Thursday, September 13, 2012

Low Carb Tuna "Noodle" Casserole

One of those old comfort foods I used to crave (especially when I wasn't feeling well) was tuna noodle casserole. There's something homey about the creamy, cheesy noodles and tuna that always made me feel better. But I wanted to find a way to make it healthier AND low carb. I looked at several recipes and came up with something great! I got the idea for the basics from this recipe which uses green beans, but mine uses yellow summer squash, mushrooms, and celery. I also took out the mayo because I am not a fan of cooked mayo. It turned out absolutely delicious, creamy and rich and filling, and I didn't miss the noodles at all!

Low Carb Tuna "Noodle" Casserole

1 can of water packed tuna (5 oz), drained
2 c. diced yellow squash
1/2 c. chopped raw mushrooms
1 medium celery stalk, diced
1/3 c shredded reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese
1 Tbsp low fat cream cheese
2 Tbsp low fat Ranch dressing
garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, and sea salt to taste

In a nonstick skillet, cook mushrooms, celery, and squash with a Tablespoon of water and a sprinkle of salt until veggies are crisp-tender. Add the tuna, cream cheese, Ranch, and seasonings and stir to warm over low heat until combined. Pour mixture into a small casserole pan or bread pan and top with cheese. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes until cheese is melted (I used a toaster oven).

I like to mix the cheese into the casserole a bit when serving; then it stays warm and melty.

Half the pan is a nice sized serving for lunch; you could have the whole pan for dinner if you're especially hungry, and it's only 406 calories! I like to eat half with a side of fresh steamed green peas and a salad.

Stats for one serving (half the recipe):
203 calories
20 g protein
10 g fat
7.5 g carbs
2.5 g fiber

This is going into the regular rotation. Great stuff! Hope you enjoy it too.

**Edited to add: it is very simple to make this recipe Medifast friendly! Just be sure your tuna, drained, weighs 4.7 ounces (2/3 Lean). The reduced fat cheese is the other 1/3 Lean. Your veggies should measure 1.5 cups once cooked. The low fat cream cheese is one condiment and the light Ranch is one Fat. All of the seasonings may total 1/2-1 condiment; I count mine as one condiment. That is for the ENTIRE RECIPE = one L&G meal with 1 Fat and 2 condiments.


Karen said...

OMG Lyn, please fax and e-mail a large serving of that to me. It looks AMAZING!!!! You are such a talented cook...and me? Yeah, not so much! It it doesn't come out of a can or a microwave tray I am pretty hopeless!

Michelle said...

Bookmarking this to my fav recipes. Shopping tomorrow!!! Thanks this looks so good.

Vickie said...

I am going to try this, but I think the shredded cheddar will be enough of the casserole texture that my husband and I will not need the ranch nor cream cheese (nor the spices actually).


Anonymous said...

Great recipe Lyn. Do you know if it's Medifast-friendly?

Lyn said...


the version I linked to is Medifast friendly. You could use my veggies (squash, mushrooms, and celery) in place of the green beans and still be fine. Low fat cream cheese is a condiment on Medifast (1 Tbsp = 1 condiment) so you could add it if you like. Hope that helps!

Leslie said...

Hi Lyn - you MOST DEFINTELY have a talent for recipe development. I did the crack slaw Monday and it was awesome. I'll be making that often because it's fantastic with a salad for lunch at work. I know you didn't invent it, but I basically followed your directives.

This one sounds good as well, and I'll be trying it just as you've written it. I might have spaghetti squash on the side but would be afraid it could add too much moisture and decrease creaminess. Anyway - thanks again and keep up the healthy recipes!:)

Christine A. said...

Hi lyn. I don't have an email address that I can email you with. I do hope all is well with your friend Dave and your son. I thnk about these things and it makes me realize how strong and courageous people can be. It sounds like your boys are great kids and it is my hope that all are well and will continue to be.. Take care. Ps. No need to publish this comment if you don't want to.....just wanted to let you know I saw your reply to my first post.

Lyn said...


Thank you :) I hope you saw my response on the other post about Dave also.

If you or anyone else needs to contact me, my email address is in my profile and also on the left sidebar under "Contact Me."

Anonymous said...

As soon as I saw this last night I knew I had to make it today. I had it for lunch and it was fantastic! Thank you so much!


Jane said...

This sounds so good! I haven't had tuna noodle casserole in forever, but this looks even better!

beerab said...

That looks great, one thing I did before to make pretend noodles was to use a peeler and cut the zucchini/squash like I was just peeling it. Then it took a few seconds to boil it, and it was great. Maybe you could also sub those shiritake noodles :)

Desert Singer said...

I'm so very thankful you post your recipes... that sounds and looks delish!! ♥

Anonymous said...

I appreciate you and your blog so much! It really speaks to me. You are so amazingly insightful. When I'm having a tough day and want fast food or cake, I think of how right you were about how it never actually tastes as good as it does in your fantasy of it ... so is it worth it? Very rarely! Anyway, I *love* tuna casserole, it's always been one of my favorites, also from childhood. (I think we're around the same age.) I can't wait to try this recipe! I made your "crack slaw" a couple nights ago and it was delicious. Thank you for the effort and work you put into sharing all of this with us. Best of luck to everyone!

Angie said...

I tried this recipe today and it was AWESOME!!!! The only thing I did differently was add 1 tablespoon dill. I could eat the whole thing in one sitting.

Thank you for this wonderful recipe. I can't wait to try more.