Healthy Tuna Noodle Casserole Recipe

Yes, it turns out that, in some cases, you can pretty much have your cake and eat it too. At least proverbially speaking: For the actual cake, not so much. But if you thought there was no way to make a pasta casserole dish that was also healthy, for example, then this recipe is one you need to check out. Chef and recipe developer Angela Latimer of Bake It With Love designed this healthy tuna noodle casserole using ingredients like whole wheat pasta, Greek yogurt (instead of the heavy cream you often find in casseroles), and plenty of veggies. Given the lean protein you get from the tuna, this casserole constitutes an entirely balanced meal, with all sorts of nutrients packed in and filling enough to keep you fueled for hours.

And it's big on flavor. The blend of spices, the mustard, the bit of Parmesan cheese, and of course the natural flavors of the veggie and fish ingredients ensure that this is a casserole everyone will enjoy. Even better, while the finished dish looks great and frankly looks like it takes more work than it does, the recipe is overall quite easy to follow, so you won't mind when it becomes a regular request from the family.

Gather your ingredients for this healthy tuna noodle casserole

To cook up a batch of this healthy tuna noodle casserole large enough for eight servings, you'll need about eight ounces of whole wheat penne or rigatoni pasta (which is between two and two and a half cups), from eight to 12 ounces of chunk albacore tuna (that's two to three cans), some plain Greek yogurt, some low-sodium chicken broth (or vegetable broth), Dijon mustard, ground black pepper, salt, garlic powder, dill weed, 24 ounces of cooked broccoli or cauliflower (or better yet, a mix of the two), and some optional shredded Parmesan cheese for serving.

Cook the pasta and the veggies

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and lightly coat a two and a half-quart casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray or your preferred cooking oil, then set it aside.

Next, cook the pasta according to the package instructions, bringing it to an "al dente" texture, which is usually means stopping the cooking one to two minutes shy of the recommended cooking time. Drain the cooked pasta, rinse it in cool water, and set it aside.

Now, steam your vegetables to make them nice and tender. "To easily steam any fresh veggies, cut them into bite-sized pieces and place them into a microwave-safe bowl with two tablespoons of water," says Latimer. "Then cover the bowl with a lid or a plate that fits over it and heat on high for three to four minutes. Check the tenderness of your vegetables, and continue cooking in one-minute increments as needed."

Create the sauce, then combine ingredients

In a large bowl, combine the plain Greek yogurt, the low-sodium chicken broth, Dijon mustard, ground black pepper, salt, garlic powder, and dill weed, and mix all of these ingredients together until they are blended smoothly. Now add the drained tuna, and if you're using it, add most of the grated Parmesan cheese, saving a bit for topping the baking dish. Mix to combine these ingredients into the sauce.

Next, add the steamed vegetables and the cooked pasta, then mix until everything is combined and thoroughly coated with the sauce. Your hands-on work with this recipe is now almost completely done.

Bake the casserole to perfection

Transfer all of the ingredients from the mixing bowl to your prepared baking dish, add another sprinkle of Parmesan if desired (and you really should — it will create a lovely bit of crust, not to mention add more flavor), then bake the casserole at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes.

Remove the casserole from the oven when the baking is done and serve out portions immediately, as this dish is best when fresh and hot. If you do end up with any leftovers, you can store them in an airtight container in the fridge for about three days, though.

Healthy Tuna Noodle Casserole Recipe
5 from 37 ratings
The blend of spices, the Parmesan cheese, and the natural flavors of the veggie and fish ingredients ensure that this is a casserole everyone will enjoy.
Prep Time
10
minutes
Cook Time
30
minutes
Servings
8
servings
Healthy Tuna Noodle Casserole served on a plate
Total time: 40 minutes
Ingredients
  • 8 ounces whole wheat penne or rigatoni pasta (approx. 2 to 2 ½ cups)
  • 24 ounces cooked broccoli or cauliflower, or a mix of the two
  • 1 ½ cups plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon dill weed
  • 8 to 12 ounces chunk albacore tuna (2 to 3 cans)
Optional Ingredients
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, shredded, or for serving
Directions
  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and lightly coat a 2 ½-quart casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray or your preferred cooking oil.
  2. Cook the pasta according to the package instructions to an al dente texture, which is usually 1 to 2 minutes shy of the recommended cooking time. Then drain, rinse in cool water, and set aside.
  3. Steam your broccoli or cauliflower.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the plain Greek yogurt, low-sodium chicken broth, Dijon mustard, ground black pepper, salt, garlic powder, and dill weed, and mix until smooth.
  5. Add the drained tuna and grated Parmesan cheese (optional), and mix to combine.
  6. Add the steamed vegetables and cooked pasta, then mix until everything is combined and thoroughly coated with the sauce.
  7. Transfer to your prepared baking dish, add another sprinkle of Parmesan if desired, then bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.
  8. Remove from the oven when done and serve immediately.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 293
Total Fat 8.4 g
Saturated Fat 2.7 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 24.4 mg
Total Carbohydrates 29.5 g
Dietary Fiber 3.4 g
Total Sugars 4.1 g
Sodium 472.8 mg
Protein 25.6 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
Rate this recipe