Healthy Tuna Casserole Recipe

This Healthy Tuna Casserole recipe is a classic dish that the whole family loves. Featuring a rich and creamy sauce, tender pasta, and a cheesy topping, you can’t go wrong. It is easy to make and even easier to eat!

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

A spoon scooping a portion of healthy tuna casserole.

Easy bakes like this Healthy Tuna Casserole are perfect for weeknight dinners. For more yummy tuna recipes try this Tuna Avocado Salad or these Zucchini Tuna Melts! Check out all of our Healthy Dinner Recipes for more inspiration.

Why YOU will love this recipe

  • It is made with wholesome ingredients. There are no canned soups, panko breadcrumbs, or potato chips here.
  • This recipe is easy to customize to accommodate different tastes.
  • Tuna is a high-quality yet affordable protein making this dish a budget-friendly one.
  • Who doesn’t love healthier comfort food? The cheesy, creamy flavor is always welcome and this dish is really nostalgic.
A baking dish with healthy tuna casserole.

Ingredients

Find the full ingredient list, with measurements, in the recipe card below.

  • pasta – Elbows are the traditional choice for tuna casserole but you can substitute egg noodles, fusilli, rotini, or penne pasta. After putting it to the test, we chose spelt pasta as our fave.
  • cream cheese – This brings that creamy texture instead of the canned soup.
  • mayonnaise – We use our homemade lemon mayonnaise
  • shredded cheese – We like to use marble cheddar cheese and recommend shredding your own. The pre-shredded products can contain additives. Parmesan cheese is also delicious with tuna.
  • garlic powder – To add a bit of kick to the creamy sauce.
  • fine sea salt + black pepper – Essential seasonings to bring out the flavors in your recipe.
  • canned tuna – We use a pole and line caught tuna which is a sustainable fishing method. We generally choose albacore tuna – drawing from my experience its tender texture is perfect for casseroles.
  • spinach – This adds a pop of green to the dish. Typically, tuna casserole is made with frozen peas which you can substitute instead of spinach if you prefer. Use one cup of frozen peas. Chopped kale is also a great substitute.
Ingredients on a counter.

Equipment

  • saucepan – For cooking the pasta.
  • mixing bowl and small spatula for stirring.
  • baking dish – We use an 8×11 ceramic casserole dish for this recipe.

Instructions

Scroll down to the recipe card at the bottom for the FULL recipe details.

Step 1

Start by preheating the oven to 375° and lightly greasing the casserole dish.

Step 2

Next, boil a large pot of salted water and cook the pasta according to the package directions.

Step 3

Meanwhile, while the pasta is cooking, add the softened cream cheese, mayo, shredded cheese, garlic powder, salt, and pepper to a mixing bowl. 

Cheese, mayo, and cream cheese being stirred in a bowl.

Stir everything well to combine the mixture.

A creamy mixture being stirred in a bowl.

Step 4

Once the pasta is cooked to al dente, remove it from the heat and drain the water.

Step 5

Pour the hot pasta into the bowl with the cream cheese mixture and stir it well. The heat from the pasta creates a lovely, creamy sauce.

Hot pasta being stirred in a bowl with a creamy sauce.

Step 6

Next, add the can of drained tuna to the bowl and stir again. 

Tuna being added to a bowl of pasta with a creamy sauce.

Lastly, stir in the spinach.

The warm pasta will slightly wilt the spinach so there is no need to cook it beforehand.  

Spinach being stirred into a bowl of cooked pasta and a creamy sauce.

Step 7

Next, pour the mixture into the prepared casserole dish.

A mixture in a baking dish.

Spread it out evenly and then cover it with the rest of the shredded cheese.

Shredded cheese on top of a mixture in a baking dish.

Step 8

Finally, place the casserole dish in the oven and bake for 15 minutes.

If you like a crispier, browned top, turn on the broiler and broil the casserole for 2-3 minutes. Just be sure to keep an eye on it so nothing burns!

It should look like this:

A freshly baked tuna casserole.

Expert tip 

Be sure to liberally salt the pasta water before cooking.

As the pasta cooks it absorbs some of the salt which results in seasoned and flavorful noodles.

A spoon serving healthy tuna casserole from a baking dish.

Recipe variations

  • Bump up the nutrition by adding more vegetables such as mushrooms and broccoli.
  • Experiment with different pasta such as whole wheat or gluten-free pasta if you have allergy concerns.
  • Substitute cauliflower rice instead of pasta for a low-carb option.
  • Switch up the protein and use cooked chicken instead.
  • If you like a bit more crunch for the topping mix in some breadcrumbs or ground flaxseed with the cheese. Try making your own bread crumbs for optimum freshness.

