Tuna Noodle Casserole

This is as much a retro classic as meatloaf. I rarely ate tuna casserole growing up. My mother had burned out on it long before I was born. This meant neither of my parents would eat tuna. My older sister made it sometimes-she puts peas in hers. Friends parents also made it, so I didn’t grow up totally deprived, and most folks would say I grew up blessed by the lack of tuna casserole in my life. I also never make it. In any case, it is a classic and it is a nice thrifty way to feed a family.

This recipe is from the Better Homes and Gardens Casserole Cook Book, 1961. As usual, I would use real cheddar instead of the processed cheese.

Tuna-Noodle Casserole

6 ounces (about 3 cups) medium noodles
1 6 to 9 oz can tuna, drained
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 cup sliced celery
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup diced green pepper
1/4 cup chopped pimiento
1/2 teaspoon salt

1 can cream of celery soup
1/2 cup milk
1 cup (1/4 pound) shredded sharp process cheese

1/2 cup slivered blanched almonds, toasted (optional)

Cook noodles in boiling salted water till tender; drain. Combine noodles, tuna, mayonnaise, vegetables, and salt.

Blend together soup and milk; heat through. Add cheese; heat and stir until cheese melts. Add to noodle mixture.

Turn into ungreased 2-qt casserole. Sprinkle with toasted almonds. Bake uncovered in hot oven (425) about 20 minutes or till bubbly. Makes 6 servings.


  1. What a blast from the past! I completely grew up on tuna-noodle casserole, but my Mom’s recipe was a bit different. She would only use Italian tuna packed in olive oil, so at least the casserole had some taste to it!

  2. Ah, some taste but did she cut the mayo or still use it?

  3. Maybe I am ABSOLUTELY insane, but it sounds kinda good. Like what my mom used to make.

    I think I’ll try it. Just with the addition of cayenne…and garlic…and some frozen herbs…and less mayo…and with some peas or spinach…

    I guess that doesn’t make it the same, really. πŸ™‚

  4. No, it isn’t insane at all. And let me know how it goes…I would definitely cut the mayo!

  5. I smiled reading this. I make it occasionally. My kids are not crazy about it. I use cream of broccoli. That’s a staple in our house. We also add a little bit of sour cream for that “sour” taste. If I have homemade ranch we’ll use that instead of mayo. Thanks for the smile πŸ™‚

    Audrey πŸ™‚

  6. Yay! I am glad to see all of the tuna noodle fans! I use sour cream in my ham and rice casserole and love it…maybe I will throw it in the Tuna next time.

  7. Ahh the joys of retro-cooking…I love it!

    This was totally yummy. The hubs woke me up to inform me it was a keeper. I tinkered a little. Used Rotini pasta, cut the green pepper/pimiento. Less mayo, celery, and cheese. Add cayenne pepper, all purpose seasoning, and peas. And I used the leftover pasta and peas with mayo and ranch dressing mix to make a super yummy side for the next nights meal!

    I’m a notorious stockpiler of shelf stable foods, so anything that uses tuna rocks my world!

    And casseroles that freeze, BLESS YOUR HEART!! My hubby and I have crazy schedules, so this works perfect. πŸ˜‰

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