5 from 5 votes

Easy Tomato Tuna Pasta Bake

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This easy tomato tuna pasta bake is delicious, quick, filling, and budget-friendly! Made with simple ingredients, it’s great for meal prep/weeknight meals!
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
£1.54
Makes: 6
mains, meal prep
Italian
Freezable

This yummy tomato tuna pasta bake makes for an easy weeknight dinner, especially since it’s a one-pot dish. This classic dish with a twist (aka the tomatoes!) is the ultimate budget meal since it’s made with pantry staples. It’s delicious, low-fat, and ready in less than an hour! This tuna pasta bake tomato recipe makes six portions, so it’s great for meal prep during the week as well.

Pasta in tomatoey and cheesy sauce in a large pan with a metal spoon topped with fresh basil.

Why you’ll love this recipe

  • Quick to the table – You can have this tuna bake ready in less than an hour!
  • Comfy classic – This recipe is a fun twist on the classic, cosy tuna pasta bake recipe.
  • Pantry ingredients – You likely already have most of the ingredients in your pantry/fridge, like canned tuna, pasta, and spices.
  • Full of flavour – The seasoning, minced garlic cloves, roasted red peppers, and fresh basil help make this dish delish.
  • Budget-friendly – Any ingredients you don’t have in your pantry for this tomato tuna pasta bake can be purchased at Aldi, so the recipe is easy on the wallet.
  • One-pot – I love one-pot recipes since that means less cleanup time after!

If you need more tuna inspiration, try these other tuna-centric recipes: Spicy Tuna with Crispy Rice and Healthy Tuna Pasta Salad

What is Tomato Tuna Pasta Bake?

Tomato tuna pasta is a delicious twist on the classic tuna pasta bake. Instead of simply including tuna, pasta, cheese, and seasoning in this bake, I’ve added tomatoes to boost flavour and a pop of colour. It’s cheesy, tasty, and filling.

What Kind Of Tuna To Use
Use chunky tuna for the best results while making this tuna tomato pasta bake. Flaked tuna will not hold up in the recipe, as it tends to turn to mush. Otherwise, tuna in oil, water, or brine all work well.

Simmering the Sauce
When creating the sauce, it needs to simmer for around 20 minutes. Allow it to simmer in the pan, which means the sauce ingredients have time to mingle.

Al Dente Pasta
Avoid a mushy recipe by cooking the pasta until it’s al dente. Remove it from the water about 1-2 minutes before the package instructions note.

Important Tip: 
Don’t overmix the tuna, or you will have mush. Ensure you mix the tuna minimally for this tomato tuna pasta recipe to help keep it from turning to mush. It’s okay if there are a few chunks of tuna in the recipe.

Ingredients

Ingredients to make tuna with tomato liad out on a pale blue background and labelled.

Canned Tuna – The star of the show in this tomato tuna pasta bake is the canned tuna. It adds protein, flavour, and texture to the dish. If you wish, you can use canned salmon instead for a milder fish taste.

Cherry Tomatoes – I recommend using canned tomatoes to help keep the costs down in this tuna tomato pasta recipe. However, you can also use fresh cherry tomatoes if your budget is more flexible. Tomato sauce and marinara sauce will also work in a pinch.

Frozen Mixed Veggies – Any frozen veg mixture will work for this tomato tuna pasta dish. Ensure you select or use a mixture that your family enjoys.

See the recipe card for full information on all ingredients and quantities.

Variations/ Adaptations

This tomato tuna pasta is also easy to adjust to your flavour preferences. You can easily add other veggies like fresh spinach, broccoli, carrots, and more. If you prefer fresh veggies (and you have extra time), skip the frozen bag and use fresh, prepped vegetables instead. Add crushed red pepper flakes to the sauce for a kick of heat.

Instead of tuna, try using canned salmon for a more subtle seafood flavour. You can use salmon in oil, brine, or water like canned tuna. Easily make this recipe vegetarian by skipping the canned fish. Additionally, you can add other types of cheese, like cheddar, if you prefer more of an ooey-gooey recipe. Finally, you can add some herbs like fresh parsley as a garnish for a boost of colour/flavour.

How to make Easy Tomato Tuna Pasta Bake 

  1. Start by slicing the roasted red peppers, garlic and red onion (Image 1).
  2. Then add these into a large non-stick frying pan. Season with salt and pepper (Image 2).
2 step by step photos, the first with sliced red onion, garlic and red peppers on chopping a board and the second withthese added to a pan.

3. Saute for 4 minutes or until softened then add the paprika and dried herbs into the pan and fry for a further minute (Image 3).

4. Then add the cherry tomatoes and passata, mix together to fully incorporate (Image 4).

2 step by step photos, the first with fthe onions, garlic and red peppers frying in a pan and the second with passata and cherry tomatoes added to the pan.

5. Next add the frozen vegetables and cover with a lid and cook over a medium heat for 10 minutes (Image 5).

6. After 10 minutes, remove the lid and reduce to a low/medium heat. Add the tuna into the pan and stir to combine (Image 6).

*At this point, add your pasta to heavily salted boiling water. Set your timer to the packet time minus 2 minutes. 

