Was tuna casserole one of your favorite childhood meals? I just learned that my husband is wild for this classic comfort food. You know the one — made with lots and lots of macaroni, canned tuna, mushroom soup, cheese, onions, peas and whatever else your mom might have had in the fridge that she wanted to get rid of. The classic tuna casserole was topped with crispy bread or cracker crumbs and no one ever seemed to complain about having to eat it. Yeah, that casserole.
I’ve been wanting to try a new gluten-free pasta I recently found — Sam Mills Gluten-Free Corn Pasta and made a gluten-free version of tuna casserole a few weeks ago. And then again last week, and yesterday. It’s good fresh out of the oven and maybe even better reheated the next day. My family loved Sam Mills gluten-free pasta. The gluten eaters even said, “wow, good stuff.”
This classic gluten-free tuna casserole recipe is based on a recipe by John Mitzewich, our award-winning Guide to American Food. It’s wonderful comfort food for those of us on gluten-free diets!
Use your favorite gluten-free pasta. I used 100% gluten-free corn rigatoni with very good results. Also, use canned gluten-free cream of mushroom soup for convenience or make your own homemade gluten-free cream of mushroom soup. If you make your own soup, it will add some prep time to your recipe.
- 8 ounces gluten-free pasta (I used Sam Mills brand 100% corn gluten-free rigatoni shells)
- 1 cup frozen sweet peas
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup finely diced sweet yellow onion
- 1/2 cup finely diced red bell pepper
- 4 tablespoons gluten-free 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 large (12-ounce) can tuna packed in water, well drained, broken into small pieces
- 2 cups freshly shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, or to taste
- 1 cup gluten-free bread crumbs OR 1/2 – 3/4 cup gluten-free cracker crumbs
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
Preheat oven to 350° F / 176° C
Cook gluten-free pasta in salted water, according to directions. Add frozen peas 2 minutes before pasta is done. Drain pasta and peas and rinse in cold water. Pout into a large mixing bowl.
Melt butter in a saucepan. Sauté onions and red pepper over med-low heat for about 3 minutes stirring occasionally. Sprinkle gluten-free sweet rice flour over vegetables, stir in and continue cooking, stirring, for another 3 minutes. Whisk in the milk, gluten-free mushroom soup, salt and pepper to taste. Stir on low heat until the mixture begins to simmer and thicken.
Carefully pour cooked sauce over the cooked macaroni and peas. Add the tuna and 1 1/2 cups of the cheese and stir to combine. Pour the mixture into a 9 x 13 buttered casserole (3-quart) dish and top with the rest of the cheese. Mix gluten-free breadcrumbs or cracker crumbs with olive oil until combined and sprinkle evenly over the casserole. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until bubbling and browned.
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.
Author Information: Teri Gruss, MS
About.com Guide to Gluten-Free Cooking
Teri was diagnosed with gluten intolerance after decades of symptoms that culminated in malabsorption syndrome. Teri has written numerous health and nutrition articles for the popular website naturalnews.com and was a founding member and moderator of nutritioncircle.org, a nutrition forum for healthcare professionals and students. She is a member of the American Dietetic Association and supports the non-profit organization Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG) of North America as a member.
Email Teri Gruss, MS here.