Delicious Tuna Noodle Casserole Recipe for a Hearty Meal

Welcome, foodies! Today, I’m thrilled to share with you my new favorite recipe: Dairy-Free Tuna Noodle Casserole. This casserole is not only creamy and flavorful but also incredibly healthy and easy to prepare. It’s perfect for those looking for gluten-free and dairy-free options without compromising taste or quality.

I created this recipe with the health-conscious eaters in mind. I know how challenging it can be to find satisfying meals that are both nutritious and delicious. Tuna Noodle Casserole, in particular, has always been one of my favorite comfort foods, but the traditional version isn’t always the healthiest choice.

Fortunately, with a few ingredient swaps, we can transform this classic dish into a nutrient-packed, low-calorie meal that everyone will love. This version is dairy-free and filled with whole-grain goodness, protein-rich tuna, celery, onion, and packed with flavor.

But why stop there? I’ve got some exciting substitution ideas and variations for picky eaters, as well as storage tips for those wanting to meal prep ahead.

So grab your apron and baking dish- let’s get started!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Dairy Free Tuna Noodle Casserole
Dairy Free Tuna Noodle Casserole

Are you looking for a delicious and healthy tuna noodle casserole that is also gluten-free, dairy-free, and low in calories? Look no further! Our dairy-free tuna noodle casserole recipe has been expertly crafted to meet your dietary needs without sacrificing taste.

One of the reasons this recipe is so great is that it uses non-dairy milk substitutes and plain yogurt instead of traditional dairy ingredients like sour cream. This means that people who are lactose intolerant or have other dairy sensitivities can enjoy this dish without any digestive discomfort. Not only that, but the coconut milk used in this recipe adds a unique flavor to the dish that will leave you wanting more.

Our healthy tuna pasta bake recipe is also incredibly easy to prepare. It requires only a handful of ingredients that are easily accessible at any grocery store, and it can be made with minimal effort. All you need to do is mix the ingredients together and bake them in a casserole dish until golden brown.

But most importantly, this recipe tastes amazing. Each bite is bursting with flavor as the savory tuna combines with the hearty noodles, flavorful celery, onion, and garlic cloves, and a touch of salt and pepper. Plus, if you are looking for an extra boost of protein or plant-based options, our recipe also provides vegan tempeh as an alternative ingredient.

So why not give our gluten-free and dairy-free tuna casserole recipe a try? We promise it will become your go-to comfort food when you want something delicious yet nutritious.

Ingredient List

 This Dairy-Free Tuna Noodle Casserole is creamy and delicious!
This Dairy-Free Tuna Noodle Casserole is creamy and delicious!

Here’s what you’ll need to make this dairy-free tuna noodle casserole recipe:

  • 8 ounces of whole wheat rotini pasta (or gluten-free pasta of choice)
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 3 tablespoons of flour
  • 2 cups of non-dairy milk substitute (such as coconut milk)
  • 1 cup of plain yogurt
  • ½ cup sour cream substitute (such as vegan tempeh)
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cans of tuna fish or vegan tuna substitute
  • Optional: ½ cup canned peas or sliced mushrooms for extra flavor

Note that all the ingredients are dairy-free and gluten-free, so there’s no need to worry about compromising your health goals. You can easily find these ingredients in any natural grocery store or online.

The Recipe How-To

 Say goodbye to traditional casserole recipes that use dairy!
Say goodbye to traditional casserole recipes that use dairy!

Now the real fun begins – it’s time to make this delicious Dairy Free Tuna Noodle Casserole! Prepare your noodles according to the package instructions, and then set them aside.

Step 1: Saute the Vegetables

The first step in making this gluten-free Dairy Free Tuna Noodle Casserole recipe is to sauté chopped celery and onion in a little bit of olive oil. Cook them on medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes until they soften, and then add a couple of minced garlic cloves. Continue cooking for another minute or two until everything is nice and fragrant.

Step 2: Make the Sauce

Next, we’ll make the dairy-free sauce. To prepare it, whisk together flour, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, whisk together non-dairy milk substitute, plain yogurt, sour cream, garlic powder, onion powder until it’s heated through. Gradually add in the flour mixture while continuing to whisk – this will help to thicken your sauce.

Step 3: Add Canned Tuna Fish or Vegan Tempeh

Once your sauce has thickened up a bit, it’s time to add canned tuna fish or vegan tempeh. Drain any excess liquid from your canned tuna or vegan tempeh before adding it into the saucepan. Give everything a good mix and let it cook for 2-3 minutes until everything is nicely combined.

Step 4: Bake Your Casserole

Now that your veggies are sauteed, your noodles are cooked and your sauce has been made with tuna or vegan tempeh added in— it’s time to assemble your casserole! Preheat your oven first. Then grab a mixing bowl – combine your sauteed vegetables with your cooked noodles and sauce until everything is evenly coated. Transfer the mixture into a greased baking dish, then bake it for 15-20 minutes until the top of the casserole is bubbly and golden brown.

