Love classic tuna noodle casserole, but looking for something a little lighter and more nutritious? Then you’ll love this healthy tuna noodle casserole recipe!
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 always loved it, so I decided to come up with a more nutrient dense and veggie packed version, just for fun. 🙂
Healthy Tuna Noodle Casserole
With the weather getting chillier, it seemed the perfect time to re-share the healthier version of this old favorite comfort food – but with new updated photos and some new recipe tips and information, too!
To lighten up this recipe and add some more nutrients, here’s what I changed compared to a traditional tuna noodle casserole recipe:
- Plain Greek yogurt instead of mayo
- Milk instead of heavy cream
- Chicken broth instead of canned cream of mushroom soup (blech, I like broth better anyway!)
- Extra sharp cheddar instead of regular cheddar because it’s more flavorful and awesome!
- 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.
Tuna Noodle Casserole Ingredients
Here’s what you’ll need to make this recipe:
- whole wheat rigatoni or penne (cooked according to package directions)
- bell peppers
- baby spinach
- frozen peas
- canned chunk light tuna (packed in water)
- chicken broth (low sodium)
- plain Greek yogurt
- milk (or plain, unsweetened almond milk)
- shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- dijon mustard
- black pepper
- garlic powder
As with many of my recipes, you can mix and match your favorite veggies (or whatever you have on hand). Personally, I love peas, spinach, and bell peppers in this!
How to Make Healthy Tuna Noodle Casserole
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. First, cook your pasta. Second, sauté your veggies. Start with the onions and peppers, until the onions are translucent. Then, you add your frozen peas and fresh baby spinach. Stir until the spinach is wilted.
Then, 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 – full details are in the recipe card at the end of this post.
Then, pour the mixture into a casserole dish. Pop it in the oven at 375 degrees. Bake for 40 minutes, and you have yourself a tasty blast from the past!
The full healthy tuna noodle casserole recipe is at the bottom of this post. 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!
Were you a tuna noodle casserole fan? What were your other favorite 90’s-tastic casseroles? I might try to recreate more of them! 🙂
Want more inspiration for comforting fall & winter meals? Check out these recipes:
- Crockpot Turkey Chili
- Chicken White Bean Chili
- Sweet Potato & Black Bean Enchiladas
- Lentil Chili With Sweet Potatoes
- Instant Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup
- Healthy Chicken Enchiladas
- Smoked Salmon & Veggie Egg Frittata
- Easy Minestrone Soup
- Mediterranean Sheet Pan Chicken Thighs
- Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash & Vegan Bolognese
Healthy Tuna Noodle Casserole
This recipe is a lightened up comfort food favorite that is perfect for dinner on a winter evening.
- 2 cups dry whole wheat rigatoni or penne, cooked according to package directions
- 1 cup onion, diced
- 1 cup bell peppers (any color), diced
- 4 cups fresh baby spinach, packed
- 2 and 1/2 cups frozen peas
- 8 to 12 ounces chunk light tuna, packed in water (any amount in this range is fine)
- 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
- 1/2 cup plain full fat Greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup whole milk (or plain, unsweetened almond milk)
- 1/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- Preheat oven to 375.
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Leave it "al dente" - just cooked/still a little chewy.
- In a large pan, saute onion and bell peppers in a little oil or cooking spray over high heat for a few minutes, until onions are translucent.
- Add baby spinach and frozen peas and reduce heat to medium. Cover, stirring occasionally, until peas are no longer frozen and spinach is fully wilted.
- In a large bowl, mix together cooked pasta, the sauteed veggie mixture, and all other ingredients.
- Pour mixture into a casserole dish.
- Bake 40 minutes. Enjoy!