Tuna, Cheese, and Rice Casserole

Tuna and Rice Casserole
Tuna and Rice Casserole. Diana Rattray
    35 min
Ratings (10)

This cheesy and delicious tuna and rice bake is the answer to mealtime blahs, and the whole family will be happy. Cook the rice the day before to make preparation even faster.

I made this again recently and added some diced pimiento for extra color and flavor.

What You'll Need

  • 1/4 cup minced onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped celery
  • 6 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cups milk
  • 8 ounces shredded Sharp cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1 can (7 ounces) tuna, drained and flaked
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups cooked frozen or canned peas, drained
  • 2 tablespoons diced pimiento, optional
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • 4 cups hot cooked rice
  • 1 cup fresh bread crumbs

How to Make It

Heat the oven to 400 F (200 C/Gas 6). Butter a 2-quart baking dish.

In a large skillet over medium-low heat, cook onion and celery in 4 tablespoons of butter until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in flour, pepper, and dry mustard. Continue cooking, stirring, until smooth and just bubbly. Add Worcestershire sauce and gradually stir in milk. Cook, stirring, until thickened. Add about half of the cheese to the sauce mixture; stir until melted. Add flaked tuna and peas. If desired, stir in the pimientos. Taste and add salt, as needed.

Spoon half of the hot rice into the prepared baking dish and spread about half of the remaining cheese over the rice; top with half of hot tuna mixture, then repeat layers. Melt remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and toss with the bread crumbs. Sprinkle crumbs over the top.

Bake in the 400° oven for 20 minutes or until the bread crumb topping is lightly browned and the casserole is bubbly around the edges.

Reader Comments and Suggestions

"I make this casserole frequently. I like that the recipe doesn't call for canned soup. It's easy and so tasty. I love what the bread crumbs add to the texture. I make it exactly as written, except when I don't have sharp cheddar on hand I use regular and add a bit of salt to the sauce.' M.H.

"I made this for the first time this evening for my family. However, instead of the rice, I used broad egg noodles. I also combined extra-sharp cheddar cheese with processed American cheese slices and combined evaporated milk with regular milk. Last, I topped off the casserole with crushed potato chips instead of bread crumbs. I didn't add peas. It was a very tasty meal. Everyone had seconds. There was hardly any casserole left." M.W.

"This tuna rice meal is superb! As we are basil lovers I replaced the celery with fresh basil leaves, mixing it in the sauce after pouring the milk, and it was excellent. I decided to leave out the buttered bread crumbs to make the meal "lighter" and nobody seemed to miss anything. Using fresh tuna is a healthier option, cooking the chunk of fish in water, oil, and salt for a while (just until the water boils) until it is no longer red in color. I have saved this recipe in my 'quick and yum' file to make it again in the future. Thanks for that." Emily

"This recipe is easy and doesn't take a lot of time. It contains ingredients that you usually already have in stock, which means a lot to me because I hate going to the store more often than I have to. The only thing I did differently was to add two 6-ounce cans of tuna instead of one 7-ounce can. One can didn't seem like quite enough. I would recommend this recipe!"  jet

 

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