I love turning traditional favourites into healthier dishes for 1) why not! my theory is that the more nutrients I can pack in to traditional comfort foods loved by all, the better! and 2) coming from a family with various allergies, including myself, I love coming up with variations of foods that I generally can’t just grab anywhere.
When I originally used to make this I would use cream of mushroom soup as the base but since I can’t have dairy – I stopped doing that when I cut out dairy completely a few years ago. Since then, I’ve been coming up with my own creamy sauce and it’s SO much easier than I imagined. I love it because I can play with it depending on what I have in my fridge and go from there!
Nothing says comfort food to me like tuna casserole. It’s just what I need during these cooler months to keep me going. Plus it tastes great as leftovers for work or school!
Some substitutions, include gluten free pasta, a different nut, depending on what you have such as hemp seeds, almonds, walnuts etc.
Healthy Dairy-free Tuna Casserole
Feel free to substitute the vegetables used, gluten-free pasta if necessary and a different nut if needed. If you're vegan, you can also substitute tempeh or chickpeas for some protein.
Note: the potatoes help to thicken the sauce but are not absolutely needed if you wish to omit them.
- 3 cups dry whole wheat rotini pasta (cooked al dente in accordance with package) (GF if required)
- 2 small zucchinis sliced
- 1 1/3 cup almond milk
- 1/2 cup cashews (soaked for at least 2 hours)
- 1 cup yellow onion chopped
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 2 cans tuna (approx 184g per can)
- 1 carrot chopped
- 2 celery stalks chopped
- 2 medium potatoes chopped into small cubes
- 1 tsp siracha
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp oregano
- cilantro or herb of choice
- Soak cashews for at least 2 hours or overnight in enough water to cover the cashews.
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Boil and cook the pasta according to the directions on the package.
- Blend cashews and almond milk until smooth (mixture will be very thin) - set aside.
- Cook onions on medium high heat, until fragrant. Add garlic and the remaining vegetables (not zucchini).
- Add spices, tuna and cashew sauce until heated through.
- Add in cooked pasta.
- Layer pasta and zucchini in casserole dish by putting 1/2 the pasta mixture in first, layer with zucchini, add remaining pasta and any left over zucchini.
- Bake for 30 minutes or longer until potatoes are cooked through.
- Serve immediately and refrigerate the rest