Spaghetti Squash Tuna Noodle Casserole Boats
Published Oct 16, 2017, Updated Dec 08, 2022
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A healthy spin on a comfort food classic, these spaghetti squash tuna noodle casserole boats are filled with loads of creamy goodness and ample protein. Gluten-free, dairy-free, low-carb and paleo!
Healthy Tuna Noodle Casserole
I remember loving tuna noodle casserole as a kid, but I honestly haven’t had it in years. It makes sense considering tuna noodle casserole isn’t really known for being a health-focused meal. It’s more of a comfort food classic.
Anyhow, given the popularity of my spaghetti squash lasagna boats from last year I thought it would be fun to do a similar spaghetti squash boat recipe with tuna casserole. I’m so glad I had the idea, because this combo is so comforting and delicious. Maria and I both loved the recipe while testing it and Isaac was impressed when I served it up for dinner one night as well.
You can’t go wrong with creamy, noddle goodness… even if the noodles are a veggie!
I’m diggin’ this recipe for a bunch of different reasons. 1.) The casserole is served out of a spaghetti squash bowl, which is super fun and meals less dishes. LOVE! 2.) It’s super healthy — loaded with good for you ingredients, protein and healthy fats. 3.) The creamy mushroom sauce is completely dairy-free… made with coconut milk!!
While making the sauce, Maria and I couldn’t help but realize that it’d make a great soup on it’s own so we’ll likely be experimenting with a full blown mushroom soup recipe soon.
For the tuna we used two cans of Genova’s easy open albacore tuna packed in olive oil. Genova’s tuna tastes great, plus it’s wild-caught, non-gmo and Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified, which means the fish are responsibly caught by a certified sustainable fishery. Learn more about their new cans with the blue label and the MSC certification here.
For the topping we used gluten-free sprouted seed crackers, but you could also use almond flour crackers or another cracker you love. Store bought or homemade crackers will work. You certainly don’t need the crackers, but they add a nice crunch and a bit of texture to an otherwise soft and creamy dish.
My Favorite Way to Cook Spaghetti Squash
If you’re not making spaghetti squash boats, my favorite method of cooking spaghetti squash involves slicing it into rings and roasting it. It results in long spaghetti-like noodles and squash that isn’t watery! Check out my how guide for how to cook spaghetti squash.
More Spaghetti Squash Recipes to Try
- 22 Spaghetti Squash Recipes
- Spaghetti Squash Lasagna Bowls
- Tempeh Spaghetti Squash
- Pesto Spaghetti Squash
More Tuna Recipes to Try
- Sweet Potato Tuna Salad (No Mayo)
- BBQ Hummus Tuna Sandwich
- Lentil Tuna Salad
- Tuna Curry Bowl with Cauliflower Rice
- Broccoli Avocado Tuna Bowl
- Tuna Salad
- Tuna Stuffed Bell Peppers
- Tuna, Broccoli and Kale Caesar Pasta Salad
- Healthy Tuna Noodle Casserole
Be sure to check out all of the tuna recipes as well as all of the spaghetti squash recipes on EBF!
Spaghetti Squash Tuna Casserole
- 2 5 oz cans tuna drained
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 13.5 oz can coconut milk regular or lite
- 1 large yellow onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 cups sliced baby bella mushrooms
- ½ teaspoon pepper plus more to taste
- 1 teaspoon sea salt plus more to taste
- 1 medium-large spaghetti squash
- 1 cup frozen peas thawed
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
- pinch of nutmeg
- ½ cup crushed sprouted seed or almond flour crackers
- parsley for garnish
- Heat oven to 350°F. Chop spaghetti squash in half length wise, scoop out seeds with a spoon. Coat the inside of each half with a tiny bit of olive oil. Place on a baking sheet, cut side down and bake for about 40-50 minutes or until you can easily pierce a fork through the squash.
- While squash is baking, prepare your sauce by adding oil to a medium pot on medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, salt, pepper, cayenne and nutmeg. Cook, stirring often, for about 10 minutes or until onion and garlic are aromatic and translucent.
- Add mushrooms and cook until onions are browning a bit and mushrooms are soft.
