Tuna Noodle Casserole + Video

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Cheesy Tuna Noodle Casserole is a classic family favorite! I’ve taken it a step further by adding shredded cheddar cheese for an extra comforting meal. This recipe makes a creamy, easy tuna casserole with a scrumptious, buttery Ritz cracker topping.

titled: Tuna Noodle Casserole


Tuna Noodle Casserole

Now that more people are eating from their pantries, you might be wondering what the best way to use canned tuna is.

If you’re looking for a tuna noodle casserole recipe that’s easy and cheesy, you’ve found it!

This dish has been a classic American casserole since the 1950s. I remember seeing a recipe for this family favorite in my Betty Crocker cookbook years ago.

And, while my tuna noodle casserole recipe is a bit different from that classic, it has quickly become a family favorite.

Recipe Video

To see us make this tuna noodle casserole recipe with cheese from start to finish, watch the video in this post!

But it’s not the only way to use this pantry staple! Nothing beats a classic tuna salad sandwich, either plain or loaded with veggies.

I also have a creamy tuna pasta salad recipe that’s extra refreshing on hot summer days.

My Chicken Pot Pie Casserole is as hearty and comforting as they come!

For a healthier, keto-friendly option, try my Low Carb Meatball Casserole!

ingredients for tuna casserole

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

  • Canned Tuna – Any variety will work, just be sure to drain it thoroughly first.
  • Pasta – Egg noodles are the classic choice for this dish.

    They hold their shape while adding to the soft texture of the casserole. I prefer extra wide, but any size will do.

    Feel free to use shells, bowtie, penne, or cavatappi instead.
  • Frozen or Canned Peas – If using frozen, add them during the last few minutes of baking. Canned can be mixed in with the pasta once drained.

    You can also use another type of frozen or canned vegetable if you prefer.

    Good substitutions are frozen broccoli or cauliflower, canned mushrooms, carrots, or a mixture of carrots and peas.
  • Condensed Soup – This tuna noodle casserole recipe uses two cans of cream of mushroom soup.

    But, you can use cream of celery or whatever other types of cream soup you have on hand.

    Or, if you’re out of cream soup, you can make homemade condensed cream of chicken soup or a basic white sauce to use as the base for this dish.
crushed Ritz crackers in a white bowl

Substitute for Ritz Crackers

If you don’t have Ritz crackers on hand, you can easily substitute something else. I’ve used buttered breadcrumbs before. Or, you can use any of these:

Take a look at what’s in your pantry right now and use up what you have. Anything that is crunchy will make a good topping!

milk, cheese, and spices in clear bowl

Serving Suggestions

This tuna noodle casserole is a full meal as-is because it contains a protein, starch, and a vegetable.

But, if you want to serve a side dish, a steamed vegetable is a great choice! You can also air fry cauliflower or make crispy zucchini chips for a different texture.

My Green Beans with Garlic is a great side dish for almost any meal. Or, if you have fresh produce, a garden salad would also work well.

egg noodles, canned tuna, and peas combined with milk mixture

Tuna Noodle Casserole Recipe FAQ

How do you keep tuna noodle casserole from drying out?

Since all of the ingredients are already cooked, all you need to do is bake it long enough to melt the cheese, thicken the sauce, and warm the dish through.

Milk helps to keep everything creamy and moist, but overbaking is a surefire way to dry everything out.

Should you cook noodles before adding them to casserole?

Yes, most casserole recipes — including this tuna noodle casserole recipe with cheese — require that you cook the pasta before baking.

But when making this easy tuna noodle casserole, it’s important that you only cook the noodles until they are al dente.

They will continue to cook in the oven. So, if you overcook them, they will be too soft or even mushy when the dish is done baking.

unbaked tuna casserole in glass pan

Storing and Reheating Easy Tuna Noodle Casserole

If you have leftovers from this tuna noodle casserole recipe with cheese, store them tightly covered in the refrigerator. They should be eaten within 3 days.

To reheat, just put them back in the oven and warm until the center is hot. How long it takes to reheat will depend on how much casserole is left in the pan.

Or, you can reheat individual portions in the microwave if you prefer.

cheesy tuna noodle casserole, before baking

Tuna Noodle Casserole Recipe – Easy to Make Ahead

If you want to whip up double batch of this tuna noodle casserole recipe, it’s easy to do!

Just bake the casseroles as directed and allow them to cool. Then, freeze tightly covered for 5 to 6 months.

When you want to serve it, allow tuna noodle casserole to thaw in the refrigerator and bake it as directed.

