Delicious Tuna Noodle Casserole Recipe for Family Dinners

Hey there, healthy food lovers! Today, I want to share with you a comforting classic recipe that has a twist – Tuna Noodle Casserole, but it’s dairy-free and gluten-free. Yes, you heard that right!

As a nutritionist and food blogger, I know the importance of nourishing our bodies with healthy and wholesome ingredients. I also understand the challenges that come with dietary restrictions and limitations.

That’s why I’m thrilled to introduce this recipe that caters to those who are lactose intolerant or follow a vegan lifestyle. This Tuna Noodle Casserole is creamy, flavorful, and guarantees instant satisfaction.

Whether you’re looking for comfort food or preparing a dish for your family and friends, this recipe is the perfect solution. Made with simple, readily available ingredients, it’s easy to whip up even on busy weeknights.

So stick around, follow the steps closely, and indulge in this healthy tuna pasta bake!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Tuna Noodle Casserole - Dairy Free
Tuna Noodle Casserole – Dairy Free

Are you craving some comfort food but don’t want to compromise your health goals? Look no further! This Tuna Noodle Casserole is a perfect combination of comfort and health, all in one dish.

What’s not to love about a creamy casserole that’s packed with protein, fiber, and veggies? Not only is it dairy-free and gluten-free, but it’s also low in calories! You can enjoy this without any guilt.

The dish is made with canned tuna fish or vegan tempeh, red bell peppers, celery, green onions, and dried tarragon. But the real star of the show is the pasta. We recommend using whole wheat rotini or gluten-free pasta to make this dish extra nutritious.

This recipe is also super versatile. If you’re not a fan of tuna, simply substitute it with canned chicken or shredded turkey. Want to make it vegan? Swap out the tuna for vegan tuna, made with plant-based ingredients. You won’t even notice the difference!

Cooking this recipe is a breeze. You’ll need just 30 minutes to whip this dish up from start to finish. The best part? It’s all made in one pot! No need to worry about washing dishes all night long.

So gather around the table with friends and family and enjoy this healthy take on a classic comfort food. Trust us – you won’t be disappointed!

Ingredient List

Sure! Here are some creative photo captions for the Tuna Noodle Casserole recipe:
Sure! Here are some creative photo captions for the Tuna Noodle Casserole recipe:

Get ready to stock your pantry with the ingredients needed for this healthy and flavorful tuna noodle casserole recipe! Here are the ingredients you will need:

  • 8 ounces of gluten-free pasta (I recommend using brown rice or whole wheat rotini)
  • 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 green onions, sliced thinly
  • 1 can of Bumble Bee tuna in water or oil (drained)
  • 1 ½ cups of unsweetened coconut milk
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp of dried tarragon
  • 3 tablespoons of dairy-free butter (vegan butter works well)
  • Ground black pepper to taste

With these free-from ingredients, you’re guaranteed to have a delicious and guilt-free meal.

The Recipe How-To

Now that you have all of your ingredients ready, let’s get to cooking! This Tuna Noodle Casserole is incredibly easy to make and can be on your table in no time.


  • 8 ounces whole wheat rotini pasta or gluten-free pasta (any variety works!)

  • 1 small red bell pepper, diced

  • 1 celery stalk, diced

  • 2 green onions, trimmed and chopped

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 tablespoon dried tarragon

  • Ground black pepper (to taste)

  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1/4 cup dairy-free butter (vegan butter works too)

  • 3 tbsp all-purpose gluten-free flour

  • 2 cups unsweetened plant-based milk

  • 1 medium ripe tomato, chopped or canned tomatoes drained

  • 1 can tuna in water or 8 ounces vegan tempeh


  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).

  2. Cook the pasta according to the package instructions until al dente. Rinse under cold water and set aside.

  3. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

  4. Add the garlic, celery and bell pepper and cook for 3 minutes until slightly softened.

  5. Add tuna fish and cook for an additional minute.

  6. Turn off the heat and add in the green onions, tarragon, and black pepper according to taste preference.

  7. In a large saucepan, melt the dairy-free butter over medium heat.

  8. Whisk in gluten-free flour continuously for at least a minute until smooth.

  9. Gradually add plant-based milk while stirring constantly until it thickens for about three to five minutes.

  10. Add chopped tomato or canned tomatoes to mixture and stir well.

  11. Combine cooked noodles with tuna mixture in a mixing bowl.

  12. Add the dairy-free plant-based milk sauce to the mixture and stir until evenly coated.

  13. Transfer the tuna-noodle mixture to an 8×8- inch baking pan or casserole dish.

  14. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until heated through, bubbly and browned on top.

