Healthy Tuna Noodle Casserole Recipe

Do you guys remember the tuna noodle casserole that seemed to find itself on dinner tables everywhere in the 80’s and 90’s? I’m continuing my McCormick recipe partnership this year, and for this month’s post, they challenged me to create a lightened up comfort food favorite. Healthy Tuna Noodle Casserole it was.

(In related news, it’s hard to make tuna noodles look pretty… I did my best!)

On Tuesday night, given the cold and snowy conditions outside, it seemed the perfect time to try my hand at a healthier version of this old favorite.

To lighten up this recipe, I made a few big changes:

  • Plain Greek yogurt instead of mayo
  • Milk instead of heavy cream
  • Chicken broth instead of canned cream of mushroom soup (this grosses me out, anyway…)
  • Extra sharp cheddar instead of regular cheddar – it’s more flavorful, so you don’t need to use a ton!
  • Utilized seasonings for flavor
  • Added lots of volume and nutrients from a rainbow of veggies! I used peas, baby spinach, peppers, and onions, but mushrooms and celery would be good here, too.

This recipe involves a little hands on prep time, but it’s not overly complicated. There are two things you need to do before tossing it in the oven: 1) cook your pasta, and 2) sauté your veggies! First, you’ll want to sauté the onions and peppers, until the onions are translucent. Then, you add your frozen peas and fresh baby spinach, stirring until the spinach is wilted!

Then, you toss all the ingredients (including the now cooked pasta) into a bowl together and stir.

Don’t forget the seasonings to amp up the flavor of this dish! You can get creative and add some other seasonings too, if you like! I decided to keep it basic.

Then, pour it all into a casserole dish, pop it in the oven, and 40 minutes later, you have yourself a tasty blast from the past.

Here’s the full recipe. Go get your 90’s on! Seriously – when Matt tried this, he said: “This tastes just like the 90’s.” Sweet. That’s what I was going for. We both loved it! In fact, I’m about to enjoy some of the leftovers now for lunch…

Healthy Tuna Noodle Casserole

by fANNEtastic food

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Keywords: bake saute entree tuna pasta


Ingredients (Serves 4 to 6)

  • 2 cups dry whole wheat rigatoni, cooked according to package directions
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 1 cup bell peppers (any color), diced
  • 4 cups fresh baby spinach, packed
  • 2 and 1/2 cups frozen peas
  • 8 to 12 ounces chunk light tuna, packed in water (any amount in this range is fine)
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup plain full fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup 2% or whole milk (or plain, unsweetened almond milk)
  • 1/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder


  • Preheat oven to 375.
  • Cook pasta according to package directions. Leave it "al dente" – just cooked/still a little chewy.
  • In a large pan, saute onion and bell peppers in a little oil or cooking spray over high heat for a few minutes, until onions are translucent.
  • Add baby spinach and frozen peas and reduce heat to medium. Cover, stirring occasionally, until peas are no longer frozen and spinach is fully wilted.
  • In a large bowl, mix together cooked pasta, the sauteed veggie mixture, and all other ingredients.
  • Pour mixture into a casserole dish.
  • Bake 40 minutes. Enjoy!

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Thank you to McCormick for sponsoring this post! For more ideas for better-for-you comfort food recipes, check out their website. I have my eye on this Chicken Pot Pie Soup!

Were you a tuna noodle casserole fan? What were your other favorite 90’s-tastic casseroles? I might try to recreate more of them!

If you missed my previous McCormick posts, check those out, too:

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