Transform a classic dish into a nutrient-rich, gluten free, dairy free, comfort food with the Best Tuna Noodle Casserole Recipe! Made with just a few simple ingredients, it bakes in the oven in minutes for an easy dinner the whole family will enjoy!
Not Your Grandma’s Tuna Noodle Casserole Recipe
Did you grow up eating tuna noodle casserole? It was a staple in our house! And while I loved the creamy, cheesy goodness of it, it’s not always the most allergy-friendly or nutritious recipe out there. Until now! We took the classic tuna noodles casserole recipe and transformed it into a gluten free casserole and made it dairy free with real food ingredients! Every bit as comforting as you remember, this version is loaded with nutrients and fiber and is perfect for easy weeknight meals and family-friendly meal prep. Dinner doesn’t get better than that!
Health Benefits of Canned Tuna
Not only is it cost-effective and easy to use, but canned tuna is also super good for you, too! For instance, a complete source of high-quality protein, canned tuna is also high in omega-3 fatty acids. As a result, consuming it as part of a healthy diet can help:
- Reduce blood pressure
- Lower triglyceride levels
- Improve eye health
- Strengthen your bones
- Build muscle
- And more!
Real Food Ingredients You’ll Need
This easy tuna noodle casserole recipe comes together with the typical ingredients you’d expect to see like tuna and pasta, of course! However, it also features a few items you might not think of when it comes to classic tuna noodle casserole. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Gluten Free Pasta – We like this gluten free pasta, but any you have on hand can be used.
- Light Olive Oil – This helps add flavor and healthy fats while preventing the noodles from clumping together. We prefer light olive oil as its neutral flavor allows the rest of the ingredients to shine through, but regular olive oil or avocado oil can be used, too.
- Salt and Pepper – Adjust according to taste.
- Canned Albacore Tuna – We recommend using tuna packed in water, and draining it well.
- Hummus – In a tuna noodle casserole?! Yep! You read that right. Plain chickpea hummus helps create a smooth, creamy texture without the need for dairy.
- Minced Garlic – Used to add a savory kick.
- Veggies – Pack in tons of nutrients with fresh spinach leaves and broccoli florets!
Flavor Variations and Substitutes
As with most casserole recipes, this easy tuna noodle casserole can easily be adjusted to fit a variety of needs and flavor preferences. So, feel free to experiment with different ingredients. For instance, some of our favorite variations include:
- Swap Out the Pasta: Use cooked rice, cooked quinoa, or cauliflower rice instead!
- Hummus: Skip a step by omitting the minced garlic and opting for garlic-flavored hummus instead.
- Protein: If preferred, canned salmon can be used in place of tuna. Or, leave it out altogether for a vegetarian option.
- Use Different Veggies: Feel free to mix and match any veggies you have on hand like zucchini, mushrooms, onions, and peas!
How to Make the Best Tuna Noodle Casserole Recipe
Easy to toss together, this is the best tuna noodle casserole recipe you’ll ever make because it bakes in just 30 minutes or less!
- Prepare the Gluten Free Pasta. Gently toss the cooked pasta with oil, salt, and pepper. Then, layer it in the bottom of a 9×9 casserole dish.
- Create the Tuna Mixture. In a small mixing bowl, combine the drained tuna, part of the hummus, and the garlic. Spread the mixture in an even layer on top of the pasta.
- Combine the Ingredients. Next, using the same bowl, combine the rest of the hummus with more olive oil. Layer the veggies on top of the tuna, and dollop the hummus mixture on top. Season with salt and pepper.
- Bake. Place the dish in the oven until the top is golden brown, and serve warm!
Pro-Tip: If doubling the recipe, use a 9×13 pan, and add more oil to the pasta along with a bit of non-dairy milk or broth if the pasta is dry.
Make Ahead and Storage Options
The best tuna noodle casserole for meal prep, this budget-friendly recipe stores well, meaning leftovers can be enjoyed for days!