I hope you find this Dairy Free Tuna Noodle Casserole recipe not only healthy but also delicious!

Substitutions and Variations

 This dish is perfect for busy weeknights and can be prepared in advance.
This dish is perfect for busy weeknights and can be prepared in advance.

One of the best things about this dairy-free tuna noodle casserole recipe is that it’s super versatile, meaning you can make it with a variety of substitutions and variations to accommodate different dietary needs and preferences. Here are some ideas for customization:

– Gluten-Free: If you need to avoid gluten, simply swap out the whole wheat rotini pasta for your favorite gluten-free pasta. Brown rice pasta is a great option, or you could try using zucchini noodles for a low-carb twist.

– Dairy-Free: This recipe is already dairy-free, but if you’d like to make it even creamier, you can substitute the plain yogurt and sour cream for canned coconut milk. Another option is to use a non-dairy milk substitute such as almond or cashew milk.

– Vegan: To make this recipe vegan-friendly, omit the canned tuna fish and replace it with vegan tempeh or another plant-based protein of your choice. Use non-dairy yogurt and sour cream alternatives as well.

– Egg Noodles: Traditional tuna noodle casseroles often call for egg noodles, but these aren’t always a good option if you’re trying to avoid gluten or animal products. If you’d like to use egg noodles anyway, look for a gluten-free variety made with rice or quinoa flour.

– More Veggies: If you want to boost the veggie content of this dish, feel free to add extra ingredients like chopped carrots, bell peppers, or mushrooms. You could also swap out the celery for another crunchy vegetable like water chestnuts.

No matter how you customize this dairy-free tuna noodle casserole recipe, it’s sure to be a crowd-pleaser. Don’t be afraid to get creative and experiment with different flavors and ingredients!

Serving and Pairing

 You don't need dairy to make a comforting casserole that everyone will love!
You don’t need dairy to make a comforting casserole that everyone will love!

When it’s time to serve up this delicious Dairy Free Tuna Noodle Casserole, there are a multitude of options for pairing it with the perfect side dish. One great option is a simple salad that is full of leafy greens like spinach, kale, or arugula. The freshness and lightness of the salad will perfectly complement the richness and creaminess of the casserole.

Another option is to pair it with roasted or grilled vegetables such as asparagus, zucchini, or carrots. The charred and smoky flavor of the vegetables will provide a nice contrast to the creamy tuna noodle casserole.

If you prefer something more substantial, try pairing the casserole with some whole grain bread or rolls. The bread will help to soak up any remaining sauce and provide a nice texture contrast to the overall dish. Alternatively, you could also serve it with some quinoa or brown rice for a gluten-free alternative.

For those who enjoy a glass of wine with their meal, consider serving this casserole with a crisp white wine such as a Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc. The acidity in these wines pairs well with the creaminess of the casserole and helps to cut through the richness.

Overall, the serving options for this Dairy Free Tuna Noodle Casserole are limitless. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different pairings to find your perfect match!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Who says dairy-free has to be boring? This recipe is packed with flavor.
Who says dairy-free has to be boring? This recipe is packed with flavor.

I get it. You want to plan ahead and make this dairy-free tuna noodle casserole whenever you please. And why not? It is a delicious, healthy and easy to prepare recipe to enjoy any day of the week. You can make it ahead of time for meal prepping or when hosting guests, and serve it after reheating.

Here are a few tips for make-ahead, storing and reheating your dairy-free tuna noodle casserole:


This recipe is ideal for making ahead since all the ingredients are cooked before baking. I recommend assembling everything as the recipe directs, and then cover and refrigerate it until you’re ready to bake. This way, you can have dinner ready quickly during a busy weeknight. In case you’re keeping it for long, I suggest storing shredded cheddar cheese apart from the casserole (if you’re using them) in an air-tight container and sprinkle cheese over when you’re about to bake.


If you have some leftovers, they’ll safely last in the refrigerator for up to 4 days if they’re tightly covered with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Furthermore, Ensure that your casserole dish consists of food-grade plastic or glass that won’t affect its aroma or flavour.


Preheat oven early on. Reheat in a 350-degree F oven’s hotness for about 20-25 minutes uncovered from the refrigerator until bubbling becomes visible around the edges of the dish. If desired microwaveing options are given priority over the oven, microwave on high heat. However, it should be noted that some parts may overcook with microwave heating due to potential ununiform heating.

Now that you know how to make-ahead, store and reheat your dairy-free tuna noodle casserole let’s get cracking! It’s an amazing recipe that you can enjoy every day of the week without much fuss.

Tips for Perfect Results

 The key to this recipe is using high-quality gluten-free noodles.
The key to this recipe is using high-quality gluten-free noodles.

When it comes to cooking, we all want perfect results. The same goes for this dairy-free tuna noodle casserole recipe. Here are some tips to ensure your casserole turns out perfectly:

1. Use a non-dairy milk substitute: Instead of regular milk, use a non-dairy milk substitute like almond or coconut milk to make the recipe dairy-free. This will bring a slightly sweet and nutty flavor to the casserole.

