This Tuna Noodle Casserole is made from scratch with a simple mushroom cream sauce and a buttery cracker crust. It’s better than you remember and ready in under an hour.

Tuna casserole in a white baking dish.
Table of Contents
  1. Recipe ingredients
  2. Ingredient notes
  3. Step-by-step instructions
  4. Recipe tips and variations
  5. Tuna Noodle Casserole Recipe

Recipe ingredients

Labeled tuna noodle casserole ingredients in various bowls.

Ingredient notes

  • Ritz crackers: Smash ’em up and drown them in butter. Bread crumbs, crushed potato chips, or saltine crackers make good substitutes.
  • Salt and pepper: Seasoning during different stages of cooking makes sure the flavor is there with every bite. Especially with creamy casseroles! You want to add some salt to the sauce to keep it from tasting bland.
  • Egg noodles: Tender egg noodles provide just the right texture in the casserole, and they cook fast too. Feel free to use any other pasta (especially macaroni) instead.
  • Mushrooms: Hate mushrooms? Just leave ’em out. 
  • Tuna: Use your favorite brand (canned or in a pouch) of water-packed tuna.

Step-by-step instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and grease a 9-inch by 13-inch baking dish. Heat a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil and cook the noodles until tender. Drain and set aside.
Boiled egg noodles and water in a silver stock pot.
  1. Melt the butter in the bottom of a Dutch oven or skillet and sauté the onions and mushrooms over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring, until the mushrooms are nicely browned and the liquid has evaporated, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, make the cracker topping.
Mushrooms and onions cooking in a skillet.
  1. Add the peas, tuna, broth, cream, and parsley and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer and cook for about 10 minutes to let it thicken. Stir in the noodles and season to taste with salt and pepper (do not skip this step or your casserole may be bland!).
The sauce for tuna noodle casserole cooking in a skillet.
  1. Pour the casserole ingredients into a baking dish, smooth the top, and scatter the buttered cracker crumbs over the noodles. Bake at 450 degrees until hot and bubbly, only about 15 minutes.
Tuna noodle casserole in a white baking dish before baking.
  1. Serve the casserole with lemon wedges on the side (a little fresh lemon juice cuts through the richness of the casserole).
Tuna casserole in a white baking dish.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: This recipe makes about 12 cups of casserole, about 6 (2-cup) servings.
  • Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • Make ahead: Get the casserole assembled up to 2 days before you plan to serve it. Just cover it and store in the refrigerator. When ready to bake, add the cracker topping and pop it in the oven.
  • Freezer: Assemble the unbaked casserole and wrap tight with foil or plastic wrap. Then place in the freezer for 1 to 2 months. Thaw overnight before baking as directed in the recipe.
  • Salmon noodle casserole: An equal amount of canned salmon takes the recipe in another delicious direction.
  • Chicken noodle casserole: Leftover rotisserie chicken is a great replacement for those who don’t like fish.
  • More vegetables: Add or substitute frozen carrots, corn, or sliced scallions. Just make sure whatever vegetable you add is already soft (cooked).
  • Cheesy: For a melty treat, fold in 1 cup shredded cheddar or pepper jack cheese into the casserole before pouring into the baking dish.
Tuna casserole on a white plate.

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Tuna casserole in a white baking dish.

Tuna Noodle Casserole

This Tuna Noodle Casserole is made from scratch with a simple mushroom cream sauce and a buttery cracker crust. It's better than you remember and ready in under an hour.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Servings 6 servings (2 cups each)
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Calories 486

Ingredients 

For the topping:

  • 2 tablespoons butter melted
  • 35 Ritz crackers smashed into fine crumbs (1 sleeve, see note 1)

For the casserole:

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper (see note 2)
  • 8 ounces egg noodles (about 3 cups, see note 3)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 10 ounces white button mushrooms trimmed and sliced thin, optional (see note 4)
  • 1 onion minced
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 2 (7-ounce) foil pouches solid white tuna flaked (see note 5)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley minced
  • Lemon wedges for serving

Instructions 

  • To make the topping, in a small bowl, add crackers crumbs and melted butter and toss to coat. Set aside.
  • To make the casserole, preheat oven to 450 degrees. Coat a 9-inch by 13-inch baking dish with nonstick spray.
  • Bring 4 quarts water and 1 tablespoon salt to boil. Add egg noodles and cook until al dente, about 7-8 minutes. Drain well.
  • Meanwhile, In a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat, melt butter until foaming. Add mushrooms, onion, and ½ teaspoon salt. Cook until mushrooms are browned and their liquid has evaporated, about 15 minutes.
  • Add peas, tuna, parsley, broth, and cream. Bring to simmer, about 10 minutes. Add cooked noodles and toss to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper (I like ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper). Do not skip this step or your casserole may be bland!
  • Pour mixture into prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with bread crumb mixture. Bake until the sauce is bubbling and the crumbs are golden brown, about 10 to 15 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges.

Recipe Video

Notes

  1. Ritz crackers: Smash ’em up and drown them in butter. Bread crumbs, crushed potato chips, or saltine crackers make good substitutes.
  2. Salt and pepper: Seasoning during different stages of cooking makes sure the flavor is there with every bite. Especially with creamy casseroles! You want to add some salt to the sauce to keep it from tasting bland.
  3. Egg noodles: Tender egg noodles provide just the right texture in the casserole, and they cook fast too. Feel free to use any other pasta (especially macaroni) instead.
  4. Mushrooms: Hate mushrooms? Just leave ’em out. 
  5. Tuna: Use your favorite brand (canned or in a pouch) of water-packed tuna.
  6. Yield: This recipe makes about 12 cups of casserole, about 6 (2-cup) servings.
  7. Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  8. Make ahead: Get the casserole assembled up to 2 days before you plan to serve it. Just cover it and store in the refrigerator. When ready to bake, add the cracker topping and pop it in the oven.
  9. Freezer: Assemble the unbaked casserole and wrap tight with foil or plastic wrap. Then place in the freezer for 1 to 2 months. Thaw overnight before baking as directed in the recipe.
  10. Salmon noodle casserole: An equal amount of canned salmon takes the recipe in another delicious direction.
  11. Chicken noodle casserole: Leftover rotisserie chicken is a great replacement for those who don’t like fish.
  12. More vegetables: Add or substitute frozen carrots, corn, or sliced scallions. Just make sure whatever vegetable you add is already soft (cooked).
  13. Cheesy: For a melty treat, fold in 1 cup shredded cheddar or pepper jack cheese into the casserole before pouring into the baking dish.

Nutrition

Serving: 2cupsCalories: 486kcalCarbohydrates: 47gProtein: 12gFat: 29gSaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 86mgSodium: 295mgPotassium: 454mgFiber: 4gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 1238IUVitamin C: 14mgCalcium: 81mgIron: 2mg
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