10 Great Casseroles on a Budget

Enlightened Tuna Casserole
Inexpensive tuna is this casserole's base ingredient.
Inexpensive tuna is this casserole's base ingredient.

Yield: 4 servings

Available for less than 25 cents per ounce, canned tuna is a fantastic protein source that won't break the bank. It's also a really healthy one, low in fat and high in essential fatty acids. If you go the "chunk light" and store-brand route rather than the brand-name, solid-white-Albacore route, you'll be paying even less for this casserole's base ingredient.

Get cooking!


  • 4 ounces uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
  • 11/2 cups heated fat-free reduced-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 pouches (3 ounces each) albacore tuna
  • 1/2 cup fat-free cottage cheese
  • 1 teaspoon ground paprika
  • Fresh dill sprigs (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a 2-inch-deep 8-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Cook macaroni according to package directions until just tender; drain and set aside.
  3. Place oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion; cook and stir 3 minutes. Add celery and bell pepper; cook and stir 3 minutes. Sprinkle flour, thyme and pepper over vegetables; cook and stir 1 minute. Gradually stir in hot broth; cook and stir until thickened. Remove from heat.
  4. Add macaroni, tuna and cottage cheese to skillet; stir until macaroni is coated. Scrape tuna mixture into prepared dish; sprinkle with paprika.
  5. Bake, uncovered, 20 to 25 minutes or until hot. Garnish with 4 dill sprigs.

(For nutritional information, see TLC Cooking.)

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