Casseroles that have stood the test of time and have become family favorites are popular go-to recipes. And knowing answers to the question like how long does tuna casserole last in the fridge can be valuable to avoiding food borne illnesses.
And as an added bonus, we’ve included our perfect casserole recipe below. It’s perfect for a busy weeknight.
What is Tuna Noodle Casserole?
Tuna noodle casserole is one of our easy recipes that comes together quickly and can be baked in about 10 minutes.
It includes ingredients such as pasta egg noodles, tuna, and a creamy mushroom sauce. The casserole is topped with shredded cheese and French-fried onions.
How to Store Tuna Casserole
The two main ways to store tuna casserole are in the refrigerator or freezer. These usually refer to storing already cooked leftovers.
To store your casserole in the refrigerator the best way is transfer it to an airtight container, plastic container, or a glass container, such as a baking dish that has a lid.
If a lid is not available, consider wrapping the top tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap to keep the air from getting in.
To store leftovers in the freezer, you’ll want to transfer them in appropriate portion sizes to heavy-duty freezer bags. This will keep it from becoming stale from freezer burn.
Be sure to date and label the packaging for future reference.
How Long Does Tuna Casserole Last in The Fridge?
Tuna casserole can last for up to 3-4 days when stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, with a regulated temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit or less.
How Long Does It Last In The Freezer?
Casserole that’s been packaged properly and stored in the freezer can last up to 2 months, without compromising quality.
It’s safe to eat longer than that, but the quality will likely become compromised as time goes on.
How Long Does It Last at Room Temperature?
Tuna casserole will last up to 2 hours at room temperature that’s between 40 – 90 degrees Fahrenheit. And if the room temperature is above 90 degrees, it will only last up to 1 hour.
Bacteria grows very quickly at room temperature, and eating foods that have sat out can cause food poisoning. If your casserole is left out at room temperature or you suspect it has gone bad, don’t risk eating it.
Signs of Spoilage
How can you tell if your tuna casserole has gone bad? There are key indicators to watch for as far as signs of spoilage are concerned.
If any of these signs are present, they could indicate bacterial growth in which case you’d want to throw the food away and not risk eating it.
Appearance. If the appearance of your tuna casserole has changed as far as color or texture are concerned, or mold has grown, then it has gone bad and needs to be thrown away.
Taste. If the taste of the dish is off, then don’t risk eating it. It’s not worth taking the risk of getting food poisoning from spoiled foods.
Smell. If there is a rancid smell, or the food seems off or soured, the casserole should be discarded and not eaten.
There are far too many risks of food poisoning in eating food that’s gone bad. Food poisoning can result in serious illness, hospitalization, or even death. If you notice any signs of spoilage, don’t risk eating it.
Easy Tuna Noodle Casserole Recipe
Old Fashioned Tuna Noodle Casserole is a quick and easy casserole that comes together quickly and is perfect for weeknight meals. It’s made with tuna, egg noodles, and a creamy sauce. Then top it with your favorite crunchy topping to add texture.
Yields: 4 servings
8 oz can of solid white albacore tuna, drained
8 oz egg noodles
3 tablespoons olive oil
Large white onion, diced
4 oz cream cheese
½ cup sour cream
10 oz can cream of mushroom soup
¾ cup milk
1 cup shredded Colby Jack cheese
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
1 cup French fried onions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Slice mushrooms and dice onions. Add olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Once the oil is warmed, add the mushrooms and onions and sauté until the onions are translucent.
Add enough water in a stock pot and bring it to a boil. Add egg noodles and boil until al dente, or about 7 minutes.
Add mushroom soup, cream cheese, milk, and sour cream to the mushroom and onion mixture. Warm on the stovetop until heated through. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Transfer drained cooked pasta to the baking pan.
Add the mushroom sauce to the top of the pasta and mix well.
Drain the tuna and add the tuna into the mixture.
Top with shredded cheese.
Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit until the onions are golden brown. Serve hot and enjoy this classic recipe.
