Gluten Free & Dairy Free Tuna Noodle Casserole from Scratch

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Gluten Free & Dairy Free Tuna Noodle Casserole from Scratch-4772

Comfort food!  I worked out a recipe for this some months back when I had a plethora of tuna in the pantry to be used.  I have tried multiple recipes over the last couple of years and just kept tweaking.

Tuna noodle casserole really CAN taste great without a can of cream of mushroom soup (and if you read the labels on those cans, you’ll be happy to cook from scratch anyways).


  • My favorite gluten free noodles are the Tinkiyada brand…no one can ever tell the difference!
  • I like to use ghee, which is butter with all the milk solids (aka casein) removed.
  • We use Wild Planet Tuna…it is wild caught and canned in small batches and retains its’ Omega 3’s in canning…great stuff!

PERSONALIZE IT/JAZZ IT UP:  This is a great basic tuna casserole, but there are lots of great ways to change it up:

  • Add any variety of vegetables like peas, broccoli, spinach, or cauliflower.
  • Add some spicy heat by using red pepper flakes or some cayenne.
  • Mayonnaise (my homemade one linked) is a  great addition instead of the cheese for some richness.
  • A few tablespoons white wine or nutritional yeast would add some different flavor depth to the sauce.
  • For the topping you could use crushed up potato chips or some sliced almonds mixed with butter and garlic.  Have fun…I know I always do!

PALEO?!  This might even work with roasted spaghetti squash as a stand in for the noodle…just add an egg in to help absorb some of the water! Let me know if you try it! (The almond/ghee/garlic topping would work well).

Gluten Free & Dairy Free Tuna Noodle Casserole from Scratch-4766

4.8 from 6 reviews
Gluten Free & Dairy Free Tuna Noodle Casserole from Scratch
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 5
  • 1½ cups dry gluten free noodles (I use either Trader Joe's brand or Tinkiyada)
  • 3 tablespoons allowed butter or ghee, or olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 sweet bell pepper, finely diced
  • 2-3 stalks celery, finely diced
  • ¼ cup sweet rice flour (or any mild tasting flour, this is for thickening only, so coconut flour or a starch)
  • 2 cups unsweetened milk of choice (I use So Delicious Unsweetened), this could be part chicken stock.
  • 2 teaspoons EACH yellow mustard and Dijon mustard (you can use more if you like extra tang like we do). I sometimes add zest of one lemon here too, it is amazing in this!
  • ¾ teaspoons sea salt, to taste
  • 1 cup grated allowed cheese, I use Daiya vegan cheese shreds, cheddar style (optional, adds flavor and richness) OR 1/4 cup homemade mayo!
  • 2 cans albacore tuna (I like Wild Planet)
  • 1 cup gluten free breadcrumbs (I make my own crumbs by whirring old pieces of various gluten free bread in my food processor), almond flour would work for a Paleo option!
  • 2 tablespoons melted allowed butter or oil
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  1. Preheat the oven 350 degrees.
  2. In a saucepan, boil noodles until very al dente..remember they will cook further in the casserole a bit.
  3. Heat a large pan over medium heat.
  4. Add your preferred butter (any oil would work too) to heat gently.
  5. Add the onion, celery, and bell pepper and saute for 5-8 minutes to soften.
  6. Mix in the flour and stir to coat the vegetables evenly.
  7. In a glass measuring cup, mix the milk and mustards and pour into the vegetables, stirring to blend.
  8. Continue to stir until the mixture is thick and turn off the heat.
  9. Add the salt to taste and the cheese. Stir to melt.
  10. Stir in the noodles and the tuna and mix to blend.
  11. Pour into a greased 12 x 8 pan.
  12. Topping: Mix together the breadcrumbs, melted butter, and minced garlic and sprinkle evenly over the top of the casserole.
  13. Bake in the oven until hot, bubbly, and the topping is crispy.

This post was shared with Fat Tuesdays,  Hearth & SOul, GF WednesdayWaste Not Want Not, GF Friday, Lets Get Real Fridays, Foodie Fridays, Free-From Fridays,

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When her third child was born with severe food allergies, Tessa took to the kitchen to figure out how to feed her family well. Always up for a culinary challenge, their journey has taken many twists and turns! Lots of Paleo, and lots of top 8 free. Good food for families, that's what she's about!

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27 comments on “Gluten Free & Dairy Free Tuna Noodle Casserole from Scratch
  1. Julia says:

    Yum! I’d like to try this with salmon.
    Julia recently posted…Shrimp, White Bean and Cabbage SoupMy Profile

    • Chiara M says:

      I made this with salmon last night, because I raided my pantry and was all out of tuna. It turned out great and the recipe worked really well. I was a little leery of subbing mayo for cheese as suggested, but it tasted really good.

