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That's Some Kind of Tuna Casserole

From "The Infinite Feast: How to Host the Ones You Love—Recipes from the Big Easy . . . and Beyond" by Brian Theis, 2020 Click here for more on my best-selling cookbook!

That's Some Kind of Tuna Casserole

Makes 4 to 6 servings

"This is no traditional tuna and noodle. One of my most popular recipes."

8 ounces fusilli or rotelle pasta (farfalle or bowties will do in a pinch)

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion, diced

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 can (10.5 ounces) cream of mushroom soup

1/2 cup milk

3 tablespoons capers, drained

1 jar (4 ounces) diced pimentos

1 can (12 ounces) tuna in water

1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Mexican blend cheese

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter

2/3 cup panko breadcrumbs

Heat oven to 350°F.

In medium pot, cook pasta two-thirds recommended time. Drain, set aside.

In large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, cook till softened, about 4 minutes. Stir in chili powder, lemon juice and cider vinegar. Add mushroom soup, milk, capers, pimentos. Stir till bubbling. Set aside.

In large bowl, use two forks to combine tuna, pasta, cheese.

Coat 8 x 8-inch (or other 2-quart) baking dish with cooking spray. Spoon half of tuna mixture into baking dish, followed by half skillet mixture, remaining tuna mixture, then rest of skillet mixture. In small pot, melt butter, add panko immediately, stir. Distribute crumbs over top of casserole. Bake uncovered 25 minutes till top is golden brown.

Rest 15 minutes. Serve to applause and fireworks.

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