With a buttery, crunchy topping and plenty of saucy noodles, this old-fashioned Tuna Noodle Casserole is one of the best things you can do with a couple of cans of tuna. It’s so hearty and delicious, and with just a few pantry and fridge staples, you can have a hot and bubbly meal on the table in no time.

Old-Fashioned Tuna Noodle Casserole

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Good casseroles never go out of style, and this old-fashioned Tuna Noodle Casserole recipe is delicious! It’s warm, saucy, and noodle-y stick-to-your-ribs goodness. Everyone loves this dish, and I love that I can make it ahead of time and pop it in the oven to cook before serving.

Old-Fashioned Tuna Noodle Casserole

This dish also serves a crowd, but I love it because of the leftovers. It makes great lunches the next day, but it can also be reheated for dinner again during the week.

spoonful of tuna and noodles

Did I mention how affordable this dish is to make? Canned tuna is inexpensive, and aside from a bit of cream cheese and a bit of Parmesan cheese, there’s nothing pricy in this dish. It’s great for stretching your dollar, and because it is so hearty and so good, nobody will mind the absence of expensive chicken or beef. You can also check out our post, 9 easy canned tuna meals.

tuna in casserole

Why I love this recipe

  • It’s simple to make! Make the sauce, cook the noodles, bake the casserole – then dig in!
  • This is my favorite dollar-stretching recipe. It’s inexpensive AND delicious!
  • You can prepare it in advance and then just pop it into the oven 30 minutes before serving.

ingredients for Old-Fashioned Tuna Noodle Casserole

Gather these ingredients

  • Butter
  • All-purpose flour
  • Milk – Whole milk or whatever you have on hand.
  • Cream cheese – You’ll need a whole 8-ounce block.
  • Salt and pepper
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Egg noodles
  • Canned tuna – Drained. 
  • Frozen green peas
  • Canned sliced mushrooms – Drained.
  • Pimentos – A 4-ounce jar; drained.
  • Ritz crackers
  • Parmesan cheese – Grated.

Old-Fashioned Tuna Noodle Casserole with peas

What kind of tuna makes the best tuna casserole?

You can use any kind of canned tuna, but my favorite is albacore white tuna. It has a milder flavor than most. Make sure you’re getting water-packed tuna, and drain it well. Flake the tuna a bit after adding it to the casserole so it mixes evenly.

how to make Old-Fashioned Tuna Noodle Casserole

How to make this old-fashioned Tuna Noodle Casserole

    1. Preheat your oven to 350 and spray a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray.
    2. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat then stir in the flour until well mixed.
    3. Gradually add the milk and cream cheese and stir over low heat until melted and thick.
    4. Season with salt, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce.
    5. Boil the pasta according to the package directions while you’re making the sauce. Drain the cooked noodles.
    6. Combine the cooked and drained noodles with the sauce, flacked tuna, frozen peas, mushrooms, and pimentos. Mix well.
    7. Transfer the casserole mixture to the baking dish.
    8. Crush the Ritz crackers in a small bowl and combine with Parmesan cheese. Mix well and sprinkle on top of the casserole.
    9. Bake the casserole for 20-25 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
  • Serve and enjoy!

making Old-Fashioned Tuna Noodle Casserole

Tips & substitutions

      • Albacore white tuna is my favorite for this tuna noodle casserole recipe, but any kind of water-packed tuna will work.
      • Canned mushrooms are so easy, but you could also add thinly sliced fresh mushrooms.
      • Egg noodles are traditional in this dish, but any short noodles like elbows or penne will work.
      • If you’re prepping this recipe but baking it later, cool the noodles under cold tap water to stop them from cooking. You may need to add a few extra minutes of cooking time if the sauce and noodles are cold when they go into the oven.

topping of tuna casserole

Serving suggestions

This is a flavorful dish that’s complete with noodles, protein, and veggies. So you really don’t need much else with it. If you wanted to serve something on the side, I’d suggest a green salad or even veggies and dip

creamy bite of tuna casserole


Store any leftover tuna noodle casserole in the fridge in an airtight container for 3-4 days. You can warm it up in the microwave or oven. Add a splash of milk to make it creamier if it’s been a few days since you cooked it.

a bite of tuna noodles

Check out these awesome casserole recipes while you’re here

Who doesn’t love casseroles? They’re easy, hearty, and delish! Here are some of my favorites.

cheesy bite tuna casserole

Old-Fashioned Tuna Noodle Casserole with peas
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Old-Fashioned Tuna Noodle Casserole

With a buttery, crunchy topping and plenty of saucy noodles, this old-fashioned Tuna Noodle Casserole is made from a couple of cans of tuna.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Yield: 8
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  • 6 Tbsp. butter
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 1 tsp. salt and pepper
  • 3-4 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce, to taste
  • 12 oz egg noodles, 1 package
  • 2 7 oz. cans, white albacore tuna, drained and flaked
  • 1 cup frozen green peas
  • 4.5 oz can sliced mushrooms, drained
  • 4 oz. jar pimientos, drained
  • ¼ cup melted butter
  • 30 butter crackers like Ritz crushed
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese. grated


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Make the sauce by melting the butter in a saucepan; stir in the flour until blended. Gradually stir in the milk. Crumble the cream cheese and stir until melted. Season with salt, pepper, and Worcestershire. Taste and see if you need to adjust seasoning.
  • While the sauce is cooking, make the pasta according to package directions; drain.
  • In a large bowl, combine the cooked pasta with the sauce; add the tuna, frozen peas, mushrooms, and pimentos. Mix well and spoon into a 9×13 prepared (greased) pan.
  • In a small bowl add the crushed Ritz craackers, melted butter, and Parmesan cheese. Mix well and sprinkle on top of the casserole.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes or until crumbs are golden brown and casserole is bubbling around the sides.
Cuisine: American
Course: Main Course
Calories: 756kcal, Carbohydrates: 55g, Protein: 16g, Fat: 55g, Saturated Fat: 20g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 10g, Monounsaturated Fat: 21g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 113mg, Sodium: 851mg, Potassium: 512mg, Fiber: 6g, Sugar: 8g, Vitamin A: 3222IU, Vitamin C: 18mg, Calcium: 215mg, Iron: 3mg
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serving of Old-Fashioned Tuna Noodle Casserole