- Add in coconut milk and cook on medium high until sauce has reduced in half, to the thickness of gravy. Be sure to stir the sauce often so that it doesn’t stick. This should take about 15-20 minutes. Once reduced, remove sauce from heat, add in thawed frozen peas and tuna. Stir to combine.
- By this time your squash should be fully cooked, or close to it. Remove squash from oven and let cool for 5-10 minutes before scraping the inside of the squash with a fork to remove the spaghetti-like strands.
- The cooked spaghetti squash may seem liquidy. If so, place in a fine-mesh colander to remove access liquid. Press strands down with a fork or spatula to really press it all out.
- Add drained spaghetti squash strands into the sauce mixture and toss to combine. Taste mixture and add more salt and pepper, if needed.
- Spoon spaghetti squash tuna mixture into the bottom of each squash half. Top each with 1/4 cup cracker crumbs.
- Bump oven temp to 375° and bake for 10 minutes, or until casserole is heated through and crackers are a little golden.
- Remove from oven, sprinkle with fresh parsley and enjoy!
- Bake in a Casserole Dish: Cook spaghetti squash (I recommend using my ring method). Combine cooked squash with sauce mixture and pour into a casserole dish. Top with crushed crackers and bake at 375°F for 15-20 minutes or until casserole is bubbly and heated through.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
It was super yummy and creamy and I loved it! But it was too spicy for the rest of the family. Kids couldn’t handle it and my husband doesn’t do spicy. Next time I’d really cut down on the cayenne and pepper.
I’m glad you enjoyed this recipe! And yes, you can definitely lower the amount of cayenne / pepper based on your taste preferences. Thanks for coming back to leave a comment + star rating, I appreciate it.
I just made this. I have not tasted it yet, but, it is grey so not very appetizing looking. I covered it with panko and butter. Will let you know the outcome 🙂
I had such high hopes for this recipe after reading the feedback. I followed the recipe exactly, something I do not normally do. I was very disappointed. It was kind of tasteless 🙁 and could barely taste any spice. I have to figure out what to do with what is left. Sorry.
Oh no!! I’m so sorry to hear that, Susan. And you didn’t skip or leave out any of the spices? You can always add in more spices based on your taste preference once it’s already cooked.
I don’t normally leave comments, but this recipe was so delicious, I had to leave a comment! I actually made this like a traditional casserole and used gluten free crackers for the top. The taste is incredible!
Ahh yay!! That makes me so happy to hear. I’m so glad this recipe was a hit. Thanks for coming back to leave a review, Tracy. I really appreciate it. 🙂
My husband was not very excited about this meal so I kept putting it off. Eventually, I needed to use the squash so I made this dish tonight and as expected- he went for seconds! It’s all the benefits of comfort food without the high calories. He said it felt very nostalgic. I will be making the lasagna version this weekend when my mom visits!
Ahh yay, I love hearing that!! So glad it was a hit!! So glad you finally got to make it and thanks for coming back to leave a review. I so appreciate it!
Absolutely love this recipe!! It’s warm and comforting, and I LOVE the cayenne used in the recipe – it adds such a tasty kick. My spouse and I are making this again tonight after it being such a hit the first time 🙂
Ahh yay!! So glad you loved this recipe, Kiran. Thanks for making it and for the review. I so appreciate it!
WAY too much pepper and salt! A half teaspoon of each will suffice.
Hi, Carol! You can definitely adjust the amount of pepper and salt to your preference. Thanks for making the recipe and coming back to leave a review, I’m glad to hear it was excellent otherwise!
We absolutely LOVE this recipe! I was very pleasantly surprised when my husband enjoyed it as much as I do. We’ve made it many times, and also enjoy your suggestions on cutting the spaghetti squash widthwise to roast…works wonderfully and is how I always prepare now.
Question: have you ever frozen this? Does it freeze well? Would it be best to freeze once completely baked, or prep, freeze, thaw, and then bake? I’d like to prepare for a friend
Hi, Granan. Thanks for making this recipe!! I don’t know how the texture would change so I probably wouldn’t recommend freezing this one, but if you do try it, let me know how it turns out!
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