Wondering what to serve with old-fashioned tuna noodle casserole? There are so many good side dish options to choose from, you'll never be bored with dinner again!
Experimenting with different flavors and ingredients is a great way to make a complete meal the whole family will love. It makes dinner time easy on you and delicious on the taste buds.
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❤️ Why we love it
- Tuna is cheap but also a good source of hearty protein
- A great option on busy weeknights (make it ahead or freeze leftovers)
- It's topped with potato chips—need I say more?
Cheesy tuna noodle casserole is a classic American dish that's finished prepping in just a few, easy steps. It's a family favorite that's been passed down for generations because everyone enjoys its simple, comforting flavor!
🥦 Vegetables and Sides
Vegetables are a great side to serve with tuna casserole because they add some much-needed crunchiness to the creamy sauce and textures. The bonus? These simple recipes are so easy to make!
- Southern cucumber salad (shown above in all its crisp, fresh glory)
- Sweet peas/green peas
- Roasted Brussels sprouts
- Fresh green salad
- Bacon-wrapped asparagus
- Maple roasted carrots
- Steamed mixed veggies
- Pan-fried crispy Brussels sprouts
- Green beans and potatoes with bacon
- Steamed asparagus
- English pea salad
- Side salad with tomatoes and cucumbers
- Bibb lettuce salad
- Stuffed mushrooms
- Roasted red peppers and green beans
- Broccoli cauliflower salad
- Spicy roasted cauliflower
- Wedge salad
- Oven-roasted broccoli
There are so many different types of bread, and almost all of them are a good choice for serving with tuna casserole. Classic comfort food just isn't the same without a roll or breadstick on the plate!
- Farmhouse bread
- Easy 30-minute dinner rolls
- Take-and-bake grocery store baguettes
- Pretzel rolls
- Crescent rolls
- No-fail Amish white bread
- Frozen dinner rolls
- Homemade buttermilk bread
- Rustic bread (made in a cloche)
- Cheesy bread
- Honey-cracked wheat bread
- Texas toast
- Garlic knots
- Garlic breadsticks
- Garlic bread
- Homemade potato rolls
Every main dish deserves a little something sweet at the end—it's only fair! Serve these desserts on tuna casserole night for a homestyle meal from start to finish.
- Apple crumble
- Pineapple upside-down cake
- Texas sheet cake
- Old-fashioned fudge
- Pecan pie
- Carrot cake
- Butterscotch cookies
- Apple pie
- Rice crispy treats
- Fresh strawberry pie
- Chocolate chocolate chip ice cream sundaes
- Snickerdoodle cookies
- Baked Alaska
- Southern buttermilk pie
- Fresh fruit
🍷 Wine and cocktails
Even leftover tuna casserole can feel like a fancy date night out if you serve a little wine or a cocktail with it! These choices best complement the delicious, easy meal.
- Muddled Fig Old-Fashioned
- Sparkling Rosé
- Manhattan cocktail
- 1960's Russian Tea
- French 75 cocktail
- Whiskey Sour cocktail
- Pinot Grigio
- Cotes du Rhone wine
- Cranberry Moscow Mule
- Rum 'n Cola
- Pinot Noir
Despite its crunchy topping and cheesy sauce, tuna casserole can still use some garnish. Don't forget to set these out on the dinner table for the perfect finishing touch.
- Freshly grated parmesan cheese
- Black pepper
- Lemon juice (to squeeze over steamed veggies)
- Candied jalapenos
- Hot sauce
- Chopped parsley
- Fresh chives
💭 Things to know
These tips will help you to have the best tuna noodle casserole ever—and, yes, that's exactly how the kids will describe it, too!
- Following an easy tuna casserole recipe is the first step to success.
- Wide egg noodles are usually used in the classic dish, but you can swap them with elbow macaroni, rotini, or another similar pasta.
- Don't overcook the noodles. Add them into the casserole "al dente" or they'll get mushy during baking.
- You can use a variety of ingredients as your crunchy topping. Get creative with Ritz crackers, cornflakes, homemade bread crumbs, Panko breadcrumbs, crushed Chex, or something similar from your pantry!
- Sometimes, a shallower baking dish will cause your casserole to dry out. If you struggle with this, try using a deeper casserole dish next time.
- Always let tuna casserole cool for a couple of minutes before digging in. Not only is it piping hot at first, but cooling lets the sauce thicken up.
- Prep the casserole ahead of time and cover it with plastic wrap. Store in the fridge for two days. Then, pop it in the oven when you're ready!
- You can freeze an unbaked tuna casserole for up to three months. Let the frozen casserole thaw overnight before cooking as directed.
- Store tuna casserole leftovers in an airtight container and they'll last, refrigerated, for up to four days.
These side dishes also go with...
The best side dishes are versatile, so in addition to tuna casserole, they're great to serve with these main meals, too.
- Hamburger Noodle Casserole is a comfort food classic and a great way to use ground beef in an exciting and flavorful (but easy!) recipe.
- Homestyle cooking at its best, Baked Mac and Cheese gets both kids and adults excited for dinner. It's so much better than the blue-box stuff.
- Mom's Noodles Romanoff describes a cheesy combination of tender noodles and a sour cream-based sauce—so comforting and so easy.
- With creamy ranch flavor and plenty of cheese, Chicken Hashbrown Casserole is a unique, low-effort, and crowd-pleasing dinner.
These side dishes DO NOT go with...
Need something else for your dinner plan this week? Here are a few recipes that are totally different from a tuna fish casserole, but still tasty on their own.
- One-Pot Taco Spaghetti is full of delicious Tex-Mex flavor and is a complete meal—no extra sides (or pots or pans) are required!
- Sweet Potato Chicken Pot Pie Casserole tastes like childhood comfort food but in an easy, one-dish dinner recipe.
- Spanish Rice from Leftover Rice is another one-pan-full-meal recipe, so not only do you not need any sides, but clean-up is a breeze!
Don't serve tuna casserole with...
This vintage casserole goes with a lot of great sides but beware of the following - they just don't work with the noodles!
- baked beans
- pasta or macaroni of any kind
- mashed potatoes or any kind of potatoes really
- winter squash
- black beans, navy beans, etc
Old-fashioned tuna noodle casserole is an easy classic. My mom usually just chopped up some iceberg lettuce and slapped some Catalina dressing on the table!
Any kind of raw, crunchy vegetable is perfect - sliced bell peppers, celery, carrot sticks, etc.
This is such a hearty main dish that you can get away with quick and easy side dishes if you don't have time for cooking anything. Or, consider a make-ahead side dish to keep things super easy!
What do you like to serve with tuna casserole? Leave a comment and give us your ideas!