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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:

4 from 8 votes
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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: 4

Servings are adjustable but please note that results, timing, and cookware may vary when adjusting servings.

Calories: 482kcal
Author: Julie Chiou

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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!

Notes

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.
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Recipe Rating




Jessica

Tuesday 24th of November 2020

I don’t know what the comment below me is talking about, this had a gorgeous flavour! I added 1 tsp of brown sugar as our tomatoes were bitter. Only had about 1 tbsp of Parmesan left but was still lovely. Maybe they didn’t missed out seasoning with salt and pepper. Anyway, don’t let it put you off as I nearly did, but I made it regardless and then my boyfriend and I both went for seconds it was that good!

Tony

Thursday 13th of August 2020

Very bland recipe no flavour and dry

Naomi

Sunday 9th of August 2020

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.

Sandra

Thursday 7th of May 2020

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.

Thea

Tuesday 21st of April 2020

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

Tuesday 21st of April 2020

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!

Julie Wampler

Tuesday 21st of April 2020

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