casserole Recipe (7)

  • Drain the pasta well and add to the pan and stir to mix. Make sure your pasta gets covered well.

    Tuna Noodle Casserole Recipe (8)

  • Once you’ve mixed the pasta well, add the tuna (make sure it is well drained) or cooked chicken to your pan and mix it all up again. Pour the mixture into your baking dish.

    8 oz. Tuna

    Tuna Noodle Casserole Recipe (9)

  • Add the shredded cheese on top.

    1 c Colby jack cheese

    Tuna Noodle Casserole Recipe (10)

  • Sprinkle the french fried onions on top.

    1 c French fried onions

    Tuna Noodle Casserole Recipe (11)

  • Bake at 375° F for 10 minutes or just until the onions are golden brown. Serve hot.

    Tuna Noodle Casserole Recipe (12)


  • To freeze: Stop just before adding fried onions and freeze. To cook from frozen, thaw fully, add the onions and bake as directed.
  • Nutrition information is auto-calculated and may not be correct. Please use discretion if you have a special diet.


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 686kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 42g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 16g | Trans Fat: 0.04g | Cholesterol: 151mg | Sodium: 453mg | Potassium: 443mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1035IU | Vitamin C: 0.3mg | Calcium: 371mg | Iron: 2mg

Tuna Noodle Casserole Recipe (2024)


What is tuna noodle casserole made of? ›

Use 2 cans soup, 1 cup milk, 1/4 cup pimiento, two 12-ounce cans tuna, 6 ounces (about 4 cups) egg noodles, 2 tablespoons bread crumbs and 1 tablespoon butter. Bake in a 2-quart casserole for 30 minutes or until hot, then for another 5 to brown the bread crumb mixture.

Why is my tuna casserole so dry? ›

A possible reason for this is that you added too much pasta or not enough liquid. The pasta absorbs liquid, so you should use a generous amount of sauce to keep the dish moist. Your tuna casserole can also become dry due to overbaking.

Do you cook noodles before putting them in a casserole? ›

Do you cook the noodles before adding them to the casserole? Yes, you should cook the egg noodles until they're al dente before combining with the other ingredients.

How do you moisten leftover tuna casserole? ›

Alternatively, Foods Guy recommends adding a splash of water or chicken stock to your casserole and covering it with plastic wrap before microwaving, which will add new moisture and lock in the steam, ensuring a perfectly moist reheated tuna casserole.

What's the best pasta to use for tuna casserole? ›

If you are looking to make a satisfying tuna casserole, make sure to use egg noodles for a mouth-pleasing and tummy-filling meal.

How do you thicken tuna casserole? ›

Make a cornstarch slurry for a fast and easy thickener.

Use one tablespoon of cornstarch per cup of liquid you would like to thicken. Stir out all the lumps. A few minutes before your casserole is done, add it a little at a time until you are happy with the thickness. Then, let the casserole finish baking.

How do you keep a casserole moist? ›

Covering a casserole helps the dish cook evenly, stay moist, and prevents burning. Uncovering helps with browning, crisping and allowing for steam to release.

How do you make a moist casserole? ›

Pro Tip: Avoid Dry Casserole.

The best way to prevent it from drying out is to add a little bit of water, around ¼ cup, to the top of it. Allow the water to seep between the food and the sides of the baking dish. Cover with aluminum foil to seal in the moisture.

How many days can you eat tuna casserole? ›

Store your leftover tuna noodle casserole in a shallow, airtight container in the fridge for up to four days. Reheat thoroughly in the oven or in the microwave.

Should you rinse pasta for a casserole? ›

The answer is simple: No, you should not rinse pasta. You should never rinse pasta, noodles, or macaroni if it is going to be added to a sauce and served.

Is it better to cook casserole the day before or? ›

Make-ahead meals (especially baked casseroles) are terrific because you can completely assemble them in advance and bake them just before serving. They're the ultimate comfort food as they come bubbling hot and delicious straight from the oven to the table to the delight of family and friends.

Should I cook my noodles in the sauce? ›

First, in authentic Italian cuisine, the sauce is always tossed with the pasta before it ever hits the plate. Just before the sauce is done cooking, the hot pasta is added to the saucepan. Generally speaking, we recommend cooking the pasta in the sauce together for about 1-2 minutes.

Can I eat tuna casserole that was left out overnight? ›

If you reheat food that was forgotten on the counter overnight or was left out all day, will it be safe to eat? TWO HOURS is the MAXIMUM time perishable foods should be at room temperature (ONE HOUR at temperatures 90 degrees F and higher). This INCLUDES the time they're on the table during your meal.

How long is leftover tuna noodle casserole good for? ›

Store your leftover tuna casserole in a shallow, airtight container in the fridge for up to four days. Reheat in the oven or in the microwave.

How long can tuna noodle casserole sit out? ›

The "2-hour rule" states that perishables left at room temperature for more than two hours should be discarded. If the food is being kept in an area that is 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32.2 degrees Celsius) or above, leftovers should be refrigerated to 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4.4 degrees Celsius) or below within one hour.

Where is tuna noodle casserole from? ›

Although most associated with 1950s Middle America, this iconic bootstrap recipe first popped up in the Pacific Northwest in 1930.

What is casserole made of? ›

In the United States, a casserole or hot dish is typically a baked food with three main components: pieces of meat (such as chicken or ground meat) or fish (such as tuna) or other protein (such as beans or tofu), various chopped or canned vegetables (such as green beans or peas), and a starchy binder (such as flour, ...

What are casserole dishes made of? ›

“A casserole dish and a baking dish are the same thing, an oven-safe piece of cookware, usually made of ceramic, porcelain, or glass,” says Anthony Contrino, Emmy-awarded culinary producer and food stylist. "They can come in various shapes, with the most common being rectangular, oval, or square.

What are the components of a casserole? ›

Let's talk anatomy: A standard dinner casserole usually includes a protein, a starch, a vegetable, a sauce (or other binding ingredient), and cheese.


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