As far as I’m concerned, low carb casseroles really should be a food group, and this low carb tuna casserole is here to prove it!!
When I was a child I went through a stage where I would ONLY eat tuna casserole (sound familiar?). It was all I wanted for dinner even though I had no concept of -low carb fish recipes …
Well, I still love tuna casserole only now it’s one of my FAVORITE low carb recipes — truly, this one is a highly requested family favorite in our house! This low carb tuna casserole recipe makes some awesome low carb dinners that take me back to my wonder years.
I love that this low carb tuna casserole is so quick and easy to make! It tastes sooo much better than anything that comes out of a box (if you know what I mean). Believe it or not, even the kiddos will love this. It’s creamy and decadent and healthy as all get out!
Here’s some other great reasons to love it:
- VERY low carb
- Creamy and decadent
- It’s a sneaky way to eat fish!
- Wholesome everyday ingredients
- Optional crunchy topping
Making this low carb tuna casserole recipe is super easy, and you’re gonna’ be surprised at how awesome it tastes!
Here’s everything you need to know:
Healthy fish recipes often get overlooked on the carb conscious menu but they’re a super healthy alternative to the same ‘ole, same ‘ole. You may even already have everything you need to throw together this low carb tuna casserole recipe. Check it out:
Veggies – Mushrooms and onions help give this low carb tuna casserole recipe extra flavor and texture, but you’ve got to sauté them first. Sautéing the veggies before adding them to recipes brings their sweeter more mellow flavors to the forefront.
Heavy Cream – The cream makes this casserole so decadent. It blends all the veggies and cheese for a dreamy cohesive flavor profile.
When you’re reducing your cream, you’re looking for a gentle simmer. You’ll be working over low heat with very little activity in the pan to preserve the integrity of the cream. High heat ruins the cream.
Xanthan Gum – This thickens the casserole so it isn’t a liquidy blob! The beauty of xanthan gum is that you can thicken recipes with far less of the ingredient than when you thicken with cornstarch or flour, which means, you’re adding fewer carbs to the recipe!
Canned Tuna – You’ve gotta’ have tuna – it’s a tuna casserole! I like to use albacore, but traditional canned tuna works too.
Cabbage – Fresh cabbage has a sort of neutral flavor that doesn’t overpower the low carb tuna casserole recipe and it has a ton of health benefits! We’ll be using this instead of noodles — Trust me, it’s delish!
Pork Rinds – These are optional, but they don’t have any carbs and they give your low carb tuna casserole recipe a nice crunchy topping that really takes it to the next level! I ALWAYS use them!
Tools To Make
Making this low carb tuna casserole recipe is a cinch and you don’t need a bunch of crazy stuff! Here’s what you need to know.
- Oven Safe Skillet – for cooking & baking your low carb tuna casserole
- Rolling Pin or Plastic Cup – Optional to grind pork rinds into a tasty bread crumb size topping
It’s best if you use a high-quality heat-safe skillet that can go into the oven. That way you’re not dirtying up extra dishes to wash! Besides, they distribute heat more evenly to help prevent burning.
When tummies are full and satisfied and there’s still some low carb tuna casserole left, it’ll have to go into the fridge. Simply transfer the leftovers to an airtight container first.
Can You Freeze This?
Yes! As with most casseroles, this recipe freezes beautifully! I like to divide this into servings in resealable bags for preportioned meals.
Meal Prepping Tips
This yummy low carb tuna casserole recipe is one of those healthy dinner ideas that I tend to crave, especially after I have it once. I like to whip up a batch of this stuff and portion out some healthy dinners. Then the rest goes into the freezer in single-serve containers that I can grab when the mood strikes.
There are several ways you can change this low carb tuna casserole recipe to get some awesome new flavors. Here are a couple of suggestions.
- Switch out the cheddar for mozzarella for righteous cheesiness
- Substitute cauliflower rice for the green beans for a new twist
- Use canned salmon instead of tuna to take things to another level
- Try adding chopped squash in place of the mushrooms for something really different
How Can I Add More Veggies?
This low carb tuna casserole recipe is so loaded with veggies there isn’t much room for anything else!
I think the veggie, to sauce, to protein ratio is just right in the recipe below — but I know some of you will want to modify, so here are a few ideas…
Amp up the number of veggies added, or substitute your favorite veggie instead of cabbage — just be sure to cook your vegetables first so they don’t fill the casserole with liquid. I prefer mild-tasting veggies in this casserole, so they don’t overpower the creamy sauce and cheese.
