Make a Tuna Noodle Casserole You WANT to Eat (Paleo/Whole30/Gluten-Free/Dairy-Free)

IMG_9222So if I asked for a show of hands the people who just LOVE tuna noodle casserole, you and I both know the response would be far from overwhelming. There’s just something weird about egg noodles, mayo and peas. I don’t know. And let me tell you as a kid, I would never have touched it. So why did I dream about it during a nap last week? Because of the amazing dressing it’s made with! Let me tell you…it MAKES this dish!


While I was visiting my sister in Hood River, Oregon, I had the pleasure of meeting and spending some time with her sweet Canadian visitor, Linda. She was in Hood River for yoga training and along with her Canadian charm and great yogi tricks, she brought magic sauce to the table. Okay, she called it Glory Bowl dressing – but to me, it was magic sauce.  I didn’t have the recipe so trying to remember what she had said I made my own, and I can’t stop eating it. On everything. So first things, first. Make your magic sauce! You’ll be glad you did, because after you make your tuna noodle casserole, you’ll have plenty leftover!

Magic Sauce and Dressing

1/2 cup tahini

1/4-1/2 cup water

1/4 cup light olive oil

2 cloves garlic, chopped

2 tbsp lemon juice

2 tbsp coconut aminos

2 tbsp nutritional yeast

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1/2 tsp cumin

Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth! The amount of water you use will depend on how you want to use your sauce. If it’s more for a dressing, use more water (or oil). If it’s for dipping vegetables in, use less! Pour into a jar and store in the fridge for 2-4 weeks!

IMG_9222Back to the casserole. I like tuna okay, but it’s not my favorite. So when I thought to (or dreamt about) drenching it in magic sauce, I knew I could give it hope and meaning.

IMG_9208Your magic surprise ingredient is cabbage! Simply preheat your oven to 400 degrees, slice the cabbage and drizzle coconut oil all over it – seasoning it however you’d like (I use salt, pepper and garlic powder).


Roast for about 30 minutes! Check on them though, it’s easy for them to burn on the edges!

IMG_9211When they are soft and becoming translucent, they are done. Use a fork to pull apart all the layers, making cabbage “noodles.” You can use these for pad thai, curry, anything you would use noodles in! Especially, tuna noodle casserole!

IMG_9221Sorry I know that doesn’t look very pretty. I promise it’s delicious and I may or may not have had two servings for lunch yesterday. One hot and while sitting down at the table like a normal person and one just straight from the tupperware container, standing up in front of the fridge. No shame.

This dish is super creamy and flavorful, you would never guess that it’s dairy free. And for the record, I took out the peas. No one wants that. Well if you do, feel free to put them back in. I’ll try not to judge you.

Not Your Mama’s Tuna Noodle Casserole

Serves 2-4

2 cups cabbage noodles (see directions above)

1/2 cup Magic Sauce (see above)

2 cans of tuna (5-6 ounces, whichever kind you like, I prefer Trader Joe’s albacore in olive oil)

1/2 cup olive oil

1 white onion, chopped

1 bell pepper,  chopped

1-2 tbsp bacon fat

1/4 cup sliced black olives

green onions, sliced (optional)

Prepare your cabbage and throw it in the oven (see above). While that’s baking, heat your bacon fat in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add your veggies and sauté until cooked through. Remove from heat and set aside. When your cabbage is done, reduce the oven to 350 degrees and prepare a 9×9 baking dish with olive oil or bacon grease.

When your cabbage noodles are ready, combine all your ingredients in a large bowl and stir well. I add the olives last so they stay intact. Pour everything into your prepared baking dish and bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until it starts to brown on top.

Serve with chopped green onions and enjoy!


100% Grass-Fed Beef and Free-Range Turkey Sticks


23 thoughts on “Make a Tuna Noodle Casserole You WANT to Eat (Paleo/Whole30/Gluten-Free/Dairy-Free)

  1. Have just spotted this via G+ on Chowstalker and OMG this sounds simply stunning. This is on my MUST MAKE LIST this week!!! Brilliant! Thank you for creating such a wonderful recipe and sharing it with us out in paleo/primal land!! 😀

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  4. I LOVED THIS!!! I could eat this over and over again. I made the magic sauce and was wondering if you had other suggestions for use?? I love the sauce too!!!

  5. This is on my list to make this Friday, as it is so hard to find non-meat dishes that everyone in my family enjoys! This looks so yummy, I’m hoping that my husband who doesn’t particularly like too many veggies will like this. I’ll let you know how it goes!

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  8. Where does the 1/2 cup olive oil come into play? Am I missing something? Or is that what you drizzle over cabbage when roasting? Thanks!

    • Hi Andrea! The olive oil is included in the “combine all ingredients” part of the directions, it adds a little moisture to the casserole on top of the magic sauce, but you can omit it if you would like!

  9. I have to admit, making this this morning, the ingredients… I wasn’t sure. It sounded kinda weird. But I made it anyway. And loved it!! Thanks for the recipe! I’ll be looking for ways to use up the sauce too, other than just eating it off the spoon! lol

  10. Hi SarahLynn – Although it’s been a while since you posted this, I just wanted to add my thanks for this recipe – especially the magic sauce. If other people are like me and hate doing dishes, I wanted to note that you can also make this recipe all in one cast iron pan. In a pan on medium on the stove top, first cook the “noodles” until they’re soft in a little coconut oil, then add the veggies (you can also add bacon grease here, although I found it delicious without), when those are cooked add the sauce and fish and olives. Then pop the whole pan in the oven to bake for a bit.

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