Easy Tuna Noodle Casserole

Easy Tuna Noodle Casserole
Easy Tuna Noodle Casserole

The challenge with remaking some of our favorite recipes that we remember as a child is that they were often loaded with cheese, fat, salt and extra calories. One way to enjoy the comfort dishes that we remember, but in a healthier way is to reduce the fat, eliminate the extra salt and add lots of veggies.

This easy tuna noodle casserole naturally stars tuna. Tuna is a healthy, lean protein with each 3-ounce serving of chunk light tuna canned in water containing 99 calories, 22 grams of protein and 0.7 grams of fat. Tuna like salmon has the essential omega-3 fats which may help lower the risk for stroke & heart disease. Tuna may also contain low levels of mercury and if this is a concern for you, you could also use canned salmon or chicken in this recipe.

For the vegetables, we used a frozen vegetable mix of carrots, peas and green beans. You could also add broccoli, spinach or kale to boost the vegetable benefit. We also look for reduced fat cheese and Neufchâtel when a recipe calls for cream cheese.

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Ingredients:
  • 6 ounces wide egg noodles
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper, medium heat
  • 1/2 teaspoon Roasted Granulated Garlic
  • 2 3/4 cups fat-free milk
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened and cubed
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons each Red Bell Pepper, Green Bell Pepper, Dried Shallots and Dried Tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cup frozen mixed vegetables, thawed - I used a mix of carrots, peas and green beans
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated reduced fat Swiss cheese, divided
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated reduced fat Colby Jack cheese, divided
  • 2 (5-ounce) cans chunk light tuna in water, drained and flaked
  • Cooking spray
Instructions:
  1. Preheat broiler.
  2. Cook noodles according to package directions, drain.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add oil to pan.
  4. Add onion cook 5 minutes or until onion is almost tender.
  5. Combine flour and Cayenne Pepper, add to onions: cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  6. Gradually stir in milk; cook 5 minutes, stirring constantly with a whisk until slightly thick.
  7. Stir in cream cheese, mustard, pepper, dried peppers, shallots and tomatoes; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  8. Remove pan from heat. Stir in noodles, peas, 1/2 of the Swiss and Colby Jack cheese, and tuna.
  9. Spoon mixture into a shallow broiler-safe 2-quart baking dish coated with cooking spray.
  10. Top with remaining cheese.
  11. Broil 3 minutes or until golden and bubbly.
  12. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
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