Articles / The Tuna Noodle Casserole Debate is NOT Over

The Tuna Noodle Casserole Debate is NOT Over

Published October 4, 2019

So, when I launched this newsletter (almost exactly one year ago!), I never really envisioned it being the venue for an ongoing fight about tuna noodle casserole. But I’m not unhappy about it—it’s pretty funny.

It started this summer when we published this story from writer Emily Nunn, in which she made the case for why tuna noodle casserole has no place in the canon of American comfort foods. (In a nutshell: It’s “like eating sadness.”) We then put the question to our readers, and it turned out that more of you than not (about 54%) are actually into tuna noodle casserole.

Of all the people who came to the defense of this notorious dish, perhaps nobody did it with as much honest-to-goodness passion as comedian and author, Samantha Irby. So much so that she decided to write her own article about it, which includes a recipe that is probably one of the funniest I’ve ever read. Here’s a taste:

Instructions: First you need to call your mama, ask her to leave the old Corningware baking dish she stole from your grandma on her front steps, then swing by there on your way home from the grocery store and pick it up because tuna casserole just doesn’t taste right unless it’s from a weird, faded glass dish that only old people care about. My mom is dead and chose to be buried in her treasured 9-by-13 Pyrex baking dish, so I was stuck scouring all the Salvation Armies in a 20-mile radius trying to find an authentic Corelle to make my casseroles in. I found nothing, so I just use this cheap glass pan I got at Target, like a normal person.

The rest is below. Will it change your opinion of tuna noodle casserole? Maybe. Will you laugh out loud? Probably. Enjoy the weekend.


Since writer Emily Nunn trash talked tuna noodle casserole in “The Comfort Food Myth,” back in July, we’re still getting notes of outrage from people — including comedian and author Samantha Irby, who also happens to be a prolific home cook, although she’d deny it until the end of time. Here’s what she has to say.