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Healthy Tuna Casserole is an easy dinner recipe and full of fresh and wholesome comfort food ingredients like whole wheat pasta and a creamy mushroom sauce.

This is one of my favorite weeknight dinner recipes. Everyone loves it and I’m sure you will too.

whole wheat tuna casserole on plate
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I’m all about making simple and healthy dinners for my family. I grew up eating tuna casserole and it falls into the comfort food category because I consider it hearty and satisfying. The way we made it growing up, however, is the less healthy way because we used canned cream of mushroom soup, canned peas (yuck), and regular pasta.

I’ve made this recipe more healthy is by incorporating more fresh ingredients rather than processed ones, including fresh mushrooms, fresh English peas, and milk. I use whole wheat pasta instead of standard white pasta which increases the fiber and protein.  Plus, I use a fair amount of pecorino romano cheese which is just downright delicious.

What are the ingredients?

The basic components of tuna noodle casserole are pasta, tuna, cream of mushroom, and peas.

The ingredients used in this deliciously healthy tuna casserole include whole wheat pasta, English peas, extra-virgin olive oil, onion, mushrooms, butter, all purpose flour, milk, kosher salt, white albacore tuna, and finely grated pecorino romano cheese. All together, these ingredients will form one of the most simple and delicious skillet tuna casseroles that your family is sure to enjoy!

Why this recipe is so good:

There are a few things that set this tuna noodle casserole recipe apart from the best.

  1. We used to bake our tuna casserole when I was a kid. After all, when you’re dumping a bunch of room temperature foods into a casserole dish, you need to heat it all up. I always found that dried it out, and dried up tuna casserole is gross. I love this skillet method because your peas get cooked with the pasta and they get added to your hot homemade mushroom sauce. Everything is ready to eat right on the stove, but I like to stick it in the oven just long enough to melt the cheese and not dry anything out. Long story short – cooking tuna casserole in a skillet and finishing just for a few minutes in the oven makes it super moist.
  2. This tuna casserole recipe uses fresh ingredients. Nothing from a can. Heck, if you want to go above and beyond you could even make your own homemade pasta!
  3. When all is said and done, this is a 30 minute dinner recipe. If you have a busy weeknight with homework and sports, this is a great recipe with everything you want in one pan.
scoop of whole wheat pasta, tuna, mushroom sauce, peas

How to make this classic recipe:

You will want to start by boiling some salted water. Then you will want to cook the noodles until they are tender. While you are in the last minute of the noodles cooking, add the English peas to the water and noodles. After you do this you will want to preheat your broiler to on high.

While you are waiting for the water to boil for the pasta, you will need to heat up some oil in a large ovenproof skillet over high heat. Then, add the onion and mushrooms to the oil and stir them occasionally until they are fragrant. Then you will melt in the butter and sprinkle flour over the vegetables after the butter melts. Stir and sprinkle the flour until the vegetables are coated.

Then, add milk and stir in the noodles. Sprinkle on your cheese and broil the casserole until it is bubbly and lightly browned. This should take you around three to four minutes. The end result is a super quick and easy, yet healthy, dinner that your entire family will love. This is the kind of meal that quickly becomes part of your standard go-to weekday menu.

top of tuna noodle casserole with cheese

Love dinner casserole recipes?

Well then you’ll want to try these:

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Healthy Skillet Tuna Casserole

Prep15 minutes
Cook15 minutes
Total30 minutes
Servings 6 servings
This Healthy Skillet Tuna Casserole is not only quick and easy for a busy weeknight dinner, but it is full of fresh and wholesome comfort food ingredients.

Ingredients 

  • 8 ounces whole wheat pasta I used fusilli
  • 10 ounces English peas fresh
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 8 ounces mushrooms chopped
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 10 ounces solid white albacore tuna drained (two 5 ounce cans)
  • 1 1/2 cups pecorino romano cheese finely grated, divided
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Instructions 

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook noodles until just tender, 6 to 8 minutes or according to package directions. During the last minute of cooking, add the English peas. Drain and rinse.
  • Position rack in upper third of oven and preheat broiler on high.
  • While the water is boiling for the pasta, heat oil in a large ovenproof skillet over high heat. Add onion and mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add butter to pan and melt while stirring into onion and mushrooms. Sprinkle flour over the vegetables, stir to coat, and allow to cook until roux is fragrant, 3-4 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and add milk; bring to a simmer, stirring constantly. Stir in tuna and 1/2 cup of the cheese until evenly incorporated. Remove from heat. Then, stir in the noodles (the pan will be very full).
  • Sprinkle the casserole with the remaining cheese. Broil until bubbly and lightly browned on top, 3 to 4 minutes.
    This Healthy Skillet Tuna Casserole is not only quick and easy for a busy weeknight dinner, but it is full of fresh and wholesome comfort food ingredients.

Nutrition

Calories: 493kcal, Carbohydrates: 46g, Protein: 33g, Fat: 19g, Saturated Fat: 10g, Cholesterol: 72mg, Sodium: 994mg, Potassium: 606mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 8g, Vitamin A: 785IU, Vitamin C: 21mg, Calcium: 399mg, Iron: 3.3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Did you make this? Leave me a comment below

This post was originally created in September 2015 and has been updated with more fun facts and tidbits for your reading pleasure.

Hi! I’m Krissy.

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21 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I made this with almond milk, vegan butter and vegan cheese..lactose intolerant in family.. It was the best ever!! I also made fresh bread crumbs and mixed with goat cheese and parmasan cheese on the top. It was crunchy on top and, the best ever tuna casserole!!!!

  2. 5 stars
    Turned out great! I had frozen peas and Parmesan in hand so used those. Broiling the cheese at the end turned it from good to great.

  3. Hi there. Is the measure on the dry pasta by weight (like 8 oz on a scale) or by volume (which would be 1 cup)? Thanks!

    1. Hi Erin, It’s a measure on dry pasta by weight. It usually comes in a 16 oz package, so I usually eyeball half the box.

        1. I personally wouldn’t because I’m not a fan of frozen and then reheated pasta. I would, however, combine everything except the pasta and then add the pasta when I’m ready to serve. But, since this is such an easy meal to make I wouldn’t bother turning it into a freezer meal.

  4. Made this last night but didn’t have everything it calls for. Halved the recipe, used original unsweetened almond milk and it was so good. Did not have toe romano cheese so used some freshly grated parmesan with a little mozzarella on top. Also did not have any mushrooms so made it this time without. Next time I’ll have the correct ingredients and it will be awesome. Thanks for a better recipe than using canned soup!

  5. This recipe is AWESOME! I made it recently to take for lunches for the week, and plan to make it again on Sunday for next week’s lunches 🙂 Sooo delicious, and I love that it’s a healthier version of such a “comfort food” dish. I used almond flour and almond milk to make it even “cleaner”. Can’t wait to make this again, thanks for the great recipe 🙂