Easy Tuna Noodle Casserole With Cheddar Cheese

Easy tuna noodle casserole recipe

​The Spruce / Diana Chistruga 

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 40 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
681 Calories
35g Fat
50g Carbs
41g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 681
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 35g 45%
Saturated Fat 17g 85%
Cholesterol 117mg 39%
Sodium 1560mg 68%
Total Carbohydrate 50g 18%
Dietary Fiber 5g 18%
Total Sugars 12g
Protein 41g
Vitamin C 8mg 39%
Calcium 634mg 49%
Iron 3mg 19%
Potassium 627mg 13%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

A classic American dish, tuna noodle casserole is always a favorite family meal. This simple recipe is a great way to switch up your weeknight dinner routine and make good use of a few pantry staples. Not only is it quick and delicious, but it's easy on the budget, too.

This cheesy tuna noodle casserole is a nostalgic recipe that many adults remember from their childhood. It's easy to swap out ingredients to suit your tastes and what you have handy in your pantry. For instance, you can make egg noodles or use shells, macaroni, spaghetti, or almost any pasta instead. It works with different types of condensed cream soup or canned or frozen mixed vegetables as well. Serve tuna noodle casserole with bread and salad—dinner is on the table in less than an hour.

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Click Play to See This Tuna Cheddar Casserole with Noodles Recipe Come Together

"A basic tuna casserole that brings back fond childhood memories and creates an enjoyable family meal. It’s an inexpensive dinner with easy-to-find ingredients and clear instructions for preparing a quick weeknight meal. Also, it’s a recipe you can adapt to whatever you have in the pantry." —Colleen Graham

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A Note From Our Recipe Tester

Ingredients

  • Cooking spray, or unsalted butter, for greasing

  • 12 ounces medium egg noodles, cooked and drained

  • 2 (10.75-ounce) cans condensed cream of mushroom soup

  • 2 cups cooked green peas

  • 1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese

  • 2 (6-ounce) cans tuna, drained and flaked

  • 1/2 cup milk

  • Kosher salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • 1 cup soft breadcrumbs

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. Preheat the oven to 350 F.

    Ingredients for tuna noodle casserole
    ​The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  2. Spray a 2 1/2- to 3-quart casserole dish with cooking spray.

    Greased casserole dish
    ​The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  3. Combine the noodles, soup, peas, cheese, tuna, and milk. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper. Spoon into the prepared baking dish.

    Noodles and other ingredients combined in the baking dish
    ​The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  4. In a small bowl, toss the breadcrumbs with the melted butter and sprinkle over the top of the casserole.

    Buttered breadcrumbs on top of casserole
    ​The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  5. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until hot and bubbly and the breadcrumbs are browned.

    Baked tuna noodle casserole
    ​The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  6. Serve and enjoy.

    Serve tuna noodle casserole
    ​The Spruce / Diana Chistruga 

Glass Bakeware Warning

For premade casseroles or leftovers that are in a glass baking dish and have been refrigerated, do not place directly into a hot oven as the glass can shatter. Instead, place any cold glass bakeware into a cold oven to warm up while it preheats. Or allow the bakeware to rest outside of the fridge for 30 minutes to reach room temperature while the oven preheats.

How to Store and Freeze

This tuna noodle casserole can be stored in the fridge for up to a day before baking or frozen and eaten up to three months later:

  • Make sure to cook the pasta al dente when preparing to freeze.
  • Follow the recipe as written, leaving off the buttered breadcrumbs. Do not bake. Wrap tightly and place in the fridge or freeze.
  • When ready to bake, add the buttered breadcrumbs. If baking from the fridge, add about 5 to 10 minutes to the cook time. When baking from frozen, do not defrost. The casserole will take about twice as long to cook (40 minutes).

Recipe Variations

  • Top the casserole with french fried onions, crumbled cheese crackers, or crumbled potato chips. Omit the soft breadcrumbs and melted butter.
  • Instead of peas, use 2 cups of cooked peas and carrots or mixed vegetables.
  • Jazz up the flavor by adding an Italian seasoning blend or a combination of dried oregano, basil, and garlic. Paprika is an excellent addition as well.
  • Add some sliced sautéed mushrooms or onions to the casserole mixture.
  • Add a few tablespoons of diced drained pimientos to the casserole.
  • Use cream of celery soup instead of cream of mushroom soup or one can of each.
  • If you prefer a homemade sauce, omit the soup and milk, replacing them with about 2 1/2 to 3 cups of thickened white sauce
  • No tuna? This recipe is also a good use for canned chicken and cream of chicken soup. Or cook and shred a couple of boneless chicken breasts.

How Do You Keep Tuna Casserole From Drying Out?

Since all of the ingredients added to tuna noodle casserole are already cooked, you're baking it just long enough to warm everything through and crisp the top. Don't overbake or the casserole will dry out. In this recipe, milk is added to help keep the mixture moist as it cooks.

What Is a Good Side Dish for Tuna Noodle Casserole?

Serve tuna noodle casserole with a green vegetable like steamed green beans or sautéed broccoli or a green salad like a wedge salad for a complete meal.