Quinoa Tuna Casserole is our new favourite. It includes all the basics of your mom’s tuna noodle recipe, with a twist.
By replacing the noodles with quinoa you up the protein in this baked tuna casserole. A great alternative to traditional tuna pasta recipes.
We all have memories of those classic casseroles when we were kids. Even in my younger years, I had cans of cream of mushroom and chicken soup just waiting in the pantry. The perfect addition to all kinds of casserole recipes.
These days, I prefer to make my own homemade cream sauce. It is not difficult (in case you were wondering). In fact, I have everything you need to know in the recipe card.
RECIPE and INSTRUCTIONS for this tuna quinoa bake can be found at the bottom of this post.
Canned tuna is such a great thing to have on hand. Tuna fish sandwiches will never go out of style. Added to casseroles, and used in this healthy tuna salad, it is one of my favourite go-to ingredients.
Classic Casserole Ingredients
This easy-to-make recipe includes all the classic ingredients. Yes, it is a tuna casserole with peas, minus the noodles and canned soup.
- cooked quinoa
- bell pepper
- homemade cream sauce
- grated cheese
See, most of the same ingredients that mom used. The cream sauce is super easy and not filled with preservatives. Quinoa is super nutritious and gluten-free too.
How To Make Tuna Casserole
With a little prep, this casserole will be baking in the oven in no time. Perfect for easy weeknight dinners.
- Precook the quinoa.
- Make the cream sauce.
- Grate the cheese.
- Sauté the onions and peppers.
- Combine all the ingredients.
- Top with cheese and bake.
- Dinner will be ready in about 25 minutes.
How To Cook Quinoa
If you have never cooked this wonderful ingredient, don’t fret. It’s easier than cooking rice.
Quinoa is super nutritious and has lots of health benefits too.
- 1 part quinoa
- 2 parts liquid
This is the basic ratio, just like rice. You can easily increase the amount you need for recipes. The liquid can be water or broth.
- Always wash the quinoa before cooking. Just place it in a metal sieve under running cold water.
- Combine the quinoa and liquid in a pot with a bit of salt.
- Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce the heat to medium-high.
- Cook until done (about 15 minutes depending on the amount you are cooking).
- Fluff with a fork.
- Ready to use in your recipes.
- It will last for several days in the fridge in a sealed container.
Cooked quinoa is perfect in all kinds of easy and tasty dishes.
- For an easy and family-friendly dinner, try this Mexican quinoa recipe. Individual mini casseroles that can be made in the oven or microwave.
- Quinoa breakfast bowls contain delicious roasted blueberries as the topping to this baked breakfast casserole.
- Protein-packed quinoa stuffed peppers have crab meat, goat cheese and spinach for a flavourful total meal deal.
Recipe Tips and Suggestions
Pre-cook the quinoa and have it ready to add to the casserole. It can be made several days in advance. Perfect for when you are in a time crunch.
Double the sauce if you like a creamier texture. We like it on the drier side because we love to use the leftovers in wraps! Makes a great protein-packed lunch.
Change the cheese. Use cheddar, gouda, swiss or any cheese you like. For this recipe I used smoked cheddar, our favourite.
Leftovers can be frozen in a sealed container. This will keep for several days in the fridge. Great for a fast and easy meal on another day.
Freezing after cooking is a great option. Let the casserole cool, wrap the dish well and place in the freezer. To cook, defrost in the fridge and place in the oven until heated through.
Freezing before cooking is perfect for a ready-to-make meal. Assemble the ingredients like you would if you were baking it right now. Wrap well and place in the freezer. Defrost in the fridge (overnight works best) and pop it in the oven until it is fully heated.
Canned tuna can be light, solid or flaked for this recipe.
If you are looking for a new twist on an old classic, I highly recommend giving this quinoa tuna recipe a try. It is grandkid approved!
Speaking of cooking with grains, have you tried Cold Buckwheat Salad? Packed with lots of protein, a citrus dressing and grilled scallops.
Shrimp and Grits Salad is a fun take on the iconic southern dish. Perfect as an appetizer or main dish.
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Baked Tuna Casserole with Quinoa
- 1 cup Quinoa (uncooked)
- 3 ounces onion (diced)
- 7 ounces peas (frozen)
- 5 ounces bell pepper (diced)
- 3 ounces grated cheese (your choice of flavour)
- 9 ounces canned tuna (2 cans, drained, flaked or solid)
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- 1 cup milk
- 1 ounce all-purpose flour
- 3 tbsp. butter (divided)
- Prepare a 9×13 inch casserole dish and pre-heat the oven to 350º F.
Pre-Cook The Quinoa:
- Rinse quinoa with cold water in a sieve.
- Combine 2 cups of water and the washed quinoa in a medium sized pot.
- Bring to a boil, reduce and cook until liquid is absorbed (about 15 minutes).
- Remove from heat, fluff with a fork, and set aside until ready to use.
Make The Cream Sauce:
- Add 2 tbsp. butter into a medium-pot.
- Add the flour, and mix to combine.
- Whisk in the milk.
- Cook on medium-high heat, stirring frequently until thickened (about 5 minutes).
Make the Casserole:
- In a small frying pan add 1 tbsp. of butter, the diced onion and the diced bell pepper.
- Cook until the veggies are soft (about 6-7 minutes).
- Remove from heat.
- In a large prepared casserole dish combine the cooked vegetables, cooked quinoa, drained tuna, peas and cream sauce. Stir to combine.
- Add in 1/2 of the grated cheese and mix.
- Top the casserole with the remaining cheese.
- Bake uncovered at 350º for about 25 minutes.