Recently, I discovered an easy and delicious way to make gluten-free mac-n-cheese. We’ve always loved tuna casserole during the winter, but we haven’t had it in four years, aside from the Mrs. Leepers boxed dinner. Though we do enjoy that meal, it’s not the same as the Kraft mac-n-cheese version we used to make. Sometimes you just want an old favorite and luckily, many such dishes can be made gluten-free with a little tweaking.
Our tuna casserole recipe calls for prepared mac-n-cheese. We use Andean Dream quinoa/rice pasta and Kraft Cheesy Topping to make mac-n-cheese that pretty much mimics the Kraft version. Amy’s and Glutino brands sell frozen gluten-free mac-n-cheese and the Annie’s, Trader Joe’s and Mrs. Leepers product lines all offer gluten-free mac-n-cheese boxed dinners. Use whatever gluten-free mac-n-cheese you prefer.
For this batch of mac-n-cheese, I used a heaping tablespoon of the Kraft Cheesy Topping. It takes about 15 minutes to make the pasta dish and two minutes to mix in the soup and tuna. To save time, I’d thickened the soup the previous day. It takes about half an hour to thicken non condensed soup to the desired consistency for casseroles. We use Walnut Acres Portebello Mushroom soup but it’s not that easy to find. Healthy Choice makes a gluten-free cream of mushroom soup and Progresso’s Creamy Mushroom soup is now labeled gluten-free. This dish isn’t the healthiest around but serving sauteed asparagus as a side dish ups the health factor of the meal. If desired, you can add veggies directly into the casserole. Since the cooking time is so short, the veggies or add-ins need to be cooked beforehand.
To say we were impressed with this remade version of our old standby casserole is quite an understatement. It was at least as good as the gluten version we used to enjoy. The only difference was the absence of French’s fried onions and we were surprised that we didn’t really miss them. It’s always fun to figure out a way to convert gluten dishes into something safe and delicious to enjoy. It might take a while and some things might not turn out great the first (or second or even third) time around. But eventually most anything can be made deliciously gluten-free. It just takes practice and patience.
Gluten-free Tuna Casserole
- 4 cups prepared gluten-free mac-n-cheese
- 1 family sized pouch of tuna (packed in water)
- 1 can of gluten-free mushroom soup (I used the Walnut Acres brand thickened with cornstarch/water mixture *Progresso Creamy Mushroom is now labeled gluten-free)
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup skim milk (depending on creamy your mac-n-cheese is)
Once mac-n-cheese is prepared, stir in tuna and thickened mushroom soup. Pour mixture into lightly greased baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for approximately 30 minutes – or until bubbly hot. ENJOY!
Use cooked diced chicken instead of tuna. Use gluten-free potato sticks or potato chips flavored with onion powder for extra flavor. Use cream of celery soup instead of mushroom soup. Mix homemade gluten-free fried onions into the casserole and use some to top the casserole. Always make sure to choose gluten-free products for all ingredients.