Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Tuna and Brown Rice Casserole with White Wine Sauce (and a Cream Soup bounus recipe!)

A few weeks ago I shared my tuna ring with Swiss cheese sauce and discussed my quest to make tuna a little more sophisticated than my old go-to, Tuna Helper.  Now that Lent is here and I need some meatless meals, it's time to bust out the tuna.  My journey continues today as the classic combo of tuna and rice gets a delicious taste makeover with a scrumptious white wine sauce.

And this post comes with a bonus recipe!  I found this original recipe in an old cookbook, and it called for using cream of chicken soup, but I made my own.  I'd like to say that I made this from scratch because I am just that fancy.  But here's what really happened: I had my heart set on making this and then realized I didn't have cream of chicken soup.  So, I frantically searched the web for a substitute.  I found a great recipe for homemade cream of chicken soup on My Family Eats' website.  Bingo!  Then I realized that to make the soup, you need chicken broth.  Which I also didn't have.  So I substituted soy sauce and water for the broth to make just regular "cream soup."  But you can use this basic recipe to make either cream of chicken or cream of mushroom soup.  This recipe is great if you don't also find yourself without cream soup, but it is also a good recipe if you are trying to make more food from scratch to reduce your processed food intake.

The original recipe also called for using sherry to make the sauce.  I'm not a fan of sherry and didn't feel like buying a bottle to make this dish.  But I did have a bottle of semi-sweet white wine that needed to be used up.  It worked great!  I think a cooking wine such as Marsala could be used.  The addition of the white wine gave this standard recipe a more complex taste. 

To make the soup (which is really simple!), melt the butter in a medium saucepan.  If you are using cream of chicken soup, scroll down!
 Then whisk in flour.  Cook it for about a minute.
Stir together the milk, soy sauce, and water and slowly whisk the mixture into the flour.  I added mine a little at a time, whisked a little, then added a little more until I had added it all.
Cook it for 2-3 minutes until it starts bubbling.  Add your salt, pepper, parsley, and oregano.  Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until thickened.  Congratulations.  Just like that, you have your own homemade cream soup!
Okay, back to the actual tuna casserole.  If you've been tuning out the cream soup steps, tune back in!  Stir together tuna, cooked brown rice, lemon juice, and frozen peas.  I like to make my own regular brown rice, but you can use Minute rice if you prefer.
Spread this mixture over an 8x8-inch baking pan.
To make the sauce, just blend and heat to boiling, the soup, wine, Worcestershire sauce, and pepper.  Spread it over the tuna mixture.  No, that is not refried beans!
And sprinkle with cheese.  I used Swiss.  I guess I just like tuna and Swiss!
Bake for 30 minutes until bubbly, gooey, and melt-y!  Yum!  Tuna is all grown up.  We're still waiting on me!

Tuna and Brown Rice Casserole with White Wine Sauce
2 cans tuna, drained
2 cups cooked brown rice
2 tsp lemon juice
1 cup frozen peas
1 can cream of chicken soup (or cream recipe)
1/4 semi-sweet white wine
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix the tuna, lemon juice, rice, and peas in medium bowl.  Spread tuna mixture in a greased 8x8-inch baking dish.
Blend and heat to boiling, the soup, wine, Worcestershire sauce, and pepper.  Spread sauce over tuna mixture and sprinkle with cheese.  Bake for 30 minutes.

Cream Soup
Can be substituted for 1 can of cream soup
1  Tablespoons butter
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
3/4 cups skim milk
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon dried parsley
1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
Heat a sauce pan over medium heat and melt butter.  Whisk in flour and continue cooking until thick and golden brown – but not too brown – about 1 minute, whisking constantly.  Slowly pour in milk, soy sauce and water and whisk again.  Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly, until flour has been incorporated and mixture is lightly bubbling.  Add salt, pepper, parsley, and oregano.  Stir, then reduce heat to medium-low and cook until thickened.  This could take about 10 minutes.  Season again to taste.  Let cool, then use in your recipe in place canned of cream soup.
Note: To make cream of chicken soup, substitute 3/4 cup chicken stock for the soy sauce and water. 

Recipe adapted from Our Family Eats


  1. Did you mean cup or tablespoon for the soy sauce?

  2. Delicious! Thank you for posting :-)