Whether it's tater tot casserole, spaghetti pizza style or tuna noodle casserole with potato chips, we were always pumped about casserole night.
In the Midwest, guess what? We LOVE casseroles.
My version of tuna casserole is made without "cream of" soup, but is still super easy to make!
The noodles are tender, the sauce is creamy and delicious and there is plenty of albacore tuna and spring peas.
Oh, and lots of crispy, crunchy and salt potato chips on top. It's the BEST comfort food.
This recipe is better than the original
OG tuna noodle potato chip casserole is made with egg noodles, tuna, peas, a 'sauce' made with cream of mushroom soup and is topped with crushed potato chips.
My new and improved tuna noodle casserole is made with many of those traditional ingredients, but instead of "cream of" soup, I made the sauce from scratch.
And it's still insanely simple and easy to make, but it's SO MUCH MORE delicious.
It starts with butter, onion and garlic, a roux (flour added to the butter to thicken), stock and milk, my (not-so) secret seasonings and is finished with Parmesan cheese.
Then, you stir in peas, tuna and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice if you're feeling sassy. Um, yum.
how to make tuna noodle casserole with potato chips
- Egg noodles. I get the whole grain kind for the extra fiber, but regular egg noodles will also work.
- Butter. Or oil, but butter tastes better in this recipe. 🙂
- Onion. Peeled and diced.
- Garlic. Peeled and minced. You can also just some pre-minced garlic.
- Celery salt. A "secret" ingredient to make my sauce taste delish.
- Mustard powder. Another "secret" ingredient to make my sauce taste delish.
- Cayenne. This casserole won't be "spicy", but the cayenne gives the sauce a nice depth of flavor. Trust me.
- Flour. To thicken the sauce (we don't need cream of soups if we make a roux!).
- Stock. The base of the sauce - I use chicken but veggie works, too.
- Milk. Your favorite kind. I use low fat cow's milk.
- Tuna. Grab a few pouches of albacore tuna. Chunk light is fine, too.
- Peas. A bag of frozen or a can.
- Parmesan. Another ingredient that adds depth of flavor!
- Potato chips. Crushed, for the topping, duh.
- An oven to bake the casserole.
- A cutting board and chef's knife for chopping.
- A large pot to boil the egg noodles.
- A Dutch oven or stove-top casserole dish for the casserole.
- A wooden spoon for stirring (always essential).
- Measuring cups and spoons.
- A whisk to make the sauce.
- Spoons and bowls or plates for serving.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Boil the water: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook the egg noodles according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
- Saute the veggies and spices: In a large Dutch oven or large oven-safe pot, heat butter to medium.
- Once melted, add the onion and sauté 4-5 minutes or until soft. Stir in the garlic, salt, celery salt, mustard powder, black pepper and cayenne. Stir in the flour.
- Make the sauce: Increase heat and vigorously whisk in the chicken stock and bring to a simmer, continuing to whisk as it thickens.
- Whisk in the milk, bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to medium-low and let simmer 4-5 minutes or until thickened.
- Stir in the tuna, peas, lemon juice (if using) and Parmesan cheese.
- Make adjustments: If sauce is too thick, whisk in additional stock or milk, ¼ cup at a time. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
- Fold in the cooked egg noodles until combined with the sauce.
- Bake: Sprinkle the crushed potato chips on top.
- Bake 20-25 minutes or until chips are lightly browned and the sauce is bubbly.
- Add more veggies: Try this recipe with a few cups of mushrooms. Add them while sauteing the onions.
- To make it gluten free: Use gluten free egg noodles and gluten free all-purpose flour. Be sure all packaged ingredients are certified gluten free.
- To make it dairy free: Use dairy free milk and skip the Parmesan or use nutritional yeast.
- To make it vegetarian: Skip the tuna and add more peas or add chopped mushrooms.
- To make it vegan: Skip the tuna and use plant-based milk and nutritional yeast instead of Parmesan.
- To make it nut free: This recipe does not contain nuts. Be sure all packaged ingredients are nut free.
Storage and Reheating Tips
- Transfer the leftovers to microwave-safe airtight containers.
- Store the leftovers in the fridge up to 5 days and the freezer up to 2 months; let thaw in the refrigerator.
- You may want to scoop the potato chips off the top and replace with fresh potato chips when reheating.
- Heat in the microwave 1-3 minutes or until heated through.
- Alternatively, transfer to an oven-safe dish and bake at 350 degrees until heated through.
- Use the broiler to lightly toast the topping.
My favorite comfort foods:
- Tater Tot Casserole
- Spaghetti Pie
- Dutch Oven Pot Roast
- Chicken Parmesan Pasta Bake
- Loaded Cheesy Potato Soup
- Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce
- Classic BBQ Meatloaf Cups
Tuna Noodle Casserole with Potato Chips
Simple tuna noodle casserole with potato chip crust - made from scratch with no "cream of" soup, yet is easy to make and more delicious than the original!
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Cook Time: 45 mins
- Total Time: 1 hr
- Yield: Serves 8
- Category: Dinner, Entree
- Method: Stove-Top, Baking
- Cuisine: American
- 12-ounce bag whole grain egg noodles
- 5 tablespoons butter
- ½ medium onion, peeled and finely diced
- 3-4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 ¾ teaspoons coarse salt
- 1 teaspoon celery salt
- 1 teaspoon dried mustard powder
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Pinch cayenne pepper
- 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 cups unsalted vegetable or chicken stock
- 1 ½ cups low fat milk
- 3 2.6-ounce pouches tuna (or canned, drained)
- 1 cup frozen spring peas (or canned, drained)
- Splash fresh lemon juice (optional)
- ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 2-ounces potato chips, crushed
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook the egg noodles according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
- In a large Dutch oven or large oven-safe pot, heat butter to medium. Once melted, add the onion and sauté 4-5 minutes or until soft. Stir in the garlic, salt, celery salt, mustard powder, black pepper and cayenne. Stir in the flour.
- Increase heat and vigorously whisk in the chicken stock and bring to a simmer, continuing to whisk as it thickens. Whisk in the milk, bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to medium-low and let simmer 4-5 minutes or until thickened. Stir in the tuna, peas, lemon juice (if using) and Parmesan cheese. If sauce is too thick, whisk in additional stock or milk, ¼ cup at a time. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Fold in the cooked egg noodles until combined with the sauce.
- Sprinkle the crushed potato chips on top. Bake 20-25 minutes or until chips are lightly browned and the sauce is bubbly.
- Serving Size: ⅛ of recipe
- Calories: 365
- Sugar: 6g
- Sodium: 533mg
- Fat: 16g
- Saturated Fat: 7g
- Unsaturated Fat: 2g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 48g
- Fiber: 3g
- Protein: 18g
- Cholesterol: 96mg
Keywords: satisfying, comfort, delicious, easy, ideas, family friendly
Joan Husby says
i learned tuna casserole in high school with chips and peas. never did it say cheese or garlic. of course modern version is to add garlic to everything... i just want to find the recipe i had in high school and my single years. not sure which soup we added it might have been mshroom but i cant find any in the house... grrrr
Julie Andrews says
Hi Joan - It sounds like you're looking for the version that is made with cream of mushroom soup. The one I posted is a homemade version that is meant for people who don't have any cream of mushroom soup or don't want to use it for whatever reason. The butter + garlic + flour and milk + stock takes place of the cream of mushroom soup. I hope you find the one you're looking for!