Creamy, rich, comforting… Delicious words used to describe tuna noodle casserole.
But traditional tuna noodle often relies on cream of mushroom soup, French fried onion, and other ingredients rich in sodium and fat.
We took out these undesirable ingredients, added fresh flavor, and transformed that comfort food classic into one healthy recipe!
Find out how to make a super easy tuna noodle casserole that is both hearty and healthy!
Also, read on for a gluten-free alternative!
Healthy Tuna Noodle Casserole Recipe
Yield: 10 servings
Nutrition per serving: 360 calories, 12 g fat, 26 g protein, 36 g total carb, 3 g fiber
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 50 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 10 minutes
• 1, 10-oz package egg noodles
• 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
• 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
• 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
• 1 white onion, diced
• 1, 8-oz container baby portabello mushrooms, sliced
• 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
• 2 1/2 cups water
• 2 cups whole milk (if opting for plant-based or lower-fat milks, reduce water to 2 cups)
• 1/4 tsp thyme, dry
• 1 tsp sea salt
• 1/2 tsp black pepper
• 3/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
• 1 1/2 lb (4 each, 7-oz cans) yellowfin or albacore tuna, packed in water, drained
• 1 cup green peas, frozen
• 1 1/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs
• 2 Tbsp olive oil
• 1/5 tsp dill, dry
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook pasta in boiling water according to package directions until al dente. Drain and set aside for later use.
2. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Prepare a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray.
3. In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour and whisk until smooth. Continue to whisk and cook until a light roux is formed. Set aside for later use.
4. Add olive oil in a large pan and heat over medium-high. Add diced onion, baby portabello mushrooms, and red bell pepper and sauté until soft, about 10 minutes.
5. Add water, milk, thyme, salt, and pepper and stir to combine. Bring to a boil and lower the heat to simmer. Add the roux and stir to thicken, about 3 minutes.
6. Add cheddar cheese and stir until smooth.
7. Stir in tuna, green peas and noodles into the sauce until well incorporated. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish.
8. Make breadcrumb topping by combining Panko, olive oil, and dill in a small bowl and top evenly onto the casserole. Bake uncovered for about 20 minutes, or until breadcrumbs are golden and casserole is bubbling.
9. Garnish with parmesan cheese as desired and serve with honey herb roasted carrots.
How to Make Tuna Noodle Casserole Gluten-Free
Looking and hoping for a gluten-free tuna noodle casserole dish? We have you covered! And doing so is simple and comes together quickly.
1. Use these tweaks for the tuna noodle casserole.
Use your favorite gluten-free pasta noodle.
Egg noodles can be gluten-free, though it depends on the flour used. If using egg noodles, verify it is certified gluten-free on the labeling.
Feel free to use other favorite gluten-free pasta noodles as well. This may include noodles made from brown rice, buckwheat, chickpeas, and quinoa.
2. Ensure the flour is gluten-free.
While all-purpose flour is key for thickening the roux, it is a combination of soft and hard wheat. This makes it not gluten-free friendly.
Fortunately, there are other gluten-free options that can hold the integrity of the casserole. These include:
• Buckwheat flour
• Cornmeal flour
• Millet flour
• Rice flour
• Sorghum flour
Likewise, find and use gluten-free flour blends. They are branded as "gluten-free" and a safe, direct alternative for wheat flour.
3. Use gluten-free bread crumbs or cracker crumbs.
You can prepare homemade bread crumbs by salvaging unused gluten-free bread and pulsing in a food processor. Lightly toast in the oven and add seasonings as desired.
The casserole recipe is not confined to a bread crumb topping, either. Also use cracker crumbs, making sure they are guaranteed and marked as gluten-free.