Gluten-Free Classic Tuna Casserole

Gluten-Free Classic Tuna Casserole Image and Recipe
Gluten-Free Classic Tuna Casserole. Image 2011 © Teri Lee Gruss
  • Total: 50 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 35 mins
  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings

This tuna casserole recipe is creamy, delicious, and gluten-free—finally, classic comfort food for those of us on gluten-free diets.

Use your favorite gluten-free pasta shape—gluten-free rigatoni, macaroni, or shells produce very good results.

Also, for convenience or to save the time involved in making your own gluten-free cream of mushroom soup, use canned gluten-free cream of mushroom soup that is not condensed and does not require dilution.

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces gluten-free pasta (your choice of shape)
  • 1 cup frozen sweet peas
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup sweet yellow onion (finely diced)
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper (finely diced)
  • 4 tablespoons gluten-free sweet rice flour
  • 1 3/4 cups milk (or half-and-half)
  • 1 1/2 cups canned gluten-free cream of mushroom soup (or homemade gluten-free cream of mushroom soup)
  • 1 (12-ounce) can tuna packed in water (well-drained, broken into small pieces)
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese (shredded)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper (or to taste)
  • 1 cup gluten-free bread crumbs (or 1/2 to 3/4 cup gluten-free cracker crumbs)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil

Steps to Make It

Heat oven to 350 F/176 C

  1. Cook gluten-free pasta in salted water, according to package directions.

  2. Add frozen peas 2 minutes before pasta is done.

  3. Drain pasta and peas and rinse in cold water. Put into a large mixing bowl.

  4. Melt butter in a saucepan. Sauté onions and red pepper over medium-low heat for about 3 minutes stirring occasionally.

  5. Sprinkle gluten-free sweet rice flour over vegetables and stir in well. Continue cooking, stirring, for another 3 minutes.

  6. Whisk in the milk, gluten-free mushroom soup, salt, and pepper to taste. Stir on low heat until the mixture begins to simmer and thicken.

  7. Carefully pour cooked sauce over the cooked macaroni and peas that have been reserved in the large bowl.

  8. Add the tuna and 1 1/2 cups of the cheese and stir to combine.

  9. Pour the mixture into a 13x9-inch (3-quart) buttered casserole dish and top with the rest of the cheese.

  10. Mix gluten-free breadcrumbs or cracker crumbs with olive oil until combined and sprinkle evenly over the casserole.

  11. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until bubbling and browned.

Serve with a fresh green salad or green vegetable.

Reminder: Always make sure your work surfaces, utensils, pans, and tools are free of gluten. Always read product labels. Manufacturers can change product formulations without notice. When in doubt, do not buy or use a product before contacting the manufacturer for verification that the product is free of gluten.

Casserole Variations

Casseroles such as these lend themselves to substitution and experimentation by varying the protein, vegetables, and soup used.

  • You easily can substitute 12 ounces of cooked and cubed rotisserie chicken or grilled chicken for the tuna and gluten-free cream of chicken soup for the mushroom soup.
  • Have a lot of leftover ham? Use it in this casserole with fresh mushrooms, Swiss cheese, and the gluten-free soup of your choice.
  • Shrimp and crab are two other possibilities for this dish. Since seafood easily can be overcooked, you might want to start with blanched but not fully cooked shrimp or crab. Since the blanched seafood will give off more liquid than fully-cooked proteins, the sauce might be a little soupy but will thicken on standing. Gluten-free shrimp soup would be perfect here. Cheese is not a natural accompaniment for fish and shellfish, so you might want to eliminate it (or not) and use a thicker layer of crumbs on top.
  • If you have a gluten-free vegan in the house, eliminate the meat or seafood, use textured vegetable protein or tofu, vegan cheese, mixed frozen vegetables, and add more fresh vegetables like meaty portobello mushrooms whose gills have been removed so they don't turn the sauce dark.