Tastier and easier than that retro Tuna Noodle Casserole you may have grown up with (or not!). We have a vegan version too!
I did not grow up with Tuna Noodle Casserole in our home. I guess my mother did not like it, or my dad! She loved egg noodles though, and usually served them straight up with a little butter and salt and pepper. Buttered noodles, yum! Simple. Delicious. Still one of my favorite quick comforts, and nothing is easier.
Let’s make it lighter
But I do remember having the traditional casserole at my girlfriend Mary’s house and I loved it. Her mother baked it with crumbled potato chips on top, the absolute best part. Mary’s mom could make a dinner for six just grabbing cans and boxes from her massive pantry, and in minutes everyone was fed. I don’t remember most of what she made, but I do remember the potato chip topped tuna noodle casserole.
I thought it might be fun to take this retro dish and put a slightly different spin on it, keeping, of course, the homey quality of the original, but ditching the processed canned soup. By doing so, it made this dish both lighter and much more flavorful overall.
As simple as supper can be
I kept it really simple, much easier than the original, just some nice jarred tuna, the oil it was packed in (about 4 tbsp.), some fresh mushrooms and onions, and, of course, the peas, in this case some thawed frozen with beautiful green color. The noodle water both deglazed the pan and thickened the sauce. I used jarred tuna filets here, but you could also use canned in oil tuna of choice. Use whatever egg noodle you love. This one was actually made with just egg whites and was as tasty as those with whole eggs.
This is a great weeknight supper, a pantry meal packed with flavor, quick too! It’s done in the time it takes to cook the noodles, much faster than the original casserole, not as heavy, and much tastier!
Noodles with Tuna and Peas
- 8 oz. wide egg noodles
- 1 jar tuna filets in olive oil (190 g. or 6.7 oz.), or 2 cans
- 8 oz. crimini or button mushrooms, sliced
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
Add the noodles to a rapidly boiling pot of salted water and cook according to package directions, it will vary by brand.
While the pasta is cooking, heat a large skillet over medium high and add all the oil from the jarred tuna. Add the mushrooms and onion and sauté until the mushrooms have browned and the onions are soft and starting to brown as well. Add the garlic and sauté for another minute or until fragrant.
Deglaze the pan with a half cup or so of the noodle water, scraping up all the fond, there should be quite a bit and that means flavor. Add the peas, and set aside for a moment or two until the noodles are cooked.
With a spider or slotted spoon, add the noodles and the tuna to the pan and mix everything together well. Season with salt and pepper, and taste. Add a little more noodle water to adjust the consistency if necessary.
Turn out onto a platter and serve! Top with a bit of fresh parsley if you like, or some crumbled potato chips if that brings back a memory or two! Four to six servings depending on appetite, more as a side.
Simply omit the tuna, use olive oil rather than the tuna oil, and increase the mushrooms to a pound. There are many delicious vegan noodles on the market.
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Looks delicious! We very rarely eat out, and I have come to understand why a home cook might turn to boxes and cans in the pantry. But, the results are not always as tasty as they could be. Your recipes illustrate how we can combine ease of cooking with tastiness. Yay!
That’s so sweet of you to say Laurie! I have my pantry staples, but they are usually real foods that just happened to be in cans or packages like tomatoes and pasta! During the worst of the pandemic, they were a lifesaver!
Love the vegan version, thank you!
If you like French food, please look up my latest post on France.
Thank you Joanna! I will check you out!
I am going to make this! 😋
Thanks Carol! It’s really tasty and quick!
I made this for dinner tonight and my husband and I loved it!! So healthy and flavorful! Thank you!
I’m so glad you enjoyed it Carole! It’s a great recipe to have in the back pocket, flavorful, satisfying, and quick!
……and mushrooms. 🍄🍂
Gotta have the mushrooms!
I love that you always include optional versions of your recipes Dorothy~
Thank you! Everyone has to eat Jenna, and in our family we have challenges and strong preferences, so I like to be flexible. There’s always a way to put a spin on things.
Your culinary knowledge is impressive Dorothy~
Thank you so much! I’ve had a lot of practice and some really good teachers, including amazing blog friends!
Great job upgrading this dish with fresh mushrooms, frozen peas, and tuna in olive oil! I can now consider having it! 🙂
Thank you Ronit! In addition to tasting much better, it is so much easier to make and you can get dinner on the table in no time at all (without a lot of extra sodium and preservatives!).
