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Grandma’s Old Fashioned Tuna Casserole is an easy dinner with tuna fish and egg noodles baked in a creamy sauce. This classic recipe is a family favorite perfect for busy weeknights!

old fashioned tuna casserole with potato chips and cheese on serving spoon.

If you like easy recipes and vintage recipes, you will love my grandma’s old-fashioned tuna casserole with potato chips. It’s super easy, budget friendly and made with simple ingredients from the pantry.

Back in the day, tuna noodle casserole or tuna delight was very popular, especially during Lent. Mom usually made the lighter tunafish salad or tuna fish patties. But, Grandma’s casserole is pretty much the ultimate comfort food.

The classic recipe usually calls for cream of mushroom soup, but we always use cream of chicken soup mixed with cream of celery. I also add veggies and cheese. Like most family recipes, this casserole is easy to customize.

canned tuna, egg noodles, cream soup, milk, veggies, seasonings, chips and cheese.

Old-Fashioned Tuna Noodle Casserole Ingredients

You only need a few ingredients for this hearty casserole. They can be found in most grocery stores or online. Full amounts are in the printable recipe card below.

  • Canned tuna — Either chunk light tuna or solid white albacore tuna will work. Albacore tuna is a little pricier but doesn’t smell as fishy.
  • Egg noodles — Use either wide noodles or medium or the no yolk variety. You can use a shorter pasta like penne pasta if that’s what you have.
  • Condensed soup — Cream of celery soup and cream of chicken or whatever cream soup you prefer.
  • Milk — to dilute the soup. I use 2 percent, but whole milk or even half and half works.
  • Frozen vegetables — I love using mixed veggies with green beans, but peas are a classic.
  • Cheese — Use cheddar cheese or a cheddar blend or even sliced American cheese.
  • Seasonings — salt, pepper, parsley and onion powder
  • Crushed potato chips — any variety for a crunchy topping. You can also use panko bread crumbs or crushed buttery crackers, like Ritz crackers, mixed with melted butter.

You will also need a large casserole dish or 9×13-inch baking dish.

How to Make Classic Tuna Casserole Recipe

First, cook the noodles according to the directions on the package. You can make the sauce while waiting for the water to boil.

Add the creams soups to a large bowl, and stir in the milk until well combined.

mix cream soups and milk in mixing bowl.

Next, drain and flake the tuna — use a fork to cut tuna chunks into smaller pieces.

Then, add the flaked tuna and the seasonings to the cream soup mixture. Stir well.

combine tuna with soup mixture and spices.

Add the cooked noodles and veggies to the soup mixture.

Mix everything together until the noodles are well coated with the creamy sauce.

mix casserole ingredients with egg noodles and veggies.

Spoon the mixture into a greased baking dish. I use non stick cooking spray, but Grandma would have greased the dish with butter.

Sprinkle shredded cheese on top of the casserole. Then, sprinkle crushed potato chips on top of the cheese.

tuna noodle casserole with potato chips in baking dish.

Cooking Time

Bake the casserole for 25-30 minutes in a preheated oven or until the top is golden brown and the sauce is bubbling all over. All ovens are different — yours may take a little longer.

I don’t usually cover the casserole, but if you feel the chips are getting too brown, you can cover it lightly with aluminum foil.

How to Store and Reheat Leftover Tuna Casserole

Refrigerate leftover casserole in an airtight container or cover the baking dish with plastic wrap. It keeps fresh for up to 4 days. Reheat individual portions in the microwave or larger amounts in the oven.

This is a great freezer meal. To make the casserole ahead of time, prepare as usual, but leave off the chips. Refrigerate for up to 1 day or freeze in a freezer safe container for up to 3 months. Allow to thaw in the fridge before baking.

baked tuna casserole with potato chips on table.

Helpful Tips

Egg noodles cook fast, so be careful not to overcook them, or they will be mushy when baked. If you like firmer noodles, cook until al dente, and they will be perfect when baked.

To easily thaw frozen veggies, place them in the colander, and they will quickly thaw when you pour the cooked noodles over them.

Add a quarter cup sour cream or mayo for an even creamier casserole. You can also kick up the flavors with a little bit of paprika, garlic powder or hot sauce.

You can make tuna casserole on the stove or pressure cooker with this Instant pot tuna noodle casserole recipe.

Grandma's tuna casserole with potato chips on spoon.

More Easy Casserole Recipes

If you like spice, try my Buffalo chicken casserole. This chicken stuffing bake is perfect for using up holiday leftovers and my cheesy tater tot casserole is a favorite with the kids and the whole family! Or browse more easy casseroles for dinner!

5 from 4 votes

Grandma’s Old Fashioned Tuna Casserole Recipe

By: Dee
Grandma's Old Fashioned Tuna Casserole is an easy dinner with tuna fish and egg noodles baked in a creamy sauce. This classic recipe is a family favorite perfect for busy weeknights!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 10


  • 12 oz egg noodles
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 can cream of celery soup
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cans tuna drained and flaked
  • teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 cup frozen vegetables thawed
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese or cheddar blend
  • cups crushed potato chips
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  • Preheat oven to 375℉, and spray 9×13 baking dish with non stick spray
  • Cook egg noodles according to package directions
  • In a large mixing bowl, stir the cream soups and milk until well combined
  • Add the tuna, salt, pepper, onion powder and parsley, and mix well
  • Stir in the cooked egg noodles and veggies, and mix until well combined
  • Spoon tuna mixture into prepared baking dish
  • Sprinkle cheese on top of casserole
  • Sprinkle potato chips over cheese
  • Bake uncovered for 25-30 minutes or until top is light golden brown and casserole is bubbling. Remove from oven and serve.


Cover casserole lightly with aluminum foil if you feel the top is getting too brown.
Sub cream of mushroom soup for chicken soup and peas for the mixed veggies if desired.
You can use panko bread crumbs or crushed Ritz crackers mixed with melted butter in place of potato chips if desired.


Calories: 395kcal, Carbohydrates: 40g, Protein: 20g, Fat: 18g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 6g, Trans Fat: 0.05g, Cholesterol: 71mg, Sodium: 765mg, Potassium: 432mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 1357IU, Vitamin C: 5mg, Calcium: 228mg, Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
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Recipe Rating

1 Comment

  1. Simon says:

    Super comfort food! Simple to make and another family favorite!5 stars