(Last Updated On: July 24, 2023)
If you love creamy casseroles and seafood, you are going to love this easy-to-make old fashioned tuna noodle casserole recipe with cream of mushroom soup, onions, red bell peppers, cheddar cheese, frozen peas with carrots, and crushed potato chips baked on top. The creamy sauce complements the crispy and crunchy crushed potato chip topping. It is so good!
Most of the ingredients in this recipe are pantry staples that you already have in your kitchen, minus the red bell pepper. This classic tuna noodle casserole recipe is a healthy choice on busy weeknights and a family favorite.
When our family is in a hurry, we love anything and everything noodles. A few other delicious noodle dishes that are quick and simple to make are mac and cheese, noodles with scrambled eggs, and chicken and noodle casserole with red peppers.
🥄 Key Ingredients
- 8 ounces of medium egg noodles or your favorite macaroni noodles or pasta
- 2 cans of solid white Albacore tuna in water (5 ounces each – drained) or your favorite canned tuna
- 2 cans of cream of mushroom soup – 10.5 ounces each
- 1 cup of milk
- 2 cups of shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup of diced or chopped onions
- 1 diced or chopped red bell pepper
- 1/2 cup of frozen peas and carrots
- 2 cups potato chips – crushed
- Non-stick cooking spray
🍽️ How to Make Tuna Noodle Casserole (Step-by-Step Instructions with Detailed Photos)
Step 1. Preheat Oven
Set the oven temperature to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Step 2. Dice the Onion and Red Bell Pepper
Note: We bought a small onion, but even though the recipe calls for 1/2 cup of diced onions, if you love onions, you can buy a medium or large onion and use the whole onion. I love onions in dishes that call for onions.
Step 3. Prepare the Egg Noodles
Cook the pasta al dente in a medium saucepan according to the package instructions. We cooked our pasta for about 8 minutes. Drain all the water out of the pasta after it is done cooking and then transfer it into a large bowl. Set aside for now.
Note: If you can not find an eight-ounce bag of the egg noodles you wish to use, buy a 16-ounce bag and use half the bag. Also, al dente is egg noodles that are cooked firm to the bite but yet they are tender egg noodles, not overly soft or mushy. In other words, they are soft with a slightly chewy texture.
Step 4. Prepare and Add the Tuna to the Egg Noodles
Open 2 cans of tuna, 5 ounces each, then drain all the liquid out of them. Put the tuna in the large bowl together with the egg noodles we set aside earlier. Mix thoroughly with a spoon or spatula.
Step 5. Combine the Other Ingredients
Measure 1/2 cup of frozen peas and carrots. Open the two 10.5-ounce cans of cream of mushroom soup. After that, add the diced onions, diced red bell peppers, peas, carrots, cheddar cheese, cream of mushroom soup, and 1 cup of milk together with the cooked egg noodles and drained tuna.
Step 6. Stir Thoroughly
After you have added all the ingredients to the tuna mixture, thoroughly mix until blended together. Set the tuna mixture aside for a minute while we prepare the casserole dish.
Step 7. Grease a Casserole Dish – Add Tuna Mixture – Then Bake
Grease a 9×13-inch casserole dish or baking dish with non-stick cooking spray, then scoop the tuna mixture evenly into the greased casserole dish. Do not press the mixture down.
Place the oven rack in the middle of the oven. Put the casserole dish with the tuna noodle casserole in the oven and bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes.
Step 8. Add the Crushed Potato Chips
While the casserole is baking, crush 2 cups of potato chips in a small bowl. You can also put the potato chips in a baggie and crush them that way if you prefer.
When the 15 minutes of baking time is done, use heat-resistant oven mitts to remove the casserole from the oven. Sprinkle the crushed potato chips on top of the tuna mixture in the casserole dish.
Step 9. Put the Tuna Casserole Back in the Oven
Again, using the heat-resistant oven mitts, put the tuna casserole dish back into the oven and bake for another 15 minutes, or until the potato chips are golden brown. The crunchy potato chips on top of the tuna casserole add an amazing crispy texture to the casserole that is so good!
Step 10. Set the Table
Using the heat-resistant oven mitts, take the tuna casserole out of the oven after the potato chips are golden brown. After that, set the dinner table, ring the dinner bell, place this beautiful tuna casserole in the center of the table, then watch the family gobble it up. Enjoy!
✨ Recipe Variations
You can adjust and experiment with this tuna casserole recipe according to your taste preferences. You can add other vegetables, different cheeses, and seasonings besides the ones in this recipe.
- If you don’t happen to have a bag of potato chips, you can use crumbled-up bread crumbs or crushed Ritz crackers for the topping instead.
