Casseroles remind me of great dishes my grandparents and parents used to make me as a child. They are packed with flavor, warmth and good memories. Recently I have been making a lot of casseroles as this seems to be a winner meal with my 2 year old son and also my husband. My casseroles tend to be loaded with veggies and healthy food swaps making them a healthy and nutrient dense meal. As a cheap, easy and different way to incorporate heart healthy salmon onto our plates I decided to create a different take on a healthy tuna noodle casserole but with salmon instead. It was a big success as both my husband and son cleared their plates! So if you are looking for a family friendly, delicious and healthy meal my Salmon Noodle Casserole is a must try recipe!
I have always lived near the coast where seafood was plentiful. Now that I am in the mountains fresh fish has become harder to find. Canned salmon is one food I have been hesitant to try until now. I was surprised how this dish was not “fishy” as some tuna noodle casseroles can be. Also a big plus is that canned salmon is much lighter on your wallet, and having it in the form of a pantry item makes it convenient to throw dinner together in a flash.
Salmon is one of the top sources for omega-3 fatty acids and supplies a good dose of Vitamin D, calcium, protein, thiamin, niacin, Vitamin B6, selenium and Vitamin B12. Just 3 oz of canned salmon provides around 183 mg of calcium, 5.6 mg of niacin, 3.7 mcg Vitamin B12 and 465 IU of Vitamin D. Another good thing good about canned salmon is that it includes small bones that are extremely soft and edible. I was hesitant at first to include them but they really just melted into the dish, you could not even tell they were in there due to their soft texture. Salmon bones are a great source of calcium.
In this casserole I used onion, mushrooms, carrots, celery and frozen peas giving this dish a bountiful veggie serving. You can substitute any veggie you would like or that you may have on hand. I have made this with summer squash and also finely chopped broccoli in replace of the mushrooms and it turned out great.
**Quick Tip: I try to meal plan for the week most of the time. When I have a few hours I prep all my veggies for the week. This makes putting dinner together on a busy work night fast and less stressful.
I like chopping my veggies small as my 2 year old seems to tolerate the smaller pieces better. You can cut them whatever size you like, but just be sure your veggies are all about the same size for even cooking and that they are cooked most of the way through prior to placing them in the oven.
This dish can be eaten right out of the skillet; however I prefer to bake it to get that nice golden brown and crunchy topping. I simply spray my breadcrumb and herb mixture with a good dose of cooking spray instead of using butter to cut back on the unhealthy saturated fats.
So next time you are in the canned goods isle at the grocery store don’t forget to pick up some salmon to try in this healthy salmon noodle casserole!
Salmon Noodle Casserole
Author: Brittany Sparks
Makes 14 (1 cup) Servings
Prep Time: 35 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 60 minutes
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 Cups Carrots, Diced
1 Cup Celery, Diced (~2 large stalks)
1 Medium Onion, Diced
2 Cups Mushrooms, Chopped
2 Cups Frozen Peas
1 Tsp Garlic Powder
¾ Tsp Salt
½ Tsp Pepper
¼ Cup All Purpose Flour
4 Cups Non-Fat Milk
1 Cup Low Sodium Vegetable Broth
½ Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese + 1 Tbsp
2 (7oz) cans Salmon, Drained
8 oz Egg Noodles
1 Tbsp Parsley, Chopped
¼ Cup Plain Panko Breadcrumbs
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
In a large pot cook the pasta according to package directions.
Meanwhile in a large skillet heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the carrots, celery and onions and sauté for about 7 minutes or until the onions become translucent.
Add the mushrooms and cook for an additional 4 to 5 minutes or until they are cooked down.
Add the garlic powder, salt and pepper and flour. Stir to combine and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
Add the milk, broth and ½ cup of the Parmesan cheese, stir to combine. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and let simmer for 10 minutes stirring occasionally.
Add the canned salmon, peas and cooked pasta. Stir to combine. Transfer to a baking dish.
In a small bowl mix the breadcrumbs, parsley and 1 tablespoon of the Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle the mixture on top of the casserole. Spray the top of the casserole with cooking spray.
Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes. Serve immediately.