4.80 from 5 votes

Tuna Noodle Casserole

Tuna Noodle Casserole is a great vintage recipe and budget meal for any season! Take your canned tuna up a notch with this pasta casserole filled with a sour cream sauce for a moist and delicious dinner.

Tuna Noodle Casserole - creamy noodles topped with a crunchy cheesy topping. Chip dip is the secret ingredient!

It took me years to love Tuna Noodle Casserole, and this recipe is the one that made it one of my favorite cheap dinners! This vintage casserole is super creamy and cheesy and is ready in just 30 minutes for a cheap and easy weeknight dinner.

Growing up, we ate a lot of baked pasta casseroles, and this Spaghetti Casserole was also constantly on the rotation.

Tuna Noodle Casserole - creamy noodles topped with a crunchy cheesy topping. Chip dip is the secret ingredient!

My reaction to tuna casseroles used to be one of indifference. I would eat it, but it wasn’t something I craved. I remember my mom making Tuna Helper when I was a kid. I never cared for it, and as an adult, I didn’t make it for my family. 

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    Now, my outlook on Tuna Noodle Casserole has changed, thanks to this simple recipe! A friend suggested I use chip dip as the sauce. It worked out beautifully! Since then, this is how I’ve been making my tuna casserole. No box mixes here!

    Tuna Noodle Casserole - creamy noodles topped with a crunchy cheesy topping. Chip dip is the secret ingredient!


    • Canned tuna
    • Pasta — your choice of noodles! I use penne for this recipe.
    • Your favorite sour cream-based dip, like sour cream and onion or ranch
    • Cornflakes
    • Swiss cheese
    • Butter
    • Salt and pepper

    What I used for my Tuna Noodle Casserole

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    • Cheese grater: I love that this box cheese grater has different size options on every side. Plus, the rubber base keeps it in place and my countertops unscratched!
    • Mixing bowls: These mixing bowls are always being washed in my house because I use them for everything. The multiple size options are handy from prep work to cake mixing, and they nest inside each other to save space!
    • Baking dish: Everyone has this casserole dish. It’s perfect for roasted dinners or baked treats!
    Tuna Noodle Casserole - creamy noodles topped with a crunchy cheesy topping. Chip dip is the secret ingredient!

    How to Make Tuna Noodle Casserole

    1. First, preheat the oven and grease your baking dish. I use a 9×13 for this tuna noodle casserole recipe.
    2. Then, stir together your noodles, tuna, dip, salt, and pepper and spread the mixture into your dish.
    3. Now, mix the cornflakes crumbs, butter, and cheese together. Spread the crumb mixture over the noodle mixture.
    4. Finally, bake until golden brown and serve!

    When you are mixing up the tuna noodle mixture, it will look like you have a lot of dip in there. You do, BUT it will soak into the noodles during cooking. I’ve tried it with one tub of dip and found it wasn’t enough. 

    The topping is my favorite, cornflake crumbs! I buy them in a box already crushed. You could also crush cornflakes yourself or swap for breadcrumbs instead.

    How to Moisten Dry Tuna Noodle Casserole

    The sour cream dip should keep this casserole nice and moist during cooking and as leftovers. 

    However, if it gets a little dry, you can always parboil your pasta — or partially cook it — before adding it to the casserole dish. This lets it absorb the pasta water and leaves your creamy sauce in the dish. I also recommend rinsing it before baking pasta in a casserole to remove a little of the starch, which will absorb more liquid.

    If the casserole looks to be drying out during cooking, cover it with foil to keep the moisture in tact. Worst case scenario, you can always add a little chicken or vegetable broth to the casserole when reheating or during cooking.

    Tuna Noodle Casserole - creamy noodles topped with a crunchy cheesy topping. Chip dip is the secret ingredient!

    How to Reheat Tuna Noodle Casserole

    Tuna Noodle Casserole leftovers will last up to 4 days in the refrigerator or a few months in the freezer.

    If your casserole is frozen, let it thaw in the fridge a few hours for one serving or overnight for a whole casserole. 

    To reheat, put the casserole in a baking dish and reheat at 350 degrees F for about 20 minutes until it’s evenly reheated. Keep it covered with foil during reheating to retain all the moisture.

    Other amazing casserole recipes to try…

    Do you have any amazing vintage recipes? I’m always looking for more recipes to try! Follow me on Instagram @simplystacieblog, on Facebook at Simply Stacie, and on Pinterest @SimplyStacie and let me know how you liked this and my other recipes!

    4.80 from 5 votes

    Tuna Noodle Casserole

    Created by Stacie Vaughan
    Servings 6
    Prep Time 10 minutes
    Cook Time 30 minutes
    Total Time 40 minutes
    Creamy noodles topped with a crunchy cheesy topping. Chip dip is the secret ingredient!


    • 1 can tuna 170g can, drained
    • 4 cups pasta noodles cooked
    • 2 tubs your favorite sour cream based dip 250g tub
    • salt and pepper
    • ¾ cup Cornflake crumbs
    • ½ cup Swiss cheese shredded
    • 2 tbsp salted butter melted


    • Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish and set aside.
    • Stir together noodles, tuna, dip and season with salt and pepper. Spread noodle mixture in the baking dish.
    • In a separate bowl, mix together Cornflake crumbs, butter and cheese. Spread evenly over noodle mixture.
    • Bake for 25 minutes or until topping is browned.


    Serving: 1g | Calories: 452kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 82mg | Sodium: 358mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g

    The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

    Course Casseroles
    Cuisine American
    Keyword Tuna Noodle Casserole

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    Recipe Rating


    1. That is a classic and a comfort food in our house. Yum!

    2. Terry Perron says:

      I LOVE TUNA so good and healthy for you ,

    3. Wonder if you could sub out sour cream with greek yogurt (plain). I sub it for S.C. all the time and usually results are still every bit delicious and healthier.

    4. Elizabeth Matthiesen says:

      I don’t think I’ve ever knowingly eaten tuna but I do love fish so I should try out tuna too. I guess one of the problems is that I love salmon so probably choose that every time instead. I did buy a can of salmon the other day and it was disgusting not at all like I know tinned salmon from back home so this could be the right time to try this out 🙂

    5. I have never made a tuna casserole. But this one looks good. I am going make one for the family soon. Thanks for the recipe.

    6. What do you mean by sour cream based dip? Like potato chip dip?

    7. kathy downey says:

      I have never made a tuna casserole,but i do love tuna!

    8. We love Tuna Hot Dish (Minnesota lady here) .. I’ve never made it with chip dip but I’m going to give it a try using Top The Tater dip ! I prefer using Egg Noodles so will probably stick with them and I’ve always topped mine with crushed Potato Chips but might give Corn Flakes a try !
      Time to make it with the cold weather !

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