This Vegan Tempeh Tuna Casserole is lightened up, easy to prepare and incredibly delicious. Made with tempeh, dairy free cheese, mushrooms, peas and gluten free pasta. It’s the perfect healthy comfort food!
Winter is comfort food season!!
And nothing is more comforting then a good ol’ hearty bowl of creamy cheesy pasta.
This vegan version of the classic american dish is kinda the whole package: it’s budget friendly, high protein, easy and quick to prepare, meal prep friendly and it’s pretty darn healthy.
Yes, friends healthy comfort food is possible!!
Ingredients You Need for Vegan Tuna Noodle Casserole
What I love about this vegan tuna noodle casserole is that is uses mostly (if not all) pantry staple items! We’re basically taking the classic tuna noodle casserole and veganizing it by using tempeh instead of tuna and vegan cheese instead of parmesan cheese. If you wanted to make a soy free version or you don’t have access to tempeh, this recipe also works really well with chickpeas!
I also like to add in a good amount of vegetables like mushrooms and peas to bulk it up just a bit. Feel free to play around with the vegetables you add- I’ve also used corn and spinach and it’s delishh!
To keep this recipe gluten free, I used both gluten free bread crumbs and gluten free pasta but you can obviously use the non-gluten free version of both.
And lastly, to give this vegan tuna casserole some more flavour, we’re adding onions, garlic, nutritional yeast salt and pepper. You can also add in some other seasonings like thyme, mustard powder and smoked paprika for more flavour! I also really like to add miso paste because I find it adds a salty-umami flavour but it doesn’t break this recipe if you don’t have it.
How to Make Vegan Tuna Noodle Casserole
The nice thing about this Vegan Tempeh “Tuna” Casserole is that it’s actually pretty easy & quick to put together:
- If using vegan butter, mix it in with the bread crumbs. At this time, have the pasta cooking to save time!
- Crumble the tempeh (or mash the chickpeas) until it resembles something like flaked tuna.
- Fry the onions, garlic and mushrooms until lightly browned in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Add the seasonings and tapioca starch and cook for another minute. Then add in the cashew milk, miso paste and nutritional yeast. Continue to stir until there are no more lumps. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat and allow it to simmer until thickened.
- Melt in the vegan cheese and stir in the tempeh and frozen peas. If you find it too thick here, add in 1-2 tbsp more of cashew milk to thin it out.
- Mix in the noodles until everything is well covered. (If your sauce pan is too small like mine, pour the cheese mixture into the pot you used to cook the pasta).
- Transfer everything into a 8×8 inch baking tray.
- Top with bread crumbs. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned!
The result?! CREAMY. Savory. And SO full of flavour. Seriously, I can small the leftovers in the fridge right now. It’s so good, you’ll be excited to be eating meal prep!
How to Store Vegan Tempeh Tuna Casserole
- Leftovers: can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days. To reheat, place in a toaster oven safe dish and bake for 3-4 minutes until heated and tops are crispy. Alternatively, microwave for 1-2 minutes until heated through.
- To Make Ahead or Freeze: Cook the onions, garlic, mushrooms and cheese sauce as directed. Let it cool until room temperature and add an extra 1/3 cup of milk. Mix the sauce with peas, tempeh and pasta. Transfer into a baking dish and cover. Place in the fridge for up to 4 days or freeze. If frozen, allow it to thaw in the fridge overnight. Top with bread crumbs and then bake as instructed. Add 3-5 extra minutes as needed.
Helpful Equipment to Make this Recipe
More Delicious Vegan Bakes to Try!
If you recreate this Tempeh “Tuna” Noodle Casserole recipe let me know how you liked it by leaving a comment and rating below or by tagging me on Instagram @Okonomikitchen, I love seeing all of your tasty recreations!
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