Italian Tuna Sandwich Casserole

If you are a child of the 70s and 80s, you have had a casserole.  Or two.  Or a hundred!  This recipe was originally from my mother who called it a casserole, although it is not baked. I need to ask her why she calls it a casserole…Anyway,  it is pretty much everything you might put in a tuna sandwich only instead of putting it on sliced bread, you mix it with pasta.  So actually, it’s kind of a salad, right? That makes it sound even more healthy to me!

As you will see, I am not a fan of taking pictures of each and every step of making a recipe. I usually only show the final dish.  However, if you think I should show each step or have questions, please feel free to contact me!

Here it goes.



1 lb elbow macaroni (You can use any small pasta (ditalini, small shells)

2 carrots

2 celery stalks

2 cans of tuna in water, drained

1/4 cup diced red or yellow onion

4-5 gherkin pickles finely diced (optional)

Pickle juice (trust me, it makes a big difference!)

Parsley (fresh is best, but dried is fine – hey, I rhymed!)

Salt and pepper (a few sprinkles of each)

Extra Virgin Olive Oil (about 1/4 to 1/2 cup)


1.  Boil the pasta according to directions.  I like it a little al dente (almost done) because the pasta will continue to cook for a minute or two once it’s drained.

2.  While the pasta is boiling, dice vegetables.

3.  Drain the tuna and break it into small pieces.

4.  In a large bowl, mix together the tuna, carrots, celery, onion and pickles.  Add a little olive oil, salt  and pepper and let it sit.

5.  Once pasta is finished cooking, drain it and add the pasta to the bowl of veggies.

6. Give it a good mix and add the pickle juice, more olive oil, salt and parsley.  You can adjust it to your taste buds.  I am sometimes in the mood for more/less.

7.  Finally, add the tuna and adjust the seasoning.  Serve warm or cold.

HINT #1:  You do not need to refrigerate this right away as there is no mayo in it!

HINT #2 – You could also mix all of the ingredients and use mayonnaise instead of the olive oil to be more authentic.

This picture makes it look a little drab. My husband is not a fan of carrots in his tuna so that is why there is not too much color.I think it’s delicious either way!!

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