Comforting, nostalgic, and delicious, this Vegan Tuna Casserole is a healthy take on a family favorite. Comforting, nostalgic, and delicious.
- 12 oz vegan egg noodles (or any pasta, GF if needed)
- ¾ cup frozen or fresh peas
- 1 small onion, diced
- 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 ribs celery, thinly sliced
- 2-3 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
- ¼ cup breadcrumbs (GF if needed)
- 1 16-oz block (about 396g) soft/medium/firm tofu (see note 1)
- Juice of 1 medium lemon
- ¼ - ⅔ cup unsweetened non-dairy milk (use as needed)
- 2 tbsp miso paste (sub sea salt if soy-free)
- 4-6 tbsp nutritional yeast, to taste
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- ½ tsp turmeric, optional
- ¼ tsp black pepper, optional
- 1-15 oz can (or 1.5 cups) chickpeas, drained (see note 2)
- 1/4 cup tahini (or vegan mayo or cashew butter)
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 tbsp dulse flakes (see note 3)
- 1 tsp ume plum vinegar (see note 4)
- Preheat: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (or 218 degrees C).
- Cook the pasta: Start by putting on a pot of water to boil for pasta. Cook the pasta according to package directions until it’s almost totally cooked, but just shy. It will finish cooking in the oven.
- Make the vegan tuna: Mash your chickpeas with the back of a fork. If you find them hard to mash, microwave them for a minute or two to soften them. I like to mash them so that there are no whole chickpeas but they're not completely pulverized. Mash to the consistency you like. Mix in the rest of the ingredients for the vegan tuna and set aside.
- Cook the veggies: If you want to saute your onions and garlic, which I recommend, start that in a separate pan now. Saute the onions and celery over medium high heat for 3-4 minutes or until the onions are translucent. If you don’t cook with oil like me, just add a splash of water every now and then so they don’t stick. If you use oil you can go ahead and add that first. After the onions are translucent, add the garlic and saute for another minute. Then throw in the peas and allow to cook for 5 minutes, until the celery is bright green and the peas are no longer frozen (or a bit soft, if using fresh peas).
- Make the sauce: Make the cheese sauce in the blender. Only add as much non-dairy milk as you need to get it blending, otherwise the sauce can get too runny.
- Assemble: Finally, let’s assemble the vegan tuna casserole. Add the drained noodles back to the pot and mix in the sauce. If you prefer your veggies to be coated in sauce (great for little ones), add them in now and stir everything well. If you prefer the veggies not to be totally coated, add them on top of the pasta after it’s in the baking dish. So, put that cheesy pasta in your baking dish. Now add the tuna in an even layer all over the pasta. I like to use a cookie scoop for this. Finally, add some parsley and your breadcrumbs (or vegan parm).
- Bake: Bake for 15-20 minutes. You can also broil it for 3-5 minutes at the end if you’d like the top to get nice and crispy (I did).
- Serve: Serve with fresh parsley and maybe some cracked black pepper and enjoy!
- Store: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
- Note 1: Firm, medium, soft, doesn’t matter, just adjust the amount of unsweetened (ask me how I know, haha) non-dairy milk you add accordingly. Silken tofu may not require any non-dairy milk, you’ll just have to see. You can sub soaked cashews, sunflower seeds, or white beans if you can’t have soy.
- Note 2: My vegan tuna is chickpea-based like many others… chickpeas just have a great texture. White beans like white navy beans or Great Northern beans will work but they won't have the exact same texture. You can use canned or cooked-from-scratch chickpeas. If you cook them from scratch you may need to add more salt to get that tuna fish flavor.
- Note 3: Dulse flakes are a type of seaweed, and they come in a bottle or bag like seasoning. If you do not like seaweed I promise this recipe does not taste like seaweed, nor is there much of a texture of seaweed since the flakes are so small. To replace them, you can use kelp seasoning, torn up nori sheets, capers (I'd mash them up), or yellow/white miso paste. If you don't like seafood, omit this and use any spices you like.
- Note 4: Ume plum vinegar is a magically delicious vinegar made from Japanese umeboshi plums. It's so good but if you can't find it, you can add a little salt to white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar.
- Note 5: You can use any veggies you like. Chop up some broccoli, thinly slice carrots, throw in frozen veggies--whatever you and your kids or partner or guests enjoy will work great.
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Category: Entree
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: Vegan, Oil-Free, Nut-Free, Sugar-Free, Can be Gluten-Free, Can be soy-free, Vegan Tuna Casserole, Vegan Tuna Noodle Casserole