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Healthy Tuna Noodle Casserole

This Skinny Tuna Noodle Casserole doesn’t taste “healthy”. It has extra veggies, a high-quality tuna, and a creamy sauce for a fantastic, easy meal.

If you’re as old as I am, chances are you had a lot of tuna noodle casseroles as a kid. Cooked noodles, a can of tuna, some canned soup and maybe some onion or mushrooms. That was considered a well-rounded meal back then and it sure tasted good to me and my sisters.

I still love a good tuna noodle casserole but I wanted to create a recipe worthy of my tastes today. If I could do that and keep the calories down, too? Even better.

This Skinny Tuna Noodle Casserole doesn't taste "skinny" at all! Extra veggies balance with whole milk and delicious Genova tuna for a casserole everyone will rave over!

How do you make a healthy tuna noodle casserole?

You’ll want to begin with a high-quality tuna; one that tastes fresh and flavorful. If the star of my casserole is tuna, it had better be top-notch (I prefer Genova tuna). Using a cheaper tuna is fine, but be sure it has large chunks of flaky tuna and isn’t just a mush inside the can. This is a tuna noodle casserole with egg noodles and you want the pasta and tuna to be tender bites without being a mushy mess.

Saute your veggies, add your sauce ingredients and simmer. Mix in more veggies and tuna, then layer it with the noodles in a baking dish. Add your crunchy topping and bake until the topping is golden brown and the casserole is bubbly hot. It’s easy to make and the extra veggies mean you can feel great about enjoying it!

Is it a coincidence that I’m getting super hungry right now? :)

Can you freeze tuna casserole?

You can! Just make sure you seal it tightly before freezing to keep as much air out as possible. When you’re ready to enjoy it, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight and bake as usual.

What side dishes to serve with tuna casserole?

In my opinion, you don’t really need a side dish with this particular tuna noodle casserole since it already has loads of pasta, vegetables, and tuna. If you still want to serve something alongside it, I’d suggest either a salad or a fresh vegetable side such as fresh sliced tomatoes (you could add a dollop of ricotta cheese and fresh basil, too). This quick sauteed zucchini would be good, too.

Of course, adding a dessert instead of a side would be another option. Fresh fruit at the end of your meal would round this out nicely and keep it healthy, too.

We also love these Tuna Lettuce Wraps for a healthy lunch or light dinner.

healthy tuna casserole on a black plate with carrots with tops in the background

Skinny Tuna Noodle Casserole

Yield: 12 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

Upping the veggies, swapping reduced-fat milk for cream and using a high-quality tuna makes this tuna casserole something you'll want to make every week!

Ingredients

  • 1 12-oz bag egg noodles, cooked according to package directions
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 16 oz sliced mushrooms
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 14.5-oz can chicken stock or broth
  • 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cups very small broccoli florets, if they're too large they won't be tender
  • 2 cups frozen peas
  • 3 5-oz cans high-quality tuna in olive oil, drained
  • 2 cups reduced-fat milk
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1-2 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • cooking spray

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil and, when shimmering, add onions, mushrooms and carrots to skillet. Cook until onions are opaque and liquid from mushrooms has been released and evaporated.
  3. Sprinkle flour over vegetables and cook, stirring occasionally, for 1-2 minutes.
  4. Whisk in chicken stock until smooth. Simmer for 3-4 minutes. Stir in horseradish and Worcestershire sauce.
  5. Add broccoli, frozen peas and Genova tuna; stir well. Add milk and season to taste. Stir in shredded cheese.
  6. Place cooked egg noodles in the bottom of a greased 13x9 baking dish. Pour tuna mixture over the top of noodles, taking care to cover noodles completely. Sprinkle with panko breadcrumbs then spray with cooking spray to moisten.
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until breadcrumbs are golden brown and casserole is bubbling hot at the edges.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 329Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 28mgSodium: 441mgCarbohydrates: 38gNet Carbohydrates: 50gFiber: 5gSugar: 8gProtein: 17g

This data was provided and calculated by Nutritionix.

Kristy Bernardo
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Molly

Monday 4th of October 2021

If I make this two days ahead, would you recommend freezing (for 36 hours) then thawing in fridge day-of, or just refrigerating for 48 hours?

Thanks!

John

Monday 20th of September 2021

I would love to try this recipe, but 3 cans of tuna? What size cans?

Kathy

Monday 13th of July 2020

I’m going to try it with left over ham. Hope it works!

Selena Mullinax

Tuesday 16th of July 2019

My absolute favorite tuna casserole recipe!! The quality tuna makes the biggest difference!

Kristy

Tuesday 13th of August 2019

I'm so glad to hear this!! It really does make a difference, doesn't it? :)

Neha

Friday 1st of June 2018

This casserole looks super tempting. I need to try this one out asap!

Kristy

Thursday 7th of June 2018

Thanks, Neha!

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