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Tuna Noodle Casserole

Whole-wheat noodles, sliced mushrooms, flaky tuna, chopped red pepper and diced onion are generously covered in a delicate white cream sauce and then topped with bread crumbs. Baked to a golden brown, this healthful dish, with its classic comfort food taste and warm aroma, makes an ideal entrée for a chilly winter’s day.

Serves 4-6

  • 2 cups dry whole wheat ribbon noodles (or other thin whole grain noodle)
  • 4 TB Natural By Nature organic salted whipped butter
  • 4 TB unbleached organic white flour
  • 21/2 cups Natural By Nature organic whole milk, heated
  • 3 TB extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup chopped red pepper
  • 6 white mushrooms, cut in half and sliced
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 2–6 oz cans tuna packed in water, drained
  • sea salt, to taste
  • ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
  • 1 TB extra virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Cook noodles in water to cover until just tender. Drain well.
While noodles are cooking, melt butter in a medium saucepan. Stir in the flour, stirring constantly for 1 minute or until the mixture bubbles, but does not brown. Slowly pour the warmed milk into the flour mixture, stirring constantly until thick and bubbly, about 3 to 5 more minutes. Remove from heat and set aside, covered.

In 2 tablespoons olive oil, sauté the red pepper, mushrooms and onion with a pinch of salt for about 7 minutes over medium-high heat until mushrooms give up their liquid.

Spray a medium-large baking dish with canola or olive oil spray. Mix the tuna and the noodles with the sautéed vegetables and spoon into the prepared baking dish. Pour the white sauce over the tuna mixture, covering completely. Season to taste with sea salt and pepper.

In a medium bowl, mix the bread crumbs with 1 tablespoon olive oil, using your fingers to disperse evenly. Layer crumbs over the casserole. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until hot and bubbly.