Tuna Pasta Bake

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    Incredibly easy tuna pasta bake that utilizes everything you already have in your pantry! Canned tuna is the star of this pasta bake!

    Tuna gets such a bad rap. I bet you wouldn’t turn down this tuna pasta bake though!

    I remember in grade school, I would always dread the day that I would be the one to bring a tuna fish sandwich for lunch or to bring those tuna cracker packets.

    Do you remember those? The plastic packet came with a tiny can of tuna, crackers, and a mayo packet.

    Anyway, I was always so embarrassed because of the smell of fish.

    These days, I can’t seem to get enough of canned tuna.

    It’s such an easy protein to have especially when you’re in need during lunch.

    I love that it’s a light and lean protein and can be mixed with anything.

    Incredibly easy tuna pasta bake that utilizes everything you already have in your pantry! Canned tuna is the star of this pasta bake!

    This tuna pasta bake looks fancy but it is incredibly easy to make.

    You probably already have all the ingredients in your pantry.

    In fact, all the ingredients are pantry items!

    Incredibly easy tuna pasta bake that utilizes everything you already have in your pantry! Canned tuna is the star of this pasta bake!

    Can I use another fish in this?

    Canned salmon would be equally delicious!

    Can I use meat in this instead?

    You could but then it wouldn’t be a tuna pasta bake and just be any regular pasta meat bake haha

    Incredibly easy tuna pasta bake that utilizes everything you already have in your pantry! Canned tuna is the star of this pasta bake!

    What kind of pasta is best if I don’t have rotini?

    I LOOOVE rigatoni or the mini rigatoni. You could even use small shells in this!

    I like pastas that “catch” the sauce.

    Can I use canned tuna in water?

    It is best to use canned in olive oil. It has so much more flavor!

    Can I make the tuna pasta bake in a Dutch oven instead of a cast iron skillet?

    Yep! You can use any skillet or pot that is oven-safe.

    Incredibly easy tuna pasta bake that utilizes everything you already have in your pantry! Canned tuna is the star of this pasta bake! #tuna #pasta #pastabake #casserole #casserolebake #cannedtuna

    If you love canned tuna, here are some great recipes that uses canned tuna:

    3.86 from 7 votes

    Tuna Pasta Bake

    This incredibly easy pasta bake uses most of everything you already have in your pantry!
    Prep Time: 10 mins
    Cook Time: 35 mins
    Total Time: 45 mins
    Course: Dinner
    Cuisine: American
    Servings (adjustable, but please note that results, timing, and cookware may vary when adjusting servings): 4
    Calories: 482kcal
    Author: Julie Chiou
    5 Hassle-Free Ways to Simplify MealtimeSign up here for all the secrets!


    • 2 cups dried pasta
    • 1/2 medium onion, diced
    • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
    • 1 3/4 cup crushed tomatoes
    • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
    • 1/2 tablespoon Italian seasoning
    • Salt and pepper, to taste
    • 15-21 ounces canned chunk tuna in olive oil, drained
    • 1/2 cup whole milk mozzarella, shredded
    • 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
    • Fresh basil, finely chopped for garnish


    • Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
    • Bring a pot of water to a boil then cook pasta for half the amount of time the box says. It will finish cooking in the oven.
    • In the meantime, heat a large (12-inch) cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. When the skillet is hot, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil then add the onion and garlic and cook until softened and fragrant, about 3-5 minutes.
    • Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, and Italian seasoning, stir to incorporate. Season with salt and pepper. Remove skillet from heat.
    • Drain the pasta and add to the skillet. Toss to coat. Add the drained tuna but do not overly mix. Just gently toss so chunks remain in tact and it doesn't turn to shredded tuna where you can't see it at all in the dish.
    • Sprinkle cheeses on top in an even layer then bake for 25 minutes, or until pasta is cooked through and mixture is bubbly and cheese is melted.
    • Sprinkle fresh basil on top, serve, and enjoy!


    If you feel that the sauce is too bitter (it truly depends on brand of tomato so it varies), you can add a bit of granulated sugar to the sauce.
    There are a lot of varying cans of tuna and they range between 5-7 ounces, hence the measurement for tuna is a range.
    Nutrition Facts
    Tuna Pasta Bake
    Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
    Calories 482 Calories from Fat 108
    % Daily Value*
    Fat 12g18%
    Carbohydrates 52g17%
    Fiber 4g16%
    Sugar 5g6%
    Protein 44g88%
    * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
    *Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.
    Julie Wampler of Table for Two
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    Recipe Rating


  • Sofia says:

    YUM! My kids love tuna pasta bake.

    • Julie Wampler says:

      Hope you enjoy!

  • Roseann Archangel Gunn says:

    Love your recipes!!

    • Julie Wampler says:

      Thank you!

  • Adrianna says:

    You never cease to amaze me…. I was thinking about dinner and checked my email only to find this recipe. Guess what I’m making lol

    • Julie Wampler says:

      Yay :)

  • Martina Roy says:

    This is very really unique helpful information. keep it up. Thank you so much!

  • Jeanne says:

    I was fishing for a recipe for tonight that wouldn’t make me have to run to the grocery store and this hit all the marks! Thanks Julie! Love a tuna pasta recipe and this one is the bee’s knees.

    • Julie Wampler says:

      haha, i like your pun even if it wasn’t intended ;)

  • Juliet says:

    Yummy! I’m trying this tonight!

  • Karen says:

    Super easy and yummy! Kids loved it of course. I added some cubed zucchini to ours so I could excuse myself from making a salad haha.

  • Amanda Repman says:

    This looks amazing, and so perfect for right now. I added link on my blog. Thanks!

  • Christopher Stephens says:

    Is it really two 15 ounces cans of tuna?

    • Julie Wampler says:


  • Thea says:

    This recipe looks great, but do you really use 30 ounces (almost 2 lbs) of canned tuna? I have a lot of 5oz cans in my pantry, but no 15 oz cans!

    • Julie Wampler says:

      yes, i did – and i think the reason why i had two 15 ounce cans was cause my tuna can is from costco and you know how their portions are lol

    • Julie Wampler says:

      I did a little more research and I don’t remember *where* exactly I got 15 ounce cans. I think I might have had some leftover from recipe development for a client…however, I did see that there are cans that are 12 ounces here: https://www.target.com/p/chunk-light-tuna-in-water-12-oz-market-pantry-8482/-/A-13586400 – I’m now stumped at how I got 15 ounce cans of tuna…most of the cans of tuna that I found online are about 7 ounces…so I think I’ll change the recipe accordingly. Thanks for bringing it up!

  • Sandra says:

    Love this tasty recipe and now our favourite. Love the tomatoes in it. Have tried others with a white sauce and turned out dry and tasteless. I doubled everything for a family of 4 using two normal size cans of tuna you get from supermarkets and was perfect.

  • Naomi says:

    Literally the worst recipe I have ever followed. Lacks flavour – what a waste of time and ingredients. If I could have given it 0 stars I would have.

  • Tony says:

    Very bland recipe no flavour and dry

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