Sunday, June 15, 2014

Lighter Tuna Casserole with Vegetables

I love old school comfort foods even though I didn't grow up with most of them.  My family mostly ate Korean food for dinner with occasional take-out/delivery foods, spaghetti, and burritos.  My mom never made any of the old school casseroles; they're something I discovered as an adult.

One of the downsides to cooking is that you realize what goes into all those delicious dishes.  And butter, fat, and salt make everything taste good!  So this is a healthy spin on the classic tuna casserole dish.  It doesn't use canned soup and incorporates more vegetables.  It doesn't quite taste the same as the old school dish but it's really good in its own way.  And you can eat this satisfying and filling dish without any guilt (or at the very least minimal guilt)!

Servings: 3-5 (for me this is a 3 mealer, sometimes 2)\

1/3 cup low-fat (or nonfat) sour cream
2 tablespoons reduced fat mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried dill (or 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh dill)
8 ounces dried pasta (I used a whole wheat fusilli)
10 ounces tuna (drained and flaked)
1 large or 2 medium zucchini, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced (I cut mine a bit smaller)
2 large tomatoes, diced
3 celery stalks, finely chopped
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Cooking spray or oil for greasing casserole dish


  • Cook 8 oz noodles according to its directions until al dente.  Drain and set aside.
  • Spray or grease a casserole dish and preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a small bowl combine 2 tbsps mayonnaise, 1/3 cup sour cream, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp dried dill until well mixed.
  • In a large bowl combine 1-2 chopped zucchini, 3 chopped celery stalks, 10 oz tuna, and the cooked pasta.
  • Pour in the sour cream sauce and stir together until pasta mixture is well coated.
  • Pour pasta mixture into the casserole dish and bake uncovered for 25 minutes.
  • Take out the dish and top with 2 chopped tomatoes and 1 cup shredded cheese.  Put back in oven for an additional 5-7 minutes.
  • Season each dish with salt and pepper to taste.
And now for the pictures!

Any recipe here on Grubbin Pugs starts with pathetically sad begging pugs.  Here's one.
 And then there were two (and my shoes).
Anytime I bring out the cheese, Sunny and Rosy get really excited and hopeful.
Because of course I have to give them a teensy bit of cheese!  Rosy always does a little hopping dance as she waits for a sprinkle of cheese in her bowl.
Pop it in the oven and out comes some gooey cheese.  GOOEY!
"Psst!  Sunny she's done something magical to the cheese!  It smells even more amazing now!"
Lil beggars.
Life is all about perspective.  Two of my favorite things are pugs...

And food!
And with a little sprinkling of salt and pepper I'm ready to chow down!  None for the girls but they did get some cheese as I mentioned before and a tiny bit of leftover tuna from the cans.

No licks Sunny!
Put those tongues away!  Ok, time to take the bowl away before one of the girls manages to get a lick in.