Do you guys remember the tuna noodle casserole that seemed to find itself on dinner tables everywhere in the 80’s and 90’s? I’m continuing my McCormick recipe partnership this year, and for this month’s post, they challenged me to create a lightened up comfort food favorite. Healthy Tuna Noodle Casserole it was. 🙂
(In related news, it’s hard to make tuna + noodles look pretty… I did my best!)
On Tuesday night, given the cold and snowy conditions outside, it seemed the perfect time to try my hand at a healthier version of this old favorite.
To lighten up this recipe, I made a few big changes:
- Plain Greek yogurt instead of mayo
- Milk instead of heavy cream
- Chicken broth instead of canned cream of mushroom soup (this grosses me out, anyway…)
- Extra sharp cheddar instead of regular cheddar – it’s more flavorful, so you don’t need to use a ton!
- Utilized seasonings for flavor
- Added lots of volume and nutrients from a rainbow of veggies! I used peas, baby spinach, peppers, and onions, but mushrooms and celery would be good here, too.
This recipe involves a little hands on prep time, but it’s not overly complicated. There are two things you need to do before tossing it in the oven: 1) cook your pasta, and 2) sauté your veggies! First, you’ll want to sauté the onions and peppers, until the onions are translucent. Then, you add your frozen peas and fresh baby spinach, stirring until the spinach is wilted!
Then, you toss all the ingredients (including the now cooked pasta) into a bowl together and stir.
Don’t forget the seasonings to amp up the flavor of this dish! You can get creative and add some other seasonings too, if you like! I decided to keep it basic. 🙂
Then, pour it all into a casserole dish, pop it in the oven, and 40 minutes later, you have yourself a tasty blast from the past.
Here’s the full recipe. Go get your 90’s on! Seriously – when Matt tried this, he said: “This tastes just like the 90’s.” Sweet. That’s what I was going for. 😉 We both loved it! In fact, I’m about to enjoy some of the leftovers now for lunch…
Were you a tuna noodle casserole fan? What were your other favorite 90’s-tastic casseroles? I might try to recreate more of them! 🙂
If you missed my previous McCormick posts, check those out, too: