Traditional Tuna Casserole
M A K E S 4 S E R V I N G S
One of the more shocking findings for any new gluten-free cook is discovering that the old staple for tuna casserole-cream of mushroom soup-is off-limits because it gets its thick consistency from wheat flour. This version replaces the mushroom soup with a white sauce and spices that replicate the flavors of the original version. If you've never tried crushed potato chips on this dish, you'll like it. If you use any pasta other than Heartland's Finest, be sure to boil it for 5 minutes before adding it to the casserole.
This is probably not the classic casserole you remember from your childhood. It doesn't contain the customary wheat-laden cream of mushroom soup but this contemporary version gets its wonderful flavors from mushrooms, pimento, spices, and herbs. The bean pasta from Heartland's Finest works best because it holds its shape better during baking than other pasta brands.
½ cup chopped onion
½ cup chopped celery or 2 tablespoons dried celery flakes
1 cup gluten-free, low-sodium chicken broth, such as Swanson's Natural Goodness
1 cup 1% milk (cow's, rice, soy, potato, or nut), divided
¼ cup sweet rice flour
½ cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon wheat-free tamari soy sauce, such as Crystal or San-J
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme or ½ teaspoon dried
1 teaspoon salt
1 can (7 ounces) sliced mushrooms
1 cup frozen green peas, thawed
1 can (6 ounces) tuna in water, drained
1 cup gluten-free uncooked noodles, such as Heartland's Finest
1 jar (4 ounces) pimento, drained
1½ cups gluten-free bread crumbs, such as Ener-G or leftover Bread Crumbs
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese or soy alternative, such as Soyco
1 Place a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously grease an 8 × 8-inch glass or ceramic casserole dish.
2 In a large, medium saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add onions and celery and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add broth and ½ cup of the milk to pan. In a small bowl, stir sweet rice flour into remaining ½ cup milk until smooth and then whisk into mixture in pan, along with mayonnaise, mustard, soy sauce, thyme, and salt. Continue whisking until mixture thickens slightly.
3 Remove pan from heat. Stir in mushrooms, peas, tuna, uncooked noodles, and pimento. Transfer to prepared dish. (You may refrigerate it at this point to bake the next day or later that same day. If so, cover tightly with aluminum foil.) Sprinkle with bread crumbs. Top with Parmesan cheese. Lightly coat with cooking spray.
4 Bake 30 minutes or until sauce is bubbly and bread crumbs are browned. Remove from oven and let cool 5 minutes before serving. (Baking time will be extended if casserole is refrigerated.)