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Spinach & Tuna Noodle Casserole

  • 50 m
  • 1 h 10 m
Breana Killeen
“Homemade mushroom sauce kicks the can of soup out of the picture in this veggie-centric, healthy riff on a classic tuna-noodle casserole recipe. Serve with steamed green beans. ”


    • 6 ounces egg noodles, preferably whole-wheat (4½ cups dry)
    • 3 tablespoons butter
    • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
    • 1 cup finely chopped onion
    • ½ cup finely chopped celery
    • 10 ounces mushrooms, sliced
    • 3 tablespoons dry sherry
    • 2 teaspoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
    • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
    • ½ teaspoon ground pepper
    • ¼ cup white whole-wheat flour or all-purpose flour
    • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth, divided
    • 1 cup reduced-fat milk
    • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
    • 2 5-ounce cans chunk light tuna in olive oil (see Tips), drained and flaked
    • 10 cups baby spinach or 4 cups frozen chopped spinach (thawed)
    • 1 cup coarse fresh breadcrumbs (see Tips), preferably whole-wheat
    • ¾ cup grated aged Cheddar cheese


  • 1 Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat a 9-by-13-inch pan (or similar-size 3-quart baking dish) with cooking spray.
  • 2 Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook noodles according to package instructions. Drain and set aside. Dry the pot.
  • 3 Heat butter and 1 tablespoon oil in the pot over medium heat until the butter is melted. Add onion and celery; cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until their liquid evaporates, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in sherry, soy sauce, salt and pepper and cook until almost all the liquid has evaporated, 2 to 4 minutes more. Sprinkle flour over the vegetables, stir to coat and cook for 30 seconds.
  • 4 Increase heat to high, add ½ cup broth and stir until starting to boil. Add the remaining 1½ cups broth, milk and mustard; bring to a boil and cook, stirring often, until the sauce thickens, about 2 minutes. Add tuna, spinach and the reserved noodles; cook, gently stirring often, until heated through, about 3 minutes. Transfer to the prepared baking dish.
  • 5 Combine breadcrumbs and cheese in a small bowl. Stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and sprinkle over the casserole. Bake until the sauce is bubbling and the topping is golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes.
  • Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 4; refrigerate for up to 1 day. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes and finish Step 5 before baking.
  • For sustainable chunk light tuna, look for the blue Certified Sustainable Seafood label from the Marine Stewardship Council. The certification means the tuna was troll- or pole-and-line caught, which are sustainable for the fish and the environment. We call for chunk light tuna because it's significantly lower in mercury than albacore (“solid white” tuna)—making it a better choice for health, especially for pregnant women, nursing mothers and children. According to the FDA and EPA, these at-risk groups should still limit their consumption of lower-mercury tuna to 12 ounces a week. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) suggests limiting it even more. (For more info, see the EWG's Seafood Calculator at
  • Don't toss your stale bread! Make your own breadcrumbs. Trim off any tough crusts and tear or cut the bread into pieces. Process in a food processor until coarse or fine crumbs form. Use right away or freeze in an airtight container for up to 6 months. Thaw before using. One slice of bread makes about ½ cup fresh coarse breadcrumbs.
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