  15. Remove from oven when done and let rest for a few minutes before serving.


This healthy tuna pasta bake is low calorie, gluten-free and non-dairy. You may choose to substitute gluten-free pasta with brown rice noodles or any other grain of your choice. Additionally, canned tuna fish can be substituted with any other source of protein such as vegan tempeh or cooked chicken for a twist on a classic favorite!

Substitutions and Variations

 Creamy but dairy-free? This homemade sauce makes it possible!
Creamy but dairy-free? This homemade sauce makes it possible!

Looking to switch things up? This tuna noodle casserole recipe is easily adaptable to suit your taste and dietary restrictions. Here are some substitution and variation ideas:

– Pasta: Swap the whole wheat rotini for a gluten-free pasta or try egg noodles for a more traditional casserole texture.

– Tuna: This recipe calls for canned tuna, but vegan tempeh or even canned salmon can be used as a substitute.

– Vegetables: Don’t have celery or red bell pepper on hand? No problem! Use any veggies you prefer like broccoli, carrots, or cauliflower. You can also add in some frozen peas for extra color and nutrition.

– Non-Dairy Milk: Replace the coconut milk with almond milk or any non-dairy milk. You can also use oat milk for a creamier result.

– Spices: While dried tarragon and ground black pepper provide classic flavors to this dish, you can swap them with your preferred herbs such as dried basil or oregano. Add a little chili powder if you prefer some heat!

– Cheese: For those who want a cheesy layer on top, try sprinkling some vegan cheese on it.

Remember, the beauty of this casserole lies in its flexibility. Experiment with different ingredients and see what delicious combinations you discover!

Serving and Pairing

 Say goodbye to boxed meals with this easy casserole recipe.
Say goodbye to boxed meals with this easy casserole recipe.

Now that you’ve made this delicious tuna noodle casserole, it’s time to serve it up and enjoy! The creamy tuna pasta bake makes for a hearty and satisfying meal that can be served as a main course any night of the week.

Pair this scrumptious dish with some sliced avocado, roasted veggies or a crisp salad to balance out the richness of the casserole. The zesty burst of red bell peppers, crunchy celery and green onions provide an added depth of flavor as well as some crunch to every bite.

The best part is, this recipe is not only dairy-free but gluten-free too so it can be enjoyed by everyone at your table. If you are looking for something different than traditional wheat rotini pasta, feel free to use brown rice or gluten-free pasta instead.

For those who like to add some heat to their dish, consider serving alongside some sriracha sauce or hot sauce. This will give a tangy kick that perfectly complements the creamy tuna casserole without being too overpowering.

Whether you’re making this tuna noodle casserole for your family, friends or just yourself– this dish is sure to satisfy your cravings for comfort food while still being healthy and delicious.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 A crowd-pleasing classic made healthier and more flavorful.
A crowd-pleasing classic made healthier and more flavorful.

If you’re like me and enjoy a comfort food casserole, you know that leftovers are part of the deal. Luckily, this Tuna Noodle Casserole recipe is perfect for storing and reheating.

To make things easier on yourself, consider making a double batch of the recipe, so that you have some to freeze or reheat later. And, unlike some casseroles that may lose their texture after being refrigerated or frozen, this dish actually tastes better after sitting overnight.

To prepare the casserole ahead of time, simply follow the instructions up to the point where it’s ready to be baked in the oven. Instead of baking it right away, cover the dish with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and store it in the fridge for up to 24 hours until you’re ready to bake it.

When reheating leftovers, preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and place the casserole in an oven-safe dish. Cover it tightly with foil before placing it in the oven. Bake for 15-20 minutes until heated through, removing the foil in the last 5 minutes to allow the top of the casserole to re-crisp.

If you don’t feel like reheating in the oven, this recipe also reheats well on a stovetop using low heat until heated through. Just remember to stir occasionally to help prevent sticking and ensure even reheating.

