Tuna Rice Casserole: A Comfort Food Classic with a Twist
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Do you love exploring new recipes but always find yourself stuck making the same bland dishes? Then, let me introduce you to the flavorful world of Tuna Rice Casserole!
This easy and delectable dish will awaken your taste buds and impress your dinner guests. As someone who loves a good casserole, I can attest that this recipe combines creamy, savory, and cheesy flavors and textures for a perfect balance. It’s also a good way to use leftover rice and canned tuna.
The dish is not only delicious but also incredibly easy to customize. Want to up your veggie game? Add some peas or carrots to the mix! Craving some crunch? Pile on the breadcrumbs!
And the best part?
You can make it in one dish, saving you time on cleanup. So what are you waiting for? Gather your ingredients, and let’s get cooking!
The history of this classic American comfort food dish can be traced back to the mid-20th century, when canned goods and convenience foods became popular in the United States. It was during the Great Depression and World War II that food rationing and limited resources led to the creation of simple, cost-effective, and filling meals.
Then came the tuna rice casserole, made with canned tuna, rice, and other pantry staples. It became a popular choice for families seeking to stretch their food budgets.
But it was in the 1950s and 1960s that the dish really took off. With the rise of convenience foods and the increasing number of women entering the workforce, the tuna rice casserole became a go-to family dinner option due to its ease of preparation and affordability.
Today, with modern twists and variations, the recipe has evolved over time to suit changing tastes and dietary preferences. Some cooks add peas, carrots, or even broccoli for extra veggies, while others add different cheese or spices. But one thing hasn’t changed: its enduring popularity as a comforting and nostalgic dish in American cuisine.
Wondering what to serve with your tasty tuna rice casserole? Well, you’re in luck because I have some tantalizing side dish ideas that pair perfectly with this dish!
Feeling like a classic combo? How about some comforting mashed potatoes or mac and cheese? Want something light and fresh? Add some green beans or steam-fried vegetables!
Looking for some bold flavors? Pickled beets, blistered tomatoes, or bacon-wrapped asparagus are all excellent options! And for those carb lovers out there, French fries, garlic rice, or succotash will surely hit the spot!
No matter what you choose, your tuna rice casserole will be sure to shine with any of these delicious sides. So get creative, mix and match, and most importantly, enjoy!
- Cooked Rice – a must-have for any rice casserole. White or brown rice will do the trick.
- Milk – bring on the creamy goodness with any kind of milk you like for this casserole. Feeling fancy? Swap out regular milk for almond, cashew, or coconut milk!
- Eggs – these little guys are crucial! They’ll bind all your ingredients together, making scooping each serving easy.
- Mayonnaise – add a dollop of mayo to get that perfect, smooth consistency. It may sound strange, but mayo makes everything taste better!
- Dijon Mustard – add a little kick with some fancy mustard.
- Canned Tuna: ensure those cans are drained, or your casserole will swim in excess water.
- Mozzarella Cheese Shreds – prepare for a melt-in-your-mouth experience with this cheese topping. Want to mix things up? Try adding cheddar, Gouda, or Parmesan for a little extra flavor.
- Salt & Pepper– A little salt and pepper go a long way, so remember to season your food to taste.
Start by preheating your oven to a toasty 400°F and give your trusty 8×8 baking dish a good coat of nonstick spray.
Whisk together the milk, eggs, mayo, and mustard in a roomy bowl, then toss in the tuna and 2 cups of mozzarella cheese for a creamy, dreamy mix.
Gently fold in the rice and transfer the concoction to your prepped dish. Crown it all with the remaining cheese and let the oven work its magic for 20-30 minutes.
Once baked, show some patience and let it cool for 5 minutes before indulging.
Getting bored with your regular tuna rice casserole recipe? I have some creative twists to spice up this dish!
How about you add some sautéed onions and mushrooms for an extra punch of flavor? Or you can try swapping out the rice for quinoa or couscous for a refreshing twist on this classic dish.
Want some greens? Add some cooked spinach or kale for some added nutrition and color. If you are feeling adventurous, experiment with different cheese blends, like feta or blue cheese, for a gourmet twist.
And don’t forget the crispy toppings! Add some breadcrumbs, crushed potato chips, or even some crumbled bacon for some extra crunch. Get creative, switch things up, and make this dish your own.
Oh no! I made too much tuna rice casserole! How do I store the leftovers?
Just wrap that tasty treasure in an airtight container or aluminum foil, and stash it in the fridge for 3-4 days. Reheat and enjoy your scrumptious seconds!
Is it possible to freeze this magnificent creation for future enjoyment? ????
Absolutely! Just let your casserole cool completely, and then put it in a freezer-safe dish or a freezer bag. Label it with the date, and you have a delicious treat lasting up to 3 months! ❄️
I’m in a rush! What’s the quickest way to reheat my leftover casserole?
Time is of the essence, so pop a serving of your delightful leftovers into the microwave and heat it for 1-2 minutes (or until heated through).
Remember: Cover it with a microwave-safe lid or wrap it to keep it moist!
- 2 cups cooked rice
- 1 ⅔ cups milk
- 2 eggs
- 3 tbsp mayonnaise
- 2 tbsp dijon mustard
- 3 cans tuna, drained
- 3 cups mozzarella cheese shreds
- salt & pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and prepare an 8 x 8 baking dish with nonstick spray.
In a large bowl mix the milk, eggs, mayo, mustard, tuna, and 2 cups of the mozzarella cheese until well combined.
Stir in the rice and spoon evenly into the baking dish.
Top with remaining cheese.
Bake for 20-30 minutes.
Cool for 5 minutes before serving.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 400Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 135mgSodium: 658mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 0gSugar: 4gProtein: 31g