Tuna Surprise Casserole

Best tuna casseroleGrowing up my dad had a couple of dishes that he was known for. His specialties were: tuna sandwiches, tuna casserole and french toast. That last one kind of throws you for a loop, huh? But hey, the man can make breakfast, lunch and dinner. So, that's pretty cool. He has, since, expanded his repertoire. Now he's also known for things like homemade tamales.Best tuna casserole This isn't my dad's tuna casserole recipe, but it's certainly inspired by him. There are about a million different "tuna surprise" variations. All with different, uh, surprises in each. Mine simply involves one unexpected ingredient. Just wait and see.Ingredients for tuna casseroleTura Surprise Casserole, serves 5-6.

6 oz. uncooked pasta (I used no yolk dumplings)
2 cans tuna
5 cloves of garlic
8 oz. mushrooms
1/4 cup chopped green onion
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
4-5 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon all purpose greek seasoning
salt + pepper
the surprise ingredient

Cook the pasta in boiling salted water until al dente. You don't want to overcook the pasta, as it's going to get baked later (getting cooked even more).

Mince the garlic. Remove the mushroom stems, rinse well and chop into small pieces. Chop up the green onions. In a large pot cook the garlic in a little olive oil over medium heat for a minute. Add the mushrooms and cook just until they begin to soften. Remove from heat and place on a plate for later. How to make tuna casseroleIn that same large pot melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the flour, making a kind of gravy/paste. Season with a little salt + pepper and the greek seasoning. Stir in the milk and 1 1/2 cups of the cheese. Once everything begins to melt together stir in the tuna (drained), mushrooms and garlic. Place the mixture in a small casserole pan or individual ramekins. Place the remaining 1/2 cup cheese on top, along with a few green onions.Ritz crackersThe surprise ingredient? Why, it's ritz crackers of course! Topping a casserole with crushed ritz crackers is very country cooking, I'm told. It reminds me of so many casseroles that folks would bring to fellowship dinners at church growing up. Anyway, crush up about 18-20 crackers in a plastic bag and top the casserole with the crumbs.My favorite tuna casseroleBake at 375°F for 15-18 minutes until the tops begin to brown. Serve hot!Best tuna casserole  This would be a fun dish to serve at thanksgiving, for any kiddos not interested in turkey. Or you could make this up a day before or morning of and add the crackers/bake for an easy week night dinner. Enjoy! xo. Emma

Credits // Author and Photography by: Emma Chapman

  • i try this recipe! is just delicious, i totally like it so i made it again but i add a poblano to increase taste and flavor and it was just awesome!! 🙂
    next time i’m gonna try this cesserole with chipotle 😛

  • I have never made a surprise casserole and although all the ingredients are yummy, the crackers are what did it for me. Will definitely be trying this sometime soon. Thanks for the recipe. 🙂

  • Looking good! Casseroles are so great during this time of year – excited to try this one

  • Looking forward to trying this recipe, though it doesn’t mention when to add the pasta. I would assume when the tuna, mushrooms, and garlic are added?

  • LOVE this! I do the crushed cracker topping too but I use flavoured triscuits! I love the extra crunch you get from it. So good. Such comfort food for the cold season. <3

  • a. my dad is also famous for his tuna casserole and french toast–love it! and
    and b. ritz crackers makes EVERYTHING better!!!

  • This looks amazing! Not a fan of tuna so, salmon for me! Looks delicious though! 🙂 XX.

  • This looks so good, I’ve never made a tuna casserole before, I usually just take it from the can and mix it with either pasta or rice, maybe I’ll try this today 🙂

  • I have never eaten a casserole before, not to mention a tuna casserole. This seems like such a classic childhood dish for people my parents age. I might have to try this to see what all the fuss is about (the good and the bad).


  • This sounds so good and so simple too! I hate to say it, but it’s perfect for a student lifestyle xo

  • Looks and sounds completely yummy…will have to add the ingredients to my shopping trolley this week.
    http://vodkaandarose.blogspot.co.uk x

  • Ohhh this is a wonderful recipe, as my husband is forever eating tuna so this is perfect!! Looks rather yummy! 🙂

    Lulu xx


  • this is definitely one of my comfort foods from childhood, too. my mom always put crushed potato chips on top of tuna casserole. ruffled ones make for the best texture!

    & just a friendly tip… “tuna” is misspelled in the recipe title. 😉

  • looks yummy! would love to see you guys using some more sustainable tuna though- starkist kills tons of dolphins and turtles and other species through by-catch with their terrible fishing methods. Lots of good options at whole foods and other organic markets!

  • WOuld love to make this except my boyfriend hates fish! Might try it on my own sometime though. x


  • gosh, this icky, rainy weather in NYC makes me CRAVE casseroles!! this version of tuna casserole sounds yummy, and it will be on the menu soon! we recently made a version with handfuls of kale and an entire jar of capers. the kale added tons of nutrition and you couldn’t even taste it, and the capers added a nice “zing”. anything’s better than tuna helper though right?


  • We used to have this when I was younger and it was delicious 🙂 We didn’t have Ritz crackers, but used salt and vinegar crisps. We also cheated with the sauce and used Campbells Condensed Chicken Soup (doubled the amount with water). Yummy 🙂

  • Yummy! I remember eating Ritz with milk like cereal when I was a kid. Sounds strange, but it’s divine. (Too bad Ritz don’t qualify for my “clean eating” grocery shopping these days!)

  • yummy! i’m so into tuna lately and this looks delicious



  • Nice! My dad always made tuna casserole too, but it was more of a velveeta cheese with egg noodles and tuna. I personally hate the stuff these days but it does bring back lots of memories. Some good and some bad (i.e. living in the college dorm mixing up cups of mac n cheese while adding a can of tuna was a quick and easy meal. I also had a roommate who wold eat that Tuna Helper and would never clean her dishes. It would gross me out every time I went into the kitchen and smelled her two day old tuna casserole sitting in the sink. yuck!) , but this is an interesting take on the recipe.

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