A bonus note: Keep in mind that since this recipe uses non-dairy ingredients such as coconut milk instead of traditional dairy cream soups and cheese, there won’t be any separation or clumping during storage or reheating! This makes it perfect for those with lactose intolerance or a vegan diet.

Tips for Perfect Results

 The perfect comfort food for any night of the week.
The perfect comfort food for any night of the week.

Cooking can be daunting, especially when trying out a new recipe, but with the right tips and tricks, the process can become simpler, more enjoyable and most importantly, result in a delicious dish. Here are some tips to help you achieve a perfect dairy-free tuna noodle casserole every time:

1. Opt for Gluten and Dairy-Free Ingredients

One of the key components of this recipe is using gluten-free pasta and non-dairy alternatives, such as coconut milk, in place of traditional dairy products. Be sure to choose high-quality ingredients that satisfy your dietary needs to enhance the taste and quality of your dish.

2. Add Some Extra Veggies

While tuna is the main source of protein in this casserole, adding different vegetables such as red bell pepper, celery or green onions can provide a range of flavors and nutrients to the dish. It also adds some color to make it more visually appealing.

3. Don’t Boil the Noodles for Too Long

Overcooking noodles can cause them to get mushy which can spoil the texture of your casserole. Therefore, it’s essential to follow the noodle’s cooking instructions precisely while ensuring that you don’t go over time.

4. Use Bumble Bee Tuna Fish for an Authentic Flavor

Bumble bee tuna fish is recognized for its exceptional flavor and is perfect for this casserole recipe. It brings a creamy and satisfying taste that no other form of tuna fish can replicate.

5. Top With Bread Crumbs

Breadcrumbs give any dish an added crunch and can take a cream-based casserole like this one to another level. They are also incredibly easy to prepare and inexpensive.

6. Preheat Your Oven

Preheating your oven helps your casserole cook a bit faster and evenly since it eliminates temperature fluctuations from opening the oven door.

7. Choose the Right Dish Size

Using the right sized baking dish will ensure that your ingredients cook evenly, and your casserole should have a consistent texture throughout.

8. Experiment with Different Toppings

A tuna noodle casserole traditionally has a cheese or breadcrumb topping but feel free to experiment with other toppings like sliced avocado or sautéed mushrooms. There is no limit on how you can personalize and improve this dish.

By implementing these tips, you will be well on your way to mastering the perfect dairy-free tuna noodle casserole, pleasing yourself and others with every bite.

Bottom Line

your journey towards a healthier lifestyle with this delicious and dairy-free tuna noodle casserole recipe. Made with healthy and gluten-free ingredients, this comfort food recipe is perfect for those who want to indulge in a rich and creamy dish without sacrificing their health.

Whether you’re hosting a dinner party, meal prepping for the week, or simply craving some warm and satisfying comfort food, this tuna noodle casserole is the perfect choice. With its easy-to-follow instructions and simple ingredient list, you can make this casserole from scratch in no time.

So why not give it a try? Give in to your cravings without guilt with this healthy tuna noodle casserole recipe. You won’t regret it!

Tuna Noodle Casserole - Dairy Free

Tuna Noodle Casserole - Dairy Free Recipe

comfort food - lactose free
No ratings yet
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Calories 544.1 kcal


  • 6 ounces egg noodles
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tuna, drained
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup whipped salad dressing
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon


  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup unblanched almonds, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil


  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • In large pot of boiling salted water, cook noodles until al dente (tender but firm to bite), approximately 8 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water.
  • In a large bowl, combine cooled noodles, tuna, green onions, celery and red pepper.
  • In a measuring cup, whisk together chicken stalk, salad dressing, pepper and tarragon until well combined. Pour over noodle mixture and combine. Spoon into casserole dish (2L).
  • Prepare the topping: In a small bowl, toss bread crumbs, almonds and vegetable oil. Sprinkle evenly over top of casserole.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 30 - 35 minutes or until headed through.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 263gCalories: 544.1kcalCarbohydrates: 60.6gProtein: 29.3gFat: 20.8gSaturated Fat: 3.4gCholesterol: 68.3mgSodium: 501.2mgFiber: 5.5gSugar: 6.9g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Dairy Free, Egg-free, Free Of..., Lactose-free, One-Dish Meal, Oven, Tuna
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