There are so many different ways to make tuna casserole or tuna noodle casserole, as some people call it. Tuna casseroles can be made with egg noodles, macaroni, shells, veggie rotini, bowties, ziti, or any other shape of pasta you might have in your pantry. It can also be made with white, brown or wild rice. The possibilities for veggies to add are just as abundant as what type of noodles you can use. The most popular choice of veggie in tuna casseroles is green peas, but don’t be afraid to try mixed veggies, broccoli or even cauliflower!
This recipe uses whole wheat shells as the pasta and cauliflower as the veggie. The whole wheat shells add more fiber to the recipe. Green peas could also be added, if everyone in your house likes peas. The cauliflower is browned beforehand with sweet onions and a little butter. It adds a little something extra to the finished flavor of the casserole.
As with the choice of noodle or veggie, the consistency of the casserole can also be made to your liking. Some people prefer a saucier mix, while some people prefer a thicker, drier consistency. This recipe will make a somewhat drier casserole. If you like your casseroles saucier, just double the recipe for the cheese sauce or use a larger can of condensed soup.
- (1) 12 oz. box of whole wheat shells
- (2) 5 oz. cans of chunk light tuna
- 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp. butter (one Tablespoon of butter used twice throughout recipe)
- 1 small sweet onion, diced small
- 3 cups cauliflower florets
- 1 Tbsp. flour
- 1 cup milk
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- ¼ cup parmesan
- ½ tsp. onion powder
- Black pepper to taste
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (may use lower fat version)
- 10 oz. can Light Cream of Mushroom soup
- ¼ cup breadcrumbs
- ¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese
Cook noodles according to package directions.
Heat 1 Tablespoon of butter over medium heat in a skillet. Add onions and cook for 2 – 3 minutes, until softened and starting to turn brown. Add cauliflower and cook, stirring frequently for about 10 minutes.
While your cauliflower and onions are browning, melt 1 Tablespoon of butter over medium-low heat in a separate small saucepan. Add 1 Tablespoon of flour and whisk to combine. Add ½ teaspoon of onion powder and whisk again. Slowly pour in 1 cup of milk while whisking. Add black pepper, Worcestershire sauce, mayonnaise and parmesan cheese, while whisking. When everything is mixed well, add the cheddar cheese and continue whisking until all cheese is melted. The cream of mushroom soup may be added to the cheese sauce mixture in the sauce pan to mix both together, or it can be added separately in the casserole dish. It’s all going to end up combined either way.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a 9×13 casserole dish, mix together the tuna and lemon juice. Once the noodles are done cooking, drain the noodles and add to the tuna. Also, add the caramelized onions and cauliflower. Mix the tuna, noodles and vegetables together. Pour cream of mushroom soup and cheese sauce over the tuna/noodle/veggie mixture and mix thoroughly to combine.
Sprinkle top of casserole with ¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese and ¼ cup bread crumbs. Spray lightly with olive oil cooking spray.
Cook in preheated oven for 30 minutes.
- Makes approximately 10 servings (around one cup each)
- Each 1 cup serving has 283 calories.
This could be made easier, if you like, by using a canned cheese soup instead of making the cheese sauce. Or it could be made with all cream of mushroom soup, if you prefer to leave the cheese out. For each recipe, if you’d like a drier version, use 2 cans of condensed soup. If you like a saucier version, use 3 cans of condensed soup. Likewise, you could skip the soup altogether and make double or triple the amount of homemade cheese sauce. The choice is up to you!
What’s your favorite way to make tuna casserole?
This recipe was sent in from Michelle over at HeartFeltBalanceHandmadeLife. If this recipe interests you, but sure to check out her Left Over Taco Night Slow Cooker Chili.