Cheesy tuna noodle casserole is an easy and classic dinner dish that the whole family can enjoy. With Ritz cracker crumbs on top, green peas, and lots of noodles and cheese, this dish is worthy of seconds.
This cheesy tuna noodle casserole is a comforting dish that my whole family enjoys. Made with canned tuna and packed with cheese, who wouldn't love this noodle dish?
I may not have grown up eating tuna casseroles, but my husband did, and when we got married, I started experimenting with recipes he grew up with. I made my own adaptions every time and adjusted them based on what I had on hand, and this simple tuna noodle casserole always turns out delicious.
Why This Recipe Works
- Simple ingredients. Using some basic ingredients, this recipe is pretty frugal and easy to throw together. Great for tight budgets and low maintenance dinner ideas.
- Easy to make. Boil the noodles and saute some stuff in a pot before mixing everything together. This recipe comes together pretty quickly and easily.
- Stove top or baked. If desired, after mixing everything together in a pot, you can simply serve and enjoy. You don't have to bake it. We prefer it baked, because of the Ritz topping, but it tastes great when served immediately too (and there's fewer dishes to clean later).
Egg noodles- Use egg noodles as the base of this recipe. Cook them according to package directions so that they are al dente.
Frozen peas- Adding in frozen peas works best because they'll be warmed through without becoming mushy.
Onion- For added depth of flavor, you'll need an onion.
Cream of mushroom- Use a can of cream of mushroom soup to give the casserole a creamy consistency.
Canned tuna- I recommend using canned tuna in water that has been drained and fluffed with a fork.
Salt- For a natural flavor enhancer.
Cheddar cheese- I like to use sharp or medium cheddar cheese. I recommend the cheese that you shred yourself as it will melt more evenly.
Ritz crackers- For a delicious buttery topping, adding crushed Ritz crackers is a great idea!
Butter- We will need some melted butter to moisten the cracker crumbs as this will help them to brown nicely in the oven.
For the exact amounts needed, please see the recipe card below.
🍽 Equipment Needed
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Check out how to make cheesy tuna noodle casserole with these simple step-by-step instructions:
Bring a large pot of water and 2 teaspoon of salt to a boil. Add in your egg noodles and cook according to package directions. Drain into a colander. Return pot to stove and cook onions until soft (about 3 minutes).
Turn off the heat and preheat your oven to 350F degrees.
Add your noodles cream of mushroom, cheese, peas, and tuna into the pot.
Stir to combine.
Pour the mix into a greased baking dish.
Crush Ritz crackers and place them into a small bowl with melted butter. Stir to mix and then sprinkle it over the top of the casserole.
Bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
Serve and enjoy.
🍴 Recipe Tips
To keep it simpler on my memory I made up a rule of 2 for my tuna noodles when I'm cooking in a 9x13 baking dish. This is to make sure I don't get dry noodles and I get the same results more often than not.
The rule of two is simple, 2 cans of this, 2 cups of that, while not everything is done in pairs, it really does help me to remember the quantities needed for this baked tuna noodle casserole.
If you want to use canned peas in this easy tuna noodle casserole recipe, you can. I used to do it this way because that's what my husband said he was used to, but I've since found that frozen gives a prettier color and a burst of freshness once baked that keeps this dish from feeling depressing and makes it a little more comforting if you know what I mean.
I didn't always add the Ritz cracker on top either. For a long time, I made it plain without a topping. Then I noticed others used Panko, so I tried that too and they were flavorless. Finally, when I took inspiration from my chicken divan casserole and grabbed a sleeve of crackers. The rest was history.
If you want a creamier end result, adding 1-2 cups of sour cream is awesome. If you have picky eaters as I do, 1 cup sour cream and 1 cup of milk help to give the creaminess without all that tangy sour cream flavor that not everyone enjoys.
Leftover tuna noodles lasts about 3-4 days covered in the fridge.
Yes, tuna noodles can be made and frozen. Simply assemble it as directed and let cool completely in a freezer safe pan. Then place the pan on a baking sheet and cover the top well with foil. Freeze for bout 2 hours until solid, and transfer to a freezer safe bag or wrap very well with plastic wrap. It can last 5-6 months this way. Thaw overnight in the fridge and bake as directed.
Yes. This casserole can be assembled ahead of time and placed in the fridge for up to 2 days in advance.
Looking for more delicious casserole recipes?
- Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole
- Sausage Green Bean Potato Casserole
- Tater Tot Casserole With Corn (Hotdish)
- 25 Easy Comfort Food Casseroles
Cheesy Tuna Noodle Casserole
- 1 bag Egg noodles (16oz) ($1.93)
- 2 cups Frozen peas ($0.77)
- 1 cup Onion, diced ($0.70)
- 2 cans (10.5oz) Cream of mushroom soup ($1.16)
- 2 cans Tuna, drained ($1.44)
- 2 teaspoons Salt ($0.20)
- 2 cups Shredded cheddar cheese ($1.86)
- 1 sleeve Ritz crackers ($0.59)
- 2 Tablespoons Butter, melted ($0.18)
- In a large pot of water, boil your egg noodles with 2 teaspoon of salt. Drain and leave in colander. Return pot to stove and cook your onions until soft (about 3 minutes).
- Turn off the heat and preheat your oven to 350F degrees.
- Add your noodles, cream of mushroom, cheese, peas, and tuna to the pot. Stir to combine.
- Pour the mixture into a greased 9x13 baking dish or casserole dish.
- In a small bowl, crush your crackers into crumbs and mix with melted butter. Sprinkle mixture over casserole.
- Bake in the oven for 30 minutes until golden brown and warmed through.