Tuna, Cheese, and Rice Casserole

Close up of Tuna and Rice Casserole

The Spruce / Diana Rattray

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 25 mins
Total: 35 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
987 Calories
32g Fat
136g Carbs
35g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 987
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 32g 41%
Saturated Fat 17g 86%
Cholesterol 91mg 30%
Sodium 789mg 34%
Total Carbohydrate 136g 49%
Dietary Fiber 7g 24%
Protein 35g
Calcium 463mg 36%
*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.)

This cheesy and delicious tuna and rice bake is your mealtime answer when you're not sure what to make for dinner and don't have much in the pantry. A perfect use for leftover cooked rice, this casserole will please the whole family, and you can feel good about making it since it calls for a homemade sauce instead of canned cream soup. The diced pimiento adds extra color and flavor, but feel free to leave it out.


  • For the Sauce:
  • 6 tablespoons butter (divided)
  • 1/4 cup minced onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped celery
  • 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 (2 cups) shredded sharp cheddar cheese (divided)
  • For the Casserole:
  • 1 (7-ounce) can tuna (drained and flaked)
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups cooked frozen or canned peas (drained)
  • Optional: 2 tablespoons diced pimiento
  • Kosher salt (to taste)
  • 4 cups hot cooked rice
  • 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs

Steps to Make It

  1. Heat the oven to 400 F. Butter a 2-quart baking dish.

Make the Sauce

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a large skillet, melt 4 tablespoons of the butter over medium-low heat; add the onion and celery and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the flour, pepper, and dry mustard and continue cooking, stirring, until smooth and bubbly.

  3. Add the Worcestershire sauce and gradually stir in the milk. Cook, stirring, until thickened. Add 1 cup of the shredded cheese to the sauce mixture; stir until melted.

Assemble the Casserole

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Add the flaked tuna and peas to the sauce. If desired, stir in the pimiento. Taste and add salt, as needed.

  3. Spoon half of the hot rice into the prepared baking dish and spread 3/4 cup of the cheese over the rice. Top with half of the sauce, then repeat the layers, finishing with the remaining shredded cheese.

  4. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and toss with the breadcrumbs in a bowl. Sprinkle the crumbs over the top of the casserole.

  5. Bake for 20 minutes or until the breadcrumb topping is lightly browned and the casserole is bubbly around the edges.

  6. Let cool slightly and serve. Enjoy.


  • Make sure you use cooked rice in this casserole. Baked dishes that include a liquid such as broth will cook properly when raw rice is added, but since this dish doesn't have any liquid, it is necessary to use previously cooked rice.
  • If you are reheating leftover tuna, cheese, and rice casserole and find that it seems a little dry, add a small amount of broth before heating it up.
  • You can freeze this casserole to enjoy later; let cool completely, cover with plastic wrap and then aluminum foil, and store in the freezer for up to three months.

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