Best Ever Tuna Noodle Casserole Recipe
Tuna noodle casserole has been around for decades, and there is little middle ground amidst the love/hate spectrum of this ubiquitous dish. Translation: you either love it or hate it. I’m here to persuade you that if you add just a few extra ingredients, you can zhoozh it up to be a pretty tasty little dish that will certainly come in handy during Lent, if nothing else.
Tuna casserole goes way back to the days before mushroom soup came in a can, but by the time that happened, about 1934, anyone who could operate a can opener could stir up this recipe. It was then that lunchroom ladies and housewives embraced the bland concoction into their mealtime rotation.
A reluctant cook or a lazy cook can make a mess out of almost any meal because their preparations are half-hearted and grudgingly carried out. You can transform this old standby from mundane to marvelous if you move the dial just a teeny bit. Here’s how.
It’s Easy To Zhoosh Up Your Tuna Noodle Casserole Here’s How
There are oodles of recipes out there for tuna casserole, and we’ll begin there and add some pizzazz. It’s very easy to do. Begin by cooking a twelve-ounce package of wide egg noodles as directed on the label, then drain them and put them in a greased baking dish. I used one a little smaller than a nine by thirteen because I wanted it to be thicker and not dry out as much.
Let’s talk about noodles for a quick minute. No one declared you must make this casserole with wide egg noodles! There are nearly a zillion wonderful shapes of pasta you can use instead, everything from thin spaghetti to bowties or rotini. Sooo, if the hunger for tuna casserole strikes you, look in your cupboard before you jet off to the store, where you will probably overspend! 😉
Next, combine a can of mushroom soup with a cup of whole milk and a half-cup of sour cream. Stir that up until it’s all combined, and add two five-ounce cans of water-packed tuna, drained, and a cup or more of frozen peas or frozen mixed vegetables. I used a twelve-ounce can of water-packed tuna because that’s what I had on the shelf, and we like tuna!
Here’s where the fun begins! Top with one and one-half cups of coarsely crushed plain potato chips. For us, plain Lays brand chips are the holy grail of potatochipness, but they don’t pay me to say so! Sour cream and onion potato chips or sour cream and cheddar potato chips would certainly be fun to try! It’s the amazing crunchy mouthfeel of the chips that make this casserole such a joy to eat!
Then, top that with a mixture of one and one-half cups of grated sharp cheddar cheese and about one-half cup of grated mozzarella. The “mozz” adds interesting meltiness that we love in the topping.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes, or until the tuna noodle casserole is hot and bubbly and the cheese begins to brown a bit. So incredibly yummy! I find myself looking forward to Fridays in Lent simply so we can enjoy this wonderful comfort food!😊
If you are looking for other yummy things to eat on Fridays during Lent, here are a few of our favorites, Low-carb Keto Shrimp and Asparagus, Incredible 20 Minute Salmon Dinner, Minestrone Soup. Do you have a favorite dish you serve during lent or on Meatless Mondays! C’mon! Please share!
World's Best Ever Tuna Noodle Casserole
A zhoozed-up tuna noodle casserole with cheese and crushed potato chips.
- 12-ounce bag of wide egg noodles
- One 10.5-ounce can of cream of mushroom soup
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 5-ounce cans of water-packed tuna, drained well
- 1 cup or more of frozen peas or frozen mixed vegetables
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 1/2 cups crushed plain potato chips
- 1 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Spray or grease a baking dish and set it aside.
- Cook a twelve-ounce package of wide egg noodles according to the directions on the label and drain.
- Put noodles in the greased baking dish.
- Combine soup, milk, sour cream, tuna, and vegetables in a bowl and stir into the noodles.
- Put crushed potato chips on top of the noodle mixture.
- Spread the shredded cheeses over the potato chips.
- Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes, or until everything is hot and bubbly and cheese begins to brown.
Use any pasta shape you like, and feel free to experiment with potato chip varieties!
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Just so you know, we out here in Kitchen-Land have been using chips and special pasta shapes since our children were two years old. What really! transforms ordinary tuna casserole is one: leave out the canned soup! Make a nice white sauce and add (for grownups) a quarter cup of sherry. You can control the thickness of your sauce so it will not dry out, also to allow for noodles or other pasta to absorb some of the liquid. And if you like mushrooms: use fresh mushrooms sautéed in butter til they are brown and nutty flavored. Not rubbery as in canned soup mushrooms.
And if you like a crispy topping: make your own topping by toasting slices of French bread. Spread with garlic butter on both sides when they come out of the oven. Crunch them into small bits and spread them on top and dot with butter when you bake.
Add-ins can be chopped celery, chopped asparagus tips, chopped artichoke hearts, chopped olives, chopped cauliflower or broccoli florets, or chopped crisp! bacon, crisp prosciutto, or (my favorite) chopped sautéd shrimp!
And be sure to rinse your tuna so it releases that tinned fish taste! Chop your tuna into uniform bits.
And for cheese, which is a no-no usually, but if you must, bits (uniformly spread throughout) of mozzarella or Gruyère are acceptable or a fresh Parmesan Reggiano!
Serve with a glass of cold crisp white wine of your choice and a fresh Caesar salad.
That sounds delightful! Thank you for sharing!
We love to eat the tuna noodle (pasta) casserole, but your recipe really adds that extra oomph and zest to make it our new favorite. Thanks a million!
Oh my gosh, you made my day, thank you!! It’s my birthday, so it’s extra special to hear from nice folks like you!❤❤
I make my tuna like yours. ditch the mushroom soup and make your own white sauce using the drained tuna water as part of the liquid for the sauce. gives it a real nice flavor. I like to add black olives also. I also add part of the cheese in dish and the the rest go on top. Nice recipe it’s a keeper
Sounds like you have some good ideas, I’ll try it! Thank you!