Posted by: Erica Retrochef | January 18, 2016

Tuna-Egg Casserole

There are many things that I might think of as reasonable partners with tuna fish.


Mayonnaise, pickle relish, celery, mustard — any of those I could see (if not necessarily enjoy personally) as a pairing with tuna. Eggs, though, are not normally high on that list.

1 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup water
1/8 tsp. paprika
1 10-1/2 oz. can cream of mushroom soup
1 No. 1/2 can Star-Kist Tuna
2 tsps. grated lemon peel
4 hard-cooked eggs
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 cup grated American cheese

Simmer celery in water until softened. Add half of mushroom soup and blend. Combine tuna, lemon peel and remainder of soup. In greased 1-qt. casserole, arrange layers of tuna, chopped egg whites, crumbled yolks, and celery and soup mixture. Add salt and pepper. Top with cheese and paprika. Bake in hot oven (450° F.) 15 min. or until bubbly and brown. Serves 5.

“Is that a chicken dancing with a tuna?”

“Yeah. I think it’s sort of like when you’re advertising a barbecue restaurant with a cheerful pig in a butcher’s apron. Animals cheerfully serving you other animals.”

“I guess the tuna’s just too stupid to understand what’s really happening. The chicken, though… That’s just creepy somehow.”


You have to start using good-quality cream of mushroom soup in your retro casseroles. Or in your modern casseroles. Or, if you’re that one person in the world who actually eats cream of mushroom soup straight, in your soup.


We made this for friends (Hi Elisa!!!), and they were sitting in the kitchen watching while this was being assembled. While I’ve had people outside the family taste my retro recipe attempts previously, this is the first time I remember having somebody actually watching while we put it together.


I started regretting choosing a recipe based on cream of mushroom soup as the debut of my retro cooking. I mean, seriously, this isn’t pretty.


Watch me mix perfectly reasonable vegetables with some grey-brown goop! Sexy food. (NOT.)


Thankfully, hard-boiled eggs always look lovely and fresh.


Even in my smallest casserole dish, this made very thin layers. The tuna-soup layer in particular needed to be carefully smushed around to reach all the way to the sides.


Just… why… I can’t even… Why did I choose this to show off with?

At least it’s not coated in gelatin.



You know you’ve got good friends when they watch this go together and still cheerfully take a serving. That’s friendship. That’s trust.

That’s also a bit of crazy.


But we all enjoyed this! It’s not fine dining, but it’s creamy, tuna-filled goodness. The hard-boiled egg was not really a distinct component after baking, becoming a part of the overall texture and flavor. The paprika on top was almost forgettable, although the slight sprinkling helped spice things up (feel free to use a half teaspoon if you’re feeling zesty!). I’ve never had egg and tuna before, and while we all agreed that it’s not the sort of thing chicken and fish should happily dance together over, they do make a tasty casserole.

Thanks to thenoirkitten on Flickr for posting this recipe-ad, and to our good friends for trusting me to cook for them.


  1. The only way I’ll eat tuna salad is if it also contains hard boiled eggs chopped up in it. Its the way my English grandmother always made tuna sandwiches, so maybe its a UK thing? That said, however, I would still not be willing to eat this (hot canned tuna is one of my least favorite smells), though I’m fascinated to know what made it stay together in a pile like that, you’d think boiled celery + soup + canned tuna would have made a sloppy mess, not a nicely congealed casserole. Also…I wonder why it glistens like that, though I don’t really want to know why.

    • I think the glisten is from the melted cheese on top (shiny!), and I’m also not sure why it was able to hold its shape. There is nothing in there to provide any sort of structure. SOUP MAGIC?

      • Cream of mushroom soup is basically a flavored white sauce, and it will thicken when heated & act as a binder.

  2. I was just going to say I’ve seen tuna fish and chopped boiled egg together with cress as a cold picnic sandwich — I think that IS a UK thing — but baked boiled eggs as a casserole topping is just so strange to me. However, there’s rarely anything you can do to utterly ruin tuna casserole. Usually. 😉

  3. What awesome friends you have! That is one ugly dish.

  4. A recent edition of Joy of Cooking has a recipe for tuna casserole that begins with… making cream of mushroom soup out of fresh mushrooms. It’s a bit of effort but I think it’s worthwhile (made it several times).

  5. Lots of traditional fish pie type recipes have a considerable amount of chopped hard-boiled egg in them. I believe the assumption is–or was–that you either have chickens or that eggs are cheaper than fish. The fish is for flavour and some sort of vitamin, & the egg just adds bulk and protein. Maybe.
    Or did, in its day.

  6. I grew up in the 40s and my mom passed this recipe on to me for Tuna Bake. 1 can cream of chicken soup, 1 can tuna fish, 1 c diced celery, 1/4 c chopped onion, 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, 3 boiled eggs (sliced or chopped), 1 cup crushed potato chips. Mix the first 7 ingredients together; fold in egg and pour into lightly greased casserole dish. Sprinkle with crushed chips and bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes. Enjoy!

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