This tuna pasta bake is the easiest pasta bake ever. Perfect for using pantry ingredients. An easy creamy pasta bake with some tinned tuna, make a cheap healthy meal that's family-friendly and ready in only 30 minutes. File this recipe under quick dinner ideas!
This is essentially a tuna mornay pasta bake, but we're gonna keep it short and sweet and skip the mornay part of the name. A thick and creamy sauce with some herbs (parsley, and feel free to add some basil) with some frozen vegetables. It keeps the whole thing, quick easy, affordable and very family friendly.
Tuna Pasta Bake
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Ingredients needed for a healthy tuna pasta
- penne- (or other dried noodle)
- shallot and garlic- I prefer fresh, but you can use the squeeze tubes of onion and garlic if you're pressed for time.
- butter- salted is perfect
- flour- helps to thicken the sauce
- milk and vegetable stock- form the base of the sauce
- cheddar- for the sauce and baking on top of the pasta bake
- 1 tin sweet corn and frozen peas- every amazing pasta bake has a vegetable element to it.
- mixed spice- just a pinch. It sounds a little weird but trust! It makes all the difference
- English mustard- brings a little bit of heat and some much-needed flavour
- tinned tuna packed in water- easy store cupboard ingredients for our pasta bake
Step by step how-to
- Step 1 & 2- First start by boiling some pasta according to the package instructions. Drain and set aside while you make the sauce. Melt the butter in an oven-safe dish and add in the shallots and garlic. Let them soften gently in the butter. Once the shallot is soft and translucent and the garlic is fragrant add in the flour and whisk to a paste. This is a bechamel sauce that forms the cream sauce rather than using actual cream. It makes for a thicker sauce that lends itself better to a pasta bake rather than a cream sauce which is better for serving with tossed pasta rather than baking with cheese.
- Step 3 & 4- Once you've whisked the butter and flour to a paste and cooked it out for about 5 minutes to get rid of the raw flour taste, gently and slowly pour in the milk. Whisk the whole time you're pouring the milk to avoid causing any lumps. Once you have a smooth and thick creamy sauce, add in the frozen peas, drained sweet corn and the chopped parsley. Drain the tuna and fold that in leaving any large chunks.
- Step 5 & 6- Stir half of the cheese into the sauce and reserve the other half for topping the pasta and baking. Toss the pasta in the sauce and make sure that every noodle is coated evenly. Scatter the remaining cheese over the top of the pasta and bake in the preheated oven until the pasta is hot all the way through and the cheese is melted, golden and bubbling.
Substitutions and variations
Okay. Here's the deal. Everything is better baked with cheese, but you can just make the creamy bechamel sauce for this and call a day. It's amazing as it is. But if you are going to add the cheese, then there is a lot to choose from.
- Cheddar- switch for mozzarella, or swiss
- Peas and corn- switch for spinach and broccoli or cauliflower
- Add in some fresh cherry tomatoes or a tin of chopped tomatoes or passata. I personally don't like tomatoes and tuna together, but if that's your jam, then go for it
More pasta bakes
Tools used to make this Tuna Pasta Bake
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