For example, you can replace the cabbage with cauliflower rice (very mild flavor!) — cauliflower rice casserole is always a hit in our house, and with all that creamy sauce, it’ll be a loaded cauliflower casserole no one can resist!
If you’re really looking to up the nutrition ante, simply increase the amount of any veggie used in the dish (keep in mind, this will also increase the carb count)! Cabbage, mushrooms, or green beans (a protein-packed low carb green bean casserole would be DELISH!).
Can I Use Different Types Of Meat?
I totally understand that not everyone is a fan of tuna fish. If you’re more of a meat type of person, simply substitute the tuna for your protein of choice! Just be sure to cook it before adding it in…
How Can I Make This Healthier?
Making this casserole healthier would depend on what you mean by healthier…
- Dairy-Free? This dish wouldn’t be the same without cheddar and heavy cream, so I wouldn’t recommend it.
- Skip the pork rinds? Absolutely, I love the texture of a crunchy topping, so I would swap this ingredient instead of skipping it. You can also try something like roughly chopped nuts for a little crunch.
- Using more nutrient-dense veggies? I like the veggies as is, but if you’d like to swap, go for it (as mentioned before, I suggest a swap rather than adding more veggies). Turn this into a low carb squash casserole by swapping mushrooms for summer squash. A spaghetti squash casserole by subbing spaghetti squash for cabbage. Or replace any veggie with cauliflower (florets, not pureed — save that for your low carb shepherd’s pie).
Can I Make This Spicy?
I just love spicy! There’s a little tabasco in this low carb tuna casserole recipe but it’s not enough to give it any heat. It just ups the flavor ante a little.
When you’re in the mood for something with a little extra zing, feel free to mix in your favorite spices, try cayenne pepper or add a bit more tabasco! Check out this low carb Mexican casserole or this low carb taco casserole for some spice mix inspiration.
Can I Swap The Cheese?
You can, but I wouldn’t recommend it. Cheddar is a classic in this dish as it adds that sharp and delicious flavor. If you’re looking for cheesy casseroles that use a milder cheese like mozzarella, opt for zucchini lasagna or cabbage lasagna instead!
Low Carb Tuna Casserole
- 2 Tablespoons Butter
- 2 Cups Mushrooms sliced
- 1/2 Yellow Onion chopped
- 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
- 1/4 Teaspoon Pepper
- 1 Cup Heavy Cream
- 1/2 Teaspoon Tabasco
- 1 Teaspoon Thyme fresh
- 2 Cups Cabbage shredded
- 3 Cups Cheddar divided
- 1 Cup Green Beans diced
- 3 - 5 Oz Cans Albacore Tuna drained
- Pork Rinds optional
- Preheat oven to 425 F.
- Add butter to a large heat-safe skillet, over medium heat.
- Once melted, add mushrooms, onions, salt, and pepper, and saute until soft - about 10 minutes.
- Add heavy cream, Tabasco, and thyme. Reduce the heat so the cream comes to a gentle simmer (high heat will ruin the cream). Cook veggies in cream until the cream has reduced by half, and the white sauce coats the back of your spoon - about 15 minutes.
- Stir in cabbage, and cook in cream until wilted - about 5 minutes,
- Remove skillet from heat, and add 1 cup of cheddar, green beans, and tuna. Stir to incorporate.
- Taste test to see if it's salted to your taste. I usually add an additional 1/2 teaspoon of salt here.
- Sprinkle with the remaining 2 cups of cheddar.
- OPTIONAL (but adds a much-welcomed crunch! We always do this.): Place pork rinds in a sealed zip lock bag, and pound with a rolling pin, until the pork rinds are bread crumb sized. Sprinkle on top of your casserole.
- Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until the cheese on top starts to bubble and the casserole is heated through.
- Allow casserole to cool slightly before slicing, and enjoy!
I think healthy casseroles just make life easier. It’s an easy way to feed a hungry crowd and they’re pretty convenient for meal prep too!
If this low carb tuna casserole recipe inspires you, here are some other recipes you may want to try:
- Low Carb Cheeseburger Casserole – who says you need a bun?
- Low Carb Pizza Casserole – pizza and a movie anyone?
- Zucchini Enchiladas – a guaranteed family favorite!
- Healthy Breakfast Casserole – a rich satisfying meal that comes together easily.
- Low Carb Breakfast Casserole – The perfect breakfast-for-dinner recipe!
I absolutely love reliving my childhood with this rich and creamy low carb tuna casserole recipe. It’s so easy to make and the cheesy goodness is out of this world. I like the extra crunch factor too because it just gives it that something special.
Let me know what you think in the comments below, and enjoy!