Pasta Week: Tuna Casserole - Sweet Potato Chronicles - Sweet Potato Chronicles

Pasta Week: Tuna Casserole

Happy Mon­day! So, this is spring? Um… am I miss­ing some­thing? Like sun­shine? Flow­ers? Sigh. This is an old post that got a snazzy new photo but it's also one of my favourite com­fort foods: Tuna Casse­role. I wrote this in Jan­u­ary of 2011. Sadly, the descrip­tion of the cold is still suit­ing. Oh, well, if it's gotta be cold, at least we can have casse­role! C.M.

It's cold in Toronto right now. Really, really cold. Like tights under your kid's jeans and then snow pants kind of cold. Sartre must not have had kids to say that hell is other peo­ple. Those of us who live with chil­dren know that hell is actu­ally other peoples's stuff. Hats, mit­tens (which will NEVER stay on no mat­ter what), scarf, snow­suit, boots… and that's for one child! Once you've cov­ered every frost-bitable sur­face of the chil­dren –which of course makes them whine and com­plain — and jol­lied them out­side for an activ­ity like sled­ding or snow­man mak­ing, you really want to come home to some­thing warm.

And for this we need com­fort food. SPC con­trib­u­tor and dear friend Heidi intro­duced me to this tuna casse­role almost a year ago. I've made it sev­eral times since and have been mean­ing to post it. But this week­end was a com­fort food emer­gency! It's a Rachel Ray recipe that I've mod­i­fied a bit in the name of health. But hon­estly, my nod to health is really just a glance. This one is not going to get you into heaven, except that it's easy and really delicious.


photo by Maya Vis­nyei

Tuna Casse­role

500 gram pack­age of short whole wheat pasta like penne
1 table­spoon olive oil
3  cups crem­ini mush­rooms, cleaned and sliced thin
1 leek, cleaned well and sliced thin
3 table­spoons flour
2 cups milk
1 table­spoon dijon mus­tard
1 cup frozen peas
1 table­spoon dried thyme
3 cans good qual­ity tuna, drained and rinsed (I've used 2 when I only had 2 and it was just fine)
1 1/2 cups Gruyere, grated


Turn broiler on to low heat.

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add penne noo­dles and cook until al dente and no more, about 8 minutes.

In a pan with olive oil, sautee mush­room and leeks until they begin to soften, about five minutes.

Sprin­kle flour over mush­rooms and leeks and stir. Allow to cook for about 1 minute. Whisk in milk and allow to thicken, about 3 to 5 min­utes. If the sauce isn't thick­en­ing, inch up the heat just a bit. Stir in mus­tard and sea­son with salt and pep­per after tast­ing. Add the tuna and frozen peas and thyme.

Once noo­dles are cooked, drain and add to the veg­eta­bles and stir. Turn off the heat. Pour the noo­dles and veg­eta­bles into a casse­role. Sprin­kle cheese over top and pop into the oven, close to broiler for 3 to 5 min­utes or until the cheese bub­bles and turns brown.



  1. Natalee says:

    oh gosh your baby is so beau­ti­ful. this looks great and I love tuna but usu­ally don;t like canned tuna because the meat is so often mushy. Do you have a brand you recommend?

  2. Ceri Marsh says:

    Well, to make it healthy you want to go with tuna packed in water but the most deli­cious is Unico packed in oil — soooo good. I did two tins of water packed and one in oil on that day.

  3. […] This post was men­tioned on Twit­ter by Ivy Knight, Brandy and Ceri Marsh, Ceri Marsh. Ceri Marsh said: Com­fort food heaven: tuna casse­role! […]

  4. margaret says:

    Will try this casse­role this week — looks yummy as does my del­ish grandson!

  5. David says:

    For the good, qual­ity tuna part you should check out Wild Planet's Alba­core Tuna. The com­pany fol­lows sus­tain­able prac­tices using the pole and troll method to catch the fish, which elim­i­nates bycatch. They also source smaller tuna from the North Atlantic, which means lower mer­cury! Great recipe!

  6. irene says:

    do you have an "email this recipe" option that i'm miss­ing? thanks

  7. CarolRenee says:

    How mar­velous! Reminds me of my own pre­cious mother, who used to make tuna casse­role when I was a child. Yum!

  8. paula says:

    It would be great if you made a prac­tice of men­tion­ing sus­tain­able choices, since many tuna (and fish) options are not the most sus­tain­able. Feed­ing our chil­dren health­ily should also include the health of the planet we live on.

  9. Julie says:

    It's late here and for the life of me I don't see where you add the tuna…Help! This sounds great.

  10. Ceri Marsh says:

    Hi Julie,
    You are com­pletely right — it wasn't there! This is what comes of seven years of sleep depri­va­tion! Thank you so much for point­ing it out. I've fixed it now. And now for another cup of cof­fee…
    Let me know if you try it!

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