Cheesy Tuna Noodle Casserole with Green Olives

For years, my daughter’s been describing this casserole to me, a family favorite of her in-laws. For years, in my head, I’ve been thinking: Do we NEED another Tuna Casserole? The “We” being not just our family, but the world as a whole! One taste of this casserole was all it took to change my mind.

Chessy Tuna Noodle Casserole with Green Olives
Chessy Tuna Noodle Casserole with Green Olives

I’d like to preface this by saying that I’m not terribly fond of casseroles, particularly tuna casseroles. When I wrote the post on Meta Given’s Tuna Noodle Casserole Supreme, I mentioned that the tuna noodle casseroles of my youth were the bane of my childhood…this casserole, though, is a whole ‘nuther thing!

Tuna Noodle Casserole with Green Olives is extraordinarily good: The creamy, slightly cheesy sauce is offset by the freshness of the vegetables which still retain just a bit of crunchiness.

And the olives, oh my, the olives – their slight brininess makes the casserole. Honestly, had I not had this at my daughter’s house I would have left them out, and what a mistake that would have been. The humble olive also has tremendous health benefits (and the pimento looks lovely in the casserole.)

So here it is, easy, inexpensive, quick and filling, and the BEST Tuna Casserole I’ve ever had. Thanks, Sweet Pea – it was so much fun cooking this with you! The casserole was about $4.17 to make, the steamed broccoli another 75 cents or so, and the salad, using sales priced red lettuce (89 cents a pound) and the simple dressing from my Harvest Salad, another 40 cents.

Tuna Noodle Casserole with Green Olives

  • Servings: 6
  • Time: 45 min
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 8 to 16 ounces of Egg Noodles, cooked al dente in salted water and drained well
  • 1 green pepper, finely chopped
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup celery (about two large stalks) finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup of green olives, chopped (a handful)
  • 1 can of tuna, well-drained
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese; set 1/2 cup of this cheese aside for the topping
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 can cream of celery soup (or substitute cream sauce)
  • 8 ounces or about 3/4 of the soup can of milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

While noodles are cooking, in a microwave safe bowl, mix soup, 1 1/2 cups of the cheese, mayo and milk and heat through, stirring now and then until cheese is melted. (This could be done in a pan on the stove, instead.)

Chop vegetables and add to the cheese sauce along with the olives. Mix together.

Place half the noodles in the casserole, gently top with the tuna. Pour about half of the cheese sauce over the tuna and noodles. Layer the rest of the noodles over the first layer. Slowly pour the cheese sauce over the top of the casserole, nudging aside the noodles here and there and allowing some of the sauce to seep through.

Cover and bake for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Uncover, sprinkle with remaining cheese, and bake for another five to eight minutes until the casserole is thoroughly warmed through and bubbly, and the cheese melted.

Let’s talk about how to save money/time on this recipe:

  • Use a coupon matching site! One of my favorites in my area is Pocket Your Dollars, but every store has a group of enthusiastic Coupon Matchers. Do not discount the savings! I check their site every week, even if I don’t “need” to go to the store and often find bargains I can’t pass up.
  • Follow my 12 Strategies – You’ll see them on the upper drop down menu of every page and how I apply them, below.
  • Don’t get discouraged if your prices don’t match mine! Keep shopping at the best prices and your fridge/freezer and pantry will be stocked with sales priced ingredients.
  • Read Strategies Applied for additional tips as well as throughout the recipe, for saving time and managing food.

Kitchen & Cooking Hacks:

Put Your own Spin on It:

  • I think this would be a great recipe to use another type of cheese in: pepper jack or Swiss.
  • Rather than baking with the cheese on top, a bread crumb topping, like the one on my Cheesy Chicken Casserole would be outstanding on this casserole.
  • I don’t think you could go wrong with a dash of sherry or white wine in the cheese sauce.
  • Capers would be interesting in the casserole instead of the olives.

Tuna Safety

How much and what kind of Tuna is safe to eat? Check out this handy calculator by Colin Dunn of Planet Green. Hint: light tuna has much lower levels of mercury than Albacore.

Comments and discussion always welcome - tell me what you think.

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