Grandma Daly's Tuna and Tater Casserole Recipe -
Grandma Daly's Tuna and Tater Casserole Recipe
  • READY IN 1 hr

Grandma Daly's Tuna and Tater Casserole

Recipe by  

"This tuna casserole is an updated version of a recipe handed down from my grandmother, Elizabeth Kelleher Daly so of course it uses potatoes as its starch. She actually called it California Chicken. I guess to a native Yankee, the joke was that in California, tuna is chicken."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 4 servings Change Servings
  • PREP

    15 mins
  • COOK

    45 mins

    1 hr


  1. Place the potatoes and carrots into a large pot and cover with salted water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain vegetables, then cover to keep warm.
  2. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spray a baking dish with cooking spray.
  3. Melt 1/4 cup butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in onion and garlic; cook and stir until the onion is softened, about 3 minutes.
  4. Sprinkle in the flour and and reduce heat to medium-low. Continue to cook and stir for about 1 minute, whisking out any lumps.
  5. Whisk in the milk until the mixture thickens, 5 to 7 minutes.
  6. Flake the tuna, then stir it into the white sauce along with the potatoes, carrots, and peas. Season with salt and black pepper.
  7. Transfer the tuna mixture to the prepared baking dish.
  8. Mix 1/4 cup of melted butter with the crackers together in a bowl.
  9. Sprinkle the cracker mixture over the tuna and potatoes.
  10. Bake in the preheated oven until the sauce is bubbly, about 30 minutes.
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  • Cook's Note
  • Use your choice of white or light tuna, packed in water or oil. If you like your peas well cooked, you can add them to the potatoes and carrots, but I find that an hour in the warm sauce in the oven cooks them enough. The original recipe called for canned peas but I don't care for them.

Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Feb 12, 2012

I nearly passed this by because for some reason potatoes and tuna didn't sound that great. I love tuna though, so I thought I'd add this to my list of new attempts...(bein' used to noodles or biscuits instead of potatoes) :o). I have to say, I'm glad I made this. It took a little longer than the few minutes for the cream mixture to thicken, and you must be a speedy preparer, Janet, but in the end, it was very tasty, and my husband loved it, too! I walked my dog and came home to a lovely aroma in the house. I added a picture because it was worth it! Thanks for posting this, janet7th! I'll definitely make it again!

Most Helpful Critical Review
Mar 14, 2012

For me it was just ok. I needed to add a lot of salt and then added some hot sauce for more flavor. I think I would just prefer a normal tuna casserole w noodles... sorry!


16 Ratings

Feb 09, 2012

Very delicous my children loved it (2&3) I added more veggies red and green peppers,daikon, celery, garlic, onions, potatoes and carrots sliced in food processer but no peas. :) will cook again.

Feb 24, 2012

This was so simple to make and very enjoyable. The cracker topping was a nice touch.

Mar 19, 2012

Much better than traditional tuna casserole and so delicious! Thank you for the new recipe!

Apr 10, 2012

Very good! Followed as is and was tasty. Needed more seasoning, added extra garlic, etc. Pretty time consuming though, and a big mess was made because of seperate pans, pots, etc. Would recommend. ***Does not keep well....mushy and gross a day or two leftovers quick!

May 25, 2013

This was a nice change from regular tuna casserole my kids liked it a lot. My only complaint - not sure the extra time was justified since regular tuna casserole is easier and just as tasty, but this is a good alternative

Nov 27, 2012

Unfortunately, this recipe did not work for me. It did not thicken up and was more like a soup (I announced to my family it was soup for dinner and we ate it in bowls with spoons). The flavour was nice, but the texture was too liquid. If I tried it again, I'd definitely add more flour to the white sauce.


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  • Calories
  • 661 kcal
  • 33%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 57.9 g
  • 19%
  • Cholesterol
  • 95 mg
  • 32%
  • Fat
  • 35.4 g
  • 54%
  • Fiber
  • 5.7 g
  • 23%
  • Protein
  • 28.5 g
  • 57%
  • Sodium
  • 597 mg
  • 24%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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