With the weather here in Toronto getting a little cooler each day, my body has been really starting to crave alllll the comfort foods - from soups to chilis, to pasta dishes, or basically, anything smothered in cream sauce.
Although I’m a fan of ‘everything in moderation’, indulging in comfort food all winter doesn’t really sound like the kind of balance I’m looking for.
So, as a certified personal trainer and soon-to-be registered holistic nutritionist, I love being able to take my favourite comfort foods and give them an easy and healthy twist. That way, I can still enjoy all of the foods I love - without having to compromise on my health or body goals.
This Healthy Tuna Chickpea Noodle Casserole is exactly the kind of chilly-weather, healthy “comfort food” I’m into this season. It’s high in protein (from the chickpeas and tuna), contains lots of nutrient-rich veggies (like mushrooms, onions and zucchini) and is smothered in a cheesy, delicious cream sauce that tastes like heaven.
Did I mention that it also makes the perfect meal prep for those busy weekdays? I don’t think I could ever get tired of eating this throughout the week!
(PS - If you're looking for more easy meal prep ideas, you'll love my meal prep cookbook, Prep For Success! It's filled with 10 weeks' worth of meal preps that you can whip up in just under 2 hours for the entire week. You can also grab it in paperback or Amazon kindle too.)
Trust me here - this is definitely a recipe you’re going to want to have on repeat.
Recipe + directions available below!
3 tbsp butter
1 tsp oregano
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
½ cup parmesan cheese
2 medium zucchini, grated
1 medium onion, chopped
454g cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 ¾ cup unsweetened nut milk
1 cup breadcrumbs
1 package Chickapea organic spirals
240g canned tuna in water, drained and rinsed
Salt (to taste)
Preheat oven to 350F.
Bring a medium pot filled halfway with water to a boil. Throw in chickpea pasta and cook until it’s al dente. (So that there’s a slight bite to it.)
Meanwhile, place a skillet over Medium-High heat and add 1 tbsp butter. Once melted, add in onions and mushrooms and saute until fully cooked. Then, pour it into a separate bowl.
Using the same skillet, now emptied, add in the remaining butter. Once it is fully melted, add the flour and mix quickly until it thickens into a paste.
Next, while stirring continuously, slowly add in nut milk in small increments, ensuring that the paste starts to thin out evenly. Once all of the milk is poured in, make sure to whisk out all of the lumps so that it’s perfectly smooth.
Once you have a smooth, consistent and creamy sauce, add in garlic, parmesan and freshly cracked black pepper (you can add more if desired!) and stir vigorously until the cheese has completely melted into the sauce.
Once the pasta has completely finished cooking, drain and pour into a large casserole dish. Add in your cooked mushrooms and onions, raw zucchini and tuna and mix until fully combined. Pour in the cream sauce and mix again until everything is evenly dispersed and coated. Top casserole with breadcrumbs.
Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes, ensuring that the breadcrumbs are golden on top. Serves 6.