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)
- 3 cups uncooked macaroni noodles gluten free
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 pinch 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)
- ½ cup sour cream
- ½ cup milk (or almond milk)
- 2 cans wild caught tuna (drained)
- cheese (shredded, optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- 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.
- Beat eggs and add salt, pepper, mustard, cottage cheese, sour cream, and milk.
- In a 4-quart casserole dish (or 9x13), carefully mix the cooked noodles, cottage cheese mixture, and tuna.
- Bake, covered, for 45 minutes.
- If desired, remove cover and top with cheese and heat until melted.
Do you make tuna casserole? Ready to try a new version? Share your favorite variations below!
Discussion (12 Comments)
I make a version of this with riced or barely steamed cauliflower, instead of noodles or rice, but will try adding the dry mustard because it sounds even better. My family used to love casseroles with cream soup ingredients, so I have been working with other options to get the same “comfort food” effect. The eggs, sour cream and cottage cheese help out in that department. I don’t usually add milk, but will try that, too.
Kathi Johnson Rock
The Barilla gluten-free elbows are good, but it’s important to not overcook whatever brand you decide to use. Brown rice pasta might hold up a little better.
How many ounces are in each can of tuna? Also, are 3 cups of uncooked noodles 1 pound?
For all the readers worried about tuna, wild caught canned salmon is also an option ?
Do you have a white rice pasta that you recommend? I looked on thrive and elsewhere and just see brown rice. Thank you!
The tuna could be left out or you could use another protein instead that you are comfortable with (meat or vegetarian.)
It is impossible to eata100% safe diet! The soil in the USA is depleted and denominated with god knows what. organic food is grown in the very same soil .
Thanks for the great read and the info from the podcast on sustainable fishing! I think having so many athletes in a family such as is the case in my family and your family (with so much baseball) that it is good to have a few ideas for quick and easy protein like this tuna recipe. Thanks Katie!
I am just not comfortable feeding tuna to my kids. I don’t think the mercury exposure is worth any nutritional benefits especially when there are safer options for omega 3.
Kathi Johnson Rock
I look forward to trying this recipe (I have to eat gluten-free). Thank you for sharing it!
This casserole might be gluten free but it certainly is not mercury free. It might be best to stay away from large fish altogether.
Katie - Wellness Mama
We actually discussed that very issue in this podcast episode: https://wellnessmama.com/podcast/mercury-in-seafood/