Classic Tuna Noodle Casserole

I just realized that school starts next week here in beautiful Utah! (Yikes! Is it just me or did June and July last like 5 minutes?) It’s time to get back to “real life”.

Part of  “real life” is realizing that the family budget has been stretched to the MAX, and beyond, buying school clothes, new shoes, backpacks, supplies, and school fee’s! (Don’t even get me started on the insanity of Middle School and High School fee’s! The year I had all three in both…I thought I’d have to take out a second mortgage!) The last thing the budget can stand is more groceries!

That’s when I get down and dirty with meal planning! I go through the cupboards and write down everything I have on hand. Then I make up a two-week menu trying to stretch things to the next paycheck! (By the way this still happens sometimes…even with an empty nest! lol Don’t think your alone on that sinking ship…I’m right there with ya!) Enter Tuna Noodle Casserole…

Start by cooking your pasta till “al dente”.  Always go “al dente” in a casserole, so the liquids you use can be absorbed. This is a casserole not soup! (Okay I just gagged thinking of a Tuna Noodle Soup!) Drain two cans of tuna, or one if one is all you have on hand, drain one can of sweet peas. (If you don’t like pea’s leave them out! I get it…y’all don’t like peas!) 

Place it all in a 2 quart baking dish. Add one can cream of celery soup, 1/2 cup of sour cream,  1/4 cup of milk. Add salt and pepper to taste.

TIP: Just mix it all in the same dish you’re going to bake it in. Why wash another bowl?

Mix together until well blended. It should be nice and creamy. Don’t worry if it is a little “soupy”…remember that “al dente” pasta? You are good! No worries.

Smooth out evenly in the baking dish.

Top with 1 cup grated mild cheddar cheese. Sprinkle with buttered bread crumbs.

Place in a pre-heated 350° oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until cheese is melted, and dish is bubbly. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes.

That’s it! Simple right? This is just one of those pure comfort food dishes. I can’t think of anything to make a child feel loved after a first day of school than a big heaping scoop of this Classic Tuna Noodle Casserole. It’s so creamy, cheesy, and delicious!

I like to serve this casserole with a big tossed green salad and fresh steamed vegetables from the garden, like squash or green beans. You could even do a side of fresh fruit. Don’t forget cookies for dessert! After all it is the first day of school.

I know what you’re thinking? “Norine! This isn’t a special recipe. It’s just simple ol’ Tuna Noodle Casserole!”

I’d beg to differ…it’s a casserole packed full of all the love I could find in my heart, and cupboard, to feed to my children so their bellies were full. I prayed at the time they wouldn’t realize Old Mother Hubbard’s cupboards were getting a little bare. That all they would see was another filling and yummy dinner on the table. A table full of love and laughter!

It’s still one of my favorite comfort foods. Maybe it’s the memories. Maybe it’s all the creamy goodness. Maybe it’s both!

I’m sharing this recipe at Meal Plan Monday. Have you stopped by before? It’s a great place to find loads of Meal Plan Ideas. Click HERE!

I love this recipe so much I’m sharing it on the Weekend Potluck Link Party. To find it and other yummy recipes click HERE!  

Happy Nesting!







Classic Tuna Noodle Casserole
Classic Tuna Noodle Casserole
Norine Rogers

This Classic Tuna Noodle Casserole is the perfect weeknight family dinner. It's pure comfort food and a great way to stretch your food budget without compromising on taste.

  • 3 cups pasta shells, or elbow macaroni, cooked and drained
  • 2 - 7 oz. cans solid white albacore tuna in water, drained
  • 1 cup canned sweet peas, drained
  • 1 can cream of celery soup
  • 1/2 cup of sour cream
  • 1/4 cup of milk
  • 1 cup grated cheese
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons melted butter
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Cook and drain pasta shells per package directions.
  3. In a 2 quart baking dish, mix together pasta, drained tuna, sweet peas, cream of celery soup, milk, sour cream, salt, and pepper.
  4. Spread evenly in baking dish.
  5. Cover with 1 cup of grated mild cheddar cheese
  6. Mix melted butter with 1/2 cup of bread crumbs. Sprinkle bread crumbs on top of cheese.
  7. Bake uncovered in preheated oven for 30 minutes, until cheese is melted and casserole is bubbling.
  8. Allow to rest 10 minutes before serving.

Prep Time: 10 minutes - Cook Time: 35 minutes ; Yield: 8 servings


  1. Little Quiltsong | 5th Aug 17

    Comfort food at its best – thank you for sharing this recipe!

  2. Patti | 25th Feb 18

    Great recipe! Peas gross me out so I cooked them on the side for hubs. Thanks for sharing.

    • | 8th Mar 18

      Hi Patti!
      Peas are a love hate thing! Ya either love’em or ya hate’em. I think your idea is perfect to fit both personal tastes. Thanks for stopping by and sharing with me. Hope you enjoyed this casserole. Have a GREAT week!
      Happy Nesting!

  3. Curtis | 28th Feb 19

    Made the tuna casserole 2 weeks ago… Excellent! Trying chicken noodle casserole tonight. Just using chicken in place of tuna, and switching soup from cream of mushroom to cream of chicken.

    • | 1st Mar 19

      Hi Curtis!
      I’m so happy you liked the Tuna casserole! It’s simple, easy, and one of my favorites. I even love the left overs! The chicken noodle sounds great. I love a good chicken noodle casserole too. Great way to stretch a dollar! Let me know how it turns out! Have a Great weekend and thanks so much for stopping by!

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