2 step by step photos, the first with mixed vegetables and salt added to the passata and the second with tuna added to the pan.

Preheat your grill to 200°C

7. When your timer goes off, reserve some pasta water and pour the pasta into the sauce. Stir to combine with a splash of pasta water.  Add ⅓ of the cheese into the pasta and give one final stir (Image 7).

8. Then, top with the remaining 2⁄3 ‘s of the cheese and pop under the grill for 8-10 minutes, or until melted and bubbly. Top with basil and enjoy! (Image 8).

2 step by step photos, the first with pasta added with the mixed vegetables and passata and second withcheese toping the pasta and melted.

Tips for the best result

Buy chunky tuna
As mentioned, you’ll get the best results with this tomato tuna pasta dish with chunky tuna. Using flaky tuna means you’ll have an unappealing, mushy recipe.

Leave the pasta al dente
The pasta will keep softening in the oven, as it will soak up some of the sauce as well. Using fully cooked pasta will lead to a mushy dish. Al dente pasta will also prevent the recipe from becoming mushy.

Don’t mix the tuna in early
If you mix the tuna in too early, you’ll be left with a mushy sauce. Instead, add it in last and don’t over-mix. 

Reheat Instructions
This tomato tuna pasta is quite easy to reheat. Simply put it in the microwave and heat it until all ingredients are heated through.

Make Ahead and Storage Instructions
To turn this tomato tuna pasta into a make-ahead dish, you can prep everything according to the recipe below (including sauteing the veg/aromatics in extra virgin olive oil). Once everything is in the baking dish, cover it with cling wrap and refrigerate it until you’re ready to cook it.

Once cooked, allow the tomato and tuna pasta bake to cool fully. Then, portion it into airtight containers and keep it in the fridge. You can also freeze leftovers for up to one month.

A bowl with tomatoey and cheesy pasta with and hand and fork next to a large pan full of the pasta bake.

FAQs

How long will tuna pasta bake keep in the fridge?

This yummy tomato tuna pasta recipe will stay good in the fridge for up to three days if kept in airtight containers.

Can you heat up cold tuna pasta?

Yes, you can heat cold tomato and tuna pasta. Simply zap it in the microwave until heated through.

Can I prepare this ahead of time?

Yes, you can technically create this tuna pasta dish ahead of time and bake it later. However, it usually dries out in the fridge. So, I recommend prepping and cooking the recipe on the same day for the best results.

Can this be frozen?

Yes, you can freeze this one-pot recipe as well. It should last in the freezer for up to one month.
 
Don’t forget to finish this yummy tomato tuna pasta dish off with a delightful dessert. Here are a few ideas: The BEST Lemon Drizzle Cake, Chocolate Tiffin, or Simple & Easy Brownies.

Close up of tuna and tomato pasta bake topped with melted cheese and fresh basil in a pan.

If you tried this Easy Tomato 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

Easy Tomato Tuna Pasta Bake

Print
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
£1.54
mains, meal prep
Italian
Freezable
Servings: 6
This easy tomato tuna pasta bake is delicious, quick, filling, and budget-friendly! Made with simple ingredients, it’s great for meal prep/weeknight meals!

Ingredients

  • 1 red onion, finely diced (£0.15)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped (£0.39)
  • 70 g roasted red peppers, thinly sliced (£1.80/4)=(£0.45)
  • 2 x 400g cans of cherry tomatoes (£0.85×2)=(£1.70)
  • 400 ml passata (£0.60)
  • 375 g ( 3 tins) of tuna (3x£0.55)=(£1.65)
  • 300 g frozen mixed vegetables (£1.20/3)=(£0.40)
  • 500 g pasta (£0.75)
  • 250 g grated mozzarella/cheddar combo (£2.55)
  • Fresh basil, torn to serve (£0.60)

Cupboard Essentials

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ½ dried thyme
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika

Method

  • Start by adding the olive oil, red onion, garlic and roasted peppers into a large non-stick frying pan. Season with salt and pepper and saute for 4 minutes or until softened.
  • Add the paprika and dried herbs into the pan and fry for a further minute before adding the cherry tomatoes, passata and frozen vegetables. Cover with a lid and cook over a medium heat for 10 minutes.
  • After 10 minutes, remove the lid and reduce to a low/medium heat. Add the tuna into the pan and stir to combine. At this point, add your pasta to heavily salted boiling water. Set your timer to the packet time minus 2 minutes.

Preheat your grill to 200°C

  • When your timer goes off, reserve some pasta water and pour the pasta into the sauce. Stir to combine with a splash of pasta water.
  • Add ⅓ of the cheese into the pasta and give one final stir. Then, top with the remaining 2⁄3 ‘s of the cheese and pop under the grill for 8-10 minutes, or until melted and bubbly. Top with basil and enjoy!

Notes

 
  • Opt for chunky tuna for better texture in the pasta dish.
  • Cook the pasta al dente to prevent it from becoming mushy during baking.
  • Add tuna in last to avoid a mushy sauce; avoid over-mixing.

Nutrition

Servings: 6 servings
Fat: 16g
Calories: 593kcal
Carbohydrates: 77g
Protein: 36g

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