Serving suggestions

  • Serve this dish with a green side salad with a few cherry tomatoes and cucumber slices all tossed together in a simple balsamic dressing.
  • Garnish the plate with lemon wedges and brighten the taste by squeezing a splash of fresh lemon juice over the casserole.
  • Add more color and nutrition with a side of steamed or roasted veggies.
  • Sprinkle chopped fresh herbs like parsley, dill, or chives over the casserole just before serving to add a pop of freshness and color.

FAQS

Can you make a healthy tuna casserole without soup?

Yes! We use a combination of cream cheese and mayonnaise along with some seasonings to create a lovely sauce that normally comes from a can of cream of mushroom soup. Canned soups may have additives and a lot of sodium so this is a great healthy swap.

Can I use fresh tuna instead of canned tuna in a tuna casserole?

While canned tuna is the more common choice for tuna casserole due to both convenience and affordability, you can absolutely use fresh tuna if you prefer. Just be sure to cook it thoroughly before adding it to your casserole.

Storage tips

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. These will easily be reheated in the oven or microwave.

Overhead image of healthy tuna casserole in a baking dish.

More healthy casserole recipes

A bowl of taco potato casserole.

Taco Potato Casserole with Ground Beef

Read More Taco Potato Casserole with Ground Beef
A baking dish with chicken broccoli cauliflower casserole.

Chicken Broccoli Potato Casserole

Read More Chicken Broccoli Potato Casserole
A spoon of cauliflower chicken casserole.

Cauliflower Chicken Casserole

Read More Cauliflower Chicken Casserole
a casserole dish with tex mex beef casserole

Tex Mex Casserole

Read More Tex Mex Casserole

If you’ve tried our Healthy Tuna Noodle Casserole Recipe, please rate it and let us know how it turned out by leaving us a comment below. We’re always interested in feedback!

Be sure to follow us on social media! We love pinning to Pinterest, sharing on Facebook, and posting pics on Instagram. See you there. 🙂

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Want to Save This Recipe?

Just enter your email and get it sent to your inbox! Plus you’ll get new recipes from us every week.

Save Recipe

By submitting this form, you consent to receive emails from The Honour System

A spoon serving a portion of healthy tuna casserole.

Healthy Tuna Casserole Recipe

Sharon Rhodes
This Healthy Tuna Casserole recipe is a classic dish that the whole family loves. Featuring a rich and creamy sauce, tender pasta, and a cheesy topping, you can't go wrong. It is easy to make and even easier to eat!
5 from 55 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Servings 6
Calories 480 kcal

Ingredients
  

For the casserole

For the topping

  • ½ cup shredded cheese

Instructions
 

  • Start by preheating the oven to 375° and lightly greasing an 8×11 casserole dish.
  • Next, boil a large pot of salted water and cook the pasta according to the package instructions.
  • Meanwhile, while the pasta is cooking, add the softened cream cheese, mayo, shredded cheese, garlic powder, salt, and pepper to a mixing bowl. Stir well to combine.
  • Once the pasta is cooked to al dente, remove it from the heat and drain the water.
  • Pour the hot pasta into the bowl with the cream cheese mixture and stir.
  • Next, add the can of drained tuna to the bowl and stir again. Then, stir in the spinach.
  • Pour the mixture into the prepared casserole dish and cover it with the rest of the shredded cheese.
  • Place the casserole dish in the oven and bake for 15 minutes.
  • Turn on the broiler and broil for 2-3 minutes for a crispy top.
  • Serve warm.

Video

Notes

Storage tips

  • Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. These will easily be reheated in the oven or microwave.

Nutrition

Calories: 480kcalCarbohydrates: 55gProtein: 20gFat: 20gSaturated Fat: 9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0.01gCholesterol: 53mgSodium: 400mgPotassium: 370mgFiber: 3gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 2378IUVitamin C: 6mgCalcium: 139mgIron: 2mg
Keyword Healthy Tuna Casserole
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Similar Posts

11 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I have such bad memories of my grandma’s tuna casserole, lol! But this was great, and spinach instead of peas is a huge upgrade!

  2. 5 stars
    I’ve tried alternative tuna noodle casseroles before and was always disappointed with the results. Not this time! The cream cheese definitely provides the creaminess this casserole requires. It’s simple, delicious, and satisfying. Perfect!

  3. 5 stars
    I love tuna casserole! Adding in the spinach was a great way to get more greens in, I struggle with that. The kids loved the cheese on the casserole!

  4. 5 stars
    Sharon, I tried your Healthy Tuna Casserole, and it’s a hit! 😋 My kids absolutely loved it. Your recipe is a game-changer, and I appreciate the wholesome twist on a classic. Keep those tasty dishes coming!

5 from 55 votes (47 ratings without comment)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.