Dorothy, this is a wonderful grown up version of that childhood dish.
Thank you Bernadette! It’s really tasty, with or without the tuna!
Oh, I do remember Mary’s Mom’s tuna casserole, but I think my Mom put bread crumbs on the top. I know you’re trying to keep us all healthy, but it sure did taste good. 🙂 Yours looks much healthier and most of us have the ingredients and will feel much better about eating it. 🙂
Thank you Judy! I loved it too, but this one is even better, and quicker!
Tuna, noodles and Peas, what a winning combination!
It is indeed! Thanks for stopping by, I’ll save you some!
I have not made this in FOREVER! And why is that?? I will enjoy your version… I need to add a few of the ingredients to my grocery list.
Thanks Dorothy for another great one!
Thank you Nancy! I hope you appreciate it as much as we did!
Lovely and innovative recipe Dorothy. Looks inviting and healthy
Thank you so much! We really enjoyed this one!
I love everything about this dish! My husband doesn’t care for tuna, peas or mushrooms and I could devour this!
All the more for the cook!
The only time I use tinned tuna is when the grandkids request tuna, pasta and sweetcorn…not for me But I’m sure the grandkids would love this 🙂
If they are anything like my grandkids, give them pasta of any sort and they are happy!
Absolutely , Dorothy 🙂
Absolutely, Dorothy which makes me sure they will love this 🙂
This is a dish that I’ll make after traveling. No fresh produce needed! Except for your mushrooms… which I love.
Thanks Mimi! The mushrooms really make this dish!
I love tuna pasta dishes, Dorothy. A great share.
Thank you Robbie! We really enjoy this one.
This one’s going straight into my ‘Dorothy’s Folder’. It looks delish. I know it will be… 😀
Enjoy my friend! It is great comfort food!
I grew up on the retro style casserole you speak of, and had so much of it I swore off it forever. But you, of course, have Glam’d it up into something extraordinary! I need to find the jarred tuna fillets and I’m on it! Hey, what do you think about handmade egg noodles with this? 😋
Homemade egg noodles would put this one over the top!!!! Take this, make it better!
I like tuna alot but I have never made a tuna casserole—I will need to try that sometime! It looks really good!
Tuna noodle casserole makes me happy. One of the comfort foods of my childhood.
Potato chips on top, or breadcrumbs?
Breadcrumbs. More healthy! 😉
Thanks Leslie! It’s a fun recipe.
Yum! Cans of tuna and salmon are always on hand in our house. Have a great weekend, Dorothy
Thank you Christy! You have a lovely weekend too!
Delicious recipe as always Dorothy.. we love tuna and mushrooms and this dish is right up our street.. especially as so quick and easy to put together. We use tuna in jars with olive oil. xx
Thank you Sally! The tun in jars with olive oil has so much more flavor! My go to.
An elevated version of tuna pea wiggle, the Hot Lunch Ladies’ standby!
Oh yes! I can’t count how many times we must have been served that one!
My mother made her own version with canned salmon. *shudder*
Oh, there were many cans of salmon opened in my childhood home as well. We loved it all!
A wonderful recipe, Dorothy. This is the epitome of comfort food and reminds me of my childhood. Thanks for the smiles!
Thank you so much! It does have that comfort feeling of previous days.
Very delicious, and i love it, when i can also use garlic for preparing dishes. 😉 I never before thought to have so many vampires around me. Lol xx Michael
Yes, there are definitely a lot of vampires out there that one must protect against!
This looks yummy!!!
Thank you! It was really tasty!
Oh yes 😋 a simple yet so so delicious meal 😋
Thank you Ribana! Sometimes the simplest meals are the best.
Very true 😉
That looks delicious! 🤗
Thank you! It’s crave-worthy!
My dad made something like this when we were kids. It was the full monty – canned mushroom soup, macaroni, canned tuna, canned sweetcorn, and bashed up cheese and onion crisps. We thought it was the bees knees as it was so different from the wholesome food our mum cooked!!
And I bet he was really proud of his cooking!
Love that this recipe is without cream! I can’t wait to try it.
Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!
So basic and delicious. I haven’t baked this one in years. Really thanks for this one. I need it. Happy brand new month Dorothy.
Have a wonderful beginning of spring!
Haven’t had this in forever! just got some new vegan to try out too…
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