Vegan tuna casserole recipe is easy to make even for the busiest mom. I love using Fusilli in this recipe because they are tough, but you can use your favorite pasta. The key ingredients for my vegan tuna casserole recipe are tomato, tuna, and pasta. The only difference is that we are not using real tuna.
For the vegan Tuna
My key ingredient is the Heart of Palm. You can buy the processed or canned heart of palm in your local store or online. Heart of palm is the inner core (growing bud) of specific palm trees and peach palms. It is a common vegetable in vegan stores. The vegetable has a salty taste, which resembles the taste of seafood. Use it in moderation because it is high in sodium.
On the bright side, the heart of palm is very low in Cholesterol, rich in dietary fiber, and a good source of Protein. It is a good vegetable for a healthy weight loss diet. In addition, the heart of palm is rich in Vitamin C, Iron, Calcium, Folate, Zinc, and other minerals.
2 cans Heart of palm – diced
For the tuna marinade
- 3-tablespoon soy sauce or tamari
- 3-tablespoon Nori flakes
- 1-teaspoon minced garlic
- Freshly squeezed lemon juice (1 lemon)
- 1 1/2 cup warm water
Mix the above ingredients well and add the resulting liquid to the diced heart of palm to marinade in an airtight jar. The longer they sit, the more intense the tuna flavor. Depending on how much tuna you want in this vegan tuna casserole recipe, you might have some leftovers. Just keep the leftovers refrigerated, and you can use them in any other recipe that calls for vegan tuna.
After an hour or so, drain the tuna and preserve the marinade. You can use it as a substitute for fish sauce.
The Tomato Sauce
If you don’t like too much sauce, use just a little and save the rest to use with other pasta dishes especially chickpea pasta.
- 1 red onion – finely diced
- 2 cans of chopped tomatoes
- 1-tablespoon garlic paste (you can also mince 3 cloves of fresh garlic)
- 1-teaspoon balsamic vinegar (you can also substitute with brown sugar)
- 1-tablespoon oregano
- 1-teaspoon chili flakes
- 1-tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2-tablespoon capers
- Salt and pepper to taste
Sweat the onions in oil under medium to high heat. Add your spices and garlic but be careful not to burn the garlic. Add your tomatoes and balsamic vinegar. The vinegar reduces the acidity in the tomatoes and adds a sweet taste. You can add brown sugar instead, but balsamic vinegar has more health benefits. Season your sauce with salt and let it simmer under low heat for 10 minutes or until thickened.
As the sauce simmers, pre-boil the pasta in salty water and drain before it cooks fully. The pasta will continue cooking in the casserole. Once the sauce thickens, add the capers and the chili flakes. Stir and add the tuna (without the marinade). Add the pre-boiled pasta and mix well.
Transfer the mixture into a casserole dish. Grate vegan cheese and garnish with tomato slices and your favorite herbs. I use basil and parsley.
Broil in your oven until the cheese melts and serve while hot.
Feel free to enjoy this vegan tuna casserole recipe as a single dish or use it in salads and as a pizza topping. You can also prepare the tuna and tomato sauce in advance and use them with other vegan recipes. If you get the sauce right, your vegan tuna casserole recipe will always be perfect.