Make Ahead: If you want to prepare ahead of time, you can layer the ingredients, and store them covered in the oven for 2-3 days. Then, just pop the dish in the oven when you’re ready to bake!
Refrigerator: Once cooled, leftover casserole can be transferred to an airtight container and kept in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Freezer: For a longer-lasting option, freeze your cooked tuna noodle casserole for up to 3 months.
To Reheat: When you’re ready to eat, let your casserole thaw in the fridge overnight. Then, warm it up in the oven, or pop it in the microwave for 1-2 minutes until it is heated through!
Tuna Noodle Casserole Recipe: Common Questions
The most common reason why your casserole might turn out dry is using the wrong-sized baking dish. For the best results, double-check that it 9×13. Also, be sure to thoroughly toss the noodles in oil! If they look dry, add a little more or a splash of non-dairy milk or broth.
Yes, be sure to cook your noodles according to the package instructions, and drain them completely before adding them to the casserole dish.
If your ingredients aren’t binding together, add an extra dollop of hummus to help thicken the dish up.
More of Our Favorite
More Gluten Free Casserole Recipes
Looking for more family-friendly casserole recipes that won’t break the bank? We’ve got you covered with more of our favorite gluten free recipes below!
Tuna Noodle Casserole Recipe (Gluten Free)
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 4–5 servings 1x
- Diet: Gluten Free
Not your average tuna noodle casserole, this version is gluten-free, dairy-free, budget-friendly, and bakes in minutes for an easy dinner the whole family will enjoy!
- 8 ounces gluten free pasta, cooked (see notes for substitutes)
- 3 Tablespoons light olive oil, divided
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 2 (5-ounce) cans albacore tuna or salmon, drained
- ¾ cup plain hummus, divided (see notes)
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic (~2 cloves)
- 3 cups fresh spinach leaves
- 2 cups broccoli florets
- Preheat the oven to 350° Fahrenheit.
- In the pasta cooking pot or a large bowl, gently toss cooked pasta, 1 tablespoon oil, salt, and pepper. Layer pasta in the bottom of a 9×9 casserole dish.
- In a small mixing bowl, mix together drained tuna, ½ cup hummus and garlic. Spread evenly on top of pasta.
- In the same bowl, whisk together the remaining ¼ cup of hummus with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Set aside.
- Layer the spinach and broccoli on top of the tuna in the casserole dish. Dollop the creamy hummus/oil mixture on top and sprinkle with additional salt and pepper.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
- Serve warm and store leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
Substitutes – Cooked rice, cooked quinoa, or cauliflower rice can be substituted for the pasta. Garlic hummus can be substituted for the plain hummus and minced garlic.
Cooking Tips – If doubling the recipe, use a 9×13 pan and add more oil to the pasta along with a bit of milk or broth if the pasta is dry. Feel free to combine all the ingredients before baking instead of layering. Omit tuna for a vegetarian option.
Meal Prep – Store prepared casserole in the fridge, covered, until ready to bake.
Storage Tips – For long term storage, freeze cooked casserole for up to 3 months.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Category: Main
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size:
- Calories: 354
- Sugar: 2.6 g
- Sodium: 620.2 mg
- Fat: 9.9 g
- Saturated Fat: 1.3 g
- Carbohydrates: 40.3 g
- Fiber: 12 g
- Protein: 29.9 g
- Cholesterol: 19 mg
Keywords: easy casserole, casserole dinner, tuna casserole, gluten free casserole, quick meal, tuna, gluten free, meal prep, dairy free, casserole, pasta
Do you have questions, feedback, or tips about this recipe? Leave a comment below with any questions or feedback you’d like to share!
I added some diced red onion and kalamata olives on top of the tuna mix layer and topped with some red pepper flakes -it was delicious!!
Love it! I’ll have to try the olives next!
Suggestions for other mix-ins besides spinach and broccoli?
You could use mushrooms and cauliflower or even tomato!
