Most of us were served tuna noodle casserole as kids. You know, the recipe with chunks of tuna smothered in a cream sauce spread over egg noodles or occasionally my mother used toast which became very soggy and disgusting. Some tuna noodle casseroles call for a topping of french-fried onions. It’s not exactly a nutritionist’s recommended dinner idea, but it’s quick and easy and very budget-friendly. But my husband,who grew up with tuna noodle casserole, really likes it. So what’s his dietitian-wife to do? I found a way to reduce the empty carbohydrates by eliminating the noodles and added petite green peas for a healthy more fiber-rich carbohydrate option; that’s an easy fix. Then I significantly reduced the calories by subbing out the heavy cream with a reduced-fat cream cheese/light mayo mixture that still provides enough creaminess to satisfy the old familiar craving. I kept the cheddar cheese, but use a reduced-fat (2%) variety which keeps it cheesy, calcium-rich and protein packed.
I like how fast this goes together, especially when you might be short on time. Plus you probably have all these ingredients on hand, so go for it. It’s a good alternative for our nutrition-conscious family dining since we’re all trying to reduce the empty carbohydrates. The hubby is satisfied so that makes it worth the effort. Serve with a plateful of steamed vegetables and even a side salad like my go-to Apple Carrot Salad with Poppyseed Dressing.
- Low Carb Cheesy Tuna Casserole
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 2 Tbsp chopped celery
- 1 Tbsp diced onion
- 3 (6 ounce) cans tuna (drained and flaked)
- 1/3 cup reduced-fat cream cheese
- 2 Tbsp light mayonnaise
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 cup frozen petite green peas
- 1 cup shredded reduced-fat (2%) cheddar cheese
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Coat an 11 x 7-inch casserole dish with cooking spray.
- Melt butter in a small skillet placed over medium-high heat. Add the celery and onion. Sauté for 2-3 minutes or until the onions are translucent. Place onions and celery in a medium mixing bowl. Add in the tuna, cream cheese, mayonnaise, salt, pepper, garlic powder and green peas. Mix to combine.
- Spoon the tuna mixture into your prepared 11 X 7-inch casserole dish. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 375 degrees F for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to stand for 5 minutes before serving.