Tuna casserole is an all-American classic dish in many households and this tasty version uses rice, eggs, milk, cheese, and a few easy cooking techniques for a light and fluffy dish that is sure to please even the pickiest of eaters.
Cook rice according to package directions; cool completely.
Preheat oven to 375˚F. Coat a 13 x 9 (3.5 L) baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Dust bottom and sides of the dish with breadcrumbs (this will help the rice puff up in the pan).
Melt butter in a high-sided skillet set over medium heat. Cook onions and garlic for 5 to 8 minutes or until very tender; stir in mustard, paprika, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Sprinkle in flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 3 to 5 minutes or until smooth and thick.
Slowly whisk in milk. Continue to whisk and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring constantly, for 10 to 12 minutes or until very thick; remove from heat. Transfer to a large bowl and cool completely. Fold in the rice, cheese, tuna, and peas into milk mixture; set aside.
In a separate bowl, whisk egg yolks until pale yellow and thick. Fold yolks into rice mixture; set aside.
In large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, beat egg whites, cream of tartar and salt with an electric mixer at low speed until it starts to foam. Increase speed to high. Continue to beat at high speed until stiff peaks start to form. Gently fold whipped egg whites into rice mixture; scrape the mixture into prepared pan.
Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until golden brown, set and puffed. Garnish with green onions and serve immediately.
This recipe can also be made with Carolina® White Rice.
For single-serving casseroles, you can bake the puff mixture in individual ramekins adjusting the cooking time as needed.
Casseroles first came about in American households because of the inexpensive ingredients that were easy to find at the supermarket, and not to mention nonperishable, so they could be purchased and stored in pantries for long periods of time. Nowadays, casseroles are still a family favorite and a simple dinner that takes only about half an hour to make. The recipe options have even expanded to everything from Mexican Rice Casseroles with chilis to savory Chicken and Rice casseroles.
Another great thing about casseroles is that they can easily be frozen or refrigerated and reheated as second and even third meals. Casseroles are, after all, a great way to cook less and to waste less food. They are also perfect for family get-togethers and potluck dinners as they are easy to transport and share, especially if taking to the home of someone in need as a helpful gesture in hard times. Casseroles are about as all-American as it gets.
The typical tuna casserole is primarily made with pasta, canned tuna, cheese, milk, and veggies like peas, corn, and/or carrots. The dish often features a crispy topping made up of bread crumbs, potato chips, canned fried onions, and sometimes even corn flakes. Regardless of the variations in preparation, the creamy and crunchy dish is an all-time family favorite.
Our tasty version of this classic dish swaps the egg noodles in the traditional recipe for fluffy Carolina® Jasmine Rice and incorporates whisking and egg-beating techniques that create a heavenly fluffy consistency that pairs perfectly with the crunchy, golden bread crumb topping. Try it today and see which version is your top-pick!