Tuna is a quick, easy protein choice that tastes great in a variety of dishes. My family enjoys it in recipes like this apple walnut tuna salad. This gluten-free tuna casserole recipe is another way to enjoy tuna as a healthier twist on the popular classic.
Which Tuna Is Best?
There are a few things to keep in mind when picking out tuna. This fish naturally contains anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats that are best preserved when canned in oil. (However, if the only option available on the store shelf is GMO soybean oil, then canned in water is probably the better choice.) I’m also sure to look for ones that are in BPA-free cans, since it’s a hormone disruptor.
I prefer wild-caught tuna as there are more than a few problems with fish farming. There’s also the environmental concern with some brands because of something called “bycatch,” which is when non-target fish and animals are also caught in the fishing process. I get my tuna here because of their quality and sustainable, wild-caught fishing practices.
Avoiding Mercury in Tuna
It’s true that there’s some concern about mercury toxicity from fish. Most tuna has moderate levels of mercury, so it’s recommended limit servings of tuna to six or less per month. Canned albacore and yellowfin tuna, however, are especially high in mercury, so it’s best to avoid these altogether. Chunk light tuna is ideal.
But Wait … Noodles?
If you know anything about me, you may be thinking, enough about tuna! Why does this recipe have … gasp! … grains?
It’s true, this recipe calls for gluten-free pasta, which is a little out of the norm for a Wellness Mama recipe. Even my cookbook features all grain-free recipes.
While I still consider healthy proteins and lots of veggies the cornerstones of a healthy diet, now that my autoimmune condition is under control I do consume some grains in moderation from time to time, mainly rice. I include them in this tuna noodle casserole to recreate this comforting (and deliciously cheesy) classic dish. I’ve also found that kids need more carbs, and my kids love this budget friendly recipe.
There’s some controversy as to whether white rice is healthy or not. However, my take on the issue is that white rice in moderation isn’t a “cheat” food, but can be part of a healthy diet. I just don’t make it an everyday thing. You can read more about my thoughts on white rice here.
Note: If you wish to avoid grains, try substituting konjac noodles or spaghetti squash noodles for the gluten-free rice pasta if desired. Keep in mind these will change the texture and it won’t have quite the same classic tuna noodle casserole taste.
Homemade Tuna Noodle Casserole (Kids Like!)
Children have higher carbohydrate requirements than adults, so I make sure to serve the kids a wide variety of starchy vegetables and healthy carb sources. When using gluten-free pasta, I look for one that’s made with white rice, instead of corn or other questionable ingredients.
Tuna noodle casserole … love it or hate it? What other easy (but healthy) casseroles do you make? Please share!
Tuna Casserole Recipe (Gluten Free)
Make this easy tuna casserole recipe for a quick weeknight dinner with extra protein.