You can custom make this recipe according to the ingredients that you have available or according to the ingredients that you prefer. Here are some ideas for ingredient substitutions.
Tuna. Our recipe calls for a can of tuna, but you can also use fresh tuna, canned chicken, fresh shredded chicken or turkey. Any of these will provide a similar outcome to using the tuna.
Just keep in mind all the meat should be fully cooked and shredded before adding it to the casserole.
Olive oil. Canola oil or vegetable oil are common substitutes for olive oil in this case.
Bella mushrooms. Even though Bella mushrooms are recommended, you can use white mushrooms, or any other type of mushroom as well as a can of concentrated cream of mushroom soup.
White Onion. Yellow onion, Vedalia onion, or green onions can be used in place of the white onions. Just chop them finely.
Milk. If you’re dairy-free, consider using a dairy free or plant-based alternative to cow’s milk.
Colby Jack Cheese. Sharp cheddar cheese, regular cheddar cheese, or any orange cheese will work well.
Canned Soups. Though we recommend cream of mushroom soup, you could also use cream of celery soup or cream of chicken soup.
French Fried Onions. Our recipe calls for French fried onions as the crispy topping for the dish, but you can also use Ritz crackers, breadcrumbs, potato chips, or corn flakes. We’ve included the details below for ideas to put on top of the casserole.
What to Put on Top of the Casserole?
Adding a delicious crunchy texture to the top of your casserole is always a hit as far as flavor is concerned.
Even though our recipe calls for French fried onions as the topping, there are other toppings that are good too. Here’s our list of crunchy topping ideas.
Place as many ritz crackers as you like into a zipped storage bag and use a rolling pin to crush them.
Mix in 2-3 tablespoons of melted butter and sprinkle them over the top of the casserole before baking.
Dried bread crumbs are another tasty addition for adding texture to the top of your casserole.
You can use a box of already prepared breadcrumbs from the store or make your own by drying out bread by leaving it uncovered overnight then adding it to a food processor to make it fine crumbs. Mix with 2-3 tablespoons of melted butter for a golden color.
Use plain potato chips and crush them inside a bag before sprinkling them to the top of your casserole. No need to add butter to these as they’re cooked it grease which will help them stay golden as they bake.
French Fried Onions
If you like onions, adding French fried onions to the top will be a hit. Just add them to the casserole during the last 10 minutes while it bakes. No need to add butter to these either.
Having corn flakes readily available can come in handy to add a crunchy topping. Just crush them using a food processor or by placing them inside a zipped bag and rolling them with a rolling pin. Then transfer them to the top if your dish to be baked.
What to Serve with this Dish
Two of our favorite things to serve with this dish are green beans, such as green bean casserole or plain green beans, and a side salad.
These both add a nice color and flavor that complements classic tuna noodle casserole.
Frequently Asked Questions
Following are frequently asked questions that relate to how long does tuna casserole last in the fridge. If you have a question that’s not answered here, feel free to drop it to us in the comments box below and we’ll be happy to respond.
How long is tuna casserole safe to eat?
When stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator at 40F degrees or less, tuna casserole is safe to eat for up to 4 days.
When stored in a zipped freezer bag in the freezer, it’s safe to eat for up to 2 months without compromising quality.
How long can you keep cooked tuna pasta in the fridge?
We recommend eating it within 4 days. After that, the pasta should be transferred to the freezer and packaged properly or thrown away.
Is it safe to reheat tuna casserole?
Yes, it’s safe to reheat tuna casserole when using the appropriate bakeware such as a glass casserole dish or metal baking pan.
Be sure that the food is consumed within the appropriate time frame for food safety reasons.
How long is tuna good for in the fridge?
Tuna can last for up to 4 days when stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or less.
What is the shelf life of tuna salad?
Tuna salad will last for up to 3-5 days when stored properly in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
How long can tuna salad be left at room temperature? Bacteria grows rapidly at temperatures higher than 40 degrees Fahrenheit and should not be left at room temperature any longer than 2 hours. After that, it should be thrown away.