  2. Gee, this looks so yummy!
    Brian Naennals recently posted…Pixel BeanMy Profile

  3. Caitlin says:

    Yum! I love tuna casserole but always associate it with boxed mac and cheese. This will be a great guide to make a Paleo version! thanks :)
    Caitlin recently posted…Mushroom Barley SoupMy Profile

  4. Tuna noodle casserole?? This is one of those comfort dishes that just get better and better the more I eat them. Yours looks amaze!!
    Kristy @ She Eats recently posted…Super Crispy Roasted Breakfast PotatoesMy Profile

  5. amber says:

    This recipe looks fantastic, Tessa! I’ always on the hunt for dinner ideas. :-)
    amber recently posted…Fresh Cabbage & Herb Spring Rolls with Sunbutter Honey Dipping SauceMy Profile

  6. We did this tonight PALEO (well, more Primal I guess as we did use dairy) with the spaghetti squash and an egg. DELISH!! I added a little more mustard and used the almond, garlic, olive oil topping. Also didn’t have a pepper, so did carrots instead. A keeper…thanks!

  7. Tiffany says:

    Just made this…came out delish! Thank you!!!

  8. Thank you for your recipe as I have just been put on a Fodmap Diet it has given me some ideas as how to do it. I can not have onion or peppers and have lactose milk so I am going to see how it goes with these modifactations.

  9. Daria says:

    Wow! I had a craving for tuna noodle casserole, and this hit the spot! I did it with zucchini ribbons :) next time I’ll decreas the liquid about, but adding egg did help with that. Thank you!

    • Glad you liked it Daria…and good to know about the zucchini noodles…I would anticipate a lot more water content with those too…i would probably attempt to salt and drain them for time to get as much of the water out as possible…I would hate to dilute the flavor! Thanks so much for your feedback!

  10. Shannon says:

    I made this for my family this evening. I used Barilla’s Gluten Free Elbows, Daiya Mozzarella Shreds and I was plumb out of celery, but celery seed worked well in a pinch. Both of my boys (one of which has multi-food allergies) asked for multiple helpings. That is SUCCESS in this house. This recipe has a great base for other yummy casserole ideas brewing in my head. Thank you so much for sharing!

  11. This looks delicious! I haven’t made tuna casserole in years because of the dairy. I need to try your recipe!

    Thanks for sharing with Waste Not Want Not Wednesday!

  12. Emma says:

    I’ve never thought about using tuna in a casserole but I always have some in the cupboard so it’s a great idea. Thanks for linking with #freefromfridays
    Emma recently posted…Free From Fridays – 21st May 2015My Profile

  13. There’s nothing like a good old fashioned Tuna Noodle Casserole and I love how you have made this one allergy friendly, Tessa!

  14. Judith says:

    My daughter’s fiance had multiple food allergies and I had a craving for old fashioned tuna noodle casserole. I honestly had never made it myself and didn’t realize how draped in dairy it was. I made it and then felt terribly guilty as he heated a “healthy” microwave meal. Today my goal is to find a dairy free recipe and create it for Ethan. I’m so impressed by your work for your child and your generosity in sharing these finds with those of us not so creative or apt to start a blog. Thank you, Tessa and all of you who have shared ideas. I feel so ignorant, as I don’t know the terms you use with ease.

    • Hi Judith! It is a whole new world…one unknown to me 5 years ago! The good news is, with so many food allergy bloggers out there…you have a lot of resources to find some safe and healthy foods for next time!!

  15. Danielle says:

    Awesome looking recipe. I was looking for a dairy free version that didn’t have chicken stock in it! I currently have a pretty restrictive diet so that my 6 month old son does not get sick after nursing. I have to avoid black pepper, chicken, dairy, and tomatoes. His reaction to chicken really surprised me and was the hardest trigger to identify. Thanks for the recipe. We are trying it tonight.

  16. Kiki says:

    Thank you so very much for this recipe! I did a few tweaks for personal taste, but the framework of this recipe yielded a very close match to the taste of the casserole from my childhood. My tweaks were as follows: I doubled the noodles and used the spiral pasta from Tinkiyada. I substituted 10 oz of organic frozen peas (cooked) and a handful of shredded organic carrots (readymade from the produce section) for the bell pepper and celery. Next time, I will bump the rice flour up to 1/3 cup and the unsweetened cashew milk up to 3 cups to accommodate the increase in pasta. I did use more mustard and that tip was excellent! I also used the almond meal option for the topping and it was outstanding.

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Welcome, I am happy you are here!

My name is Tessa, and I have learned to cook without almost all major allergens! I have a focus on making family foods as healthy as possible. Real food is my obsession. Gluten free, casein free, vegan, Paleo, sugar free: I have a little of something for anyone with restrictions., Take a peek, you're sure to find something delicious, and if you need any help, I am always willing to help you tweak things to YOUR tastes and dietary needs!

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