Easy Tuna Casserole Recipe

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Sometimes, you need a comforting meal that makes you feel like you’re having a cheat day. Don’t feel bad about it: We found a way for you to have your comfort without sacrificing nutrition! Ooey, gooey, cheesy baked perfection is what you’ll get with this Easy Tuna Casserole recipe. It mimics the delicious, creamy taste of tuna casseroles from days gone by, but this lightened-up version is much healthier than anything that was whipped up in your grandmother’s kitchen. Best of all, it is packed full with tuna, so you’ll enjoy the benefits of omega 3 fats and lean protein while warming up with this delectable dish.

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Traditional tuna casseroles have a tendency to be greasy, fattening, and all-around unhealthy. They also gets a bad rap for being an “old-fashioned” dish, or something most people have little use for these days. Despite its less-than-stellar reputation, sometimes you get a hankering for the comfort foods from your childhood! That’s when it’s time to turn to this Easy Tuna Casserole recipe.

Cheesy and Delicious

You won’t believe that a meal this cheesy could also be healthy! Our Easy Tuna Casserole recipe is the perfect recipe to turn to when you’re looking for a tuna meal that’s out of the ordinary. Tuna is a great source of lean protein, but plain old tuna salad gets boring time after time. It’s also not always the right option when the weather is cold and blustery.

Mixing tuna with noodles and cheese gives this dish a rich, indulgent feel without all the unappealing aspects from other tuna casserole recipes. Instead of regular macaroni (which uses refined white flour), we opt for whole-wheat noodles. They contain plenty of complex carbohydrates to keep you feeling fuller for longer. We also snuck some veggies into the dish–mushrooms and peas–but don’t worry, this dish is so cheesy no one will notice!

The other big change we made was to ditch the condensed soup. Most traditional casserole recipes use canned condensed soup, like cream of mushroom or cream of chicken. While there’s nothing wrong with cooking using that ingredient, it does happen to be very high in fat and sodium. Instead, we used low-fat cream cheese and milk to get the same result with significantly more nutrition.

If you are looking for a fun dish to bring to a party or office event, or you know your kids will love a gooey tuna casserole, try our Easy Tuna Casserole recipe. It’s a great lightened-up version of the comfort classic that everyone expects.

Easy Tuna Casserole Recipe

Easy Tuna Casserole Recipe

Yields: 6 Servings | Serving Size: 1 Cup | Calories: 437 | Total Fat: 21 | Saturated Fat: 10 | Trans Fat: 0 g | Cholesterol: 65 mg | Sodium: 600 mg | Carbohydrates: 38 | Dietary Fiber: 6 | Sugar: 9 | Protein: 26 | SmartPoints (Freestyle): 13 |

Ingredients

  • 4 cups cooked whole wheat noodles (macaroni was used in this recipe, egg noodles also will work)
  • 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 8 ounces sliced mushrooms, white or button (wipe clean)
  • 2 (4.5 ounce) cans solid white Albacore Tuna in water, shredded (add tuna and water)
  • 1 cup frozen green peas
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened, low fat
  • 1 cup low-fat milk
  • 1-1/2 cups (reduced-fat) cheddar cheese, shredded (recommend block cheese)

Instructions

  1. Preheat over to 375 degrees.
  2. Note: If desired, add additional cheese to the top of the casserole before baking.
  3. Cook noodles according instructions on the package or al dente.
  4. In a medium skillet add oil and sauté onions and mushrooms over medium-low heat until mushrooms begin to release moisture, about 10 minutes. In a large mixing bowl, combine sautéed onions and mushrooms and all remaining ingredients, reserving 1/2 cup cheddar cheese for the top.
  5. Add the tuna mixture to a 3 quart casserole dish or 9" baking pan, top with the 1/2 cup of remaining cheddar cheese. Bake 15 minutes covered and 10 minutes uncovered, or until cheese is hot and bubbly.
https://skinnyms.com/tuna-casserole/

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38 Comments on "Easy Tuna Casserole Recipe"

  1. Ddelutri  March 1, 2012

    Bake at what temperature??

    Reply
    • skinnyms  March 4, 2012

      Whoops! 375 degrees.

      Reply
    • Cat  July 24, 2018

      It’s listed in the instructions..

      Reply
  2. crunkyjens  March 1, 2012

    This looks delicious and the calories/carbs are not that bad!  I would assume to bake at 350 degrees?  I think I'll try my hand at this except leave out the peas…never have liked them.  Thanks for posting!!

    Reply
    • skinnyms  March 4, 2012

      375 degrees. Yes, it's fine to leave out the peas. Enjoy!

      Reply
  3. Lauren_kil84  March 13, 2012

    my husband hates mushrooms and peas i love them so this sounds good..but what are some alternatives to put in

    Reply
    • skinnyms  March 13, 2012

      Hi Lauren, Try 2 cups chopped broccoli…yummie.

      Reply
  4. Sandra Bryan Wimer  March 18, 2012

    Mine got dried out a bit… need to figure that out for next time… yummy though!
     

    Reply
    • skinnyms  March 19, 2012

      Sandra, So sorry! Try using a little chicken or vegetable broth…always a good choice to prevent drying out. Keep us posted!

      Reply
  5. jess  April 5, 2012

    Can any of this meal be prepared ahead of time?

    Reply
    • skinnyms  April 6, 2012

      Yes. Prepare the casserole and refrigerate until ready to cook.

      Reply
  6. Sarah Scott Blankens  April 11, 2012

    Think I'm going to try to adapt this to the slow cooker.  No idea if it will work, but a lot of baked type foods do.  Has anyone else done this, and if so, what worked for you?

    Reply
    • skinnyms  April 13, 2012

      Keep us posted Sarah….we haven't tried it in the slow cooker but would love to hear your results.

