|My Tuna Penne Casserole is a healthy, easy dinner.|
Nothing pleases me more than doing less work in the kitchen without sacrificing taste or compromising on health benefits of what I’m preparing. Casseroles are always one of my favorite ways to go because they are easy and a no-worry sort of main dish that requires a minimum of attention. They also are great when you have leftovers that you don’t want to waste to reinvent a fresh new dish. However, this is not the case today with the recipe that I want to share with you. My Tuna Penne Casserole has a lot of reasons why I love it.
Reason One: Tuna Penne Casserole is One of the Easiest Tuna Main Dishes Ever
Imagine how convenient it is to know that you won’t need to be chopping and frying onions and garlic as you often do for casseroles. You do have to fry some fresh mushrooms, but that is all the chopping and frying that you’ll need to do for this recipe.
The hardest part involved is lining up your ingredients, opening the cans of tuna, cooking up your penne pasta and basically measuring the ingredients before sending it to your oven.
Reason Two: My Tuna Penne Casserole is Healthy
Cooking healthy main dish courses can take thought and creativity before your family will welcome it as a regular part of your dinner menu. Some of what I make wins instant praise from the family to serve again while others get the thumbs down for one reason or another. My Tuna Penne Casserole was a big hit and the gang didn’t even realize it was packed with healthy nutritional benefits. Instead, they just noticed how velvety and rich the cream sauce was.
Ha, but I fooled them using plain, whole milk Greek yogurt. It has that luscious creamy texture that made it so tasty. At the same time, it provided a bounty of extra protein with 16 grams per serving, probiotics for gut health, plenty of B12, potassium, calcium, and was a lower calorie option to sour cream.
Tuna fish is another low-calorie protein bursting with vitamins, minerals and hardly any saturated fat in this recipe. I love cooking with tuna because it is a wonderful choice for helping lower cholesterol, reduce inflammation and what it can do to aid the body’s immune system. Nutritionally, you get a lot B vitamins like B12, niacin, vitamin B6, and riboflavin. You also get body building minerals like potassium, selenium, magnesium, and phosphorus.
Mushrooms are another food wonder that deserves attention with all their fabulous health benefits such as a great source of protein, fiber, B vitamins, calcium, selenium, minerals, vitamin C, and ergothioneine.
Olive oil to brown the mushrooms is an excellent way to increase omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and monounsaturated fats such as oleic acid to help lower bad cholesterol. It also has a phenolic compound called oleocanthal that can reduce inflammation.
Using extra virgin olive oil has even more health benefits. To be truthful though, I prefer the lighter taste of regular olive oil.
Parmesan cheese and milk are other ingredients that pump up food value with its protein, calcium and vitamins and minerals.
Reason Three: This Tuna Penne Casserole Is a Delicious Hit
In my opinion, creamy casseroles are such comforting foods. They seem to magically lift your spirits when you have a bad day by warming the stomach as well as the heart. My Tuna Penne Casserole does seem to have that power once you get your first taste. Maybe it is the slight tang of that cheese-yogurt sauce against the tuna that gives it that extra flavor to that smooth richness that makes this recipe so special along with mushrooms and penne pasta.
If you want, you can top this casserole with some dry breadcrumbs, more Parmesan cheese and some butter. I only do that when I have some stale bread that I want to get rid of to make crumbs or seasoned bread crumbs for cooking.
Reason Four: My Tuna Penne Casserole is Extra Satisfying
Something else that I honestly notice is how extra filling a serving of this casserole can be. You won’t be as hungry eating a serving with how much protein is packed in this recipe as you would be a similar tuna casserole. The real test is up to you to test it out and give it a try.
My Tuna Penne Casserole
8-oz. cooked penne pasta, elbow macaroni or noodles
2 cans tuna fish (7-oz. size), drained
1-1/2 cups plain, whole milk Greek yogurt
3/4 cup of milk
8-oz. fresh mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1-1/2 teaspoons of salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons of olive oil
For Cheese-Crumb Topping:
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup of dry breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons of melted butter or margarine
Heat the oven to 350-degrees.
Brown the sliced mushrooms in the olive oil.
Cook the penne or whatever pasta you want to use, then drain.
Stir in the tuna, mushrooms, yogurt, milk, salt, pepper and pour into an ungreased two-quart casserole.
Sprinkle the grated Parmesan cheese on top.
If you prefer, you can sprinkle the Cheese-Crumb topping on before proceeding to the oven.
Bake uncovered at 350-degrees for about 35-40 minutes or until your casserole is bubbly.