Easy Cold Tuna Noodle Pasta Salad Recipe


Cold Tuna Noodle Casserole Recipe

I am so excited to share our cold tuna noodle casserole recipe with you! This super easy recipe will allow you to make dinner very easily, or take an easy passing dish to any potluck you might be attending. No matter the reason you’re looking for a simple recipe, this cold tuna noodle casserole just might be your new family favorite. 

tuna noodle casserole

This recipe is so good, not only because it is simple to make but also because it is made using items that are pantry staples, as far as the different ingredients go. You don’t have to make a special trip to the grocery store in order to enjoy this classic comfort food. 

Cold Tuna Noodle Casserole with Peas

Unlike a classic tuna noodle casserole, this cold tuna noodle casserole can easily be prepared in advance and enjoyed whenever you want it. The tuna macaroni salad features a cold pasta salad accompanied by tuna fish and sweet peas in order to make that easy yet delicious dish. 

This tuna salad recipe is a classic recipe at least in our family. It is one that the whole family can enjoy, and doesn’t take much to prepare it, to get it onto the dinner table. Plus, it’s great as a passing dish for any gathering that you might be attending, especially family reunions. 

Not only is this easy to make, and can easily be made in advance, but it is also a good recipe to enjoy as a dinner, side dish, or for any occasion. This recipe does not cost much to make and can be enjoyed whenever you have a craving.

In our family, this is also a great lunch idea, because it can be made in advance and then sent in the family members’ lunch boxes. 

Let’s look at what different ingredients you will need to make this simple recipe.

tuna noodle pasta salad casserole

Cold Tuna Noodle Casserole Recipe

Ingredients & Alternatives for Cold Tuna Noodle Casserole

Elbow Macaroni. You can use any kind of pasta that you wish for this recipe. My preference is to use elbow macaroni noodles, but you can use whatever type of pasta you prefer. 

Tuna Fish. You can use one or two cans of tuna fish in this tuna noodle casserole recipe. You can use any type of know that you prefer just to make sure that it has been drained before adding it to your casserole. 

Green Peas. Green peas are added into the cold tuna noodle casserole and will give you a pop of color, and a delicious, sweet flavor of green peas.

My preference is to use canned green peas that have been drained. You may also use frozen peas after they have been thawed as well. 

Mayonnaise. Mayonnaise is the main sauce used in this cold pasta salad. You can use whatever type of mayonnaise you prefer for this recipe. 

Lemon Juice. Adding a touch of lemon juice to this cold pasta salad will enhance the overall flavor, and add a bit of citrus flavor to the cold dish. 

Red Onion. Adding a diced red onion to this cold tuna noodle casserole is entirely optional. If you want to, feel free to include it, but if you don’t like onions then it can be skipped.

Adding the red onion does give additional color and flavor to the cold tuna noodle casserole which can be delicious. 

Onion Powder. Adding a little bit of onion powder to the cold tuna noodle casserole will help to give it a little bit more flavor. 

Garlic Powder. The other seasoning that we like to include in the tuna noodle casserole is a little bit of garlic powder. This will also enhance the flavor profile of this cold casserole. 

tuna noodle salad casserole

How to Make Cold Tuna Noodle Casserole

To make this cold dinner noodle casserole you first want to start off by cooking your elbow macaroni. Take a large pot and fill it with cold water. 

Place the large pot over medium heat and bring the water to a boil. Add the pasta noodles and cook them until they are al dente. Please know that the cook time may vary depending on your specific situation. 

After your pasta noodles are al dente, drain the boiling pasta water, and set the cooked pasta aside to cool. If possible, it’s a good idea to allow it to cool slightly and then refrigerate it so that it cools faster. 

After your pasta has chilled, it’s time to begin making your cold tuna noodle casserole.

Into a large mixing bowl add your cooled pasta, drained tuna, drained peas, mayonnaise, diced red onion if desired, onion powder, and garlic powder. 

Stir the tuna mixture until everything is coated evenly. You’ll likely notice the bright peas as a spot of color standing out. 

After your tuna noodle casserole is mixed together, you can store it in the fridge until you’re ready to serve. While storing it in the fridge it’s a good idea to cover it with plastic wrap to keep it nice and fresh.

Then when you’re ready to serve, remove it from the refrigerator, dish it up, and serve alongside potato chips if desired and enjoy your delicious cold tuna noodle casserole recipe! 

Leftover Tuna Casserole Storage

At Room Temperature. Your cold tuna noodle casserole should not be left at room temperature any longer than two hours before it goes bad. Preferably it should be left at room temperature for the least amount of time possible. Because it is a mayonnaise-based dish, it will likely spoil much faster than other types of foods. 

In the Fridge. The best way to store your leftover tuna noodle casserole when it is not being eaten is in the fridge. To store it in the fridge transfer it to an airtight container, or place it in a large bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Store in the fridge for up to 3 to 4 days.

cold tuna noodle pasta casserole

Different Flavor Variations

As you may have guessed there in many different flavor variations when it comes to tuna noodle casserole. Some casseroles are baked, but others are served cold. Let’s look at a few different variations of different flavors with tuna noodle casserole recipes. 

Cream Soup. Rather than using mayonnaise, some types of tuna noodle casserole include cream of mushroom soup, cream of chicken soup, or cream of celery soup.

Traditionally when adding these soups to the casserole, the soups are mixed with chicken broth, and replace the mayonnaise called for in this recipe. If you would like to have a hot tuna noodle casserole, then I would recommend using a combination of cream of chicken soup and chicken broth mix together to replace the mayonnaise.

The casserole can then be baked in the oven with these replacements. 

Egg Noodles. Egg noodles are another type of pasta that can be used in the tuna noodle casserole. Egg noodles are especially a good idea if you intend to bake the casserole and serve it hot, rather than cold. 

Adding Cheese. No matter if you’re making a hot or cold tuna noodle casserole, sometimes adding shredded cheese or grated cheese is a good option. Added shredded cheddar cheese to the casserole makes it tasty and gives additional color. Another tasty option is to add Parmesan cheese. For hot casseroles, the cheese is typically added to the top of your casserole after it has been placed into the baking dish.

Cold Tuna Pasta Salad

Making cold tuna noodle pasta salad is an easy dinner idea when you’re in a hurry and want to make it in advance, or simply don’t want to run to the grocery store. This delicious recipe can usually be made with pantry staple items and combined to make an easy yet tasty dinner. 

This cold tuna noodle casserole recipe is one of our family favorites, and it is my hope that you will enjoy this recipe as well! Thank you so much for stopping by to check out this easy recipe. 

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Easy cold tuna noodle pasta salad recipe
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Faith Has been cooking and baking for many years! she loves to share her recipes with the world, and hopes you will enjoy them too!

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