This healthy tuna casserole is a lightened up version compared to a regular tuna casserole. It's so easy to make and contains just 7 ingredients.
Tis' the season for casseroles, I don't know what it is about winter but I find myself always making some sort of casserole dish. It's so easy to just put in the oven and it makes so many servings.
One of the main reasons why I like tuna casserole is because when the tuna is baked, that fishy smell goes away. I've never been a fan of tuna straight from the packaging but baked or cooked tuna, I can get behind. This healthy tuna casserole doesn't use any cream of mushroom soup (I've heard this is a common ingredient) instead it uses cottage cheese, pepper jack and onions and mushrooms to add some flavor and texture!
Before you start judging this post by the title, if you haven't had tuna casserole before you should give it a try! The creamy inside tastes like exactly what you would expect for a casserole and the breadcrumbs and melted cheese on top give it a nice crunch.
Ingredients in Healthy Tuna Casserole
- White onion & garlic: Chop half a white onion (or whole) and 2 cloves of garlic for the base of the casserole
- Mushrooms: I prefer baby Bella but white is okay too!
- ½ box of pasta shells: A lot of people use egg noodles, which is fine. Penne works but I personally love shells and how they embed the sauce in a casserole.
- Cottage Cheese: I used low fat cottage cheese, look for small curd!
- Tuna: More on this later in the post but I use solid white albacore tuna in water!
- Pepper jack cheese: Buy this in a block and then shred it. It's sooo much better than buying pre-shredded.
- Breadcrumbs: You can buy plain breadcrumbs. They do come in whole wheat if you want some extra fiber.
What kind of canned tuna should I buy?
First off, tuna is a lean protein that is high in omega 3 fatty acids, niacin, B12, protein and selenium. It's a great option for a quick protein for dinner, lunches or snacks. I always buy solid white albacore tuna and here is why...
- Mild flavor: Like I said above, you don't taste or smell that fishy flavor with this solid white tuna.
- Since solid white tuna is packed different than chunk light tuna, it can easily be tossed into salads, on crackers or added in casseroles!
- Albacore tuna is made from specifically albacore tuna species. Whereas, chunk light tuna is made from a variety of species.
All of this being said, Albacore tuna generally tends to have a high mercury content than other types of tuna because of how big the fish is. You will get more protein per ounce with albacore tuna vs. chunk light but depending on how often you eat tuna, you might want to consider switching to a lower grade mercury content tuna (like chunk light).
For me, this isn't an issue because I probably have tuna 2-3 times a year. So I'll choose albacore every time just based on flavor, texture and protein content.
If you guys love this tuna casserole, please leave a star rating/comment! It helps me get noticed in this big internet world!Print
This healthy tuna casserole is full of flavor and texture! It is lower in fat than other tuna casseroles and provides 20grams of protein per serving!
- ½ white onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp cooking oil (evoo or avocado)
- 8 oz mushrooms, sliced
- ½ box pasta shells (about 8 ounces)
- 1 5 oz can tuna (albacore, solid white packed in water and drained)
- 1 cup cottage cheese, small curd (I used low fat)
- ¾-1 cup pepper jack cheese, shredded
- ½ cup breadcrumbs, plain
- Garnish with chives, optional
- Preheat oven 350F and set aside casserole dish.
- Begin to sauté garlic, onions in cooking oil in a sauce pan. Once onion is translucent, add in sliced mushrooms.
- While the mushroom mixture is cooking. Cook pasta according to box directions and drain when finished.
- After the mushroom mixture is fully cooked. Add in the drain pasta, can of tuna and cottage cheese. Mix well until all ingredients are incorporated.
- Pour pasta mixture into a casserole dish. Top with shredded pepper jack cheese and breadcrumbs.
- Bake the casserole for 20-25 minutes at 350F or until cheese gets brown and bubbly.
Gluten Free: Use gluten free pasta and breadcrumbs.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Category: entree, casserole
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: American, vegetarian
Keywords: healthy tuna casserole, tuna casserole, healthy tuna casserole recipe