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Old-School Tuna Noodle Casserole with Potato Chips ‘n Peas

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tuna casserole plated



Is there a more comforting, affordable and heart-warming dish that reminds you more of your childhood than a piping hot and soothingly creamy tuna noodle casserole?

When you finally had to come inside after playing in the snow and bitter cold from making snowmen and snow angels in the front yard.

Taking off boots, mittens, scarves, layers of extra clothing, and wet socks.

Standing on the heat register to bring warmth and life back into your frozen toes….and the wonderful aromas of a comforting casserole filling the house making your tummy growl!


I love dishes that wrap you like a warm, flannel blanket and take you back to simpler times, when life was slower and we didn’t seem to have as many worries.


And that’s just what this classic dish promises.

Delicious, uncomplicated, humble goodness.


tuna noodle casserole with potato chips 'n peas



I have several tuna casseroles on my blog already, my “Grown-Up Tuna Casserole Alfredo with Asiago, Kale & Cremini Mushrooms” and my “Kid-Approved Super Cheesy Tuna Noodle Casserole with Fresh Broccoli, Mushrooms, Celery & Onions“.


So, I thought that it was about time that I shared my old-fashioned, old-school, just plain and simple classic one that’s a favorite, and has still stood the test of time.

Everything that you’d expect in a classic tuna casserole that never lets our hearts and tummies down. 🙂



tuna noodle casserole



Simple-Simon pantry items all come together to create this easy weeknight meal that doesn’t require 3 stores and a small loan to make! I actually needed nothing as I had everything that I needed to make this already on hand!

I’m betting you do, too! 😉



tuna noodle casserole portrait



If you’ve got milk, mayo, a can of tuna, a can of cream of mushroom soup, some noodles, frozen peas, fresh celery and onions, a little cheese and a handful of regular ol’ potato chips – – you’ve got dinner! 😀

I also like to add sliced mushrooms. (Canned, jarred or fresh. Whatever I happen to have.) And if I have a can of sliced water chestnuts, in they go, too! I lOVE the little bit of crunch that they give! 😀



tuna casserole plated



I cannot even tell you how much we enjoy this simple casserole. I swear I could eat this once a week and never tire of it!

So creamy, hearty, and just plain comforting to the soul. Sweet baby peas baked into the casserole unthawed help to keep their pop and never become little balls of shriveled mush, and the topping of crushed potato chips adds extra fun, too!




The hubs and I could’ve easily scarfed this dish down in just 4 servings, but we behaved ourselves and got 6 servings that were just fine. Although I had to HIDE it in the back fridge!

If you have a large family, you’ll definitely want to double this and bake in 2 pans or a large lasagna pan for sure! 😉


So, if you’re in need of a little TLC, this casserole will fix just about anything. 😉

Even frozen toes and noses! 🙂






Old-School Tuna Noodle Casserole with Potato Chips 'n Peas
Yield: 6 servings

Old-School Tuna Noodle Casserole with Potato Chips 'n Peas


  • 2 Tbl. butter
  • 1 large or two small ribs celery, sliced (1/8" - 1/4" thick, or as you like)
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 tsp. coarse ground black pepper
  • 1 jar (6 oz. /dry wt) sliced mushrooms, well drained, (or use 8 oz. fresh; slice, and sauté with butter, celery and onions)
  • 1 (12 oz.) can tuna, well drained
  • 1/3 cup frozen sweet baby peas, unthawed
  • 2 cups shredded swiss cheese, divided
  • 4 cups uncooked egg noodles, cooked al dente and drained well
  • 1 cup crushed hearty potato chips such as Ruffles

Optional Additions:

  • 1 small can water sliced chestnuts, drained and coarsely chopped
  • 1 small jar chopped pimiento peppers, drained well (*if using, fold in gently very last)


  • In small sauté pan, melt butter and add celery and onion. Sauté until tender. (about 6-8 minutes on medium-low to low). Don't brown. Set aside.
  • In small pot, start bringing water to boil to cook noodles in.
  • While water is heating up, in large mixing bowl, stir together the soup, mayo, milk, and pepper until creamy and smooth.
  • Fold in mushrooms, tuna, sautéed celery/onion mixture, frozen peas, 1 cup shredded swiss cheese, (and any optional ingredients if adding.) Set aside.
  • When water comes to a boil, add 2 tsp. kosher or regular table salt to water and 4 cups wide or curly egg noodles. Cook until just under al dente. (Mine said 6-8 minutes, so I only cooked them for 5, as they will finish cooking in the casserole when baked.) Drain well, and gently fold into tuna mixture.
  • Spray a 2 1/2 quart baking dish or 13 x 9 pan and pour and spoon mixture into dish. Sprinkle top with second cup of cheese.
  • Pop into preheated 350º oven and bake, uncovered, for 25 minutes. Top with 1 cup crushed potato chips and bake 5 minutes longer.




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    Sunday 4th of November 2018

    I thank you for your tuna casserole recipe.Never in my life I'm 61years old I heard it nor ate it. My boyfriend always say his mom made best tuna casserole.But old school tuna was the better then his mom...So I looked it up came across your reason was the word old school this must be it.Going to try wish me luck let you know if the same old school teast...

    Mary Crough

    Saturday 13th of October 2018

    Can I make this ahead of time and freeze it before final cooking


    Monday 30th of July 2018

    Thank you Kelly, you've taken me back to the mid-50's to the kitchen of a friend's mother. Tonight, through your recipe, we shall return to the days of long ago. Just reading it and tasting it in my mind tells me it will be great. Thank you again. Cheers!

    Paulina Silva

    Tuesday 23rd of January 2018

    This tuna casserole was super yummo!! It was so nice to use some leftover ingredients that I needed to use. Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful recipe.

    Jill Schmidt

    Thursday 2nd of November 2017

    I made this dish last night and it was absolutely delicious! I will always make it this way, from now on. Sauteing the celery and onion, beforehand, adds so much savoriness. The mayo adds extra creaminess. I added pimentos and used Parmesan cheese, as I did not have Swiss, and it was very good. A few of my friends are asking for this recipe, so off I go, to make copies for them. I've been looking for a long time for an exceptional tuna noodle casserole, so thank you for sharing this quality recipe! : )

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