Cheesy Tuna Casserole Recipe (Kid Friendly & Gluten Free)

Tuna Casserole Recipe

Tuna is a quick, easy protein choice that tastes great in a variety of dishes. My family enjoys it in recipes like this apple walnut tuna salad and many others. This gluten-free tuna casserole recipe is another way to enjoy tuna as a healthier twist on the popular classic.

Which Tuna Is Best?

There are a few things to keep in mind when picking out tuna. This fish naturally contains anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats that are best preserved when canned in oil. (However, if the only option available on the store shelf is GMO soybean oil, then canned in water is probably the better choice.) I’m also sure to look for ones that are in BPA-free cans, since it’s a hormone disruptor.

I prefer wild-caught tuna as there are more than a few problems with fish farming. There’s also the environmental concern with some brands because of something called “bycatch,” which is when non-target fish and animals are also caught in the fishing process.

I get my tuna here because of their quality and sustainable, wild-caught fishing practices. (This podcast explains why it’s such a great source and what to look for when choosing seafood.)

Avoiding Mercury in Tuna

It’s true that there’s some concern about mercury toxicity from fish. Most tuna has moderate levels of mercury, so it’s recommended limit servings of tuna to six or less per month. Canned albacore and yellowfin tuna, however, are especially high in mercury, so it’s best to avoid these altogether. Chunk light tuna is ideal.

But Wait … Noodles?

If you know anything about me, you may be thinking, enough about tuna! Why does this recipe have … gasp! … grains?

It’s true, this recipe calls for gluten-free pasta, which is a little out of the norm for a Wellness Mama recipe. My cookbook even features all grain-free recipes.

While I still consider healthy proteins and lots of veggies the cornerstones of a healthy diet, now that my autoimmune condition is under control I do consume some grains in moderation from time to time, mainly rice. I include them in this tuna noodle casserole to recreate this comforting (and deliciously cheesy) classic dish.

Note: If you wish to avoid grains, try substituting konjac noodles or spaghetti squash noodles for the gluten-free rice pasta if desired. Keep in mind these will change the texture and it won’t have quite the same classic tuna noodle casserole taste.

When I use it, I look for gluten-free pasta that’s made with white rice instead of corn or other questionable ingredients.

Homemade Tuna Casserole (That Kids Like!)

Children have higher carbohydrate requirements than adults, making this recipe is a great choice for kids. My kids love it and it’s very budget friendly too!

Tuna Casserole Recipe (Gluten Free)

Prep

Cook

Total

Yield 8-10

Make this easy tuna casserole recipe for a quick weeknight dinner with extra protein. 

Ingredients

  • 3 cups uncooked macaroni noodles (gluten free)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • pinch of pepper
  • 1 tsp dry mustard powder
  • 2 cups cottage cheese (I prefer the Good Culture brand because it's grass-fed and organic with no gums or fillers)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup milk (unsweetened and unflavored almond milk works well too)
  • 2 cans wild caught tuna, drained
  • cheese to top (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. Cook macaroni noodles until mostly cooked but make sure to keep it al dente and not cook too soft as it will cook more in the oven.
  3. Beat eggs and add salt, pepper, mustard, cottage cheese, sour cream, and milk.
  4. In a 4-quart casserole dish (or 9x13), carefully mix the cooked noodles, cottage cheese mixture, and tuna.
  5. Bake, covered, for 45 minutes.
  6. If desired, remove cover and top with cheese and heat until melted.  

Notes

Tip: Sub in spaghetti squash noodles or konjac noodles for a grain free option. Just know that the texture will be different.

Courses Dinner

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size 1 slice

Amount Per Serving

Calories 294

% Daily Value

Total Fat 7.4 g

11%

Saturated Fat 2.2 g

11%

Cholesterol 62 mg

21%

Sodium 308 mg

13%

Total Carbohydrates 26.5 g

9%

Dietary Fiber 1.1 g

4%

Protein 28.3 g

57%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Like this recipe? Check out my new cookbook, or get all my recipes (over 500!) in a personalized weekly meal planner here!

Do you make tuna casserole? Ready to try a new version? Share your favorite variations below!

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