It's a busy weeknight and you have to feed the kids but don't want the hassle that usually comes along with that job. If your kid is a fan of tuna, then they are going to love this healthy tuna casserole. As easy as boiling some pasta, mixing in a handful of other ingredients, topping with cheese, and throwing it into the oven. Leftovers pack well for lunch the next day, and even better is that this meal can be easily meal prepped meaning you only have to throw it into the oven when you get home after a busy day.
If you love easy but nutritious throw-together dinners like this, then you will also love this Lightened-Up Sundried Tomato and Salmon Alfredo Pasta Bake and this Insanely Easy Chicken Fajita Casserole Bake.
Easy Weeknight Healthy Tuna Casserole
This is the type of meal that is super handy to have on hand during a busy week.
Especially after sports when the kids are famished, and you are rushing to get them fed before showers and bed.
Even better is that you are only going to need a handful of simple ingredients to get it happening:
- penne or other pasta: use dried pasta or fresh pasta depending on what you have on hand. Simply cook it according to packet instructions before adding all of the other ingreidents. I prefer using penne, or something similarly tubular, as the inside collects the sauce, making sure the flavor is better distributed around the casserole;
- tuna in oil: I tend to buy tuna in springwater, and you can absolutely sub that in instead of tuna in oil. The only reason I list tuna in oil here is that tuna can become a little dry on cooking, and the oil helps to lock in some of that moisture;
- cherry or plum tomatoes: if you only have larger tomatoes that is fine, simply dice them into a smaller size and away you go;
- black or mixed olives: buy pitted olives so you don't have to go to the hassle of pitting before using;
- dried oregano: you can always sub in fresh oregano if that is what you have, simply add 1 tablespoon of fresh herbs for each teaspoon of dried asked for in the recipe;
- olive oil;
- garlic powder: you can also sub in fresh garlic if that is what you have or prefer;
- mozzarella cheese: we are going to grate this and use it for topping the casserole. You can buy pre-grated mozzarella if that is something you like, however I tend to find it has a grainy texture when melted, so prefer to grate this myself. You do you. You can always add some cheddar cheese to the mixture to add another element of flavor;
- marinara or pizza sauce: check the salt levels and ingredients list if you are buying this (or you can make a homemade version like this Fresh Heirloom Tomato Sauce);
- fresh basil leaves, parsley or oregano for garnish.
You might also want to top with some chili flakes, but if you are serving to kids, you might want to leave those until plated.
We don't want to whinging and dramatics.
How To Assemble The Casserole
No special skills are required.
We are simply going to boil the pasta according to package directions until it is cooked al dente (soft but with a little bit of bite left in it).
Once the pasta is cooking add it to a large bowl with all of the tuna, marinara sauce, and herbs.
Mix well so everything is well combined.
Now here is the technical part: add half of the pasta mixture to a large casserole dish, add half the cheese, add the rest of the pasta, top with the olives and tomatoes, and finish with the cheese.
This simply ensures the cheese is evenly spread throughout the casserole, so everyone gets dome cheesy goodness.
Pop the casserole into the oven for about 20 until the cheese is all gooey and melty.
Garnish with fresh herbs and you are good to go.
How To Serve Tuna Casserole
I usually serve as is.
Simply use a large spoon, or another server of choice, and divide the casserole between plates.
You could also serve with some nice crunchy bread for mopping up the tomato sauce, or a nice simple green garden salad for some greens.
This healthy tuna casserole is a meal unto itself, but is great served with a side of greens or steamed vegetables also.
Why not try serving with these simple vegetable sides:
- Lemon and Garlic Air Fryer Broccoli
- Honey, Lemon and Sea Salt Air Fryer Asparagus
- Simple and Scrumptious Roasted Dutch Carrots
- Zesty Heirloom Tomato and Nectarine Salad
Storage and Meal Prep
Store cooled leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for about 3 days.
The leftover casserole can also be frozen.
Wrap the casserole securely with plastic wrap, then with aluminum foil.
Label and freeze for up to 3 months.
When ready to eat, simply defrost the casserole in the refrigerator for 24-48 hours until completely thawed.
This is also a great meal for prepping ahead of time, which is perfect for a busy week.
Simply make up the casserole right up to the point of being put into the oven, but instead wrap it in plastic wrap (or if the casserole dish has a lid you could just use that), and store in the fridge for up to 3 days before baking.
Once needed, simply preheat the oven and bake the casserole until the cheese is nice and melted.
Need another hearty comforting pasta dish? Why not try this Baked Spaghetti from Glenda Embree?
Serve and enjoy.
Healthy Tuna Casserole
- 2 ½ cups uncooked penne or other pasta
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 14 oz (400g) tuna in oil drain most of the oil
- 12 cherry or plum tomatoes
- ½ cup black or mixed olives pitted
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 ½ cups mozzarella cheese grated
- 14 oz (400g) passata or pizza sauce
- fresh basil leaves, parsley, and oregano for serving
- Boil the pasta according to package instructions (al dente). Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to pasta water.
- Once cooked add pasta to a large mixing bowl, add tuna, marinara sauce, 1 teaspoon of oregano, garlic powder. Mix to combine.
- Ina 9 x 13-inch baking dish add half of the pasta mix, add a layer of half of the cheese, another pasta layer, and top with olives and tomatoes. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of oregano and finish with a layer of remaining cheese.
- Bake at 400 F for about 20 minutes or until cheese is properly melted.
- Garnish with fresh herbs and more oregano!
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.