Tuna Minilla Casserole

Tuna Minilla Casserole

Cazuela de Minilla de Atún
8 to 10 servings
Pati Jinich
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: capers, Casserole, olives, onion, pati's mexican table, Pickled Jalapeños, puff pastry, raisins, Tomatoes, tuna
Author:Pati Jinich
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Tuna Minilla Casserole recipe from Pati's Mexican Table Season 3, Episode 4 “Meals in a Minute”


  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup chopped white onion
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 pounds (about 6) ripe Roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 7-ounce cans tuna, drained and shredded
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped raisins
  • 1/4 cup manzanilla olives stuffed with pimientos, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup pickled jalapeño chiles, store-bought or homemade, seeded and roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • 3 tablespoons Italian or flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 1.2-pound package frozen puff pastry, thawed, or homemade puff pastry
  • all-purpose flour, for rolling out the puff pastry
  • 1 egg, optional
  • 2 tablespoons water, optional

To Prepare

  • In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Once hot, but not smoking, stir in the onion and cook until it is soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, stir, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the chopped tomatoes and cook, stirring often, until completely cooked, softened and mashed-up and pasty looking, about 15 minutes.
  • Toss in the tuna, and with a spatula or wooden spoon, mix it well with the tomato mixture, making sure there are no big chunks. Add the bay leaves, brown sugar, oregano, thyme, salt and mix well. Add the raisins, olives, pickled jalapenos, capers, fresh parsley and mix well. Cover the skillet and reduce the heat to medium low. Cook for about 10 minutes, the mixture should be very moist but not watery. Taste for salt and add more if needed. Remove the bay leaves and set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 425°F.
  • Lightly flour a rolling pin and roll out 1 thawed sheet of pastry about 1/8-inch thick to line the bottom and sides of a round baking dish (you may wish to add a pastry sheet in the bottom and top of the casserole, or only on the top!). Add the tuna filling to the puff pastry lined baking dish, using a rubber spatula to evenly spread the filling. Roll out another thawed sheet of pastry and use to cover the tuna filling – pinching the edges of the 2 sheets of pastry together to seal.
  • Optional: In a small mixing bowl, beat the egg along with the water. Brush the top of the casserole with the egg wash.
  • Cut 4 to 5 vents on the top. Place the casserole in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes, until crisp, puffed up and golden brown.

37 comments on “Tuna Minilla Casserole

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  1. Flavors are of the chart! Delicious and easy to prepare. This Minilla Casserole dish is one of my top dishes when pleasing a crowd and family! I will try and do beef and chicken next time!

  2. Just made this and ate with tacos I was shaking my head with pleasure the whole time. Best canned tuna dish ever.

  3. After watching your cooking show, my 8 year old insisted we make this dish together. I am usually not a fan of tuna or casseroles, but I have to say, this dish was amazing and will be added to our regular dinner rotation! Thanks for the inspiration to try something new!

  4. OMG, Pati! My husband and I were a bit skeptical about a canned tuna pie, but we’d had success with so many of your recipes we decided to give it a chance. We were blown away – so delicious in so many ways! We started watching you in repeats on TLN in Canada last November and record you every time you are on. We love not only your recipes but also your insights into the culture of Mexico, which is inspiring us to take a trip in the not-to-distant future. And your boys are so cute and poised. Such a great show. THANK YOU!

  5. I just made this for dinner!! I made the filling for empanadas and omg it was delicious, my husband loved it !! I’m so glad I found you! I’m from Durango,Mexico and I live in the USA and I miss Mexican food so bad and thanks to you I can made it and feel like I’m home!!

  6. Our oldest daughter lived and travelled Mexico for school for a month from Canada. We loved anything she made from there. Unfortunately she was tragically killed 3 days before our anniversary in August. She was very bubbly like you. Very crafty too! We now are going to celebrate Day of the Dead. My wife wants myself and our youngest daughter to go to Mexico to celebrate this year. Thanks for the amazing recipes!

    1. Celebrating the Day of the Dead is such a beautiful way to honor your daughter, Stephen. I hope your family gets to go to Mexico to celebrate this year. Sending you big hugs.

  7. Oh my goodness. I make this filling and put it in a sandwich (bolillo) and it is sooo delicious. Ten times better than any tuna salad you will ever taste! Thanks Pati!

  8. I made this tonight. It was wonderful. My daughter came over and I had her try a bite, she ended up eating 2 tortillas stuffed with the tuna. I would definitely make it again. I just recently found your show and I can’t begin to tell you how much I have enjoyed watching you and your family. You have a beautiful spirit. I have tried several of your recipes and they were all good. You introduced me to chipotle in adobe and I love it. Thanks for teaching us about Mexico, the people, the history and the food.

  9. If I make this ahead, would you recommend adding the pastry at the last minute before it is baked? Will it get soggy if I put a bottom layer of pasty in ahead?

    Love your enthusiam and cookbook. My husband calls Alisa pound cake 2 pound cake because it comes out so moist and delicious!

    Thanks, Sabrina G.

    1. Hi Sabrina, Thank you so much for getting my cookbook! I like to have the oven preheated before I assemble the casserole with the filling and the dough, so I can just pop it right in. The dough shouldn’t get soggy if you put some on the bottom.

  10. Hola, Pati – Me gusto mucho su programma. What port city did You say that Cazuela de Minilla de Atún originated in? Muchas Gracias!

  11. Do you know the name of the Le Creuset pan this dish was cooked in? I see both a 2 quart and a 3 quart tarte tatin dish on the Le Creuset website, but the dimensions of both seem smaller than the one used in this episode.

    Any ideas?


  12. The tuna minilla casserole is my families favorite!!!! Thank you Pati, you are amazing 🙂 I love watching your show on monday.

  13. When I was watching the episode, I thought Pati said to bake this for 20 minutes at 425F. Here, however, it says 25 to 30 minutes at 350F. Did I hear wrong? Will it work just as well to bake it a little faster at the higher temperature? Thanks.

  14. Will this fit in a deep dish pie plate, or should it be a round casserole dish? Am I supposed to cut the puff pastry to a round shape?

    Love your food Pati & you’re a delite to watch.
    thank you!

    1. Thanks Pat! Yes it would fit in a deep dish pie! It can be any shape you want, just leave enough dough to go a bit over the rim, for a nice crust.