This creamy tuna pasta bake is so comforting, as any pasta bake should be. It’s perfect now that the nights are getting a bit cooler and we’re looking to food (mostly pasta) to warm us up.
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This creamy tuna pasta is super cheesy and indulgent, whilst taking into consideration the fat/calorie level with some ingredient swaps and tricks. Try these other pasta bake recipes; Healthy Baked Ziti Inspired Pasta Bake and Aubergine Parmigiana Pasta Bake
I used tuna stored in brine in this recipe, which reduces the calories in comparison to oil packed tuna. It’s also more flavourful than tuna in water, in my opinion. I also love using tuna in salads and to make Spicy Tuna with Crispy Rice (Budget Recipe)
Mild cheddar adds a perfect richness to the creamy sauce and provides thickness and body to the sauce once melted. It also obviously crisps up amazingly to form the most flavourful golden cheese layer on top of the pasta bake.
Low Fat Cream Cheese
With most creamy tuna pasta bakes, you’ll find that many people use a roux (flour, butter and milk) to form the base of the cheese sauce. I wanted to keep this recipe super simple by using cream cheese, cheddar and pasta water to create the cheesy sauce. This reduces the prep time before the oven for the pasta bake. Try some other recipes using cream cheese: Creamy Philadelphia Chicken Pasta and Garlic and Herb Cream Cheese
The best veggie pairing for tuna when served cold so we shouldn’t mess with perfection when whipping up this warm pasta dish. I used a tin of sweetcorn, but frozen corn can also work in this recipe, and you’ll be sure its frozen at peak freshness, it’s so easy to prep and is super affordable. For sweetcorn lovers, enjoy Cowboy Caviar and Halloumi Tacos
Start by preheat oven to 180°C – Grill
3. Add the rigatoni to salted boiling water, set the timer, follow the packet instruction time minus 2 minutes (Image 3).
4. In the same pan, add the drained tuna, cream cheese, grated cheddar and two ladles of pasta water. Stir until the cheese melts and a creamy sauce is achieved. Add extra pasta water as necessary (Image 4).
5. Add extra pasta water as necessary. Add the lemon juice and dijon mustard and stir into the sauce. Then season with salt and lots of pepper (Image 5).
6. To a large baking dish, add the drained rigatoni, sweetcorn and cheesy tuna pasta sauce (Image 6).
7. Stir to incorporate everything and top with the remaining cheddar (Image 7).
8. Pop the cheesy tuna pasta bake under the grill for 10 minutes, or until the cheese is crispy and golden brown. Top with fresh parsley and season with salt and lots of black pepper (Image 8).
Yes definitely! I’d cook the whole batch in one baking dish and then divide into individual portions and freeze once cooled.
You can either reheat the tuna pasta bake in the microwave or oven. If you pop your heat proof meal prep dish under the grill for a couple of minutes you’ll get a better crispy cheese layer, but the microwave works just fine in a rush.
Yes you can, just bare in mind the fats/calories will increase.
Cook the whole batch as described in the recipe. Allow to cool and then divide into 6 meal prep containers. Store the parsley separately. When it’s time to eat, remove from the fridge/freezer and in the oven for 10 minutes or under the grill until crispy and golden. Season with salt and lots of black pepper and enjoy!
If you tried this Creamy Tuna Pasta Bake recipe, it would be mean so much to me if you could leave a review & a star rating to let me know how you found it! I love hearing about your experiences – it motivates me to keep creating more and more recipes for you guys 💛 Let’s get cooking! – Mimi x