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This hearty casserole calls for garbanzo beans instead of tuna, and mushrooms instead of the traditional can of salt-heavy Cream of Mushroom Soup. Perfect for “comfort food” night. There’s a no-nut option, as well.

From straightupfood.com

Ingredients

For the Sauce:
  • 2½ cups unsweetened, unflavored plant milk
  • ½ cup unsalted cashews (2 ounces)
  • 1 teaspoon granulated onion
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon kelp granules or kelp powder (optional, for a light seafood flavor)
For the Base:
  • 1½ cups uncooked elbow or small-shell pasta
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped (about 2½ cups)
  • 8 medium cremini or white mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 cups green peas (frozen and thawed, or canned)
  • 3 cups cooked garbanzo beans (or two 15-ounce cans, drained)

Instructions

  1. Place the plant milk, cashews, granulated onion, pepper, and kelp (if using) into a blender and set aside (so the cashews can soften).
  2. Cook the pasta in a soup pot according to the instructions on the package; drain and place the pasta back into the soup pot, off of the heat.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Add the onions and mushrooms to a skillet on high heat, stirring and cooking for 3 to 5 minutes until softened and lightly browned, adding a little water only as needed to prevent sticking. Add this mixture, as well as the peas, to the pot of cooked pasta.
  4. Place the garbanzo beans into a food processor and pulse just until the beans are broken down (but not mushy). If you don’t have a food processor, mash the beans with a potato masher. Add to the soup pot.
  5. Blend the sauce ingredients until smooth. Add to the soup pot and stir.
  6. Spoon into a 9 × 13-inch baking dish. Bake uncovered for 35 to 40 minutes, until the top is lightly browned.
  7. Note: For a lower-fat, nut-free casserole, replace the cashews with 1½ cups cooked cannellini beans (or one 15-ounce can, drained).

Comments (23)

(4.1 from 10 votes)
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Cathy4 months ago
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As with other reviews, I agree that this is very bland even with some of the add ins suggested. I loved tuna casserole and had high hopes but alas I won’t make this again.

Emily4 months ago
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I don’t like mushrooms. What could I use instead?

Forks Over Knives3 months ago
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Hi Emily,
Mushrooms add a savory umami flavor and meaty texture to replace the tuna, so the dish may be lacking without them. But you could try using shredded jackfruit instead to achieve a similar texture. We also have a full round up of casseroles so you can find one without mushrooms: https://www.forksoverknives.com/recipes/vegan-menus-collections/vegan-casserole-cold-nights/

Lisa Picklesimer5 months ago
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Gotta have olives in tuna noodle casserole!

Lisa Picklesimer5 months ago
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Also I used dulse for the fishy briny flavor.

Blanster6 months ago
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Like others have commented, it feels like it’s missing something. I added celery seed (helped a lot), Old Bay seasoning (should have added more), and I ground up two little sheets of seaweed snack (not enough). I also put Panko breadcrumbs on the top (a good addition). Bottom line, it’s kind of bland. Texturally it’s OK, it’s just missing a major flavor bump somewhere. I halved the recipe and I’m glad I did.

Tess1 year ago
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My 18 month old toddlers love this! It makes quite a bit, so I’m able to portion it out and pull some out of the freezer on busy evenings. Thanks for the recipe!

Jennifer1 year ago
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Great recipe, but needed some modifications. I added some Old Bay seasoning and some nutritional yeast to the sauce as suggested by another reviewer, and that really makes it. I also modified the noodle-to-chickpea ratio — I thought the noodle amount was a bit sparse (at least in my mind from childhood memories of the casserole classic). I also added a bread crumb topping using a couple slices of Dave’s Killer Bread. Delicious! This recipe is a wonderful jumping off point that just needs a couple tweaks.

Freda1 year ago
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I haven’t tried this, but someone said something was lacking, try some celery seed

Nicole1 year ago
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Just made this. It’s okay – kind of bland (tho maybe that’s my salt-liking tongue speaking) … and I’m not sure I liked the texture with the chickpeas (although maybe blended in with the sauce to make them smoother? ). I’ll make it again though, playing around with ingredients, because I would love to have a creamy casserole like this for comfort-food days 🙂

Lisa4 months ago
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The textures are all there for a perfect “tu-no” casserole, but found this super bland in flavor. Added nutritional yeast and salt to my dish when serving, but would definitely opt for loads more seasoning/flavor if I make this one again! Would even add a packet of onion soup mix instead of the onion granules in the sauce next time, would add the rich & hearty flavor that in my opinion is lacking from this dish! Would also make ahead to let all the flavors blend, hopefully more flavours come out as this one rests! 🙂

Jennifer Bennett1 year ago
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Do you drain the chick peas or leave the aquqfaba fluid in when you pulse them in the food processor?

Lee Miller1 year ago
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The instructions on the ingredient list says to drain the chickpeas.

Tammy1 year ago
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I can’t wait to try this recipe. Just wondering if a box of soft silken tofu can be used instead of nuts?

James1 year ago
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This was good but was lacking something, I just can’t put my finger on it. It was enough for some leftovers for later in the week & put a batch in the freezer. I have so many recipes to try don’t think I will make this again.

Beth S5 months ago
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If anyone is expecting this to taste like tuna, you will be sadly disappointed. Maybe it would have more of that “from the sea” flavor with a lot more kelp, but that would be too much iodine to consume. Like everyone else, I feel it needs more flavor, but it has a good feel. I would try again with some of the suggested seasonings.

Beth1 year ago
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I minced a sheet of nori and cooked it with the onions and mushrooms. I also added a crumb topping made with ground almonds and nutritional yeast. Delicious!

Lena1 year ago
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The blog gives nutritional information which is not included here, but should be.

Viv1 year ago
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Great recipe! Added 1/4 c nutritional yeast and 1 t old bay seasonsing. Didn’t need salt then. Was very good!
Thank you!

Viv1 year ago
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Oh and added 2 Tbs dulse flakes instead of seaweed etc. Very good.

Kathy1 year ago
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Very good— does need a little salt added tho

Grace2 years ago
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It tasted like tuna casserole, but it wasn’t as fishy. I used seaweed instead of kelp, i also added salt and pepper. very nice.

Kristina2 years ago
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I was nervous to try this because I don’t “love” chickpeas. Surprisingly, you don’t notice them!!! It oddly had the texture and flavor of the unhealthy version I loved as a child. I did add 1c of nutritional yeast and red pepper flakes. My kids loved it!!

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Tu-No Casserole

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Cathy Fisher

Cathy Fisher is the creator of StraightUpFood.com, a website offering free recipes and information on eating a whole-food, plant-based diet free of salt, oil, and sugar. She is also a cooking instructor, teaching classes at TrueNorth Health Center and the McDougall Program, both in Santa Rosa, CA. Cathy began eating a plant-based diet in 1999, and in 2016 published her first cookbook, Straight Up Food: Delicious and Easy Plant-based Cooking Without Salt, Oil or Sugar. Find her on Instagram and Facebook.

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