Are you ready for the most delicious version of tuna noodle casserole?! One that you can feel good about eating because instead of starchy noodles we are using turnip noodles and instead of heavy cream for the sauce we are using cashew cream – oh my beloved cashew cream, you know no bounds! More plants in your diet is always a plus! Also, that topping is a mixture of spices, almond meal, corn meal and olive oil and water. How cool is that?!
This Gluten Free Tuna Noodle Casserole with Turnip Noodles isn’t like your Mama’s or your Grandma’s tuna noodle casserole – or like Stouffer’s, which what I ate growing up. It’s still very delicious but it’s made a little healthier than the traditional version.
Growing up one of the things my mom kept on hand at all times was a frozen dinner of tuna noodle casserole. It’s what she would resort to when she was short on time and I was starving. I would pull the plastic layer off the little black tray watching the steam rise. I would dig into the blissful creamy goodness of tuna noodle casserole TV dinner land! I loved every second of it! Yes, my Gluten Free Tuna Noodle Casserole with Turnip Noodles isn’t quite as fast and convenient as microwaving a TV dinner, BUT it is every bit as delicious worth all of the effort.
Okay, so to make those cool, swirly looking turnip noodles – OR TOODLES, you know like ZOODLES (zucchini noodles)? Can that be a thing! “hi, I ate some TOODLES today!!” How fun would that be to tell people?! ANYWAYS to make some toodles….I meeeean turnip noodles you will need one of those super cool spiralizers! To make zucchini noodles you can use a vegetable peeler or julienne peeler, but a turnip is a tough veggetable, you need the power of the spiralizer to make it work. BTW in case you are wondering I have tried both the Paderno spiralizer and the Inspiralizer by Inspiralized – I highly recommend the Inspiralizer. It is much more user friendly. Trust me, you will make good use of a spiralizer if you get one – you could make toodles all day long! 😉
But how do turnip noodles taste?! They are slightly sweet, with a hint of nuttiness and spiciness, they mellow out in flavor as they are cooked. They work well in the tuna noodle casserole because they hold up nicely to the sauce and have a nice tender crunch to them. I can tell you that the turnip noodles do bring a different flavor and texture element to the tuna noodle casserole, but I don’t mind the swap one bit – especially when I know that I am getting a ton of veggies into my diet. Turnips are a great option because they are low in carbs and calories, high in fiber, and high in vitamin C. You go TOODLES, you go!
This Gluten Free Tuna Noodle Casserole with Turnip Noodles is packed with veggies: onion, mushrooms, crunchy celery, peas, and of course those turnip noodles. It’s also loaded with protein from the tuna. That cashew sauce though! It’s super creamy and luscious and gets lots of flavor from the white wine and tangy lemon juice, plus a hint of nutmeg for warmth. Cashew cream, you have stolen my heart!
I hope you enjoy this meal as much as we do. It’s hearty, yet healthy, comforting, warming, and satisfying. It would be perfect to make for when you have guests over for a cozy meal. It also reheats nicely so it is a great for meal prep.
If you are as obsessed with swapping soaked cashews for cream as I am for dairy free options try my Creamy Brussels Sprouts and Artichoke Dip, Gluten free Green Bean Casserole. For something sweet try my Vegan Cashew Frosting, and my Homemade Gluten Free Oreos!
Ha! I couldn’t resist!
- 2 tablespoons vegan butter
- 1 onion, chopped
- salt and pepper
- 12 ounces button mushrooms, sliced
- 3 celery stalks, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 medium turnips, peeled and ends trimmed off to be flat
- ½ cup frozen peas
- 10 ounces albacore tuna, crumbled with fork
- 2 teaspoons parsley, chopped
- 1 cup raw cashews, soaked for 6 to 8 hours (if short on time boil water and soak for 1 hour, allow to mostly cool)
- ½ cup dry white wine + more as needed (I used chardonnay)*
- ½ cup low sodium chicken broth
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2 teaspoons corn starch
- ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper, each
- ¼ to ½ teaspoon Freshly grated nutmeg
- BREAD CRUMBS
- ⅓ cup almond meal (or almond flour)
- ⅓ cup corn meal, medium ground
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Fresh parsley, minced, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 8x8 baking dish, set aside.
- Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter. Add the onions, sprinkle with a little salt. Saute until tender, about 3 minutes.
- Melt the remaining tablespoon butter and add the mushrooms. Saute until tender and caramelized, about 5 minutes.
- While the onions and mushrooms are cooking spiralize the turnips on blade B if using the Inspiralizer or a large noodle size if using another spirallize. Trim any real long noodles with kitchen sheers. Set aside.
- While the onions and mushrooms are cooking make the sauce.
- Drain the soaked cashews and add them to a high speed blender. Add the reminder of the sauce ingredients. Blend for 1 minute, or until it is super smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Set aside.
- Returning to the skillet with the veggies. Add garlic and thyme, saute for 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper.
- Turn the heat down to medium low. To the skillet stir in the frozen peas, tuna, and parsley. Then stir in the sauce and the turnip noodles.
- Cook for 3 minutes, allowing the sauce to thicken. If the sauce gets too thick stir in a little more wine or chicken broth.
- Transfer the filling to the prepared baking dish. and spread out evenly.
- BREAD CRUMBS
- In a small mixing bowl mix together all of the ingredients except for the olive oil together. Then stir in the olive oil until the mixture clumps and sticks together. If you need more moisture add a little water at a time.
- Use your fingers to spread the breadcrumbs on top of the casserole.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the topping is golden brown and the sauce is bubbling.
- Garnish with fresh parsley and serve immediately.
- Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 5 days. Re heat gently.
Cook time/prep time does not include time needed to soak cashews.