Gluten-Free Classic Tuna Casserole

Gluten-Free Classic Tuna Casserole Image and Recipe
Gluten-Free Classic Tuna Casserole.

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 on gluten-restrictive diets.

Use your favorite gluten-free pasta shape: 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 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 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 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 sweet rice flour over vegetables and stir in well. Continue cooking, stirring, for another 3 minutes.

  6. Whisk in the milk, 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 13" x 9" (3-quart) buttered casserole dish and top with the rest of the cheese.

  10. Mix 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.

Recipe 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 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 seafood, so you might want to eliminate it and use a thicker layer of crumbs on top.
  • If you have a gluten-free vegan in the house, use textured vegetable protein or tofu, vegan cheese and dairy-free milk, mixed frozen vegetables, and add more fresh vegetables like meaty portobello mushrooms (remove the gills so they don't turn the sauce dark).