Why you’ll love this recipe:
Tuna noodle casserole is a nostalgic, heartwarming recipe filled with creamy mushroom soup, wholesome tuna fish, and tender noodles. Finished with buttery Ritz crackers and baked until golden and crisp on top, this easy weeknight dinner is always a crowd-pleaser!
- Easy – This tuna casserole only requires 15 minutes of prep time, and it’s essentially a dump-and-bake recipe!
- Flavorful – Cream of mushroom soup along with heavy cream provides the perfect amount of indulgent, savory flavor.
- Common Ingredients – It’s likely that you already have everything you need for this recipe, and the ingredients are budget-friendly and easy to find if you don’t!
I have so many delicious casserole recipes, but this is truly one of my favorites!
Key Ingredient Notes:
- Egg noodles – Egg noodles come in various shapes and sizes, and they’re best known for their rich flavor and slightly yellow color, which comes from the eggs used in the dough.
- Canned tuna – I recommend using canned albacore tuna packed in water, but tuna packed in oil can also be used. Either way, you’ll want to make sure to drain it first.
- Frozen peas – Green peas add color and a small serving of veggies!
- Condensed cream of mushroom soup – Condensed cream of mushroom soup is not to be substituted with regular (non-condensed) cream of mushroom soup. Condensed soups are concentrated, rich, and creamy, while regular soups are thin and diluted with water.
- Heavy cream – Heavy cream adds a velvety texture, binds the ingredients together, and prevents the noodles from drying out while the dish is baking.
- Ritz crackers – Crushed Ritz crackers are mixed with melted butter and sprinkled on the finished casserole. They add the perfect amount of rich flavor and satisfying crunch to every bite!
- Butter – I recommend using unsalted butter if you have it on hand. The crackers and cream of mushroom soup add a lot of salt, and you can always adjust the seasonings if needed.
How to make tuna casserole:
Before you begin, preheat your oven to 375°F(190°C) and grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with butter or cooking spray.
1. Cook the noodles
- Cook the egg noodles according to package instructions until al dente.
- Drain and transfer the noodles into a large mixing bowl.
2. Prepare the casserole mixture
- Add the drained tuna, frozen peas, condensed soup, heavy cream, salt, pepper into the bowl with cooked egg noodles.
- Stir until well combined.
3. Make the cracker topping
- Add the melted butter and crushed Ritz crackers to a small bowl.
- Mix until well combined.
4. Assemble the casserole
- Transfer the casserole mixture to the prepared baking dish, and spread it out in an even layer.
- Evenly sprinkle the crushed crackers over the assembled casserole.
- Bake the casserole in your preheated oven for 25 minutes, or until it is heated through, and the topping is golden brown and crispy.
- Remove the casserole from the oven, and let it cool for a few minutes before serving.
Tuna noodle casserole variations:
Tuna noodle casserole is incredibly easy to customize with added vegetables, shredded cheese, and different crumbly toppings!
- Vegetables – Feel free to mix additional vegetables into the casserole mixture, such as sautéed onions, green beans, celery, or mushrooms.
- Cheese – Make your casserole even more creamy and decadent with shredded cheese! Mix Sharp Cheddar cheese or Colby Jack cheese into the casserole mixture.
- Crunchy Topping – While I prefer crushed crackers, common variations include panko bread crumbs and crushed potato chips.
Tips for Success:
- Cook pasta al dente. Cooking pasta al dente means the pasta will be slightly undercooked. The pasta will finish cooking while the casserole is baking.
- Flake the tuna. Use a fork to pull apart, or “flake,” the tuna into large chunks as you mix it into the casserole.
- You can assemble your tuna noodle casserole up to 1 day in advance. The noodles will soak up the sauce as it sits, though. So, making the casserole more than 1 day in advance isn’t recommended.
- Follow the recipe steps until the casserole is ready to be topped with cracker crumbs. Cover it tightly with foil, and place it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to bake.
- When ready to eat, sprinkle the casserole with freshly made cracker crumbs, and bake as instructed.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Reheat individual portions in the microwave until warmed through.
- Freeze unbaked tuna casserole for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to serve it, let it thaw in the fridge overnight, top it with crushed crackers, and bake as directed.
Yes, you can substitute egg noodles with other types of pasta, such as macaroni, penne, or rotini.
Dry tuna noodle casserole usually results from overcooking the casserole or not adding enough liquid. Since all of the ingredients are already cooked, the casserole only needs to be baked until it’s warmed through. If you don’t think your casserole has enough sauce, add an extra splash of heavy cream.
Casseroles are popular because they don’t need any sides! However, the best sides for tuna casserole include buttery rolls, garlic bread, salad, and vegetables. I would serve this casserole with grilled mixed vegetables or oven roasted mixed vegetables.
Easy Tuna Casserole
- 1 (9×13-inch) baking dish
- 12 ounces egg noddles Note 1
- 15 ounces canned tuna drained
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 (10.5oz) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper Note 2
- 2 tablespoons butter melted
- ¾ cup crushed Ritz crackers
- Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with butter or cooking spray.
- Cook the egg noodles according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside.12 ounces egg noddles
- In a large mixing bowl. Combine the drained tuna, frozen peas, condensed soup, heavy cream, salt, pepper and cooked egg noodles. Stir until well combined.15 ounces canned tuna, 1 cup frozen peas, 1 (10.5oz) can condensed cream of mushroom soup, 1 cup heavy cream, ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Transfer the tuna noodle mixture into the prepared baking dish and spread it out evenly.
- In a small bowl, mix together the melted butter and ritz crackers until well combined.2 tablespoons butter, ¾ cup crushed Ritz crackers
- Sprinkle the cracker crumb mixture evenly over the top of the casserole.
- Bake in a preheated oven for 25 minutes, or until the casserole is heated through and the topping is golden and crispy.
- Remove from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes before serving. Enjoy!
– Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
– Rehat individual portions in the microwave until warmed through.
– Freeze the unbaked casserole for up to three months. When ready to serve, let it thaw in the fridge overnight, top it with crushed crackers, and bake as directed.
* Disclaimer: All nutrition information are estimates only. Read full nutrition disclosure.
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