Tuna Casserole from Scratch

Trying to find ways to feed our monster toddler that doesn’t end up with my hard work on the floor. I was inspired by this amazing recipe and a craving for the hamburger helper tuna casserole that an old childhood friend of mine use to make for us when we went to college together. Good times. I don’t like peas so feel free to substitute broccoli for peas!


  • 8 oz pasta, shells or otherwise
  • 1 celery rib, small dice
  • 1 small onion, small dice
  • 1 small head of broccoli, small dice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tbs butter
  • 1 can chicken broth (15oz) warmed
  • 1 cup milk, warmed
  • 4 tbs white flour
  • 1 tbs dried parsley (or batch of fresh, chopped)
  • 1/8 tsp dried dill
  • 8 oz albacore white tuna packed in water
  • 3/4 cups grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs


  1. Cook pasta as per package instructions. Drain and set aside in 9×13 baking pan or casserole dish. Add a drizzle of olive oil and toss to avoid sticking.
  2. In large skillet, heat on medium high. Add a drizzle of oil. Saute onions and celery until just soft. Salt generously. Add broccoli and garlic and continue to sauté. ~5min. Remove and set aside. Turn heat down to LOW.
  3. Nuke broth and milk separately 30sec or so, then set aside.
  4. In skillet over low heat, add butter. Once melted, slowly mix in flour to make a roux. ~30sec. Don’t let it burn!
  5. Slowly mix in warmed stock and then milk until thick and bubbly. ~3 min. Don’t bring to full boil or milk curdles.
  6. Mix in parsley and dill. Salt to taste. Stir in HALF of the cheese until completely melted in. Continue to let mixture thicken. ~1-2 min.
  7. Pour veggies back in and mix.
  8. Preheat oven 350F.
  9. Break up tuna into small pieces and crumble it over pasta. Pour gravy mixture into dish and mix well. Level the surface with a spatula.
  10. In a small bowl, make topping: drizzle 1-2 tsp olive oil over panko bread crumbs. Mix with fingers. Toss rest of the cheese in and mix. Sprinkle over pasta. Bake in oven 20-25 min or until top is just golden brown.

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