Or, you can bake it frozen and increase the cooking time by 30 minutes. Be sure you check it every 15 minutes to be sure it doesn’t overcook.

cheesy tuna noodle casserole with Ritz cracker topping

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serving of cheesy tuna casserole on white plate

Other Easy Casseroles

cheesy tuna noodle casserole

Tuna Noodle Casserole + Video

Donna Elick
Cheesy Tuna Noodle Casserole is a classic family favorite! This recipe makes a creamy, easy tuna casserole with Ritz cracker topping.
5 stars from 1 review
Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Main
Cuisine American
Method Oven, Stovetop
Servings 8


  • 12 ounces extra broad egg noodles
  • 2 cups frozen peas, or canned (See Notes)
  • 21.5 ounces condensed cream of mushroom soup, (two 10.75-ounce cans) See Notes
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups sharp shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 20 ounces canned tuna, drained
  • 1 cup crushed Ritz crackers
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter


  • Preheat your oven to 350°F.
  • Cook noodles 2 minutes less than package directions, to al dente. They should still have a bite to them, as they will continue cooking in the oven. Drain in a colander, but do not rinse.
  • Meanwhile, to a large bowl, add condensed soup, milk, 1 cup of cheddar cheese, onion powder, garlic powder, and pepper. Stir well to combine. Add warm pasta, canned peas, and tuna. Stir to combine. *See Notes if using frozen peas.
  • Spread mixture evenly into a 9×13 baking dish. Sprinkle the top with the remaining 1 cup of shredded cheese.
  • Combine the cracker crumbs and melted butter in a bowl and sprinkle evenly over top of the casserole.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and the casserole is heated through.


Donna’s Notes

  1. If using frozen peas, add during last 2 minutes of cook time. If using canned peas, drain them and add to the bowl at the same time as the pasta.
  2. Feel free to substitute any frozen veggie of your choice for the peas.
  3. If desired, you can substitute one can of condensed celery soup for condensed mushroom soup
  4. Be sure to only cook the noodles to al dente as they will continue cooking in the oven.
  5. You can use any pasta you like. Egg noodles are classic, but this recipe is great with elbows, shells, cavatappi, and penne too.


Serving: 1 | Calories: 500cal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 104mg | Sodium: 991mg | Sugar: 5g | Fiber: 4g | Calcium: 291mg | Iron: 3mg

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

titled image (and shown): tuna noodle casserole recipe

Originally published April 2020, updated and republished October 2023

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  1. Delicious!! Prepared with some modifications due to what was on hand. Substituted with two cans of cream of celery, a jar of mushrooms (drained) and a bit of extra cheese. It was excellent. Next time will follow original. Thank you for sharing.

  2. This was DELICIOUS! I made it using gluten free ingredients (thankfully Wegman's had everything I needed in GF version!), and the only thing I changed was the topping – I used crushed GF Lance cheese crackers instead of Ritz crackers. Phenomenal!

  3. This recipe is so delicious! I did add a can of cheddar cheese soup and a tsp of salt. Really super tasty and my new go-to recipe! It’s so creamy, something I couldn’t accomplish with my old tuna casserole recipe. Highly recommend!

  4. Tasty! I use crushed potato chips on top, otherwise stuck to the recipe. On occasion I add broccoli, instead of peas.

    1. Sure! It turns out well. I use the same amount as with the tuna, just cubing the ham into small bite sized pieces.

  5. I haven't found any of the videos. It always says they're at the top of the post. But there is no place to click on a video. Am I missing something?

  6. This tuna casserole was excellent! I used frozen mixed vegetables (that's all I had), and added a teaspoon of Italian seasoning. My family loved it!

  7. 5 stars
    This casserole was so easy and so delicious! It reminded me of the one that my mom used to make. Thanks for sharing!

  8. I love this recipe, I made it with chicken and beef also, it is a winner every time…. Thank you! 🌼

  9. I’ve eaten and made this dish all my life. Early in my cooking experience, I read that you never mix cheese with fish by a famous chef, so I never add cheese to this recipe. For color, I always use frozen peas and carrots…love frozen peas and use them often, and use the white tuna. It tastes so much better. I could eat this weekly and never tire of it, but a small can of tuna, a squeeze of lemon and some crackers make a great lunch. Tuna stands at the top of my list…fresh grilled medium rare is to die for. xo

    1. Hi Rita,
      That sounds delicious! I love recipes like this because you can add anything you like. Have a great day!
      TSRI Team Member,

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