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.
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!
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
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.
If you love canned tuna, here are some great recipes that uses canned tuna:
- Zesty tuna pasta
- Spinach tuna salad with delicata squash
- Mediterranean white bean tuna salad
- Spinach and tuna stuffed shells casserole
Tuna Pasta Bake
Servings are adjustable but please note that results, timing, and cookware may vary when adjusting servings.
- 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!