Easy Tuna Potato Bake

Easy Tuna Potato Bake

The Spruce / Karen Hibbard

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 45 mins
Total: 55 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
355 Calories
26g Fat
10g Carbs
19g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 355
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 26g 34%
Saturated Fat 9g 46%
Cholesterol 63mg 21%
Sodium 739mg 32%
Total Carbohydrate 10g 4%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 19g
Vitamin C 4mg 19%
Calcium 157mg 12%
Iron 1mg 6%
Potassium 342mg 7%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Comforting, hearty, and simply delicious, this tuna and potato bake recipe is an easy-to-make and budget-friendly dish, perfect for busy weeknights. Packaged scalloped potatoes, canned tuna, and a succulent and creamy mayonnaise-based sauce create an irresistible dish that's hearty and filling. Some tangy cheddar cheese and a touch of mustard bring the flavors together in this layered casserole. A crispy bottom of potatoes and a layer of creamed tuna topped with a cheesy crust are all you need to feed a family in less than one hour. Serve your tuna potato bake with steamed broccoli, roasted asparagus, or a fresh green salad.

By using store-bought scalloped potatoes you are saving tons of time. The often overlooked canned tuna delivers a lot of protein and nutrition at a low cost—a 6-ounce serving of water-canned tuna has a whopping 40 grams of protein and just 5 grams of fat. Choose canned tuna that is packed in water if you want a lighter dish, or go for the oil-packed version for a heartier dish. In either case, choose a sustainably sourced tuna low in mercury. Using skipjack tuna is your best bet.


For the Potatoes

  • 5 ounces scalloped potatoes, plus milk, butter, and water as directed on the package 

  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced

For the Tuna

  • 3 tablespoons butter

  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 1/4 cups milk

  • 2 (7-ounce) cans tuna, drained and flaked

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise

  • 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese

  • 1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

  • 1 teaspoon prepared mustard

  • 1 dash paprika, optional

Steps to Make It

Cook the Potatoes and Onions

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Easy Tuna Potato Bake ingredients

    The Spruce / Karen Hibbard

  2. Prepare scalloped potatoes for baking, following package directions, adding sliced onion. Arrange the potato and onion mixture in a 2-quart casserole dish. Preheat the oven to the temperature indicated on the package of scalloped potatoes.

    Potatoes in a bowl, onions on a plate

    The Spruce / Karen Hibbard

  3. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Remove from oven and set aside.

    Potatoes and onions in a casserole dish

    The Spruce / Karen Hibbard

Make the Creamy Tuna

  1. In a saucepan over low heat, melt the butter. Stir in the flour, salt, and pepper.

    Butter, flour, salt, and pepper in a saucepan

    The Spruce / Karen Hibbard

  2. Gradually stir in the milk. Cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce has thickened and is smooth.

    Gravy in a saucepan

    The Spruce / Karen Hibbard

  3. Fold in the drained tuna.

    Tuna in a gravy mixture

    The Spruce / Karen Hibbard

Assemble the Casserole

  1. Pour the tuna sauce mixture over the potatoes.

    Tuna mixture poured over the potatoes

    The Spruce / Karen Hibbard

  2. In a bowl, combine the mayonnaise, cheese, hot sauce, and mustard.

    Mayonnaise, cheese, hot sauce, and mustard in a bowl

    The Spruce / Karen Hibbard

  3. Spread the cheese mixture over the tuna layer.

    Cheese mixture on top of the tuna mixture and potatoes

    The Spruce / Karen Hibbard

  4. Return the casserole to the oven. Bake, uncovered, for 10 to 15 minutes, until hot and bubbly. If desired, sprinkle with paprika before serving.

    Easy Tuna Potato Bake in a casserole dish

    The Spruce / Karen Hibbard

How to Store Tuna Potato Bake

  • Store any leftover casserole in the refrigerator, covered. Keep for three to four days and reheat in the microwave or oven at 350 F until hot.
  • Freeze leftovers in heavy-duty freezer bags or sealed freezer containers. Label the contents with the date and keep them for two to three months. Reheat the frozen portions in the microwave.

Substitutions and Variations

  • Swap the canned tuna for canned salmon, chicken, or turkey.
  • Use your scalloped potato recipe as the base for the tuna and cheese layers.
  • Include vegetables in the tuna potato bake such as frozen peas and diced carrots, steamed broccoli or cauliflower florets, or chopped asparagus.
  • You can spice up the tuna bake by adding more hot sauce or using pepper jack cheese rather than cheddar.
  • Serve the tuna potato bake topped with salsa or fresh pico de gallo.
  • Add some crushed potato chips or buttered breadcrumbs to the top layer for extra crunch.
Article Sources
The Spruce Eats uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. U.S Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. FoodData Central, "Tuna, Canned in Water." 1 April 2019.