2. Add some spice: Give your casserole an extra kick by adding black pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. These spices will not only enhance the taste but also bring their health benefits to the dish.

3. Don’t overcook the noodles: Boil the noodles as per the package instructions and then transfer them immediately to an ice water bath after draining. This ensures that they don’t turn mushy and sticky while baking.

4. Use healthy alternatives to wheat noodles: Opt for brown rice or wheat rotini pasta instead of plain egg noodles if you want to avoid gluten in your diet.

5. Choose your canned tuna wisely: Buy canned tuna fish without added salt, brine or oil, so that you can control how much sodium is in your casserole.

6. Make it vegan-friendly: Replace the canned tuna fish with vegan tempeh, cooked with Worcestershire sauce for that meaty umami flavor.

7. Keep it low calorie: Choose low-calorie ingredients like plain yogurt instead of sour cream for a healthier option, using either coconut milk or plant-based sour cream alternative as alternative substitutions.

8. Add greens: Put together some warm crunchy leaves by adding steamed green beans or blanched broccoli between layers of pasta in your baking dish for added texture and nutrition.

By following these tips and tricks, you’ll create a delicious, healthy tuna noodle casserole that is sure to become a family favorite!


Now that you have learned how to make this delicious Dairy Free Tuna Noodle Casserole Recipe from scratch, you might still have some questions in mind. To ensure that you get the best results for your dish, we will provide you with the most common FAQs about this recipe. From substitutions to storage recommendations, read on to get a better understanding of how to perfect this easy and healthy dinner recipe.

Why is my tuna noodle casserole dry?

If your tuna casserole is turning out to be dry, there are a few possible reasons. One might be that there isn’t enough liquid in the recipe, and the noodles are absorbing all of it. Another possibility could be that the dish you’re using is too big for the amount of casserole you’re making. Lastly, not covering the dish with foil while baking for the first 35-45 minutes could also be causing it to turn out dry.

How do you keep tuna casserole from drying out?

Reviving dry tuna casserole is a breeze with a splash of extra liquid. A generous pour of milk or broth can easily elevate the taste of a lackluster casserole.

What is the origin of tuna noodle casserole?

Tuna casserole is commonly linked with the 1950s housewife and the American Midwest. However, the origins of printed recipes for this dish can be traced back to the Pacific Northwest two decades prior. The initial recipe, titled “Noodles and Tuna Fish en Casserole,” was published in Sunset Magazine and credited to a certain Mrs.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this Dairy Free Tuna Noodle Casserole recipe is the perfect addition to your weekly meal rotation. Not only is it healthy and organic, but it’s also gluten-free and dairy-free, making it accessible to a wide range of dietary needs.

By using ingredients such as canned tuna fish, non-dairy milk substitute, and whole wheat rotini pasta, you can easily make a nourishing and filling casserole that will satisfy even the pickiest eaters. Plus, by utilizing substitutions such as vegan tempeh or egg noodles, you can easily adapt this recipe to fit your personal taste preferences.

One of the best things about this recipe is how easy it is to make from scratch. With just a little bit of prep time and some simple instructions, you’ll have a delicious and healthy tuna noodle casserole ready to go in no time. And if you want to save time during the week, you can even make this ahead of time and reheat it when convenient.

With so many benefits to this recipe, it’s hard not to give it a try. So next time you’re looking for a satisfying and healthy meal, remember this Dairy Free Tuna Noodle Casserole recipe. Your taste buds (and your body) will thank you!

Dairy Free Tuna Noodle Casserole

Dairy Free Tuna Noodle Casserole Recipe

I sometimes make a topping of breadcrumbs sauteed in butter, or use crushed up potato chips.
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Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 6 c
Calories 395.5 kcal


  • 2 1/4 cups non-dairy milk substitute
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons dairy-free margarine
  • 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 celery, finely chopped
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup dairy-free plain yogurt or 1 cup dairy-free sour cream
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 (5 ounce) can tuna, drained
  • 1 (16 ounce) bag egg noodles


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Cook noodles according to package for use in casseroles. Drain.
  • Microwave "milk" until hot.
  • Melt margarine in skillet. Saute onion, mushroom and celery until onions are translucent.
  • Whisk in flour, salt and pepper. Stir until combined and thick.
  • Slowly add hot milk, stirring continuously until thick and bubbly. Remove from heat to cool.
  • Mix together noodles, tuna, peas, yogurt or sour cream and cooled mushroom soup. Pour into casserole dish sprayed with non-stick spray.
  • Bake 30 minutes.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 143gCalories: 395.5kcalCarbohydrates: 64.9gProtein: 19.8gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 2.1gCholesterol: 78.1mgSodium: 268mgFiber: 4gSugar: 5.1g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Dairy Free, Free Of..., Lactose-free, One-Dish Meal, Weeknight
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