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Canless Tuna Noodle Casserole

Tuna noodle casserole is one of my favorite meals! It's one of those love-it-or-hate-it things. I understand that some people find tuna repulsive, but I am a strange sort of person who loves it even though I don't like other kinds of fish.

Tuna is a good way to get omega-3s, but it's also a risk for mercury contamination and BPA. Mercury levels are lower in chunk light tuna, so I'm eating it occasionally. Getting enough of the good stuff is just as important as avoiding the bad stuff.

But I'm very concerned about the prevalence of BPA in everything and trying to minimize my exposure. BPA is in the lining of just about any canned food, and tuna noodle casserole usually contains several ingredients from cans. So I was very pleased with myself when I came up with a recipe that doesn't use any cans.

My "live-in chef" (who is currently making homemade pizza as I blog... Mmm, roommates with cooking skills!) suggested substituting a homemade white sauce for canned cream of mushroom soup. I took his advice and also used frozen instead of canned peas and tuna from a foil packet instead of a can.

Here is the recipe I used, modified from one I found on the internet:


* 8 oz. medium shell pasta
* 2 tablespoons butter
* 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon salt (optional)
* 1 cup milk
* 1 1/2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
* 1 5 oz. foil pack tuna (2 packs would also work)
* 1 16 oz. bag frozen peas, thawed or lightly steamed
* bread crumbs (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Coat a 2 quart casserole dish with cooking spray.
2. In a large pot of salted water, boil noodles until al dente. Drain well.
3. In a medium saucepan, combine flour, butter, and salt. Stir until butter is melted and ingredients are combined evenly. Add milk, and whisk until the sauce thickens (usually it is at the proper consistency by the time it begins to boil). Add 1 cup cheese to mixture, and whisk until cheese is melted and mixture is well blended. Stir in tuna, peas, and noodles. Spread evenly in prepared dish. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup cheese on top. Finish with bread crumbs (optional).
4. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes.

Mmmmm, it was so good! Everyone had seconds.


  1. This sounds right up my ally! I wish my hubby liked it, I guess I'll save this recipe for a night when he's on a trip. Thanks for sharing.

  2. TC Tuna Melt:

    tuna salad (whatever you use to make it, make it)

    potato chips


    put potato chips on a plate
    put tuna on chips
    top with cheese
    put under salamander, melt cheese

    clog arteries

  3. For those tuna haters out there, replace the tuna with chicken, still delicious !!

  4. Tuna Noodle Casserole is my faaaavvvveeee. I usually use egg noodles and cream of mushroom soup, with just a dash of milk. No peas for me; I substitute mushrooms (a ton of them.) I also use an exorbitant amount of tuna.

    I love tuna, and it makes me sad that the mercury is so high. I try to eat it only two times a month.

  5. Now you've done it! I've had to call my wife and ask her to make me tuna cassarole now! :-P

    I haven't have TC in years... oh, I'm so hungry all of a sudden.

  6. I love tuna and pasta, So I'm going to love the both of them together. I'll eat it from a can, too-- I don't care. This looks awesome-- maybe it's because I'm starving, but it still looks awesome.

  7. I have to admit, I'm one of those people who just don't like tuna. Homemade pizza though...yum!

  8. Tuna in a foil pack. Great idea! Is that in the same section of the aisle as the cans?

    I'm going to try this recipe, sounds yummy!

    Thanks for following my WhackaDoodle blog! I don't get to that one near often enough, but I do regularly post my writerly stuff on That Rebel with a Blog site, if you want to check that one out, too.

    Thanks for the recipe, I'm with you on the BPA. For sure.

    ~That Rebel, Olivia

  9. NOM NOMZ! It was so delicious.

    Esperanza: That's disgusting. P.S. I just went to the Travlers' Club because I am always craving the samosas and a bite of buffalo burger. But ALL their other food is garbage. Seriously. WTF, stoner cooks?

    Anonymous: Good idea! But I like my chicken casserole to have rice and broccoli in it. :)

    Faux Trixie: Those are good substitutions. There's probably a powdered mushroom soup you could use, too, if you wanted to avoid cans.

    Gleno: Haha, I hope you have earned some points with your wife for indulging HER sudden cravings in the past. I love easy comfort food.

    Susan: Hells yes, that pizza was so good. There is nothing like homemade pizza dough done right. I love coming home from work to see dough rising on the counter--that means I don't have to cook! I recommend a household chef for everyone. :D

    Olivia: Yes, the foil pack is ingenious. And yes, the BPA is super bad. But avoiding canned food is probably good for more than one reason! At my grocery store, the foil pack tuna is right by the cans. And--both of your blogs rock!

  10. Pssst, just popping back in to let you know you have an award over at my blog. And thanks! :D

  11. Sounds delicious! I will have to try it, although change the tuna for chicken. While I like tuna, the kiddos do not. =D

  12. That sounds fabulous! I love tuna casserole! Great comfort food. I'll have to try it, Thanks!

  13. Say, Genie, are you entering Tina Lynn's BAD BOY BLOGFEST?

    I'd like to read what your entry would be, Roland


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