Tuna Casserole Hater’s Best Ever Cheesy Tuna Noodle Casserole Recipe
My family and I have never been fans of traditional tuna casserole, but we absolutely love this cheesy tuna noodle version! This recipe is very versatile. It can be altered to accommodate whatever ingredients are on-hand or tweaked according to personal preference—and it still tastes amazing. (See ingredient variations at the end of this recipe.)
- For example, canned salmon can substitute the tuna.
- Elbow macaroni, rotini, or just about any pasta shape can be used in place of egg noodles.
- Vegetable, seasoning, and topping possibilities are only limited by your imagination—or whatever happens to be lurking in your pantry.
- Of course, ingredient substitutions can be used to create a low-fat, low-sodium version.
Be creative, have fun experimenting, and enjoy!
- 12 oz. uncooked wide egg noodles
- 1/2 cup diced onion
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic, (approximately 2 cloves)
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 cups milk
- 1 (10.75 oz.) can Campbell's® cream of mushroom soup
- 1 (10.75 oz.) can Campbell's® cream of celery soup
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper, (or less, according to taste)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 cups (8 oz.) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
- 3 (5 oz.) cans tuna, drained and flaked
- 1 cup sweet peas, canned or frozen
- 2 cups French fried onions
- Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large pot or Dutch oven, cook egg noodles according to package directions for al dente (do not overcook). Drain in a colander and set aside. [TIP: If using frozen vegetables, thaw prior to use. Or, add them to the noodles during the last couple minutes of cooking time.]
- Using the same pot, sauté onion and garlic in butter over medium heat 3 to 4 minutes, or just until tender. Add milk, soups, mayonnaise, seasoned salt, cayenne pepper and black pepper; stir until well combined. Heat until bubbly, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and add cheese. Stir until cheese melts, creating a creamy, cheesy sauce.
- Gently fold-in cooked noodles, tuna, and peas just until blended and coated. [TIP: Cooled, cooked noodles may stick together. To separate, rinse with cold water and drain.]
- Pour noodle mixture into a 13x9x2-inch baking dish. Bake, covered, in a 350°F oven for 20 minutes. Uncover and gently stir. Sprinkle the top with French fried onions. Bake, uncovered, an additional 10 minutes, or until topping is a light-golden brown.
- Remove from oven and let stand for 10 to 15 minutes before serving. Makes 10 to 12 servings.
Always inspect canned tuna for bones and scales. Not only are they unpleasant to bite into, but they pose a potential choking hazard.
Seasoning Variation Suggestions:
- Dill weed
- Dry mustard
- Old Bay®
Vegetable Variation Suggestions:
- Broccoli florets
- Cut green beans
- Cut asparagus
- Chopped red bell pepper
- Chopped pimientos
- Mixed vegetables
Topping Variation Suggestions:
- Lightly crushed potato chips (plain or flavored)
- Crushed saltine or Ritz® crackers
- Crushed Cheez-It® crackers (any flavor)
- Dry bread crumbs or Panko, mixed with 2 to 3 tablespoons melted butter
- Crushed seasoned croutons
© 2014 DC Ziese