- Sprinkle some Parmesan cheese or red pepper flakes on your serving of tuna noodle casserole.
- Add extra sliced mushrooms beside the ones already in the cream of mushroom soup to the tuna casserole before baking.
- You can also eliminate the onions if you prefer.
Store leftovers in an airtight container or cover the leftovers with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and then put them in the refrigerator. Do not store the leftovers on the countertop at room temperature. Bacteria can start to form within a couple of hours.
The CDC (Center for Disease Control) says: “Bacteria can multiply rapidly if left at room temperature or in the danger zone between 40 degrees Fahrenheit and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep your refrigerator at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below and your freezer at 0 degrees Fahrenheit or below. Refrigerate perishable food (meat, seafood, dairy, cut fruit, some vegetables, and cooked leftovers) within two hours. If the food is exposed to temperatures above 90 degrees Fahrenheit, like a hot car or picnic, refrigerate it within one hour.”
Yes, you can freeze tuna noodle casserole to be enjoyed at a later date. You can leave it in the same dish you baked it in if you have an airtight lid for it. Or you can portion out the casserole. If it is just you and your partner, divide the casserole into individual serving-sized portions and put them in freezer-safe containers. Then, you can thaw and reheat only what you need.
Tuna casserole can be kept in the freezer for about 2 or 3 months, but try to use it up before that for the best quality and texture of the casserole. When you are ready to use the leftovers, take the tuna casserole out of the freezer the night before and let it thaw in the refrigerator. Reheat it in the oven until it is heated through.
💭 Final Thoughts
The creamy sauce, the browned crunchy potato chip topping, and the red bell peppers and onions make this tuna casserole a delightful treat for dinner. It also makes for a great potluck at picnics, graduations, weddings, funerals, or special occasions.
This tuna casserole can be served with a variety of delicious side dishes such as lettuce salad, steamed buttered green beans, or fresh fruit such as grapes, strawberries, or cantaloupe. Fresh or roasted vegetables such as broccoli, baby carrots, brussels sprouts, zucchini, or asparagus are also great side dishes. And don’t forget about garlic bread, biscuits, or dinner rolls.
The next time you are looking for a classic comfort food that’s sure to please the whole family, look no further than this old-fashioned tuna casserole recipe. It’s a classic dish that’s super simple to make in about 30 minutes, then dinner is served.
🥰 More Casserole Recipes You Will Love
- Lasagna with Lean Ground Beef – Pure Italian taste with lean ground beef, onions, minced garlic, ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, and just the right amount of spices, So good!
- Canned Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe (No Nuts) – Keep this recipe handy for a special treat, especially around the holidays and special occasions. This sweet potato casserole recipe is made with no nuts but includes sweet potatoes, eggs, evaporated milk, lemon juice, ground cinnamon, brown sugar, butter, and mini marshmallows.
- Chicken and Broccoli Lasagna Recipe (Easy) – This chicken and broccoli lasagna is so delicious with layers of Alfredo sauce, lasagna pasta, chicken, broccoli, and mozzarella cheese.
🗂️ Recipe Card
Old Fashioned Tuna Noodle Casserole
- 1 bag egg noodles 8 ounces (or 1/2 of a 16-ounce bag)
- 2 cans albacore solid white tuna in water (5 ounces each)
- 2 cans cream of mushroom soup (10.5 ounces each)
- 1 cup milk
- 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup onions (diced)
- 1 red bell pepper (diced)
- 1/2 cup frozen peas and carrots
- 2 cups potato chips (crushed)
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Dice the red bell pepper and the onion. Set aside for now.
- Prepare the egg noodles according to the package. When done, drain the water out of the egg noodles and transfer them to a large bowl.
- Drain the water out of the cans of tuna.
- Add the tuna to the bowl of egg noodles. Mix together.
- Add the frozen peas and carrots, cream of mushroom soup, diced onions, diced red bell peppers, cheddar cheese, and milk together with the cooked egg noodles and tuna. Mix thoroughly. Set aside for a minute.
- Spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
- Pour the prepared tuna noodle mixture into the greased baking dish.
- With the oven rack in the middle of the oven, place the tuna noodle casserole into the oven and bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes.
- While that is baking, crush the potato chips.
- After 15 minutes of baking, use heat-resistant oven mitts to remove the tuna noodle casserole from the oven.
- Spread the crushed potato chips evenly across the top of the tuna casserole.
- Put the tuna casserole back into the oven for 15 more minutes, or until the potato chips are golden brown.
A wife, a mother to a son and a daughter, and a grandmother to three granddaughters. Flo loves sharing recipes passed down from her own mother, her mother-in-law, and her grandmother as well as new recipes created with her daughter, Tamara Ray.
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