      Reply
  7. Angie  May 28, 2012

    Made this tonight.  Forgot to buy the mushrooms.  Woops.  It was pretty dry at the end.  It barely filled my 9×13 pan and was VERY shallow where it did.  I sprayed the glass pan with Pam before throwing it in the oven.  It has great potential, but needs some tweaking.  I threw in some pepper with my onion cooking and then it needed a little salting to taste before eating.  I'll have to try it with mushrooms and maybe throw in some fat free milk to help make it a little more creamy.

    Reply
    • Angie  May 28, 2012

      Incidently, I used whole wheat egg noodles instead of macaroni.  I'm wondering if you should up the noodles, but with the lack of wet/sauce, I don't think it would have worked.

      Reply
    • skinnyms  May 29, 2012

      Angie, Maybe add some milk or
      additional yogurt! Whole Wheat
      egg noodles should be fine!

      Reply
    • Maria  July 18, 2013

      The recipe calls for a 9" square pan, not a 9"x13". I baked mine in a 9" square and it was a perfect amount. I used egg noodles as well. It was a bit dry…am wondering if a little more milk would help?? The broth could be good too. Any ideas out there?
      Thanks.

      Reply
      • Skinny Ms.  July 19, 2013

        Maria, I think it would be fine to use 1 cup milk or add 1/2 cup chicken broth.

        Reply
  8. Sara Marie Elizondo  July 30, 2012

    Can this be frozen? I'm expecting our first baby soon and trying to prepare meals ahead of time 🙂

    Reply
  9. southernwife  August 27, 2012

    just took it out of the oven, it's pretty good but not sure i would make this on a regular basis. I used fat free cream cheese and it seemed to melt just fine which was a nice surprise. i just used a whole package of egg white noodles and they have a super fun texture. guess the real verdict will come when the husband tries it! 🙂

    Reply
  10. Nicole  September 4, 2012

    This was great! I hope it reheats well. I definitely want these leftovers!

    Reply
  11. Skinny Ms.  September 5, 2012

    Nicole, Thanks for letting us know!

    Reply
  12. Amy Santana Singletary  February 17, 2013

    I like Tune casserole, but now I LOVE IT! This is one of my favorite receipes, packed with protein!

    Reply
  13. Skinny Ms.  June 28, 2013

    Paula, That should be 1 cup…thanks for letting us know. 🙂

    Reply
  14. Marianne Shaver Kleminski  July 14, 2013

    Easily can be made gluten free, going to try it Dairy free too as am allergic. Sounds yummy.

    Reply
  15. Darcy  September 27, 2013

    Thank you for posting this recipe — Tuna Noodle Casserole is my husband favorite childhood dish and I never make it b/c it is soooo unhealthy. Will be trying this recipe this weekend!

    Reply
  16. christine davis  October 8, 2013

    When I added this recipe into my weight watchers etools, I get 11 pts per serving at 6 servings? why are my pts so much different from yours.

    This is how I entered it. Making it tonight.

    •4 oz (dry) Barilla whole wheat elbow macaroni
    1 jalapeno
    1 1/2 cups diced zucchini
    •2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
    •1 small yellow onion, diced
    •8 ounces sliced mushrooms, white or button (wipe clean)
    •2 (4.5 ounce) cans solid white Albacore Tuna in water, shredded (add tuna and water)
    •1 (8 ounce) neufchatel package cream cheese, softened, low fat
    •1 cup low-fat milk
    •2 cups sargento reduced fat cheddar cheese, shredded

    Read more at https://skinnyms.com/tuna-casserole/#1bY37xDqWdtAY

    Reply
    • Skinny Ms.  October 9, 2013

      Christine, I recalculated the data using a different site. I still got 7 and 6 for the points.

      Reply
      • jeannette  October 14, 2013

        Looks like her she added an extra 1/2 of cheddar cheese to hers

        Reply
  17. Janie  February 24, 2014

    I make this with macaroni (1/2 box Barilla ww) cooked with two cups frozen peas & carrots & whole lot poured into collander to drain. Saute 8 oz pkg mushrooms, sliced, with 1/2 cup minced onion in dutch oven, make roux when mushrooms cooked by adding 2 TBL flour to tiny bit of oil left in pan and 1 cup milk, then lower heat to low and add one six oz cup plain Greek yogurt, one 8 oz pkg neufchatel cream cheese, which is lower in fat than reg cream cheese, and 1 cup shredded mozzarella, which is naturally lower in fat and finally two cans tuna and the cooked macaroni & peas & carrots.. I prefer white cheese to yellow

    Reply
  18. Sharon  March 10, 2014

    I opt'd to replace the peas for fresh leaf spinach, to add a little color I added red, yellow and green peppers.

    Reply
  19. SMH  March 17, 2015

    4 cups pasta (cooked) – what does this equal when measuring out dry pasta?

    Reply
    • SkinnyMs  March 17, 2015

      SMH, 2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni yields about 4 cups cooked. 1-3/4 cups egg noodles equals 4 cups cooked.

      Reply
  20. Michelle  January 27, 2016

    OMG! I love this recipe! Made it with the same exact ingredients except added a lot of garlic. Read comments about it being dry so I combined the milk and cheeses in a pot on the stove to melt before adding and baked it covered the entire time….came out perfect!!!

    Reply
    • SkinnyMs.  January 28, 2016

      We’re so happy that you liked the recipe. Thank you for sharing!

      Reply
  21. Jess  January 26, 2017

    Hey, my husband has celiacs. Any idea how using Gluten Free noodles would change this?

    Reply
    • Gale Compton  January 27, 2017

      Jess, We haven’t tried this recipe with GF noodles but it should work fine. Keep us posted! 🙂

      Reply

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