A bowl of tuna rice casserole with a fork in it.

Mom’s Tuna Rice Casserole

  • Author: Kristen Stevens
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 25 mins
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: Casserole
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: North American


This is the tuna rice casserole recipe that mom always made. It’s flavorful, creamy, cozy, easy to make, and the buttered bread crumbs are the best things on earth. 

If you love this recipe as much as we do, let us know with a 5-star review in the comments!



  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 3 ½ cups of milk, divided
  •   cup of cornstarch
  • 2 cups grated aged cheddar cheese
  • 3 cans of tuna (use the juice!)
  • 1 teaspoon EACH: salt and pepper
  • 4 cups large croutons (gluten-free, if needed)
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 cups frozen peas, thawed


  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  2. Add the rice and stock to a medium-sized pot over high heat. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 12 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and let it sit, covered, for 10 minutes while you prepare the rest of the casserole. 
  3. Heat 3 cups of the milk in a medium-sized pot over medium-high heat. Once it is hot, but not boiling, mix the remaining ½ cup of milk with the cornstarch and add it to the pot. Whisk it continuously while it thickens then remove the pot from the heat. 
  4. Add the cheese and whisk until it melts. Stir in the tuna and the juice from the cans. Season with salt and pepper. 
  5. In a large bowl, mix the croutons with the melted butter. 
  6. Spread a thin layer of the sauce in the bottom of a 9×11″ casserole dish. Top with half the rice, half of the sauce, and half of the peas. Repeat once more then top with the buttered croutons. 
  7. Bake the tuna casserole for 20-25 minutes, or until the croutons are crispy and browned and the casserole is bubbling at the edges. 


Learn some tips on how to cook perfect basmati rice in a pot