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Healthier Tuna Noodle Casserole

Yesterday I shadowed our health system’s attorney as a part of my leadership cohort. Let me tell you, the woman was NON-STOP from 6:45am until 5pm and I left the hospital absolutely whipped. She was off for a long walk before taking some consultants out for a 6:30pm dinner and I was just floored by her. Apparently I need way more caffeine and/or sleep in my life.

I texted my podcast mate, Gina, and whined that I didn’t think I had it in me to record a podcast (our first, in fact) last night. I quickly decided I needed to suck it up and I hopped on our standing Tuesday evening call after getting the girls in bed.

Gina is truly an OG when it comes to blogging – she started her blog in 2007! Incredible. I learned that about her last night!

Our first podcast talked about how we got to know each other (spoiler alert: via the internet and then IRL when we moved to Columbus in 2010) as well as an introduction to our jobs, kids, and a bit about what you can expect from our podcast, Dietitian’s Dish. More coming soon! I do hope you’ll tune in!

When I woke in the middle of the night for my usual potty break, I had that very distinct tickle in the back of my throat that let me know I was quickly heading towards illness. Today was Echinacea, vitamin C, zinc, and tea. I kept my distance at work and tried to keep my kids’ hands out of my mouth (somehow this is so much easier said than done).

I desperately wanted to order delivery for dinner because operating a microwave seemed like a daunting task (kidding). But on a serious note, we didn’t have any leftovers that were calling my name. Nothing like this cheesy, classic comfort food. What upbringing is complete without tuna noodle casserole? NONE. Bring it, tuna. I’m raising these kids RIGHT. This well-loved classic is a lightened up version that still delivers big on both health and comfort.

Healthier Tuna Noodle Casserole
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6 servings (~2 cups each)
  • 12 oz uncooked whole-wheat egg noodles
  • 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oiol
  • 8 oz cremini mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups unsalted chicken stock
  • 2½ cups 2% reduced-fat milk
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp lemon zest plus
  • 1½ Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1¼ tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 (4-oz.) cans unsalted albacore tuna in water, drained
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh dill, plus more for garnish
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (about ½ cup)
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Heat a large pot of water over high heat. Once at a rolling boil, cook noodles until very al dente, according to package directions. Drain and transfer to a large bowl.
  2. Heat oil in a large high-sided skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms; cook until softened, about 4 minutes. Add onion and garlic; cook until tender, about 4 more minutes. Add thyme; cook until fragrant, about 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  3. Add butter; stir until melted. Whisk in flour; cook until roux is golden, about 1 minute. Whisking constantly, add stock; bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer; whisk in milk, tomato paste, mustard, lemon zest and juice, salt, and pepper. Return to a simmer; simmer 2 to 3 minutes. Pour mixture into bowl with noodles. Stir in tuna and dill.
  4. Coat a 13- x 9-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Transfer tuna mixture to baking dish; top with cheese. Bake until bubbly and cheese is melted, about 15 minutes. Let stand at room temperature 5 to 10 minutes. Garnish with additional dill, if desired.
Recipe from Cooking Light (link no longer available)
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ~ 2 cups Calories: 439 Fat: 13.0 Saturated fat: 6.0 Carbohydrates: 55.0 Sugar: 9.0 Sodium: 640 Fiber: 7.0 Protein: 30.0
Be well,

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