Overall this recipe worked out Great! Thank you for sharing.. I too tweaked the recipe by doing the following:
1. Added lemon juice , garlic and olive oil to the pasta after I cooked it. The lemon suggestion, was a wonderful tip from a previous reviewer. Gluten free pasta is not the softest.
2. I tossed the vegetables in garlic and olive oil before adding.
3. I added Gluten free bread crumbs and Nutritional yeast to the layers, along with a light drizzle of olive oil on top.
I was Elated how good it came out!
love the the bread crumb touch! YUM! Thanks for feedback.
You’re welcome! Keep up the good work! Stay safe and be well..
Hi there, if I use rice (or quinoa) instead of noodles, what kind? Brown rice? Should it be cooked before baking? And how long to bake it? 😬 I love lentil noodles but my body doesn’t. ☺️
sure! Brown rice or jasmine rice would work. Have you tried brown rice pasta? That would work too. I would cook the rice first then just replace it in recipe where pasta is. Baking times should be similar.
This is so, so good. I’ve made it multiple times for meal prep but made it for dinner tonight. I always use banza, and used more than half cup hummus tonight in the tuna and hummus mix just trying to use it up. My toddler absolutely loved it and 10 year old decided he does, indeed, like tuna noodle casserole. Even asked for leftovers for lunch tomorrow. 🤣 Thank you for a great recipe!
Oh I love that! Thanks for feedback Sunshine!
Delicious and super easy to make. I used Banza pasta and it turned out great. Will definitely make it again. Thank you!
Wonderful! Love Banza Pasta too!
This looks great. Will try it soon. Can I use fresh tuna instead of canned?
Sure! Is it precooked? Or will you be cooking it with the casserole?
This has replaced our standard tuna noodle casserole. It’s quick, easy and delicious. Just a few small tweaks that I made. I lightly steam the broccoli, because I found if I don’t the broccoli is really raw tasting. I also toss the pasta with a little lemon juice and olive oil. The lemon adds a nice zing. Plus with gluten free pasta it gets a lot dry, so the extra moisture helps. This is seriously so healthy and so delicious.
That’s a great idea! I usually coat the broccoli in the sauce and oil with the pasta before baking, but I’ll have to try baking next.
This is absolutely delicious. I used Lantana Yellow Yellow hummus which does not contain chick peas and adds a little spice to it!!
Thank you! Glad you enjoyed it Ellen!
This sounds AMAZING!! Thank you!! 🙂
Do you think using canned wild Alaskan salmon would taste as good as the tuna?…I am a salmon lover and think i might give that a try…as well as the tuna…yum…
oh totally! I think that would taste great too! 🙂 Keep me posted.
Wow! I’m obsessed with the fact that you made this dairy free AND that it has hummus in it! This looks amazing!
i knew you’d appreciate that hummus. 😉
This quickly became a favorite meal at my house! Delish!
So glad to hear that Toni!
I LOVE how easy this recipe is and it tastes so good!
Oh yay! Thanks, Tanya!
Any suggestions on what to sub for the hummus?
I absolutely hate hummus & I am also allergic to citrus, which is always in hummus (along with a milk allergy).
Sure! Can you have eggs or mayo? You could also try my cashew cream sauce with this. Works great! And you can skip the lemon there. For quick version try buying a vegan dressing or use one of mine ?
I’d like to try this recipe, but need to avoid chickpeas. What do you recommend substituting the chickpeas with?
you mean the hummus? YOu can swap it for my other vegan sauce. Or even. I have a great cashew cream sauce or vegan queso recipe on my site. If you’d like a quick version, maybe try a paleo mayo or creamy vegan salad dressing from whole foods or local grocer. Does that make sense?
Lovely recipe 🙂
I make “hummus” with red split lentils when short on time (no need to soak them and quick cooking). Maybe you could try that instead of chickpeas!
Great idea Luna! Would love that recipe!
AHHH best of luck on the house offer! Hope all goes through and smoothly. And this recipe is a perfect healthy twist on a retro classic.
Thank you, Liz! 🙂
Looks easy to cook. Will try soon.
Great! Let me know if you have any questions.