Tuna Mornay with a bit of a difference


  There is not really a way to make this dish look particularly pretty….but boy does it make up for it in flavour and comfort on a cold winters night.

As a child I was always a fan of cheese and cauliflower….there was something about the flavours of the cauliflower that was perfectly matched by the thick cheesy sauce.  Now tuna mornay on the other hand, I don’t remember so much.  I’m not sure if we didn’t have it, or it just didn’t stick in my memory.   Then about 5 years ago I was sharing a house with a girl who used to make it all the time, and it struck my fancy as something that I would like.  Cheesy, tuna tasting goodness combined with the texture of  macaroni cheese….who wouldn’t like that?

At the time I started making this I was avoiding wheat, and instead was using vegetables as a substitute.  I would get creative with my meals, getting the joys of the sauce, without the carb overload of a bowl of pasta.  And so I give you Tuna Mornay with Cauliflower…

Tuna Mornay with Cauliflower

serves approx 6

  • 1 ear of corn, kernels removed
  • 3 cups milk
  • 2 tbl sp plain flour
  • 100g butter
  • 1/2 head cauliflower (approx 400g)
  • 250g grated smoked or tasty cheddar
  • 1/2 cup peas
  • 2 spring onions (eschalots)
  • 1 red onion
  • 400g tinned tuna in spring water, drained
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • salt and pepper to taste

Pre-heat your oven to 180c approx.

Cut up your cauliflower into small bite sized pieces.  finely dice your red onion and slice your spring onions.  Blanch your cauliflower in boiling water for about 2 -3 mins and then drain well.

To make your cheese sauce place your butter into a heavy based saucepan over a medium heat and melt.  Add your flour and cook until it starts to simmer.  

Add your milk in portions and stir through until smooth and creamy.

Allow your sauce to come to a simmer, stirring to prevent it burning or sticking to the bottom of the pot.  When your sauce starts to thicken and cover the back of your spoon.  Add in approx 1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste.

Place your cauliflower into the base of your ceramic baking dish.

Add your tuna, spring onions, peas, corn, red onion and half the cheese into the cheese sauce and stir until the ingredients are well covered.

Pour the saucepan full of sauce over the cauliflower and the cover with the other half of the cheese.

Sprinkle with nutmeg and then place into the oven to bake for approx 30 – 40 mins or until the cheese is a nice golden brown colour.

Serve with a glass of white wine and a fresh green salad or some blanched green beans.

Happy Cooking, and Happy Eating,



2 Comments Add yours

  1. Aly says:

    Hi Leah!

    I added Dijon mustard and lemon zest to the white sauce at the same time as adding the cheese, omitted the nutmeg and dusted the cheese topping with smoked paprika. I really loved the addition of the cauliflower. Thanks for inspiring me to cook this old family favourite and elevate it to next level! Now that I have found your blog I’m enjoying reading many of your recipes…. Keep up the yumminess!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Leah says:

      Hi Aly, love the sound of these changes, I’ll have to give them a go myself. So happy to hear that you’re enjoying my blog, I hope you find some other gems. Leah 🙂


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