An easy pasta bake with tuna and creamy tomato sauce, all topped off with lots of lovely cheddar cheese! This is a great dish to serve to a crowd. Simple to make and you can even prep it ahead.
Pasta bakes really do make the best comfort food!
Simple ingredients that come together for a brilliant family dinner.
Yes, it’s got cheese, cream and pasta in there, but there are loads of nutritious goodies included too. It’s also one of those meals that works really well with a big side salad. So it ticks all the boxes for me.
What do we need?
What type of tuna should i use?
I prefer to use albacore tuna for this, as it’s firmer and creamier than regular tuna fish. However it is a little on the expensive side, so you can sub it for regular canned tuna fish if you like and it will still taste delicious!
I would always suggest using tuna fish in oil (drain it before adding to the dish) as it has more flavour and a richer texture. However, you can use tuna in water or brine if you prefer.
How do we make it?
- Soften a chopped onion in a large frying pan. Add chopped peppers, tuna fish, salt, pepper, garlic, tomato puree and oregano and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Pour in tinned tomatoes and cream, bring to the boil, then stir in cooked pasta.
- Top with cheddar and mozzarella and bake for 20-25 minutes, until the cheese is golden brown.
- Sprinkle with parsley before serving.
If you fancy a creamy tuna pasta bake instead of tomato, I’ve got you covered.
The recipe video
Tomato Tuna Pasta Bake
- 14 oz (400g) dried pasta shapes I used shells
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 large onion peeled and chopped
- 1 red bell pepper de-seeded and chopped
- 1 yellow bell pepper de-seeded and chopped
- 10 1/2 oz 300g canned tuna (albacore tuna if possible) drained and flaked
- pinch of salt and pepper
- 2 cloves garlic peeled and minced
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 28 oz 800g tinned chopped tomatoes
- ½ cup 120ml double (heavy) cream
- 1 cup (100g) strong cheddar cheese grated
- 1 cup (100g) mozzarella grated
- Small bunch parsley roughly torn
- Preheat the oven to 190c/375f. Boil a large pan of water and cook the pasta for 1 minute less than recommended on the pack. Drain.
- Whilst the pasta is cooking, heat the oil on a medium heat, in a large frying pan. Add the onion and cook for 3-4 minutes until the onion is softened.
- Add the chopped peppers, tuna fish, salt, pepper, garlic, tomato puree and oregano. Stir and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Now add the tinned tomatoes and cream, bring to a gentle bubble, then add the pasta. Stir everything together, then transfer to a large baking dish.
- Top with the cheddar and mozzarella and place in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until the cheese is golden brown.
- Take out of the oven and top with a sprinkling of parsley before serving.
Can you make it ahead?Yes, make up the dish and sprinkle with the cheese (but don't bake in the oven). Cover and refrigerate for up to two days. Take out of the refrigerator an hour before you want to cook it, to take the chill off the dish (and to help prevent cold spots upon heating) then place in the oven covered in foil at 190C/375F for 10 minutes, then a further 20-25 minutes uncovered. Check it's piping hot in the middle before serving.
Can you freeze it?Yes, make up the dish and sprinkle with the cheese (but don't bake in the oven). Cover and freeze. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight. Take out of the refrigerator an hour before you want to cook it, to take the chill off, then place in the oven covered in foil at 190C/375F for 10 minutes, then a further 20-25 minutes uncovered. Check it's piping hot in the middle before serving.
Which pasta shapes?I used pasta shells, but any large pasta shapes will work. Spiralli, rigatoni, fusilli and penne are all good options.
Gluten free option:Use gluten free pasta and ensure your tomato puree (paste) is gluten free and you're good to go. Nutritional Information is per serving (this recipe serves 6)
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